Mold on Rental Property: Guidelines for Assessment of Fungal Contamination
While we come in contact with mold often, certain molds growing indoors can lead to health problems if the issue isn’t cleaned promptly. Young children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory conditions are especially at risk.
Under the right conditions, some molds produce mycotoxins, which can cause a toxic response if inhaled, eaten or touched. Mold can grow on nearly any surface within your apartment, so long as the temperature is between 40 and 100 degrees, there’s moisture present and there’s a nutrient base like wood or dust.
You may have heard that mold can grow easily in moist environments. This is why mold is common in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Here are a few more places to check regularly for mold:
- Near plumbing leaks
- In and around house plants
- Stoves and other appliances that aren’t exhausted
- Wet materials like carpeting and drywall
The biggest concern when it comes to mold in your apartment is inhaling airborne spores. The amount of exposure often determines the severity of the symptoms you experience. For instance, if you notice mold and have management clean it up within a few days, you may only experience mild allergic responses. But if the mold is not within eyesight and lingers for months, you may experience more extreme symptoms. These may include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Wheezing and breathing problems
- Sore throat
- Eye irritation
- Skin irritation
- Aches and pains
Fortunately for renters, you can often inform the property manager if you notice mold, which may be spotted visually or you may note a musty smell. Many management companies may (at least partially) cover the cost of cleanup, which is best done by professionals.
Depending on the severity of the mold outbreak, you may need to temporarily stay elsewhere while the apartment is being cleaned. A good renters insurance policy may even cover those costs. Does your insurance cover mold and mildew? Ask your agent today.
Get the protection you need. Call JSW Insurance at (925) 737-1560 for more information on renters insurance.