Blog Articles About Mold
What Should You Know About Mold in Apartments?
Homeowners and business owners are not the only people who have mold issues. It is not uncommon for a renter or tenant to discover they have mold in their rental home or apartment.
The problem with mold being found in a rental property is determining who is responsible for remediation, which can lead to conflict between landlord and tenant.
If you are a tenant…
Before signing your name on the dotted line of the lease, you always do a walk through to take note of the condition of the dwelling; you look for doors and drawers to work properly, the condition of the flooring and the walls and you check to make sure all appliances are in good working order.
One thing you may not have considered looking for is mold growth, check for:
- Musty odors and where it seems they are originating from
- Evidence of water damage, such as stains in the carpets, the walls or ceilings.
- Discolored laminate on the floors that are near sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers and other plumbing
If mold is found before you sign a contract and move in, the mold cleanup would be the responsibility of the landlord. It would be my recommendation to have it remediated before you move in to avoid any health issues that the mold may cause.
Once you have determined that your future home is free from mold, and you have moved in, your responsibility begins.
It’s up to you to:
- Notify your landlord immediately once you have discovered a water leak.
- Because mold spores are always in the air, keeping your home clean and vacuumed will help remove spores that are waiting for moist humid conditions to begin growing and spreading.
- Allow fresh air to circulate by opening windows whenever possible.
- If you have had a leak or water damage, make sure that all organic materials, clothing, bedding or carpets are dried as quickly as possible.
- Mold begins growing within about 24 hrs, so timing is critical.
- If you discover mold, contact your landlord right away.
More often than not, a mold inspector or remediator will not be able deal with the tenant, but will need to discuss the problem with the landlord or property owner, which doesn’t mean they are responsible for taking care of the mold – you may need to work together to resolve the issue of responsibility.
If you are a tenant in Washington State, you are covered by the “Residential Landlord-Tenant Act“, which will help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Why Would a New House Have a Mold Problem?
How do you Fight Mold?
Are Mold Test Kits Effective at Identifying Mold? In an effort to save money, many people invest in Mold Test Kits for the home. Some kits advertize results in 48 hours, while others go so far as to say that in 5 minutes you can swab and and have results.
After hearing these types of claims, a well known phrase comes to my mind: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”
The other thing that comes to my mind is: Are you going to risk possible health problems by using a 5 minute mold test kit?
Unfortunately I need to tell you that most of these kits are a waste of money, especially when you will probably end up hiring a mold inspector anyway.
A waste of time and money
- Although these kits can give you a few answers, some that you most likely already know, they can’t provide the whole picture.
- Basically they test only for the presence of mold…mold is always present, so this is not new or helpful information.
- When the mold test indicates the presence of mold, it doesn’t mean you have a mold problem.
- These kits, because they will almost always test positive for mold, strike fear in the hearts of homeowners who now think they have a mold problem, when they don’t necessarily have one.
- Mold kits do not inspect the entire home or building.
- Mold inspectors, using their expertise of building construction and problematic situations that encourage mold growth, will examine the structure inside and out, looking for such things as:
- Poorly ventilated attics and crawl spaces
- Cracks in the foundation that can allow moisture in
- Leaks in plumbing
- Condensation, excess humidity
- Inadequate outside drainage that doesn’t move water away from the house.
Here is what I think…
As a certified mold inspector, I recommend that you do not waste your efforts on mold detection kits. Not only do they provide you with information that you already know, but they won’t identify what the problem is that started the mold and how to effectively resolve the issue.
Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma
We can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.