Worried About Mold?

Considering how fast and easy a mold spore can propagate itself if it finds itself in the proper conditions – one single mold spore can become trillions via mitosis, it’s no wonder most home and business owners are fraught with worry when it comes to mold. Right from the start, the usual questions pop up: where is the mold? How do I find it? What kind of mold is it? Will I find it in time? Will it cause occupants to become sick? Am I, as a business owner or tenant, liable at all for the problems of mold? Indeed, once mold is detected, it’s easy to hit the panic button right then.

As indicated, mold detection comes first. Often, a quick visual survey of the building will help you ascertain if there is a mold problem, and might eliminate the need for expensive mold inspection contractors. Look for stains on window sills, in the tiles, or on the wood. Warped wood, a musty smell, uncirculated air that is damp can also contribute.

Once mold is detected, it’s unwise to hit the panic button so quickly. Firstly, every building will have some mold inside. If you spot mold in one particular area, a bathroom, for example, then keep in mind that any mold growing in that location is due to any number of conditions that are likely commonplace – conditions such as leaky pipes, open windows. This makes sense, as mold only will grow where there is moisture and high humidity present. It certainly could be helpful to hire professional mold removal contractors to deal with mold problems, but since the only two factors involved in any mold remediation process is containment and clean-up, it is important to ensure that you are not being charged too much to accomplish these tasks.

If you are a landlord, you are likely concerned about your liability once mold is detected. At present there are no overriding federal laws on the issue, nor are specific guidelines outlined in various ordinances and building codes. Some states have acted specific guidelines and regulations regarding indoor air. Even if you find that you do not residue in one of these states, it’s important to keep in mind that, as a landlord, you are still responsible for the habitability of the living space. The important thing is to not panic. Find out what your rights are, conduct inspections before you rent, and be as specific as you can in any leasing contract regarding the growth of new mold. It is a good idea to let your tenant know that you are dedicated to ensuring indoor air quality in the living space, and they will likely reciprocate your efforts by trying to maintain a clean living area.

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