In order to answer your question, we must first understand the "anatomy of mold". Mold can grow almost anywhere, but there has to be a food source fueling that growth. A combination of moisture and organic material feed the fungi so that it will grow and spread on foods, soil, plants, wood, drywall, etc. Active mold reproduces by releasing spores into the air and water. Once released they can be spread in an assortment of ways. Outdoor growth of mold is normal, but mold growth that occurs indoors is abnormal.
For mold to grow indoors it must have the proper temperature, a food source, and the right amount of moisture. Moisture is the number one contributor for colonization of mold in the home or work place. Research surveys show that 30% to 50% of all structures have damp conditions which may encourage microbial growth and biological pollutants. This percentage is likely to be higher in warm moist climates. Mold growth can begin in as little as 48 hours after moisture intrusion, sooner in high humidity environments. Florida is a high humidity environment.
Indoor mold growth is normally an indicator of moisture intrusion. The obvious moisture intrusion that is providing a food source for mold growth could have been caused by a flood, construction or design defect, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, etc. The less obvious fuel for mold growth is temperature differences, in locations where very warm and moist air comes in contact with cool surfaces causing condensation just as you would see on a glass of ice water on a warm, humid day. The ideal temperature for mold growth is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, which as humans we find the perfect temperature.
Excellent food sources for fueling indoor mold growth can be materials such as wallpaper glue, certain paints, greases, paper, textiles, wood products, drywall, and dust. Yes, we said dust! Dust may contain fibers, dead skin cells, and other organic matter that could feed mold when moisture is present.
Now armed with the knowledge of how mold grows indoors, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is possible you have an indoor mold issue that should be addressed.
This is a list of the top 4 most common mold species found inside Florida homes. Some of these mold species have mycotoxins associated with them while other's are known to be allergenic.