What To Do If You Have Mold In Apartment
Mold emits musty odours, which are caused by microbial volatile organic compounds emitted by the mold spores. These fumes are especially strong and prominent in small spaces such as apartments.
Besides health hazards and odours, the appearance of mold can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your apartment, as it damages walls, ceilings, furniture and upholstery.
For smaller contaminated areas, you can clean them using vinegar and water, but make sure to dry them thoroughly afterward.
In many cases, tackling mold and mildew should be left entirely to the professionals. Its important that the job is done right the first time, to ensure a proper and safe remediation.
If you suspect theres an issue with mold or mildew in your apartment, contact your landlord immediately and request professional mold remediation.
Is Mold The Landlords Responsibility
There aren’t many laws that specifically govern a landlord’s responsibility when it comes to mold in rentals.
Some property managers require renters to sign a separate waiver or document related to mold on the premises when they move in. Make sure you review it along with your lease agreement to get a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities.
Even though there aren’t many mold-specific laws in the books, in most states your property manager is legally required to provide a habitable premises. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you determine who’s responsible.
Stale And Musty Odors
Mold, whether it is visible or not, emits an unusual and unpleasant odor. If an area in your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold in the room. You can follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. However, if the mold is in an unreachable place, like inside walls, you need to call in a professional to help you remove the growth
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What Are My Options If I Am Renting And Management Refuses To Help
If you are the current tenant of a rental property, do not have an active leak but are experiencing an unresolved mold problem, follow these steps:
If you are the tenant of a rental property and have a problem with an ongoing uncorrected water leak, please call 311 to report the uncorrected leak to Code Enforcement.
There are no legal requirements specific to mold in most residential settings. However, New Mexico law requires that a landlord must provide an apartment that is habitable and in reasonable repair. If an apartment becomes uninhabitable, the landlord has violated or breached the lease.
What’s The Difference Between Mold And Mildew
According to the EPA, mildew refers to certain types of mold or fungus, but it’s often used as a catch-all term. The science gets a bit technical, but here’s a simple way to think of it:
- Mold: Mold thrives on organic materials such as cardboard, wood, drywall, upholstery and fabrics.
- Mildew: Mildew is found on hard surfaces such as shower walls or vinyl window frames.
Both mold and mildew grow wherever moisture is present and both can create the same health risks.
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What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like
Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.
To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:
- Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
- Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
- Regular allergy medicine
A persons immune system has to be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe cases of allergies, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to provide relief from symptoms
Why Is Mold Dangerous
Left untreated, mold can really make you sick. Even if you don’t see mold in your apartment, spores can infiltrate your indoor air, causing breathing problems that mimic allergic reactions or bad colds — think itchy, burning eyes, a stuffy nose, and wheezing. If you have a pre-existing condition like asthma or lung disease, mold exposure could be particularly dangerous, which is why it’s so important to recognize the signs of mold growth and remedy the problem as quickly as possible.
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Sort Inventory Classify And Dispose Of Personal Belongings
Apartment cleanout after a tenant dies necessitates dealing with the renters personal belongings. Dealing with a tenants personal property typically is a four-part process:
Keep in mind that the probate court may require an official inventory of the property that is filed with the court itself. Otherwise, an inventory is necessary to keep track and account for a tenants personal property.
A tenants property can be classified into four categories as part of an apartment clean out:
- Property to be kept
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How Can I Test For Toxic Mold
If you suspect or fear toxic mold is growing in your home, you wont need any special tests. A test such as the viable test kit we learned about above will detect all kinds of molds present. By sending your petri dish to a lab, you can get a better idea of which types of molds that are growing and then take the correct actions.
The next step should always be to consult a professional for further tests and investigations. Test kits are more of a guidance than something to fully rely on.
Its also important to understand that simply because its called toxic mold, it doesnt mean its toxic to you. As we mentioned above, molds that produce mycotoxins can affect some individuals, while others wont be affected.
However, if you suspect that you have been exposed to toxic molds, your doctor can run a few tests. A blood test can help to determine if youve been poisoned by checking biotoxins in your blood .
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You Find Dark Or Colored Spots On Your Walls
Mold can appear in many shapes, textures, and colors. It can look like anything from green, dripping slime definitely something youd notice to an innocuous-looking grey fuzz. If your walls are coming out in spots, its worth double-checking that there isnt a leak in the pipes or uncontrolled humidity in the room.
If you have a pre-existing breathing problem that seems to flare up after long periods at home, mold could be the culprit.
Most species of household mold wont bother people without breathing issues but can aggravate asthma in individuals who already suffer from the condition. Consider scheduling a doctors appointment and a mold inspection if your breathing problems seem to worsen without a clear cause.
Condensation And Persistent Moisture
Whether there is excess moisture on your windows, or condensation dripping from your pipes, a damp home is an ideal breeding ground for mold, and can be an indicator that mold is already present in your home. The best dehumidifiers serve as a good solution to reduce excess moisture as they will set the humidity in your home to the level you indicate on the dehumidifier. They aren’t a permanent solution, however, and you should consider getting your windows swapped for double-glazed panes, or having them re-sealed by a professional.
If you’re finding moisture on pipes, a plumber can help diagnose the problem here. In some instances, putting insulation around pipes can prevent moisture build-up, and in others you can consider running warm-water pipes away from cold ones, to avoid excess moisture build-up.
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Tip #: Fix All Leaks As Soon As Possible
Without prompt water damage restoration, mold growth starts in as fast as 48 hours. Here are some things you can do to prevent a mold problem:
- Deal with any mold growth as soon as you find it to prevent further growth and possible health complications.
- During routine inspections, check for any leaks or water damage beneath cabinets and around all water fixtures.
- Encourage your tenant to place a maintenance request immediately when they spot a mold problem.
- Always conduct a move-in inspection before the tenant moves in.
As a landlord in Florida, its your responsibility to ensure your tenants live in habitable living conditions. Among other things, that means ensuring your property adheres to Floridas landlord-tenant laws regarding mold.
Here’s what Beth Johnson, a satisfied Markham customer, had to say about working with us:
I could not be more pleased with the promptness and professionalism of Markham Services. It is not an easy time when you have issues in your home particularly when they could be making you sick. They put my mind at ease as I knew that I was being given accurate information by people that knew what they were talking about! Thank you Liz and Marvin!
Mold issues can progress very quickly and are a hazard to your health. Don’t wait to schedule your appointment.
What To Do As A Renter If You Find Mold In Your Apartment
If you uncover a small mold problem in your apartment, you may be able to tackle it yourself. For example, if you see a small cluster of black spots in a specific part of your home a cabinet that a sink flows into, or a certain part of your wall then you may be able to scrub it off with soap and water or a bleach solution .
But if the issue is more widespread, youll need to loop in your landlord especially if the source of your mold problem isnt obvious, or if youre not seeing signs of mold, but rather, are experiencing the health issues that come with an infestation.
Its a good idea to inform your landlord of your mold issue in writing. That way, if your landlord drags his or her feet, youll have evidence in support of further action you might need to take if the problem goes unaddressed for too long, like withholding rent or even breaking your lease.
At that point, your landlord should bring in a company to do some mold testing. If a mold problem is confirmed, and its source isnt something attributable to your actions , then your landlord should pay for whatever mold remediation is needed. Your landlord should also take steps to prevent mold from coming back, whether its addressing a leak in your buildings roof, repointing its bricks, or addressing issues with the buildings HVAC system that result in excess moisture.
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Mold Caused By Tenant Behavior
The liability picture changes when mold grows as the result of your own behavior, such as keeping the apartment tightly shut, creating high humidity, or failing to maintain necessary cleanliness. Tenants have some duties to maintain their rental unit, so when a tenant’s own negligence is the sole cause of injury, the landlord is not liable. To avoid causing any mold problems, practice good housekeeping, such as ventilating your apartment.
Check Your Overall Health
Though invisible to the naked eye, mold spores floating around the air in your apartment can lead to and cause health problems. Even if you dont normally struggle with allergies, mold may be toxic to the body and can create breathing problems and skin rashes. A chronic cough that doesnt seem to go away with treatment could be a sign that the air in the home is contaminated. Skin conditions like psoriasis can also be associated with mold toxicity caused by water damage, and those whose bodies are struggling with fungus exposure may find themselves continually fatigued and weak.
Asthmatics may struggle more with moldy air, though anyone could experience wheezing and breathlessness. Children and older adults are especially susceptible to these health concerns. If you or members of your family find themselves constantly dealing with allergy symptoms or respiratory conditions, you may want to have the indoor air quality checked for the presence of mold growth. If you find that these conditions seem to improve when you are away from the home, it could be that it is your environment causing the allergic response.
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Clean Up Small Mold Patches On Organic Surfaces
According to the EPA, you can clean mold from organic surfaces yourself if the affected area is smaller than 10 square feet . Cleanup techniques will vary by surface type.
Mold on fabrics and other soft surfaces may be hard to remove completely, so consider replacing the damaged item. For example, if your bathroom throw rug has significant mold growth, it makes sense to replace it with something you can wash and dry regularly.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
For more information on mold, see our website at www.epa.gov/mold.
Read the publication, “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home” at www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home
Una Breve Guía para el Moho, la Humedad y su Hogar está disponible en el formato PDF . Documento de la agencia EPA número 402-K-03-008.
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How Do I Detect Mold In An Apartment
A musty odor might be the first sign of mold in an apartment, or maybe you spot a suspiciously damp patch next to a window. Most indoor spaces contain mold spores, but the spores only begin to grow in certain conditions. Commercial companies provide mold testing services, though these can be expensive. Alternatively, you can use a much cheaper home kit to discover if mold is infesting your dwelling.
Water Damage Or Leaks Have Not Been Repaired
If there’s a history or flooding or existing water damage, this is a prime opportunity for mold to grow. Mold spores need moisture. Check your rental property for water damage and leaks, or other damp areas where mold is likely to multiply. To try to avoid this problem, make sure it is clear to your tenants that any water leaks or damage must be reported to you so they can be quickly and properly repaired.
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What Happens If You Have A Mold Problem In Your House
Having a mold problem does not mean that you cannot get your house back. However, it does mean that you must take immediate action. Many people actually live in a home with mold and never realize it is there. They ignore the warning signs until the problem reaches a point where the mold is taking over and affecting their health.
Discovering Black Mold In Your Rental: First Steps
Suing your landlord for black mold should not be the first response upon discovering it in your rental, provided you haven’t suffered any health problems from being exposed. As with most landlord-tenant disputes, you should contact the landlord immediately upon discovering mold . The landlord is legally responsible for removing the mold and reimbursing you for any additional costs you have sustained. Even if you don’t suffer any injuries, a landlord’s failure to maintain a mold-free environment violates the implied warranty of habitability.
If the landlord fully takes care of a mold issue but you later exhibit health problems that you suspect were caused by the earlier mold exposure, you still may claim damages. If your landlord contradicts your concerns that your rental unit is contaminated with black mold, it’s up to you to pay for an inspection and testing but landlords who refuse to even consider the presence of toxic mold in such instances may open themselves up to increased liability.
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