What Causes Mold?
Mold in Apartments is generally connected to some form of water intrusion. You can identify signs of water intrusion by looking for discoloration on ceilings, walls, around windows, around door frames, and inside of HVAC closets. These signs are often indicators of a larger problem; however, you may require a professional inspection company to pinpoint the source and full extent of the water damage using specialized moisture equipment. What we have seen as the most common causes of water issues would be roof leaks, pipe leaks and bad window or door seals.
How do I know if my apartment has mold?
An apartment mold problem can begin as early as 24-48 hours after a water leak. The mold species, temperature and amount of time will dictate the growth rate and the extent of a mold contamination. If not properly addressed mold issues can rapidly grow out of control. Prolonged water neglect can cultivate a variety of toxic mold species such as Aspergillus/ Penicillium, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, and (black mold) Stachybotrys just to highlight a few potential health threats. If a mold problem is left unchecked, it can spread throughout your environment cross contaminating not only the other parts of an apartment but also the belongings inside that environment. This can place a tenant in a difficult situation, contaminated belongings can transfer the mold problem to a new apartment, potentially removing liability from a negligent landlord. There are many options for identifying mold in your environment including DIY testing and professional mold inspection. If you are considering litigation, we strongly recommend using a professional mold test company for verification of a mold problem. Industry standard is to perform a variety of environmental tests with multiple testing methodologies identifying the extent and health risks generated from any mold growth.
What does mold look like?
Mold will present itself in a variety of colors, normally manifesting in circular patterns on walls ceilings and furniture. Because mold is microscopic, the mold growth that is visible to the naked eye is only a fraction of the mold spores that are present in the environment. In many cases visible mold growth is indicative of a larger problem more widespread than just what you can see.
What makes an apartment mold problem worse?
Unfortunately, bad maintenance practices are not uncommon in the apartment rental industry. Often the problem is made worse by the five factors listed below.
1. Not addressing the mold contamination in a timely manner
Mold Problems are time sensitive. The longer that a contamination is left untreated, the more significant the risk of adverse health effects will become.
2. Using an incorrect cleaning chemical like bleach to remove the mold
Many species of mold are chlorine resistant. Often, when using products such as bleach, only the color of the mold colony is removed, where the individual mold spores remain unphased and will continue to grow. Products in this category have been proven unreliable as it relates to killing mold spores. Industry standard is to use an EPA registered quaternary biocide to ensure the issue is rectified fully.
3. Painting over the mold growth
Regrettably paint does not kill mold. When painting over the problem, the only thing achieved is temporary concealment, perpetuating the health risk in the apartment.
4. Not using qualified and experienced staff to remediate the problem
When dealing with a health hazard such as mold, we strongly recommend using a certified professional to ensure a favorable outcome. There are many variables incorporated into a mold remediation, that can only be recognized by an experienced and qualified remediator. We do not suggest for standard maintenance personnel to attempt this process without proper professional guidance.
5. Not addressing the cause of the water intrusion
In many scenarios a landlord will not rectify the cause of the water intrusion at all. Opting instead to conceal the problem, allowing for further spread of the mold contamination.
Many of these measures are done in the name of cost savings, however these practices often end with you and your family’s health paying the price.