Here in Southwest Florida mold is a common issue in single family houses, duplexes, condos and apartments. As rule there are always some moderate levels of mold in the air at all times. These levels vary due to temperature and humidity. High levels of mold inside a home can be caused by, among other things, leaking pipes, leaking roofs or general water intrusion into the property. Mold can be insidious. You may not be aware that you have mold and it can cause people with allergies to come down with cold-like symptoms or worse.
In light of this a mold issue is something that should be taken seriously by both owners and tenants. Periodically check under the kitchen sink to be sure that the pipes and drains are not leaking. The bathroom, being a wet area, is another prime spot for mold to present. Other times a leaky roof can precipitate the growth of mold and sometimes, in a multifamily type of property, mold from an adjoining unit can cause mold issues in other parts of the property via an adjoining wall.
For those that are allergic to high levels of mold it is crucial that they vacate the premises until the mold has been remediated. Unless they avoid the allergen they could be subject to cold like symptoms and some to even anaphylaxis or angioedema. Both of these conditions are life threatening and need medical attention immediately. Many times the smell of mold is apparent but sometimes it is not. The best way to check the mold levels in a property is to contact a certified mold inspector. Although there are always certain levels of mold in the air, the inspector and the lab that he or she works with will be able to determine how much mold is in the air as well as find the source.
Due to Florida Law mold inspectors and remediators hold different licenses and one cannot offer the service of the other. Beware of the a contractor that offers both inspection and remediation as they may not be honest. Mold remediation is an involved process and it is best left to those who specialize in this profession. Be sure to check the contractors license and certifications before engaging their services. Another idea is to ask a property manager or a community association manager for a referral. Most have experience working with both types of contractors and should be happy to recommend several competent and honest ones to you.
We certainly hope that mold never adversely affects your life but if it does crop up please do not ignore it and call a professional to be sure.