No one wants mold in their rental apartment. It’s gross, unsightly, and unhealthy.
While your renters insurance may cover mold damage to your personal property, depending on the cause, there’s plenty you can do to prevent issues in the first place.
Let’s take a look at how to get rid of mold, as well as what happens during mold inspections and remediations.
- Getting rid of mold often means controlling excess moisture, especially in your bathroom or kitchen.
- Mold isn’t just disgusting—it can also be a health hazard, especially if you have asthma or allergies.
- A mold inspection costs between $300 and $1,000.
- Mold remediation is a job for professionals.
How do you get rid of mold?
In order to get rid of mold in your apartment you’ll want to deal with any excess moisture that might be helping the mold grow and spread. But doing this properly may require professionals.
Depending on where you live, renter’s rights laws might state that your landlord is responsible for keeping your place mold-free, and paying for treatment.
Mold remediation in an apartment entails identifying the mold source, containing the area to prevent spore spread, removing contaminated materials, cleaning the areas with specialized solutions, and possibly rebuilding damaged structures.
Needless to say, this is not a DIY project, although smaller issues can be treated with things like hydrogen peroxide.
Remediation professionals often use HEPA-filtered vacuums, air scrubbers, and antimicrobial agents to ensure thorough cleaning and to prevent future mold growth.
It’s crucial that the underlying moisture issue is also resolved to prevent it coming back again.
What are the signs of mold?
Common signs of mold include a musty odor, visible mold spores, and allergic reactions. Additionally, water leaks or past flooding incidents are red flags that mold may be present.
Here’s how to determine if you have mold in your rental property:
- You can often simply see mold, which appears as black, white, green, or even red spots or patches on surfaces.
- Mold emits a musty, earthy odor which is distinct.
- Experiencing allergic reactions, respiratory issues, or other unusual health symptoms may indicate mold exposure.
- Persistent moisture issues, water leaks, or past flooding incidents are red flags for potential mold problems.
- If in doubt, hiring a professional mold inspector can provide a definitive answer on mold presence and the extent of infestation.
How can you prevent mold in the first place?
Preventing mold means being proactive and avoiding the sort of conditions that mold thrives in. Here are some things to try if you don’t want mold as a roommate:
- Make sure your apartment, especially the bathrooms and kitchens, is well-ventilated to remove moisture.
- Utilize exhaust fans to expel damp air outdoors.
- Use dehumidifiers to maintain indoor humidity levels below 60%.
- Ask your landlord to repair any water leaks in roofs, walls, or plumbing.
- Clean and thoroughly dry any areas that get wet ASAP.
- Employ mold-resistant products like paint, furniture, and building materials.
- Allow sunlight into your home as it can help to keep areas dry and mold-free.
- Choose houseplants that have mold-resistant properties.
- If you have your mattress directly on the floor, maybe reconsider, as this can create moldy conditions.
What happens during a mold inspection?
During a mold inspection, a professional inspector checking for visible mold growth or other indicators like musty odor or water damage.
Inspectors can ascertain if mold has spread to unseen areas and identify mold types. The process, priced between $300 and $1,000, typically takes 2 to 6 hours, depending on the various factors.
In addition to using their own trained eye during a visual inspection, a mold inspector may bring some nifty tools of their trade, which include:
- Moisture meters to detect moisture in walls, floors, or ceilings which could foster mold growth.
- Infrared cameras to identify temperature differences indicating water damage or leaks.
- Air sampling tools to test for mold spores.
- Surface sampling tools to collect samples from affected areas for lab analysis.
- Borescopes to view areas behind walls or in other concealed spaces without causing damage.
Is living with mold unhealthy?
Yes: living with, and breathing in, mold can indeed be unhealthy.
Mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues, particularly in people with pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems.
It can also irritate your skin, eyes, or throat. Long-term exposure to mold—especially black mold—may lead to more severe health issues over time, so you’ll want to look into professional mold remediation.
And if you’re considering renting a new apartment, it’s worth asking the broker or management company if the property has had mold issues before during your apartment walkthrough. (While you’re at it, here are some other important questions to ask before renting a new place.)
What is black mold?
Black mold, aka Stachybotrys chartarum, is a bad actor in the wider mold family. Unlike its less harmful cousins like Alternaria or Aspergillus, black mold churns out toxins that can cause coughing, sneezing, or even dizziness. While most molds are an eyesore, black mold is a significant health concern, especially for kids, the elderly, or those with conditions like asthma.
Does hydrogen peroxide kill mold?
Hydrogen peroxide possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties which help eliminate mold and disinfect the area. A 3% concentration can be used directly on the affected surface, left for about 10 minutes, then scrubbed clean. Besides killing mold, it can also help to lighten the stains mold leaves behind.
How can you treat mold on wood?
To tackle mold on wood, start by donning gloves and a mask for protection. Create a mixture of mild detergent and water, then gently scrub the affected area. Rinse well, but ensure you dry it thoroughly as mold thrives in moisture. Expose the wood to sunlight if possible, as it helps to kill mold. For stubborn cases, use a bleach-water solution (1 cup bleach to 1 gallon water), apply it on the mold, wait for a few hours, then rinse and dry thoroughly.