Mold problems can cause property damage and adverse physical and psychological effects. In many cases, a water intrusion or leak occurs, perhaps as the result of a pipe bursting, and within 24-48 hours, the mold begins to incubate (grow). Even if your landlord or plumber has quickly repaired the intrusion and used fans to dry the area, mold may have already begun growing. Due to its small size, mold can penetrate the same small areas as dust particles, and, initially, you may not even notice the growth. Moreover, even if you could locate the mold growth, common cleaning agents, like bleach, will only eliminate certain species of mold. The mold may begin to grow on furniture, causing property damage, and as it begins to release spores into the air, you may have an adverse reaction, such as lethargy or respiratory distress. At this point, it is imperative that you alert your landlord, preferably in writing, that the problem exists, holding onto a copy of the letter to prove when the landlord was informed of the situation.
If you are unsure of whether you have a mold problem or suspect that a prior mold problem was not properly remediated, then you should contact a licensed mold or environmental expert to examine the property.
The landlord should take appropriate action to clean up the mold. All too often, a landlord will merely paint over the mold instead of hiring a licensed remediation team to professionally address the problem. If the mold is not completely removed, it will grow back and continue to cause damage to property and the personal health of the tenant. A person’s reaction to mold can vary, with some people feeling very little effect while others experience great hardship. An excellent description can be found on the Centers for Disease Control’s Website.
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