About Hotel Mold Problems

Home Inspector with A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc.


In response to a question on mold problems in Florida hotels, Mold inspector Daryl Watters says:

My wife and I stay in hotels throughout Florida a few times a year. Usually we travel to the Florida Keys or Central Florida. Before we travel my wife goes online and picks out a new hotel, typically under 5 years old. She likes new hotels because she knows from experience that they are less likely to be moldy. When staying in such new hotels we never experience mold problems or mold odor. Some of our favorite new hotels are Country Inn and Suits, Holiday Inn Express, and just about any new hotel.


We have stayed in moldy Florida hotel rooms no less than ½ dozen times. Most Holiday Inn Hotels in Florida are nice, but one night in Key Largo because of mold problems and pests we changed rooms 3 times in one night at a not so cheap well known hotel, that building was demolished a few years ago and has been replaced with a newer nicer building.  


Mold can easily occur in any hotel new or old, and in any state, but it very easily grows in older Florida hotels that are not properly maintained insides and outside. The reason is at least four fold:


1) Hurricanes and tropical depressions drive rain water into building defects such as cracks on exterior walls and even more often rain is driven into defective caulking under windows. This causes mold in the walls.


2) Hotels often have thick wall paper on the walls. Thick wall paper traps moisture that enters the walls. Because the water is trapped and cannot dry out, Cladosporium mold and Pen Asp mold grows under the wall paper for months or years before it is noticed.


3) Most hotel rooms have wall mounted ductless AC units that do not appear to be designed in a way that makes access and proper cleaning easy, and they do not have good filters, thus mold and dust build up quite easily in these units. I recently inspected two of these AC units in a condo in Lake Worth Florida and they were both packed full of mold, horrible mold odor, and even numerous tiny mold eating bugs called springtails.


4) Hotel rooms in Florida often experience humidity problems (moist air) that contribute directly to mold growth in the AC units; in addition humidity deters drying of any leaks in the hotel room. Such rooms have humidity because they are in a humid state, and because the load of humidity from hotel showers is quite large in comparison to the size of the room itself. In other words even a fairly large hotel room is too small to properly dissipate and dilute all that steam from the shower, thus hotel rooms can easily become loaded with humidity in the air. I regularly run into this problem of a small humid room or condo when inspecting in Miami and Ft Lauderdale. Older small Miami and Ft Lauderdale condos often do not have bathroom ceiling vents, nor do they have the interior space needed to dissipate all that steam from the shower every morning. 


By the way the reason we stay in various hotel rooms a few times a year is because my work occasionally brings me to various towns in South and Central Florida. What kind of work do I do, take a guess. I am a mold inspector with A Accredited Mold Inspection Service. Inc.


By the way moving to a new room in the same building can be a waste of time, been their done that more than once. The reason is because the defects that caused mold in that initial room often exist in other rooms in the same building.


For more info on Florida mold, humidity, and other such issues visit 



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Linda Sanderson
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Very interesting post, thanks for sharing.  Now I know why we had such problems while visiting in Florida.  I will look for newer hotels next time.
Feb 14, 2008 12:57 PM #1
Dawn Pratt
Orlando, FL
East Orlando Real Estate

You can also find all sorts of critters on the bedspreads and sofas, and quite possibly hepititas A on the drinking glasses which quite often are just rinsed out in the sink and sometimes dried with the previous guest's bathroom towel. Doesn't paint a pretty picture!

Feb 14, 2008 01:00 PM #2
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