Apartments, especially older builds, are prone to mold. They share services and water supply, and suffer from poor air circulation. Here’s what to do if you find mold in your apartment.
Step 1: Know what you’re dealing with
Mold is a fungus that can spread quickly if removed improperly. It’s found almost everywhere and grows throughout the year: a combination of moisture, warmth, and food provides the perfect conditions. That’s why bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are most prone to mold.
Step 2: Be aware of the health risks associated with mold
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are a number of symptoms and diseases that are caused by exposure to mold. These include:
- Nasal and eye irritation
- Breathing difficulties
- Skin irritation
- Asthma symptoms
- Allergic reactions
Fungus spores either cause or contribute to these health issues, and these microscopic spores are easily breathed in. People are most at danger when mold is being removed, because of how easily the spores are disturbed and then drift in the air.
Step 3: Know who should remove mold
For small areas of mold – less than 3ft. by 3ft. – you can treat the mold yourself (but make sure you avoid the top 5 mistakes made by people cleaning mold from drywall). But for larger affected areas, you should call in a professional. It might be that you can’t see the full extent of the mold problem, but will instead be able to smell it – if this is the case, it’s best to get an expert to assess the problem before it’s tackled.
Step 4: Check with your insurance
Most home insurance policies won’t cover mold unless it has been caused by an issue that is covered, such as a burst water pipe, for example. Check your insurance documents, and at renewal time ask if mold can be covered and at what cost.
Step 5: After the clean-up, get on top of mold causes
The key to maintaining a mold-free apartment is moisture control. Here are a few tips to reduce moisture in your apartment and eliminate the environment that encourages mold:
- Use an air conditioner during periods of humidity
- Make sure that bathrooms and kitchens are well ventilated
- Open a window while showering
- Don’t carpet bathrooms
Be careful when removing mold
Whether you do the clean-up yourself or hire a professional, make sure that it is done safely:
- Use only recommended cleaning fluids
- Wear masks and overalls; and
- Seal off the affected area while cleaning
If you do use a mold cleaning service, make sure that it can demonstrate its experience and provide testimonials from customers. If a clean-up is done poorly, it could cost thousands of dollars to put right.
For more information, contact us today – we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be happy to help.