Safe-Proof Your Home Against the Effects of Humidity All Summer Long
by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
When you envision summertime on the Suncoast, one all-encompassing term likely comes to mind––humidity. For the average Florida resident, this season has become synonymous with sweltering temperatures and moisture that clings to almost every surface area. While our sub–tropical climate is a veritable “paradise” for beachcombing tourists, we locals could often use a respite from this oppressive heat index.
Even our home interiors cannot escape the affects of humidity because damp conditions produce an ideal environment for mold spores to thrive. Since this fungus could trigger multiple symptoms and sensitivities, mold assessments are particularly in-demand throughout these summer months––and Building Inspection of Florida, a local establishment for over 25 years, has just the solution.
“There is an increasing awareness among consumers of household environmental issues and a nationwide increase in adult onset respiratory illnesses which are especially acute in the Suncoast area. In fact, we’ve discovered a need for both mold and environmental inspections due to inquiries from our clients,” owner Andrew Haverland explains.
“We primarily perform mold inspections and, in certain cases, produce Mold and Water Damage Remediation Protocols needed for insurance claims. We hold a Florida State license to conduct both Mold Assessments and Home Inspections. In addition, we also detect pet dander, dust mite, cockroach residue and other harmful allergens.”
This process of verifying whether a residence has suffered exposure to these health risks is technologically advanced yet straightforward and noninvasive for the benefit of homeowners. Haverland elaborates, “Our thermal infrared camera can ‘see’ moisture intrusion which is otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Mold needs moisture to grow, and this moisture usually occurs from plumbing or roof leakage. High humidity levels in vacant homes can provide a hospitable environment for mold growth as well.
“Therefore, in addition to thermal imaging, we visually examine the air handler which is the dampest environment of any home. If advisable, we sample both the air handler and interior breathable air to identify elevated mold levels. Next, these samples are sent to a laboratory where industrial hygienists determine the species and levels of mold present. The results are typically available within 48–72 hours. Similarly, other allergen samples are also sent to a laboratory for analysis regarding which types and levels of activity are present.
“We don’t perform mold remediations ourselves but always recommend plant-based products for remediation. It seems counterproductive to replace concerns about mold activity with concerns about chemical exposure when safer alternatives are available. Plants produce their own fungicides, so plant-based products extract the natural fungicides and biocides just as effectively as their mainstream chemical-based counterparts––but without hazardous side-effects.”
Overall, the entire Building Inspection of Florida team remains dedicated to keeping our Suncoast healthy, ecologically stable and, of course, allergen-free. No ulterior motives exist––just an ongoing commitment to customer safety and satisfaction. “We don’t solicit any other products or services, so our visits should not be misconstrued as ‘sales calls.’ We just want to help our clients establish whether a problem exists, pinpoint the problem’s source, then determine how to remediate its potential consequences,” Haverland concludes. So, as temperatures spike this summer, outsmart the humidity with Building Inspection of Florida.
Building Inspection of Florida is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and to schedule an assessment of potential mold growth in your home, call toll-free at 1-844-637-6588, email [email protected] or visit MoldInspectorFL.com.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer based in Southwest Florida. Her personal blog HealthBeAHippie.Wordpress.com features practical tips for embracing a fit, nutritious and empowered lifestyle.