Landlords And Renters – Mold Matters

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Landlords and renters – mold matters

Fungi (Mold) is one of the newest environmental hazards causing concern among landlords and renters. Lawsuits abound where multi-million-dollar lawsuits have been won against landlords for health issues (rashes, fatigue, nausea, respiratory distress, asthma). Toxic mold exposure often taking the blame. States are starting to set standards regarding molds similar to “nuisances” like rodents, trash, noise, and odors. But there is no air quality standard for molds in dwellings that we can rely upon.

Mold Is Natural

Drywall mold

Molds are a natural part of our environment and are present in all buildings and homes (almost everywhere). We all breathe in mold every day where the types and concentrations of molds affect everyone differently. Molds are microscopic organisms that normally can’t be seen with the naked eye. But when they are, it’s usually a sign of a more serious or “hidden” issue.

Housing Stock

Mold growing in homes is harmful to humans

Homes and buildings vary greatly in everything from their age and materials used in construction to size and location. Every structure is unique! Newer homes may offer better options for moisture/mold control, but often have unique challenges associated with tighter building envelopes. Older homes often are drafty which inadvertently improves ventilation and covers up moisture issues. More often, older homes are “improved” with better windows and insulation which creates ventilation challenges and ideal microbial conditions. At best, older homes can be “managed” and not totally corrected due to hidden molds that are cost-prohibitive to remove.

Rules Regarding Exposure to Mold

Building codes, ordinances, statutes or regulations do not clearly spell out landlord responsibilities regarding mold. And there is no Federal law that has set Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) or tolerance standards for molds in residential buildings. But a few states do have mold laws/guidelines that explain landlord/tenant accountability/responsibility for mold. Here’s a couple we watch as mold rules are constantly changing:

What’s a Landlord / Tenant to Do?

Communicate about visible molds and clean it up! Mold is a known health hazard. As a tenant, be diligent about keeping your home clean. Communicate with your landlord about roof/plumbing leaks and any molds that resulted. Landlords, provide for ventilation in areas of the structure that are prone to mold growth (like bathroom, basements and crawl spaces). And let your tenant know that proper ventilation and climate control is key to keeping molds in check.

Still Have Questions?

Mold health issues are on everyone’s minds these days. A firm that specializes in Building Biology might be just what one needs to get the answers they are looking for. The resources listed above can help or try the mold specialists at GreenWorks Environmental, LLC.

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Victor Coppola

Victor Coppola is a Building Biologist with decades of diverse environmental experience spanning natural resource management and contaminated sites to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and building hygiene matters. He focuses on the three most prevalent issues degrading today's built environment: Moisture Odor & Mold (M.O.M.). Mr. Coppola and his Team are sought out by individuals and professionals concerned about IAQ to those actually suffering from Biotoxin Illness. His hybrid blend of environmental interests and services enable him to give a unique perspective into today's changing environment. Think your home is killing you, better call Victor and his Team at GreenWorks.
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