A lot of people are questioning what causes mold to grow in apartment buildings. What you need to know about mold in your apartment has been put here for your convenience.
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There are several advantages to living in an apartment building. As a result, a mold infestation could emerge due to the fact that there are so many individuals living together.
An interior mold infestation can be caused by a constant leak from a rooftop pool, for example. As an alternative, one apartment’s toilet or bathtub bursts, resulting in water damage to the ones below.
A moist wall, ceiling, or floor is ideal for mold growth. Mold, on the other hand, has the potential to create substantial structural damage as well as health issues and allergies for people who are allergic to it.
What makes mold so dangerous?
Mold can make you quite sick if you don’t get rid of it quickly. Itchy, burning eyes, a congested nose and wheezing are among symptoms that can be caused by mold, even if you don’t see any mold in your home.
A pre-existing condition like asthma or lung disease can make mold exposure even more deadly. This is why it’s so important to identify the signs of mold growth as soon as possible and address the issue.
To learn more about the dangers of mold to a baby and how to prevent it from forming around windows, check out this article.
Why is mold dangerous?
Mold can seriously harm your health if left unchecked. You can have breathing issues that mirror an allergic reaction or a terrible cold even if you don’t see mold in your apartment or have visible spores, such as itchy, burning eyes and a congested nose and wheezing, in the absence of visible mold. Because mold exposure can be more dangerous if you have a pre-existing condition such as asthma or lung disease, it is critical to recognize the signs of mold growth and remediate the situation soon.
Common Causes Of Mold In Apartments
1. Defective kitchen tools and appliances
Faulty kitchen appliances are one of the most prominent causes of mold in apartment buildings. Water supply lines are often hidden beneath the surface, so icemakers, refrigerators, and dishwashers that leak slowly go unnoticed.
If you smell or see a stain, you know there’s an issue, and that’s a major annoyance.
2. Laundry rooms in the basement
Several buildings have a communal laundry room or washing area in the basement. However, basement storage rooms containing cellulose-based boxes and other materials, which mold thrives on, are also common.
As a result of the laundry’s moisture, mold can grow in any basement.
3. Defective plumbing and burst pipes
Pipe bursts are the worst fear for any building. The hallway and stairs, as well as the walls, floors, and ceilings, can be flooded with a thousand gallons of water.
As many as dozens of dwellings and public areas can be affected by one plumbing problem.
4. Steam pipes
If you’re in an older building, you’re more likely to find leaks in the walls or ceilings caused by ancient steam pipes and radiators. Damage and mold might go unnoticed for weeks or months because steam leaks are commonly hidden.
On the other hand, a moldy stench is an indication that mold is present.
5. Pointing and building exteriors
Older apartment buildings’ pointing, or the concrete mortar that surrounds the brickwork and windows, is another source of water leakage. Due to deteriorating structural components, rainwater can penetrate the structure from the side and become stuck in the exterior walls.
This is the beginning of mold growth, and by the time mold appears on your apartment wall, you can bet there is much more on the other side.
6. Terrace drains
Leaves and other debris can jam drains. As a result, the water can only find a way into a neighboring residence.
No matter where it enters, water will find its way in. In order to find out for sure, you’ll need to keep your terrace’s drains clean.
7. Silos and flat roofs
This type of roof is a surefire prescription for catastrophe. The flat roof is a common feature in apartment buildings, however they can degrade over time and sag if they are not maintained properly.
Furthermore, if they aren’t built correctly, they won’t be able to adequately dissipate rainwater. The water then seeps through the roof and into the apartments below.
Rooftop water silos (water storage tanks) that have spilled or ruptured can cause serious flooding in the apartments below.
What to do as a renter if you find mold in your apartment
You may be able to handle a small mold problem in your apartment on your own if you find it. Soap and water or bleach may be all that’s needed to get rid of small black spots in a specific area of your home—like a cabinet that the sink spills into or an area of your wall—if they’re small enough (wear gloves and even a face mask if you go the latter route).
Your landlord should be notified if the problem is extensive, especially if the source of the mold is not readily apparent or if you are experiencing the health problems associated with an infestation rather than merely looking for visible evidence of mold.
It’s a good idea to notify your landlord in writing if you have a mold problem. That way, if your landlord takes too long to fix the problem, you’ll have evidence to justify additional action, such as withholding rent or even breaking your lease, if necessary.
After then, it’s time for your landlord to hire a mold-testing business. Mold remediation costs should be covered by your landlord if the problem is established and the cause is not your fault (for example, you did not routinely pour water inside a wooden cabinet and neglect to wipe it clean). To prevent mold from returning, your landlord should replace any leaks in your building’s roof, repoint its brick, or solve faults with your HVAC system that result in excessive moisture in the building..
What to do as a homeowner if you find mold in your apartment
For example, if you own your apartment, you may be responsible for paying for mold remediation if the problem stems from a leaky fixture that allowed water to sit for too long. If, on the other hand, the mold growth didn’t originate in your apartment but was spread through the air by spores, there may be an issue with the building as a whole. The board of your HOA or co-op will then have to deal with the problem at hand.
How to prevent mold from coming back
It doesn’t matter if you own or rent your apartment; there are a few things you can do to keep mold from taking over. If you notice dripping pipes, fix them first. If you’re a tenant, it’s your landlord’s obligation to take care of that.
Don’t let your home’s humidity levels go too high, either. If your bathroom lacks adequate ventilation, consider purchasing a dehumidifier or opening a window while taking a shower. Another place where cooking might result in excessive humidity is your kitchen, so if your ventilation isn’t fantastic, open a window while you’re cooking.
Mold is a serious issue that you don’t want to put off. If you suspect that your flat is infested with mold, don’t wait until it’s too late.
What Apartment Mold Symptoms Should Worry Me?
Mold is a fungus that thrives in moist, dark environments. It emits microscopic spores into the air, which can make you quite sick if you don’t cure it. It’s possible for those spores to find their way into your system.
If you see any of the following symptoms, you may have mold:
- A lingering musty aroma
- On any surface, you’ll notice the appearance of black or dark green specks.
- Itchy eyes, difficulty breathing, and rashes on the skin may improve when you step out of your apartment and get some fresh air.
- Because of water incursion, you’ll notice things like bubbles in the paint and/or discolouration from water stains that weren’t quickly dried.
Even if you just notice one symptom, it’s critical that you don’t disregard any evidence of mold growth for your own good health. Each one of these apartment mold symptoms warrants more investigation and attention.
Is Mold Really a Big Deal?
The answer vary, but it can have a significant impact on both your health and the building. Regular, everyday mold can cause severe discomfort and should be removed as soon as possible. Untreated mold, on the other hand, can turn toxic to humans and cause serious illness.
What to Do If You Have Mold
You must contact your landlord promptly if you see mold in your flat. A professional mold inspector can also be an option for you to inquire about from your landlord. Professionals use specialized equipment for finding mold in hard-to-reach spots like behind walls or appliances. It doesn’t matter how they locate the mold, but you and your landlord must work together to get it fixed as soon as possible.
What Your Landlord Needs to Do
It’s possible that your landlord will employ a handyman to do the cleanup, or they could do it themselves. Proper barriers and the removal, replacement, or bleaching of the afflicted area usually enough to stop further water leakage or spillage.
You’ll have to talk to your landlord about mold damage if it occurs on your own property. Be aware, however, that your apartment rental agreement may state that you are liable for replacing any personal things that are damaged or stolen. You may file a claim with your renters insurance company if the item is pricey.
You will require a mold removal service if you find black mold in your landlord’s property, as this type of mold is particularly harmful and must be dealt with in a precise manner to avoid it spreading.
What YOU Can Do To Prevent Mold from Growing
If you’re looking for an apartment to rent, your first line of protection against mold is to locate a well-maintained building. It’s a safe bet that the landlord won’t be keeping an eye on things like a new mold infestation if the building appears to be in disrepair. Appliances, pipelines, tubs, and other water-using fixtures should be well sealed and perhaps pretreated by a responsible landlord. You can also take steps to prevent mold from forming in your present flat. Avoid leaving water around the kitchen sink or in your bedroom, even if it’s just a small amount of water that has spilled. Immediately remove all traces of wetness.
The first hint of the apartment mold symptoms described above should prompt you to notify your landlord. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a mold problem, do so. A mold-free apartment may be within your reach now that there are so many to choose from. If you need a little help finding your dream apartment, ApartmentSearch can help!