Black mold on drywall, green mold on drywall and trim, and mushrooms growing out of this apartment carpeting
were some of the indications of extended wet and unattended conditions in this apartment. Indoor Mold or Other Hazard FAQs for Renters
Questions & answers about renting a moldy or unsafe rental apartment or home

  • RENTAL UNIT MOLD & IAQ FAQs - CONTENTS: questions & answers about what can & should a renter or tenant do about an unsafe (for any reason) or a moldy apartment, rental home, trailer, or other living space.
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Questions & answers about mold and other indoor hazard or contamination in rental properties:

FAQs about renting a moldy apartment, home, or trailer: what can & should you do about it. These questions & answers can help sort out problems with mold contamination or other safety or indoor air quality hazards in rental homes.

This article series discusses the steps that a tenant in a rental apartment or rental home can take to look for and test for mold, responding to other possible indoor contaminants or safety hazards, how to inform building management of a known or suspected building hazard or safety problem, what to expect the rental property managers to do if they are going to address a health or safety problem properly, and what the rental apartment tenant needs to watch out for during a mold investigation and mold remediation of their home.

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Mold Cleanup FAQs for Rental Tenants

 This apartment was posted as condemned by a local health department

Question: my rental trailer has water leaks, gas leaks, carbon monoxide leaks - the owner says the black stuff I see is not harmful mold

I moved into a single wide trailer 3 months ago in Battlement mesa, CO I am a 61 yr old disabled person on O2 a t night. Since I have been here there has been a water leak under the floor, one through the roof, gas leaks and carbon monoxide leaks. I have had the maintenance people over every week. They half way fix things or tell me I am wrong about things. The leak under the floor got so bad the windows where dripping with moisture and the humidity in here was stifling.

Today they finally had to do something because the walls where wet and it has smelled terrible in here the whole time. They pulled off a panel, and found one leak and then knocked holes in the floor and found way more leaking. There is black stuff along the bottom of the walls and on the floor. All the wood is blackened and rotted.

I had the owner come look at the mess. Now they say it’s not mold, the stink will go away, it’s just old, and they have seen worse. I have breathed this smell all day. I feel like it’s in my mouth. I don’t trust these people. I am afraid I am going to die in this place.

What do you suggest? They have a fan blowing in there now, and I am going to sleep on the floor tonight, for at least for four more days.If they don’t think the black stuff is mold and just cover it up, will it make me sick? I can’t afford to move again. Also, the lease says I don’t get my deposit back $500 when I leave. I know I signed this even though I never had that in a lease before, but I needed a place to live that I could afford after the bank foreclosed on my home. The bank did not even care I was disabled. - J.M.


A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem with mold, leaks, and more of an emergency, possible very serious health risks for someone with a respiratory illness as you must have if you need to use oxygen for breathing assistance.

That said, here are some things to consider:

Watch out: My first concern is that running fans in a moldy area risks an enormous increase in the level of airborne mold, if problem mold is present - and could thus increase the mold hazard for you.

Second, it would be appropriate to have a neutral professional, someone with no link to your property management/ownership and with no connection to companies who repair or fix mold or buildings to examine your home for unsafe conditions, leak causes, and visible mold. That inspection may or may not lead to the need for some supporting mold testing. Mold tests without an inspection are unreliable.

If your home is mold contaminated, the problem

At our EXPERTS DIRECTORY of home inspectors o

at MOLD & ENVIRONMENTAL INSPECTORS you might find a professional who will help you pro bono or at a reduced rate if you explain your concerns.

You might find a local real estate attorney (also try DIRECTORY OF ATTORNEYS & expert witnesses) who will also help you pro bono or at a reduced rate. Most leases require the landlord to provide safe, habitable living space.

You may also have financial aid available to you locally through your local senior citizens, town, or county associations or even the Red Cross.

Make sure that you have expressed your concerns and health risks to your property management in writing.

Question: fragile health, mold exposure, doctor wants us to test our apartment for mold but we have moved out and have no access - can you test a moldy board game from that space?

I have an incurable type of anemia (Alpha Thalessemia) that often leaves me very weak and fatigued, and I am also currently receiving physical therapy for ortho-arthritis in both of my knees from a work injury 3 years ago.

I have three children and our monthly income is less than $700 per month. When I am unable to work because of my therapy schedule and treatment for my anemia, I volunteer a few hours a week just to stay productive.

We moved into a newly renovated, market rent apartment owned by the City of Decatur Housing Authority in April 2011. A few weeks after we moved in, I noticed that the apartment had many unfinished construction issues (no air filters, brownish gray(sewage) plumbing would constantly back up in the tub and toilet and over flow onto the bathroom and hallway floor(hardwood), door and window frames had no weather stripping allowing wind, rain, and insects into the house, broken pipes under the kitchen sink causing huge leaks and cabinets to be water damaged, broken stair rails on our porch causing my 3 year old and other children to often lean on them and fall off the stairs, no peepholes, opossums, and stray cats going through our trash bags every night(the building didn't have a dumpster and we were not allowed to have trash cans; so the city issued trash bags were constantly ripped through and trash scattered everywhere in the mornings...their solution was for us to keep our trash inside our small apartments until garbage day(Mondays) which caused our apartments to smell bad.)

I wrote all of my complaints down and submitted them to the landlord for immediate repair and after 60 days, there was very little effort to repair and correct. So I began paying my rent into the court until they could repair everything. The landlord in turn also claimed that we were to be evicted due to non-payment of rent, in which I appealed, but they still proceeded to ask for collection of rent without repairing everything.

During our court dispute, there were two more huge plumbing issues, and after each sewage back up and plumbing leak, it took maintenance up to 4 days to come out and repair, which left a musty odor months after repair and clean up. My children and I kept getting serious respiratory infections, high fevers, headaches, and congestion at least 2 times per month. After treating everything we were allergic to, our Allergy and Asthma doctor asked had we tested for mold and mildew in our apartment.

This had been the only allergy of ours that she had been unable to treat. I purchased the two test kits and placed them by the air vents in the areas where the musty odors were strongest. While waiting on the kits to collect enough to test, our doctor produced a letter to our landlord asking either if they could relocate us to a dry mold and mildew free unit because of our illness and allergies; or allow us to break our lease early because of the conditions of the rental.

The landlord refused my last two months of rent and ordered a writ based on their first filing for eviction from 2 months earlier. There was no paperwork warning us of the writ, I called the court and found out that one had been filed. I then in turn filed an cancellation of writ based on uninhabitable conditions. My cancellation was approved on the same day that the maintenance crew began moving our items out. By the time I got to the property with the signed order to cancel the writ/eviction, the marshal said it was up to the landlord to decide if I could move back in or if they could transfer me into a new apartment. The mold test kits were the only items that were not moved out of the apartment and new locks were placed on the door.

The writ and eviction took place in November 2011, but our case is still ongoing because of the appeal and the cancellation based on uninhabitable conditions.

We just received a court day for June 2012 last week, and I have had the hardest time locating a lawyer and toxic mold specialist to test our old apartment. I now have a respiratory condition that causes me to wheeze easily because of the exposure in the apartment. I had placed a couple of board games that had been on the floor near the leak in a big thick black plastic bag and taped it up prior to the eviction and I still have them. That is the only sample I have from the apartment in my possession.

Is there a way that the board games can be tested or is there a way I can still get the old apartment tested? This whole case is a big headache, but so is the fact that my lungs are now super sensitive due to the bad maintenance of that apartment.

Please inform me on any options, referrals, or advise that will aid in my case. - S.C. 5/9/12

Reply: testing a board game for mold would not be a reliable indicator of your mold exposure

A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. When an onsite inspection is no longer possible, because there is no access or because the original site has been cleaned or conditions there have changed, I agree that it's too bad but you just don't have that option as an information source that might help inform your doctor of conditions to which you have been exposed.

An accurate characterization of the mold to which you were exposed would require a visual inspection of the moldy apartment, some representative samples of the dominant mold genera/species growing in the home, possibly even some invasive measures to find large hidden mold reservoirs, and other measures.

I'm afraid that your mold test kits were most likely an unreliable approach to characterizing the mold in your apartment. What grows on the culture of a test kit may not be the dominant nor most harmful mold in the apartment but rather it's what fell onto the culture and liked to grow in that particular medium.

We could examine tape samples of the moldy surfaces of your board games, and I'd offer that work pro-bono for up to 4 tape samples (procedure
at MOLD TEST KITS for DIY MOLD TESTS) but frankly it does not sound useful to do so. It would be a mistake to assume that the mold that grows on your board games is or ever was the dominant or most important mold that may have been in your home environment.

Your doctor can assist you in setting priorities for your time and attention but it seems to me (I am not a doctor) that your health comes first, and that the doctor will have advice on how your present health risks and complaints should be treated, considering that from your description alone you have probably been exposed to a variety of water-intrusion-type indoor mold growths.

A second concern is that if your home was very moldy, the contents that you have moved out of it into your new home may need to be cleaned, HEPA vacuumed, laundered, dry cleaned, washed, etc. to avoid importing a high level of moldy dust and debris into the new home.

Question: Suspected Chemical Hazards in a Converted Industrial Space

I got your website address from one of the Dutchess County health inspectors. He tried to help us but he could only test for organic solvents. He said sorry when he could not find anything and told us we needed to hire a private company to do testing.

We moved into a newly converted industrial space at [redacted for privacy] in Poughkeepsie. The building use to be a metal factory for the last 60 years until they turned it into rental units. On the 5th day of working there I noticed a strange vapor in the air that smelt like "welding" or something.

For about a month after that I was in like a zombie like state. When I felt to sick to go to work and stayed home for a few days I snapped back to myself. Over those few days I was shaking like I was going through withdrawal or something. I downloaded a list of hazard waste shipments that this metal company shipped out and my symptoms fit well with tetrachloroethene exposure

I called the health dept and they told me to go to the emergency room which they said the only treatment would be fresh air and rest. I guess the health dept meet with the landlord and they were not able to find anything. One day a few days later I was there I could smell the stuff in the air that's when the inspector meet with me and said they can only test for solvents.

I bought one of these Haz Mat smart strips It tested positive for oxidizer and the Cyanide test turned a funky color that is not on the chart.

The landlord is a large company based in Westchester they seem to not care. The keep saying to write down dates and times and get blood tests. They never return our calls We tried to get blood tests but the doctor said we need to find out what we exposure to.

This nightmare has gone on for 2+ months my business is pretty much destroyed. I will be homeless in a month if someone does not help Can you please help us pro-bono or on a payment plan Thanks, R.S. - Poughkeepsie, New York


I am sorry to read of the difficulties you describe, and also to report that because my forensic expertise is with particles, mold, allergens, and not chemical contaminants, I'm not the best person to assist you. I agree that there could be chemical contaminants left from the prior industrial use of your building, including oils and solvents, and on an older building such as those along Cottage St. in Poughkeepsie, even pesticides.

Tetrachloroethene, also referred to as tetrachloroethylene or as "perc" was used in dry cleaning as well as a degreaser for metal working.

Details about testing for tetrachloroethylene and also health exposure information to this chemical are found

Watch out: while it is quite reasonable to suspect that tetrachloroethylene was and may remain present in a building where metalworking was conducted (used as a degreaser solvent that is both volatile and persistent in the environment), it would be a serious mistake to jump to the conclusion that it is the chief or only hazard in your building just as it would be risky to guess at your own exposure or to diagnose your complaint without consulting a qualified expert physician and hygienist. Just as an example, depending on the kind of work performed, metal plating, for example, can leave other hazards such as cadmium or other heavy metals behind in a local environment.

Watch out: Similarly, the "Smart-Strip" test kit that you purchased is a warning badge intended for emergency responders not comprehensive building surveys for chemical hazards. It was developed by Mike Reimer[5] and is sensitive to chlorine, abnormal pH levels (identifying highly acidic or highly caustic agents), Fluoride, some nerve agents, Oxidizers, Arsenic, Sulfides, and Cyanide. It is by no means intended as a broad spectrum analyzer to identify specific chemicals among the thousands that may be used among various industries and industrial processes.[3][4][5]

Watch out: In my OPINION the safe inhabitability of a building is the responsibility of the building owner, and more, that the building owners may be inadvertently accepting a very very large liability risk if they have not had the building adequately surveyed and assured safe for occupants.

If you make that concern clear, in writing, you may find that the owners will be willing to have proper inspection and testing performed. We can understand that an owner, not wanting to face or exacerbate what they may feel are avoidable expenses or troubles, may hope to find someone who will be quick, cheap, and who will give a clean bill of health to the building. But the risks of sloppy, careless or superficial work are so great for both owners and occupants, that in my view that would be a dangerous approach, and one to be avoided.

At RENTERS & TENANTS GUIDE TO MOLD & INDOOR HAZARDS we give advice to renters concerned about mold or other indoor contaminants - that may be helpful to you,

Question: obligation of a hotel to notify occupants of mold hazards or other health hazards

[The following is redacted and paraphrased to respect the correspondent's anonymty - Ed.]

Hi. Your website is a fantastic resource. Well done. Applause.

I wish to pose a question regarding citations and obligation to disclose.

I [...] reported [significant] mold [contamination] in [a hotel] room [and on a later visit to the same hotel] I found that the mold had not been removed. [I later found mold contamination in other rooms in the same hotel. [I] submitted [a] formal complaint to [the] local health authority. Authority did investigate, did confirm presence of mold and did cite the hotel in each instance. [But when I spoke with the hotel manager [s/he] denie d [that the] presence of mold was confirmed, and that citations were issued [by the local authorities].

My question is, if the hotel is cited for mold in a particular hotel room and a public citizen later asks management whether the hotel was cited for mold in [in that very room] and the hotel manager asserts it wasn't cited for mold in that room might [there] be a governmental regulatory agency tasked to respond to such an incident? If actionable, what governmental regulatory agency should be notified?

Thanks in advance for your consideration. Sincerely, Anon 6/8/2013

Reply: laws requiring a hotel to give notice of health hazards

Good question and troubling but not at all surprising story; the hotel is naturally worried about scary publicity.

This is, however a legal question not a technical one on which we have expertise; tthe answer to your question about a hotel's obligation to report health concerns is regulated by state health laws - so it is a question to bring to your state health department.

In my view it would be both appropriate and fair to first notify the building management and owners of your concern, in writing, in a clear, documented, and polite letter. Putting information in writing has its own strength and compelling nature.

It's easy enough to find the requirement for notice of unsafe or unhealthy conditions in a hotel, as I document here:

For information about hotel and health regulations see

at the NY State DOH website where you can find the following text in section 7-1.4:

(2) The enforcement procedures delineated in the Public Health Law or otherwise provided by law shall be used as appropriate.

Where a public health hazard is found, the portion of the temporary residence impacted by the hazard shall be placarded to prohibit use until the hazard is corrected in order to protect the public health and safety of the occupants.

When a placard is used, it shall be conspicuously posted at each entrance or walkway leading to the portion of the property where the hazard exists. The placard shall state the authority for its placement and indicate that concealment, mutilation, alteration, or removal of it by any person without permission of the permit-issuing official shall constitute a violation of this Title and the Public Health Law.
To ensure accuracy and for evidentiary purposes, reference should be made to the Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, available from West Publishing at 1-800-344-5009.. [7]

Also see Cornell University offers information on hotel regulations

Quoting from Cornell U's information

Both hotels and restaurants are governed by Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code as far as the services they render. The express and implied warranties apply to both hotel rooms and food items served in restaurants. But most of the law governing hospitality stems from case law. [6]

Watch out for a related concern: in my OPINION and based on my own field experience, building owners and managers, out of worry about scaring renters or in this case hotel guests, thus risking loss of business, may not only fail to report a mold hazard (especially if they do not agree with you that there was a hazard), they also may fail to take proper action to clean up or remove moldy materials and to adequately correct the cause for mold growth in the building. Inadequate mold remediation risks leaving a hazard in the building, one that may be particularly risky for future occupants who may be infant, elderly, asthmatic, allergic, or immune system-impaired.

Question: they said the mold in my apartment was harmless but I'm sick

(May 12, 2011) Karen Hamilton said:

They done mold testing in my apartmemt and i have 3 types of mold. They sent me a letter and told me the mold kind and that it wasnt the harmful kind. i have been sick with sinus infections since i moved here and i have given my notice i am moving . i just pray i dont take the stuff with me when i leave . I feel bad that this apt complex is preying on these elderly folks. This building had been flooded numerous times and many people have moved because of mold.


The mold test results you report sound a bit suspicious, at least from the distance of the internet. An onsite inspection by an expert who examines a building that has been flooded numerous times would be unusual to find only "harmless mold" unless previously there was an expert and thorough inspection, removal of problem mold, and cleanup.

The worry is that if the building was actually flooded, even if there were no significant VISIBLE areas of mold, there is a real risk of significant hidden mold reservoirs that could be a problem for the occupants.

Mold "testing" accuracy and reliability varies enormously depending on exactly what tests were done, how they were performed, and where in the building they were performed, and most importantly, the results are not reliable unless there was also an appropriately thorough visual inspection.

Question: what do I do about my furniture in a moldy apartment; asthmatic children;

(July 18, 2011) Anonymous said:

what do I do about my furniture from a home where the test results came back 4x above 50 in concentration for black mold...Stachybotrys. do I need to get rid of my microfibre couch and my beds etc.? We were infiltrated while on a vacation with a leak in a water heater that went undetected and upon identification was not worked upon for weeks after by the landlord who failed to acknowledge the problem. I have six children and two are asthmatics on puffers.


Cleaning up mold-exposed apartment contents before moving?

Hard surfaced items can be cleaned using any household cleaner, soap and water, etc.
Soft goods like linens that look or smell moldy or are suspect should be laundered or dry cleaned.

An upholstered couch that has been exposed to moldy DUST but doesn't smell moldy and has no mold GROWTH on it and has not been itself wet, may be simply HEPA vacuumed thoroughly and may be fine.

If that same couch was wet from some leak event, has mold growing on or in it, or you can't get rid of its moldy smell, most likely it needs to be replaced.

In a home with asthmatics, it's worth being extra careful to clean thoroughly.

Question: repeated sinus infections since moving into my apartmenbt

(Aug 26, 2011) Anonymous said:

i moved into my apartment in january 2011. since doing so my son and i have been sick with repeated sinus infections. sometimes needing two rounds of antibiotics and steroids. i have stared itching, breaking out in circular flat bumps, coughing, sneezing, and worsening asthma symptoms. my friends often leave my house sick with bacterial and viral eye infections, itching, coughing, sneezing, and hives. there was mold on my bedroom window that my landlord told me to clean with bleach. the intake vent leaks water onto the filters so i had to replace it with a hard fibered naturalaire filter so that it didnt fall to pieces due to water damage every week.

there is a black gunky sludge on the coils (that the filter sits in front of) i tried scrubbing some off. there is also a black moldy looking hard ring around the bath spout. it probably used to be caulk or something. the fireplace was covered with a piece of plywood after i asked if it would be serviced so that i could use it this winter (because they wouldnt let me use it last winter). this apartment also an abnormal amount of dust blowing from the vents.

I FOUND A MUSHROOM GROWING IN MY LIVINGROOM FLOOR in the corner of the carpet and wall. my landlord does not believe there is mold here. she only took over this property a few months back and dismisses everything i say. the owner lives in california! i have no idea what to do or who to call. i am getting worse every day. any advice?? thank you!


(Aug 27, 2011) coleton said:

I didn't see anywhere where you addressed her lease, can't the lease be voided by a lawyer if the mold is causing healtgh problem and the landlord refuses to fix it?

Editor comment:

Several readers have commented about mold contamination being a basis for vacating a lease - "getting out of a lease"

I am not a lawyer - you'll want to consult a real estate attorney and s/he will want to read your lease agreement.

Indeed common or standard apartment and house rental lease forms include a "habitability" clause that requires the landlord to deliver a habitable property. If the building is not habitable because it is unsafe, that can be an effective argument.

Question: landlord intentionally covered up black mold in my apartment

(Aug 28, 2011) Kelly V said:

I have been in a unit for about 6 months and we had (intentional) covered up black mold in the unit. Landlord sent inexperienced contractor to fix the problems with bleach, they did not look in any other areas for black mold but the visible mold. Also recently found a large patch behind my washer and dryer in my furnace room.

This means they failed at getting rid of it and what can i do, can i take land lord compensation or charge her for leading sicknesses that have been delt to me over time? I am 20 and i do not make a whole lot of money so i can't get a health inspector in here and land lord refuses to pay for one... I need help!


Kelly V:

Covering up black mold? First of all "black mold" is not the only mold to worry about - it's just easiest to see.
Second, covering up is not removing. It's leaving in place a material that may nevertheless find its way into the occupied space in form of mold spores or even gases (MVOCs). More than 30 sqft. is what I consider a "large" mold reservoir that merits professional cleaning. Amateur cleanups risk being ineffective, spreading the problem, making the workers sick, contaminating other building areas, increasing the ultimate cost of the job.

If the health department is not going to take a look or help you, and the landlord is not going to fix the problem, and you are convinced it's a large problem area of harmful mold, if you've taken reasonable steps to confirm that such is the case, and you've notified those parties in writing of your concerns, then I'm not sure what further recourse you have without consulting an attorney or abandoning your lease.

Question: mushrooms growing out of carpet

(Aug 29, 2011) sick in tennessee said:

hi am the anonymous poster that had the mushroom growing and the health issues. the land lord is pretending there is no issue. she said the mushroom didnt grow here, but it did. i still have it even though it has been pulled from its root. i havent looked into a lawyer. cant afford any extra bills. but i will definitely contact the legal clinic here. thank you for that. i really dont know how to prove it though. im scared they will just say i have always had asthma or that its just gotten worse and that my son is just getting sick because he is a kid and they get germs.


Sick, the mushroom itself may be unimportant; but if there are wet conditions and a large problem mold reservoir (visible or hidden) there are likely to be health risks.

It is very difficult to PROVE that mold in a building has caused an illness. People are complex organisms exposed to a wide range of materials moving through various buildings and spaces, not just their home. BUT if we find a large problem mold reservoir in a building, experts agree that it is a hazard that should be removed.

And if you determine what kinds of mold dominated the environment, your physician may find that information helpful.

Question: mold growing in basement up to shoulder height

(Sept 12, 2011) Mold growing in basement said:

How bad does the mold need to be for it to be a health concern? The basement in our rental house flooded 2 years ago and all that was done was take out and replace the carpet. When hurricane Irene came through our basement flooded again. This time the carpet and bottom 12" of drywall and insulation was removed.

On the interior surface of what is left of the wall there is mold growing some to shoulder height, some to waist height/thigh height. I'm guessing that the mold is already pretty well set in place from the previous flood and that the more recent flood just made it worse. I am also guessing that more drywall should have been taken to keep the mold from getting worse. The home is 3 stories with one thermostat so the basement air is getting spread throughout the house and I have three small children. We are moving out in 3 months, but I am wondering if it is safe for us to stay that long under these conditions.


Mold growing:

From your description it would be unlikely that post-flood mold were just cosmetic; add that it's waist high in walls and an incomplete cleanup, and I can't imagine that those would be acceptable nor safe living conditions .individual susceptibility to mold related illness varies, but enev a healthy, insensitive person can become sensitized to mold with enoufpgh exposure, and even can become I'll or asthmatic.

Question: mold over my sofa

(Oct 5, 2011) Sherry said:

Mold is growing in my living room all over my sofa, speakers,table and is even growing in the cabinet where my pot and pan's are so I have to was them every time I use them and everything in my basement is molded . Is my landlord responsible for any of my belongings?

flag like


Sherry, you will need to take a copy of your lease to a real estate attorney to obtain a solid answer to your question about the landlord's responsibility for mold contamination in you rental home. In my experience and so in my OPINION, most leases require the landlord to provide a habitable property.

And in my OPINION if the mold was not on your property before it was in your present home, AND if the mold growth is not due to your own negligence, then the landlord would typically have some responsibility. But as I said, a more accurate answer depends on the language of your lease, local laws and regulations, and case law. Let us know what your attorney advises.

AND WATCH OUT: don't move moldy belongings into a new home without cleaning them first (if they can be cleaned) or you will just import a possible problem to the new premises.

Question: moldy storage area contents

(Oct 8, 2011) Clare said:

My problem isnt as severe as others, but still a concern. I live in a co-op and I rent a 3rd party storage unit in the basement. It has been having problems with leaks for several years and never gets fixed. Now I have a problem with mold. I went into my unit and there is mold all over my things.

The storage company blames the co-op and the co-op blames the storage copmpany and I cant get any answers. The storage company says they can disinfect the hard surfaces but not soft and this is where my problem gets worse. Theres mold on my clothes and winter coats. I cant get a straight answer as to if they can be cleaned properly. I'm most worried about the down filled coats, since they are so thick, and wondering if they can be completely sanitized.

And then theres the items that can only be dry cleaned. If they can't its probably close to $2000 in items that will be ruined. I refuse to be out that amount of money for a problem that I cant fix. This is why I live in a co-op, this is why I pay maintenance. Anybody have advice? I'm tired of being dismissed, and with my allergy and asthma problems I can't even touch my things in the condition.



You can usually salvage moldy clothing by laundering or dry cleaning. I'd give those approaches a try. Just last month we successfully washed down sleeping bags and down vests in a new low-water-usage front loading washer, followed by low temperature drying in the clothes dryer. The results were excellent.

What cannot be reliably cleaned are moldy thick upholstered items like couches.

Question: modly apartment, getting desperate

(Oct 13, 2011) Terry said:

I am beginning to see mold all over my apartment, my apt. is rather small and the mold is becomming extremely bothersome. I have an 11yr old daughter living in the house with me and her father has mild asthma which now his coughing seems to worsen when we are home, we have already thrown out the majority of our funiture and clothing and shoes, now i am in expense of having to buy these clothing back because of the mold. when we moved in there was a lage dehumiditifier in the house and not knowing what it was doing there at the time we gave it back to the lanlord,

now in my research of this mold situation i now know why it was sitting in the middle of my kitchen, HUH! and he said nothing.

the house smells like wet damp musty clothes when you walk into the rooms and i have tried to get the smell out, plus we wear shoes in the house cause the carpet feels like fuzzy cotton under our feet and i dont want my family to get foot fungus in fear it might be mold. we asked to be let out of the lease but we were told from our landlord that they have their mortage to be paid too and so that was a bust.

we cant move until may 15. now the black mold in the bathroom is worst and i have to pack all my belongings up and take to storage in fear i may lose it all to mold. what can we do from here on. i am so desparate.


Terry, small amounts of mold, less than 30 sqft can be cleaned up by just about anyone, but if there are building leaks or moisture traps there is a risk of a larger hidden problem.

I would take a look at MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? (search for that phrase) for help in deciding if an expert investigation is appropriate and also the reasoning in that article may be helpful in explaining the concern to your landlord.

You are right that if there is a significant mold contamination problem, your own items may need cleaning if you move.

Question: what if the building management won't respond to my mold complaint about my trailer?

(Nov 27, 2011) Lorinda Durst said:

what do you do when a manger does nothing and does not clean up the mold and i had to when i moved in and bowed celings with water and i think ther is mold in the trailer what do you and he does nothing/

(Jan 13, 2012) erin said:

I am in a 6 month lease with a real estate comp. I have many issues with this home. Rats living in my cieling that I poison often, gophers taking over every square inch of my yard, electrical problems and much, much more. My main problem is mold in every room that I clean with bleach and it just returns as fast as I clean it. I have painted 4 rooms now with a paint that is said to kill mold/mildew for up to 5 yrs, but it still returns.

I think in one room that it is so bad it looks like black mold!

This is ruining my furniture, clothes and more. I have been fighting this problem so long & the real estate comp knows. My daughter and I sneeze and have sore throats every day, and I did do in home care here with a man who was very sick & on 1-3-12 he passed away with respiratory problems.

My pocket book can not take this any more between paints, poisons, cleaners, ect. I am out of work since loosing my friend here on the 3rd and we need this problem fixed.

What can I do? I have even taken more than 40 pics to the real estate comp of damages & mold last dec and nothing has ever been done!!!


Lorinda and Erin, see MOLD ACTION ADVICE for RENTERS

and see HEALTH DEPARTMENT HELP for RENTERS - for advice on dealing with a landlord or manager who is ignoring mold in a rental home. If you are left with further questions just ask.

Question: I became ill right after moving in to the apartment

(Feb 28, 2012) I became very ill right after mo said:

I became very ill after moving into apartment. Seen many doctors and ruled out many diseases, etc. Found mold in apartment.

Requested the apartment have a certified mold assessor come out. They did not do this. They took out some of the mold but not all. Had to vacate apartment as Doctor advised. Should I hire mold assessor now?I still am paying rent. Just not living there. I live in Texas and cannot seem to find which gov agency handles this.

Question: found mold in closet, clothes ruined, moved into moldy apartment, now what?

(June 2, 2012) tini chapman said:


I have been in the house for one year and six months and I am wanting the landlord to let us move without paying any rent at the end of the month. do you think he would allow that.

I don't want to go through any legal matters if I can help it. But he hasn't done anything since we been in the house except put in a carbon monoxide detector. I try to be honest and I want to give him a call and discuss it with him first. This is not the only thing wrong or the only place we found the mold.

We did not notice it cause the house was freshly painted in some areas of the old house. HELP!

(Aug 17, 2012) Candy said:

I have a question i have black and red mold in my house and my landlord wont take care of it and he told me it was my problem and i have a 4 year as well. I live in idaho and i don't know what i should do. There are more problems to this house then mold to i have the rent and i told my landlord that i would pay him the rent as soon as he gets this tooken care of and he told me it was my problem not his. But he wants the money he wont leave me alone about it. So what can i do or what should i do

Plus my landlord came over one day and tryed to fix up the house i have lived her over a year and i have hoes in the wall where he was trying to fix it up.

He hasn't came back to fix and i don't know what i should do . I have mold all over my walls in my 4 years bedroom and mine it everywhere in my house .

He wont take care of it but he wants the money for rent . I told him i would pay him but he has to take care of this first i am not the only one that is having this problem with this landlord and the mold. My friend has moved out of he house because her son came very sick because of this mold and now my daugther is comeing very sick and i don't know what to do . HELP!

(Oct 1, 2012) WendyA said:

My sister moved into a rental home. She discovered the basement was full of mold. The landlord had the basement carpeting removed and the paneling torn up and everything cleaned. My sister was in the home for 3 weeks including during the cleaning process. Once she found out one of the molds was stachybotrys, she moved out.

And now she has pnumonia and pluersey. My first question is, could her illness be related to the mold?

The second question is, does she need to worry that the items she moved from the moldy home into her new apartment are contaminated? The mold was located in the basement but there was not a door isolating the basement from the main floor where her things were located.

She has been living in a motel as she is deathly afraid to move into her new apartment now. If her things are contaminated, what should she do to reduce any risk in her new place?

(Oct 17, 2012) gina said:

Since i moved into my rented house 3 years ago, I have been experiencing year round allergies that are getting worse and have developed into difficulty breathing at night and a recent skin rash. I now believe it is from breathing in mold but I cant afford a mold test.

I frequently clean green powdery mold off the leather couch and wood furniture and just thought it was unfortunate maintenance due to mildew. But now my health is effected and my eosinophil count is elevated after a Dr.s blood test.


Tini, sorry to read about the mold issue; often moldy clothes can be laundered or drycleaned and are just fine, though some, such as leather, can be either too costly or too damaged to salvage.

I can't speculate on what your landlord might do - it depends on your rental agreement and the landlord themselves. Be sure that your concerns are made clear to the landlord, in writing.


Question: what's worse, breathing mold or breathign TileX

I have lived with mold in my old apt for over 9 years with my son who has asthma and and my daughter who has now allergy's..I now have lung damage ..We were told to use tilex now cair's who are federally funded had to move me .What was more damaging breathing the mold or tilex..


Breathing mold presents a wide range of risks depending on what mold spores or MVOCs are present, as well as the level of exposure in time, concentration, recurrence.

Breathing fumes from a cleaning agent may be a respiratory irritant or depending on what the product's MSDS tells you, it may have other effects.

TileX MSDS data:

TileX is a product sold by the Clorox Company, for which a MSDS is easily found online. Basically it's a bleach product (Sodium hypochlorite 1-5% and Sodium Hydroxide 0.1-1%. There are worker exposure limits set for the second ingredient. None of the ingredients are on the IARC, OSHA, or NTP carcinogenlists.

The Company's MSDS states that "Moderate eye irritant. Mild to moderat e skin irritant. Occasional clinical reports suggest a low potential fo r skin sensitization upon exaggerated exposure to sodium hypochlorite if ski n damage (e.g. irritation) occurs during exposure. Routine clinical tests c onducted on intact skin with this product found no sensitization in the test subjects.

Exposure to vapor or mist may irritate eyes, nose, throat, lungs. Ha\rmful if swallowed.

May cause nausea and vomiting if swallowed. The following medical conditions may be aggravated by exposure to high concent rations of vapor or mist: heart conditions or chronic respiratory pr oblems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or obstructive lung disease.

Under normal consumer-use conditions, the likelihood of any adv erse health effects is low. "- retrieved 5/19/14 original source

Question: What are my rights if the landlord won't fix a problem. Can I sue?

(Nov 26, 2012) Snowyva Almon said:

I have a an eight month old child and do not want her exposed to any hazards regarding water damaging my apartment from leaks or water backing up coming out of my drains. What are my rights, what can I do when the landlord not dealing with mold issue where there was damage from water leak.

Can I get an attorney and sue the landlord?

(Dec 14, 2012) Owner wont give us our full depo said:

We have been living there for almost a year, we contacted them about the mold and they came in to look at the place. They offered us a rent free month to find a new place. Which we did take and found a place. We had agreed that they would give us our deposit back since the damage on the house was due to the mold.

We are due to move out this saturday and the owner wants the house empty and the key's in her hand before she gives us our deposit back.

We explained to her that we need it to put it down as the first month's rent for the new place.

She said she understood, now I am fearful that once we give her back the house empty and the key's that she will try to say "Well this wasnt like this when you moved in" and wont want to give us our deposit back. What can I do? I don't know if there is anything that I can do.

We have been having problems with the leaking since we moved in it's been almost a year and every time it rains the water seeps in and some of our things are damaged. Can any one tell me what I can do? I need help.

(Jan 6, 2013) Lee said:

Are the landlords required to perform mold testing upon tennants' request?


SnowyVA Almon et als:

Questions about your rights as a tenant are something to ask a LOCAL real estate attorney. In many jurisdictions, and in many standard leases, the landlord is obligated to provide safe, habitable premises.

Before starting the expense, trouble, and aggravation of suing anyone, make sure that you can document specific hazards or defects, then ask your landlord, in writing, to examine and correct them.

Owner Won't

Unfortunately a dispute between you and landlord is a legal matter that turns on the terms and conditions of the lease that you signed. In GENERAL my OPINION is that most leases require the landlord to deliver a safe, habitable, functional home.

If you have proof that that was not the case, an attorney or a judge in small claims court may be able to help you out.

Question: my landlord is going to panel over the mold

(Dec 1, 2012) Anonymous said:

My landlord is planning on pannelling some walls in the house I am renting, wil this actually help? I have asthma and am taking my inhaler up 6 times a day when before I lived in the house I used my blue one maybe three times a WEEK maximum.

Any advice on if his solution will work as i am struggling with heallth due to it.


In my opinion, installing paneling atop mold- contaminated surfaces is unlikely to help, wont fix a mold problem, adds new mold-friendly growth surfaces, and will add to the ultimate cost of doing the proper job, that is, remove the mold and fix it's cause.

In addition to possible health risks, there may be added liability for a building owner who takes a cover-up approach to mold rather than following procedures recommended by experts. 5


(Dec 29, 2012) Grammyhugs1 said:

I have been getting increasingly ill with respiratory illness treated by my MD, and am concerned about mold in the home I am leasing. I bought some mold testers from Home Depot, that are petri dishes exposed to the ambient air.

The now show growth rings from the plates in each room, and will be mailing them to the lab instructed for specie identification. I plan to leave the premises, but not 'abandon' the property until tests are returned, and my attorney advises the landlord on breaking the lease for medical reasons.

Anyone else out there with success in this scenario?

(Jan 3, 2013) Anonymous said:

What if I want to have my rental apartment inspected for air quality control, how would I go about it



Question: Tenant claims mold on wet furniture caused by soil under the building

(Jan 13, 2013) Marissa said:

Furniture was moved into unit on an extremely wet day. Being winter and cold mould developed on furniture and subsequently on roof and window sill.

No mould on carpet on skirting of rooms. However tenants are claiming that the mould is the result of mould in subfloor soil. Can that happen?


Marissa, it's technically reasonable to say that "all mold is everywhere all the time" - in the air, and for soil molds, in soil. Most soil molds don't invade the building air, though soil moisture in a crawl space might encourage mold contamination in both the crawl area and the building above.

But it makes most sense to me when explaining mold growth to look first at the most likely sources:

If furniture was soaked and not dried in 24-48 hours that's the most likely explanation of its moldiness.

If you inspect the crawl area and it's dry and if there is no visible mold growth on the under-floor surfaces that also suggests that the crawl area is not the source of the moldy furniture complaint.

Finally, it wouldn't make much sense to me for mold to grow ONLY on furniture and not on other apartment surfaces if the problem had its origin in the building.


(Feb 1, 2013) Marcia Nessan said:

Several months ago I called my landlord about the cold breeze running through the home. He sent me several window kits and some caulk. I had originally requested this in the summer and advised him that he should have someone look at all the windows because I didn't think anything had been caulked after they put the siding on the house.

I was ignored. Now the house is so cold it is sending my left leg into muscle spasms all day every day.

My doctors have tried to help by sending me to physical therapy not realizing how cold my home is.After going over different scenario's with my doctors we have found the muscle spasms are caused from the cold dampness in my house.

We also have mold growing under each window and behind my cupboard where I store all my utensils, knives, and dishes.

I don't know what my rights are for paying rent. Now I have also found mold growing on things in my closet. I don't know what to do.

(Feb 12, 2013) Louise said:

I have really bad mould on my walls in my 2 bedrooms and the landlord just sends someone to paint over the problem only for it to return a month later I would rather sleep in a car than have to breath tht in to my lungs what's my best thing to get this resolved ..?

(Feb 9, 2014) Karen said:

I have mold in my apartment. Inspector came told her to get rid of it. Got real mad didn't want to spend. How long does she have to fix it I live in cook county IL.


Karen, the response time requirement for a mold complaint may be fixed in local laws; I have not seen such in national standards and frankly the urgency would respond in part by the particular level of risks involved - something that needs an onsite assessment.

For example there is no urgency to trivial amounts of cosmetic mold (such as a typical bath tub tile grout issue) while there would be great urgency in a large mold-contaminated area (more than 30 sqft) especially where easily airborne molds are present such as Aspergillus sp or Penicillium sp., and moreso where occupants are at extra risk (elderly, infant, immune impaired, asthmatic).

In sum you need to take this question to your local health department.

Question: property manager comment

(Feb 23, 2014) property management Phoenix said:

Good uestions & answers or comments about handling indoor hazards, air quality, contaminants, or mold problems in rental homes, apartments, mobile homes, doublewides


Thanks for the nice feedback PM-Phoenix. We also welcome critique, questions, content suggestions.

Question: am I entitled to see the results of tests done in my apartment

(Apr 8, 2014) FL TENANT said:

Please help! I live in a Fl apartment rental complex whose owners are not on site, but the property manager (different company hired by complex owners) is on site. [IN SHORT] I found mold in my apartment, there was a leak, the Landlord independently contracted a man to test the humidity level in my apartment.

He declared it hazardous. Now they will not let me see any of the reports or speak with him about the additional tests he has performed. Am I entitled to see these tests without legal action?



I'm not able to answer the legal question (you may have a legal aid attorney or your own attorney who can) about what documents a property owner must show you.

I'm a bit uncertain why someone who tested humidity level alone would declare humidity hazardous, especially in Florida. But humidity-related problems such as mold growth, could be a concern.

But more important, if there is a substantial mold contamination issue it needs to be properly addressed: cleaned-up properly and its cause corrected.

Question: management made us sign a waiver to pay for mold testing if nothing is found

(Apr 15, 2014) lr walton said:

This problem was reported to management on April 2nd, now waiting for them to send someone to check for a moisture problem, we are in South Carolina, we had to sign a waiver that if they don't find a problem, we will have to pay for testing.

Reply: watch out!

Ir Walton:

Well that waiver is in my OPINION (I'm not a lawyer) reasonable IF and ONLY IF the person sent by management (who is not a disinterested party) is someone who is qualified, thorough, uses valid methods, and is able to avoid the conflict of interest that arises by being hired by someone who has an interest in having no problem found.

Certainly such professional service is possible. But be sure that you are present to observe what the inspector does, and that you obtain copies of all inspection and lab reports produced.

Finally, JUST checking for "a moisture problem" would be an incompetent approach to inspecting a building for mold contamination. For example there could have been a previous leak that initiated a large harmful hidden mold reservoir in a building cavity (wall or ceiling for example).

That mold reservoir would remain present and problematic even if later, at the time of a subsequent inspection, the moisture itself, or the leak, were long gone.

Question: lots of "black mold" in a bathroom

(June 12, 2014) ghlani said:

We found a house that was for rent, we contacted owner we did a walk through with the ownre. On the surface it looked liked we just needed to do some really good cleaning. the owner made a deal if we cleaned the house up and make minor repairs she would keep the rent low.

As we are cleaning we discovered ALOT of black mold in one of the bathrooms. We told her about it she said just remove the shower walls and replace and all will be good. Thats what we did. We know nothing about deposal of mold. We through it all away in the trash.

My question is.... Was that ok? Are we allowed to do that kind of clean up and construction?Could the mold return since we carried the mold through the house? We hadnt moved into the house until we were done so the moldy wood didnt pass our belongings.



WHat you did may not have been "OK" if you exposed yourselves to high levels of harmful mold by breathing moldy dust or by getting mold into eyes or open cuts or sores.

If the total area was small (less than 30 sqft) the old job would have been considered one suitable for handling by a homeowner or handyman; larger areas of harmful mold ("black mold" is by no means the only harmful mold) would have merited professional cleaning.

Further, the mold problem is likely to return unless its cause is found and corrected.

I agree that I'd not move my belongings into a moldy area before the problem has been addressed.

Question: need inspection for moldy apartment

(July 18, 2014) Grace said:

Could you help me? I need an inspection to the apartment I lived for a year with my two young kids, I am moving to another apartment because every time I notify the apartment's office that we had mold in the apartment and smells only humidity the took too long to come and try to fix it and that happened multiple times, with the big problem that again and again, over and over we had the same problem!!

So they were not fixing anything!! Me and my kids now are very sick!

All our clothes stink and shoes have that green stuff and black! The windows, bathroom, and I need legal help the soon possible! Please email me. I live in Riverside County California.
Thank you!



In this article series we give advice to tenants in moldy apartments including the importance of serving written notice to your landlord, assuring that proper cleanup is done, and avoiding moving moldy contents to a new home if moving is necessary.

Unfortunately we are not qualified to give legal advice such as concerning lease issues. But in general, a landlord is obligated to provide habitable living conditions in a rental home or apartment. You may need to consult a local attorney or legal aid office.

If specific mold-related questions arise, don't hesitate to ask us.

Question: landlord uses an apartment for trash dumpsters

(July 19, 2014) Robert Van Eyck said:

We have a 16 stall garage building in are apartment complex the landlord is using 1 for trash dumsters is that legal?



Give your local building department a call with that question - let us know what you're told and we may be able to comment or research further.

Question: mold growing on HVAC vents, on furniture, on jewelry

(July 31, 2014) Beth said:

I noticed mold growing on the vents here at my apt. C

alled and maintenance came and changed the filter on my air conditioner and said to clean the mold and if it comes back to call them again. A few weeks have passed and I'm noticing this green moldy stuff all over clothes, shoes, leather jewelry and furniture. I called them and they came back out and said a dehumidifier would be the best.

My lease is up for renewel soon and I am afraid to tirn it in for fear that the dehumidifier will not work. They said this mold is not harmful and will not cause sickness. Also said that it will wash off with soap and water.

I look online and see otherwise though. I have people saying I should demand they pay for the cleaning of my things since it costs to wash and dry here and that I should call my renters insurance and see if I can't get reimbursed for some of the things covered in this green mold.

Just unsure of what to do as far as renewing my lease if the dehumidifier does not work and this mold is in fact unhealthy to be around.


If you have green moldy stuff growing all over clothing, leather, jewelry (really? what's there for mold to eat on jewelry), furniture, then you most likely have unusually high indoor humidity or a leak somewhere. Before relying on a humidifier I would be looking for the moisture source.

Also if there is a LOT of mold (more than 30 sqft of contiguous moldy surface) then professional cleaning is needed.

Worse and a bit tricky, dehumidifying a very moldy environment without cleaning up the existing mold reservoir can, depending on the mold genera/species that are present, actually temporarily increase the level of airborne mold - which could be a hazard.

About who pays: in my OPINION that depends on what is the base cause of the problem and thus who's responsible for that.

(July 31, 2014) Beth said:

The jewelry is leather that's why it was so moldy. They said the source is because we live in a bottom level apt and it's been an abnormally wet summer.

When asked if they would reimburse me for the money I will have to pay to clean everything I was told no, that it was not something THEY did and that it was an act of nature and that they are taking precautions to fix it now. I don't know for sure if it is in the couches but I do know that the couches and carpet are damp (they offered to have the carpet professionally cleaned.)

I disagree with her because I've already called once about this issue with it growing on the vents so this is the second time I've had to call them about it. Everyone seems to think the cure all will be the dehumidifier. They said clean everything with soap and water and that will clear it up and it won't come back.



Got it.

Act of nature?

First, there should be no leaks into the structure.

Second, the structure ventilation, and if present, air conditioning systems should be working properly. For example, if A/C was not run, or was not working properly, or was over-sized, it would quite possibly fail to dehumidify the building interior.

I agree with advice that if you remove mold from surface (or toss out stuff that can't be cleaned such as a moldy mattress or pillow or wall to wall carpet and padding), and then keep the indoor humidity down - say under 50%, the conditions to invite mold growth are much reduced.

Let's try a different analysis. You're in an apartment. If the surmise of the THEY who told you the mold problem is "normal" for the weather you experienced, then one would expect to see the same mold problems in every unit in the complex that is in the same position (bottom level) as your apartment. Right?

(July 31, 2014) Beth said:

I've lived in the apt now for going on three years and never had this problem until now. The air conditioning unit has been working fine to my knowledge. And yes the "they" that I'm referring to is the maintenance team and their boss and they have not said anything about anyone else having the same issue as me.

They said they were specifically ordering a dehumidifier for me so I'm assuming no one else is having this problem.

Thanks for getting back with me it is much appreciated

Question: rodents, roof leaks, gas leaks, and other troubles

(Sept 7, 2014) Diana said:

I and my disabled spouse just moved from a house in which we lived since 10/09. During this time, we had rodent infestations, leaks in roof that cracked the ceiling, mold, and never had any real maintenance for any appliances including the Gas heat and A/C.

In 2/2012, I became suddenly ill. My husband was in the hospital having a hip replacement. I was unable to go seek help also at that same time, so I tried making do. I began having eye irritations, pain, light irritant, then I started losing balance, and began to fall down when I would try to walk from one place to another.

In a month, I was unable to step from the pavement onto a low curb. I also was unable to drive our car. I lost over 30 pounds. Since that time, my condition has deteriorated.

Now, I have what seems to be severe Neuropathy, balance issues (I close my eyes, and fall over), I have memory issues, as my does now too.

We moved out after having the Gas company knock on the door to inform us a gas pipe, installed by the owner and below grade, was leaking and they red tagged the line, removed it and when disconnecting it, it immediately fell over due to the amount of rust.

This was connected to the meter located right outside my sleeping area. I have read a lot about the issues I have and I know now I have problems that may never get better. The three weeks outside the house helped a little bit, but not a lot. I need advice. Please, help. Thank you, Diana


(Sept 7, 2014) To Beth said:

... This is partly what has happened to me. Get out of there! Do not let the apt make you ill! And, no, it IS their responsibility to make sure you are not living in an unhealthy environment. And to the man who asked about leather jewelry and mold, yes, I have seen lots of leather that attracts mold if it is in a damp area.

In fact, when we just moved, I found some shoes, nice shoes that are now covered in mold. So, whatever it may be, IF it is leather, it can attract mold.

I would look up the state laws and report the roof leaks to the state or local government. We should have done that while we still were living there. Now, we have to go back to prove things. I think the county and or state should inspect the issue.

A landlord has to provide a safe, livable environment.

Question: how to store family heirlooms in a box truck avoiding mold

9/17/2014 Anonymous said:

I'm experiencing a financial problem that may force me to store my family heirlooms (furniture) in a 16 foot box truck.

I am concerned the temperature variations may cause mold or mildew damage. Can someone advise me? I expect to have to store it in the truck for about 7 months.



While temperature variations that might include very high levels may harm the items you store in a box truck, it's not temperature but moisture, specifically leaks or other sources of high moisture inside the truck that would invite mold growth. Be certain that the truck is absolutlely dry inside and clean before storing items, and inspect it regularly to check for any leaks that might develop.

For some items it may also make sense to store them inside airtight waterproof plastic containers inside the truck.

Question: how to protect materials stored in a box truck

(Sept 16, 2014) Anonymous said:

I'm experiencing a financial problem that may force me to store my family heirlooms (furniture) in a 16 foot box truck.

I am concerned the temperature variations may cause mold or mildew damage. Can someone advise me? I expect to have to store it in the truck for about 7 months.



While temperature variations that might include very high levels may harm the items you store in a box truck, it's not temperature but moisture, specifically leaks or other sources of high moisture inside the truck that would invite mold growth. Be certain that the truck is absolutlely dry inside and clean before storing items, and inspect it regularly to check for any leaks that might develop.

For some items it may also make sense to store them inside airtight waterproof plastic containers inside the truck.

Question: I just paid $450 for a mold test - now what ?

(Sept 23, 2014) Janet Cope said:

I just paid 450.00 for a mold inspection which I will receive the report from the lab on Thursday. He is an inspector not a mold remover. I told the district manager who knew about this. problem because I was concerned about the brown spots show up on the bedroom ceilings

He was up here twice and touched the spots on the ceiling and said they are not wet so it is not mold. I told him about the inspector and he said he would not pay for the mold inspection because I was only concerned about the brown spots on the ceiling and wanted it painted not mold in the entire apartment.

I have had 2 open heart surgeries in 2013, on to replace a leaking valve April 3rd the other June 3rd because I got endocarditis from the valve replacement and they did not discover it for 2 months.

I was in intensive care 34 days, lost the use of my kidneys and put on dialysis for 2 months, kidneys did come back, my right lung collapsed and will never be 100%.

I see 6 specialist due to this problem and this manager thinks I just want the ceilings painted and I am not concerned about mold throughout the apartment. Mold inspecter said in 1 bedroom carpet idamp and has a 71% humidity, 2nd bedroom damp carpet 61% humidity, living room carpet damp 67% humidity.

Told manager and he blamed it on me and my husband, he said we don't use our fans in the bathrooms and don't run the air condition. We always use the fans and I will not go without the air conditioner on in the summer, ask any of my friends, I tend to freeze them when they visit.

What can I do? I have call the Health Dept., they said they will send them a letter out

We had to call them before when there was mold in the attic and they new about the mold a year earlier. 2 my husband found more mold in the attic so the maintenance man came out again and sprayed and removed insulation and put in a black plastic bag which he dropped out of the attice into the laundry room, which was accidental but no one told us to leave while this was being done.

Reply: touching with a finger is not a reliable test for moisture nor mold


Touching with a finger to determine "not wet" is nonsense; the surface may still be wet enough to support mold growth.

And "not wet" does not mean "not mold" any more than "not white" means "not a refrigerator".

A mold "test" alone without an expert inspection is not a reliable screen for building mold contamination.

The high humidity you report is a key condition that invites mold contamination growth.

Fans, if there is mold contamination, may increase the level of airborne mold and other particles.

Spraying mold is not a valid mold remediation approach. If there is a substantive mold contamination reservoir the mold needs to be physically removed and its cause corrected.

Question: wet insulatoin

(Nov 3, 2014) Anonymous said:

Ceiling been leaking since May 2014, landlord has not had leak prepared. Insulation is soaked and now since weather is getting cold windows are shut.
Husband and myself are getting
headaches, vomiting and other symptoms. As a renter what can we


Anon, in the article above see the suggestions listed at

Advice to Renters when health complaints appear related to spending time in a building - where Mold is Visible or Suspected

Do let me know if any of that is unclear. Thanks. Daniel

Question: can problem mold occur in just two day?

(Nov 9, 2014) jess said:

My apt in leak n water and sewer.landlord said we can't go back in. And the building will be condemned on Monday morning... would this be true it only been two days this started. thanks


Possibly, Jess if the flooding and mold damage are significant.

Question: how do I get my apartment management to test for mold?

11/16/2014 Christine said:

My daughter is living in student housing in Cortland, NY. She is located in a first floor apartment and reported black mold spreading on her bedroom ceiling to her landlord. Two weeks later the maintenance man came in and painted primer over it.

Are there any laws that we should know about regarding black mold and tenants rights? She has signed a lease through May of 2015.

11/20/2014 Jessica said:

How do I get my apartment complex to test for mold In my unit? They are difficult to deal with. I had a leak that started two months ago. And they just now 'fixed' the problem. But I know that the water from the roof sat in my ceiling for at least that two months.

When the guy came to fix it, he opened a panel in the ceiling and probably 10 gallons of murkey water came pouring Down and it smelled like metal. Ruined my rugs. But besides all of that I do I get them to test my apartment for mold?


10 gallons of water falling out of a ceiling is adequate justification to argue for further investigation for water damage and mold in that area. Notify your apartment management in writing of your concerns, the hazards, the risks. See these two articles for some specific suggestions to prompt management action when they're not responding to your apartment environmental health complaint.

Question: How do I get my apartment complex to test for mold In my unit?

(Nov 20, 2014) Jessica said:
How do I get my apartment complex to test for mold In my unit? They are difficult to deal with. I had a leak that started two months ago. And they just now 'fixed' the problem. But I know that the water from the roof sat in my ceiling for at least that two months.

When the guy came to fix it, he opened a panel in the ceiling and probably 10 gallons of murkey water came pouring Down and it smelled like metal. Ruined my rugs. But besides all of that I do I get them to test my apartment for mold?


10 gallons of water falling out of a ceiling is adequate justification to argue for further investigation for water damage and mold in that area. Notify your apartment management in writing of your concerns, the hazards, the risks.

In the More Reading links at the end of this page see TENANT HELP for MOLDY RENTAL for details of how to proceed.

Question: leaky apartment, I'm worried about mold contamination

(Dec 12, 2014) Christina said:

I started renting my duplex in June. Of course we signed a one year lease. We are six months into it and I realized mold on the window seals and my bathroom ceiling has a leak so I'm sure there is mold there. I have notified my landlord and all he wants to do is put in a dehumidifier.

I have to infants as well. One is 5 months other is 17 months. All three of us constantly stay conjested and I think its due to the mold. What can I do if my landlord is not willing to fix it the proper way


A dehumidifier may improve the indoor humidity level but won't address a mold problem, won't remove problem mold, and won't correct an abnormal moisture source or leak. First you need an accurate diagnosis of what's going on.

Question: landlords and building hazards - collapsing retaining wall

(Dec 15, 2014) Andy Dillon said:

I have a driveway with a retaining wall about 4 feet high that is caving in on one side. Have called the landlord and he refuses to do anything about it. Not only can my vehicle be damaged by this I am afraid that somebody walking next to it could be severely injured if the wall would collapse.

Not sure what the responsibility of the landlord is but quite sure he would not want to pay for the damages to people and property. Is it just me or is this a major health risk? I assure you the wall is on its last limbs. On a side note the reason , I believe, is because they set it to drain water through the wall which in turn softened the ground.



A safety hazard from a possibly-collapsing retaining wall won't of course be diagnosed nor fixed by e-text.

Notify the landlord in writing of your concerns. Often that's sufficient.

For questions of just what your landlord is required to do you'd need to take your lease to an attorney familiar with rental property law.

Question: what can I do if the landlord ignores a mold problem?

(Dec 28, 2014) Anonymous said:
I have been trying since July 2013 to get the manager at my HUD apartment complex of two hundred apartments to fix the problems of my seriously infested mold/fungi apartment.

I've followed all protecal; certified letters to management LLC owner/s manger, HUD and Mayor. I have hundreds of pics, two lab results (I paid for inside and out)signed statements from others and much more.

Nothing has been done, and I can prove it's even in the plumbing as well as rugs, roof and all my furnishings.

No response. I'm st my wits end. I have "extremely low" retirement income (I'm 82) and can't afford attorney. Should I go to the media? manager says "can't see it, can't smell it" but everyone else can and he is not a cert. mold inspector.

I've studied mold and know how many colors it comes in, all the different smells it can produce (some don't even smell) etc and he was told by town health insp. to get air quality test (this man is not certified at anything - really!), but now both mgr. and health rep say this was never said. I have two witnesses, but it has never been done what can I do before I die here?



IF you have notified the manager in writing of a significant mold contamination hazard (more than 30 sqft of contiguous, non-cosmetic mold) such that professional remediation is appropriate, or notified them of apparent building-related illness or safety hazards and you still get no response your options are to ask for help from your local health department, from an attorney who will provide pro-bono assistance, from a source of funds for seniors needing assistance, or to move.

Question: black asbestos mold?

Erika said:
there is mold in all the window sills of my apartment including my bathroom in my apartment windows in my bedroom and its black and it started raining and I haven't been feeling well so is that black asbestos mold should I be concerned about it



Asbestos and mold are two completely different potential building hazards.

Mold Appearance is described at

Asbestos is described at

Question: urine odor in condo - tried a light

(Mar 10, 2015) Sandy said:
I rented out a condo Feb. 1. Upon moving in, i detected a strong urine odor. The owner had an eldery, incontinent dog and a cockatiel. I washed the carpet, couch, and loveseat 3 times with a special enzyme cleaner, but the smell still prevailed.

I bought a flouresent light, and to my dismay, discovered that urine stains are in every room of the apt., on the carpets, furniture, and even the walls. The landlord refuses to have it cleaned, claiming they don't have the money. Is this a cause to break my lease?

I am beginning to have terrible coughing spells upon wakening in the morning.


Sandy you need to ask this question of an attorney familiar with rental property law where you live. Typically a rental contract obligates the landlord to very little but does require a habitable space.

Question: landlord won't fix stuff

(Mar 16, 2015) Justin said:
I have a problem with my landlords I rent a house everytime something breaks they don't take care of it we'll recently our bathroom window since we moved in never opened or had ventalation it

has a fan in the ceiling but it don't work

we'll mold stArted to build so my wife started cleaning when she did the window broke now a yr and a half later after the window broke they want to fix the fan but not the window I'm so frustrated with these renters they never do there part and always take advantage of you what can I do plez help

(Mar 25, 2015) Pamela said:

my aprt has mold,roaches and no heat and sewage coming uo through the drains and the other aprts adjoined are having the same problem,landlord refuses to do anything. already called the health dept. and the up to code place as the electric outlets are not properly installed.What other options do I have?


Justin and Deanna

In More Reading above the article titled TENANT LANDLORD MOLD DISPUTE has additional suggestions.

Be sure that notices to your landlord of unsafe or unsanitary conditions are given verbally right away and also in writing.

Question: moldy property, wants to tear it down

(Mar 24, 2015) Deeanna Castle said:

Hi my name is Deeanna and I live on privately ownded property. My brother's ex girl friend has a run down moble home on our property and it it completelt destroyed in the inside and has black mold all through whats left of the inside walls.

She was envicted from the property in Nov and completely moved in Dec by the 15. I have offered to tear it down and clean our property up however she will not let me. She cannot move back on the property ever again and can't live in the moble home it is completely inhabitable with a lot of rats and garbadge in it along with the mold.

If I go to try and clean it up and get rid of it off the perperty she said she would have me jailed. it cannot be moved because it is severly rotted and molded. C

ould you give me some advice on what I can do about this. I have children and not only it being a danger but the rats and black mold are a grave concern to me thank you, Deeanna Castle.


Deeanna, this is beyond my expertise. I think you need to talk with human services, health care officials, or someone similar in your area along with an attorney.

Question: Does the landlord need to give us a safe place to live?

(Apr 24, 2015) Anonymous said:
My apartment has a mold issue.

The landlord has a resteration team to. Clean it up. But it will take at least a week and is in the center of the apartment. We were told that it will be a mess and might not want to stay here while repairs are done. OWhat are my options?

Does the landlord need to give us a safe place to live? My daugter has had a heart transplant so she is


Anon: in most rental contracts and communities a tenant is entitled to safe, habitable housing.

Question: Apartment from 2011 Bethany Meadows Apts in Portland, Oregon

(May 14, 2015) juliet Dixon said:

I live in this Apartment from 2011 Bethany Meadows Apts in Portland, Oregon from 2011, after moving I started smelling mold they came in and taped around the carpet in my bed room and my living room but I kept smelling the mold and it took them until April 2015 to figure out where the mold is coming from,

a gentleman from their co-operate Office had to come to my Apt to check it himself and the mold smell was coming from a trap door in my closet, I have to be constantly going back and forth to the doctor because I have asthma and I have been having respitory problems because of this mold I am disabled and can't afford an independent person to come in and verify that there is mold in the Apt what can I do



If you are required to determine whether or not there is an actionable mold problem - presumably because your building management has decided that such is not necessasry - and if you cannot afford to hire an expert your remaining recourse is with your local health department.


(June 6, 2015) Keri said:
When I enter my home, it's moisty and humidity. The A/C temperature is 75 degree. Where can i find a company to investigate and fix it?


Try the EXPERTS DIRECTORY found at the top header of any InspectApedia page; (we have no business nor financial relationship with these companies.)


(June 30, 2015) Anonymous said:
I live in hud apt and the water heater leaked and caused mildew and I have asthma and they repaired some but still is there


Check with your health department or see HEALTH DEPARTMENT HELP for RENTERS found by searching



(July 9, 2015) MARY HOWLAND said:
under the baseboard in bathroom and around ceiling in shower it looks like black mold i am suffering asthma symptoms for the first time. I need someone to inspect my apartment. I ask the maintanece person about this but he denies mold. I don;t think he is right. I need someone to check for mold


Try the EXPERTS DIRECTORIES link at page top

or check with your local health department to see if they'll help out.

"Black mold" is by no means the correct focus. Other molds are equally or more harmful and some black molds are harmless.

Question: odor of detergent comes threw my vents

(July 21, 2015) Anonymous said:

I am renting townhouse I have COPD & on oxygen, people own townhouse above and their dryer vent is not hooked up correctly so odor of detergent comes threw my vents.

Odor is so strong for me I must take oxygen tanks and go sit in my car for several hours til odor disapates. They have had heating/air conditioner company tell them what is wrong but think they can fix it them selves but have done nothing for several months. My Leasing company has talked with them, Home Owners Ass. & I have pleaded with them to fix problem but they don't seem to be in a hurry to do anything.

This is a health problem, I'm 73 yrs. old, my lease is up for renewal end of Aug., I don't know where to go and need help. Please advise me on what to do about problem. Thank You



You need to call your local health department for assistance, and also to ask them if your community has an organization that can help elderly or ill people with housing.

see HEALTH DEPARTMENT HELP for RENTERS found by searching

Question: Who do i contact in Michigan that specifically inspects Apartments?

(July 22, 2015) D'Hart Williams said:
Who do i contact in Michigan that specifically inspects Apartments?



In Michigan there are several Michigan State Housing Authority offices such in Lansing, Detroit, Chicago. E.g. in Detroit contact
Housing Authority
Address: 3028 W Grand Blvd #4-600, Detroit, MI 48202, United States
Phone:+1 313-456-3540

Or see HEALTH DEPARTMENT HELP for RENTERS found by searching

Question: leaky roof problems with landlord

(Aug 17, 2015) Connie said:

if a landlord was aware of a leaking roof prior to our move in, is there any legal action we can take due to the illness's the mold has developed in my husband?



First you'd need an independent expert to demonstrate that the leak and mold are connected.

Second you'll need to consult with an attorney who has expertise in rental law where you live, and to ask her to review the terms of your lease.



(Aug 17, 2015) Anonymous said:

My husband and I rent a trailer. It's rent to own.

However the landlord is supposed to take care of repairs until we own the trailer.

In March or April we discovered a leak underneath our master bath sink which a joins to our bed room.

We called maintenance they said the fixed it. A mont later we discovered it was still leaking and it was much worse. We called again they said it was completely fixed that there was a Crack in a part of the pipe and they got a new part and fixed it.

We believed them because there was no dripping anymore. I checked under my sink 3 days ago to do some light cleaning and I keep supplies in our bathroom there was moisture accumulating on everything underneath there and black mold on the back of the wall underneath the cabinet.

So we now know they still haven't taken care of the leak completely. What actions should I take to get my landlord to take care of this we took pictures and my husband has been cleaning the mold and bought special air purifiers.

We even stayed at a hotel for two days so we could air out the trailer by opening the windows using the purifiers and running fans. I'm concerned because my son has asthma, I have a severe allergy to mold and so does my husband. We also have a 10 month old baby.

We called our landlord this past weekend and aND she is supposed to send someone over. What are the next steps if this isn't taken care of?



No one can accurately assess the actual health hazards of your home from must your note below, but I can warn you that "air purifiers" cannot possibly fix a mold contamination problem in your home. When the leak has been repaired you'll need to have the moldy materials removed, the surfaces cleaned, and perhaps sealed with a fungicidal sealant, before re-insulating.

If you cannot assure that the home is safe for your family the conclusions are obvious, if troublesome. If the landlord is not responding to repair requests or not having the work done properly, document that clearly in writing to the landlord. You may need help from a local real-estate-sales attorney who can review your contract, clarify the landlords obligations, and protect your interest.

Question: A/C Leak and a roof leak.

(Oct 6, 2015) jim said:

The house we were renting had both an A/C Leak and a roof leak. After several phone calls with the owner he finally repaired the A/c and then put a new roof on the house.

There was water damage to two rooms and all he did was paint over them. a few month later the stains started to reappear through the paint and my wife began having migraines we informed him that we were concerned about black mold and he came and reinspected the damage and said everything was "to code".

our lease was up so we decided to just move rather than fight him on this. he has since rented the house to another tennant and did no repairs or disclose to them to potential risk about the mold problem. what should I do? or who should I contact to report this issue... Very Concerned

(Nov 6, 2015) Anonymous said:

I think my sister and I have mold or mildew we are renting a mobile home we have headaches we have a bad sinus infection our eyes burn and itch her eyes are red and swollen we had some leaking in here please help us
flag like


Anon there is some advice in the article above. If you have a specific question ask and I'll try to answer further.

Question: mold in BC Canada - saw many doctors, still sick

(Dec 21, 2015) jaysun said:
I live in BC Canada I have been to 4 doctors 2 different emergency wards and blood and chest X-rays done 2 times in 4 days I've lived here only 4 weeks and got sick within the first 3 days. Try 3 types of antibiotics and 2 misdiagnoseis later and now I were a mask in my own house. My government and my landlord have done nothing I can't breath tight chest headaches can't eat and coughing so hard I throw up. I just moved here and now I have to move again it is not even my first month here. I don't wish this on anyone these slum lords should be accountable big time. All I can say is it feel like a slow death, never felt this bad in my life. Why is it the disabled,vetrans,and seniors that get the but end of the stick. This is a crime against humanity as far as im concerned. Merry.... Christmas EH! . thanks hope no one else has to go through this.


Sounds awful, jaydun. If I were sure a building was making me sick I'd go elsewhere asap

Question: landlord painted over mold

(Jan 2, 2016) CPR said:

Need of advice. I lived in my last apartment that had the mold for 2 years, within those 2 years I had multiple mold issues.

The first time I called in a work order. the maintenance came by they just painted it, then my second they came to demolished and place new drywall on all walls of the dining room, after all that the mold just kept coming back. I was never ask to move to a different building.

I was just offered $400 to keep my mouth shut. Well more mold was then starting to grow in the kitchen. I was done dealing with it and decided to leave 2 weeks prior to my actual move out date. I just said to myself,they should have more than enough time to demolish the whole apartment. NOW, I'm being slapped with a debt of oweing the apartments for the 15 days I couldnt stand to be.

Should I take this to: A State Housing Authority office near me?

Or should I contact the apartments along with the Better Business Bureau? I never thought to WRITE the apartments while residing there to let them know my concerns, I gave my thoughts in just words. :/ But have pictures of most of it.


Just painting mold without removing it and finding and fixing its cause is a sign of lack of understanding of effective mold remediation procedures. But its not clear that what you've seen means that a building needs to be demolished. If you need to get help from local authorities, see the CONTINUE READING link at the end of this article
where we suggest as a live link:

Question: asthma and allergies severe cough

(Feb 1, 2016) evelyn boring said:

Since moving this apt in October asthma and allergies severe cough numerous things going on woth my body. Drs tried everything Finally Friday the 29th of january 2016. Diagnosied with mold poisoning. Dr said move immediately with a letter. Managment said today they would keep my deposit.

We have to be tomorrow night. Today i got infussion for hypogammaglobulin enemia weaked immune system. Suppose to rest for at least 2 days in the bed. Instead putting furniture in storage and moving to hotel room. Is there anything i can possible do ?

Question: How would you feel about these mold levels in a rather busy, popular restaurant?

(Feb 15, 2016) MD said:
How would you feel about these levels in a rather busy, popular restaurant?

Kitchen- 27 Asp/Pen & 53 Clado
Walk In Freezer- 13 Asp/Pen
Office- 13 Asco & 27 Asp/Pen
Ice Maker- 13 Asco & 27 Asp/Pen & 13 Clado
Mens Bathroom- 13 Asp/Pen & 27 Clado
Womens Bathoom- 27 Asco & 13 Asp/Pen
Outside - 120 Asco & 13 Asp/Pen & 53 Basidio



I would feel frustrated that people keep paying good money for usually worthless, non-diagnostic, non-prescriptive "mold tests" and worse, that the people performing the test don't provide even the most basic help in understanding the (rather questionable) test result.

Counts with no inspection, with incomplete comparative data, with no explanation of how the counts were obtained, particularly in these low ranges are not sufficiently diagnostic. What was missing was a competent inspection. Heck for all we know, that "Office- 13 Asco & 27 Asp/Pen " could have been a conclusion based on two physical mold spores.

Question: I got sick working for a rental house and apartment company

(Mar 15, 2016)
Re-posting without disallowed link

Kazimierz said:
Hello, very please at least an opinion whether it is worth fighting, maybe someone else will protect against diseases caused by similar problems. I worked with a company J9 Accommodation for 8 years, which dealt with renting houses and apartments. These houses were about 140.

I worked there as a handyman. I changed the locks, doors assembled, painted, repaired and did all reconstructed houses, which bought the owner. I am preparing them to live. I worked also as a driver, transport- furniture, mattresses, refrigerators, washing machines, dirty litter the same car and it was all moldy and infested with fungus it was poison.

In 90% of homes are infected with mold and fungus because the owner buys old houses for demolition, he does not even notice that they are infected with fungus and mold, any of us workers or landlords never informed about the consequences of being in such polluted areas. Only now I know it is a long-term poisoning of people, which leads to severe illness and sometimes death.

When performing a standard fault as always it did in one of the houses landlord wyprosili me out of the house and told that I have to arrange to come inside, I noticed that customers are narcotics, they were drugs. I told all this to my superiors, superiors told the landlord house, that I about them reported a about their problems with drugs and maybe even distribution, I began to fear for their safety, I complained to the owner, but I sold and two weeks later I was informed that they are dissatisfied with my services and immediately fired me without any warning.

I was without a job, without money, plus my partner also awaiting surgery. I fell into a hidden depression, which I did not know also worked in a mold, moisture and toxic mushrooms in these homes, and my body was weak immune and this has triggered my disease hyperthyroidism, which already suffer two years with various additional complications.
I would also add that I got an attack of thyroid storm and then I went to the hospital at night where you found my thyroid disease and treatment is initiated, it is requested that the sick on it for a long time but it also did not know

I put on FB page where everything is described and what documents I sent to the company, but never received a reply.

Re-posting without cluttered facebook link

(Mar 21, 2016) Anonymous said:
A lot of time has passed. If you know someone who has lived in the home J9 Accommodation in the West Midlands. Or was cheated by this company, or want to live there, please let me know.

Question: bleach and paint over mold - dealing with mold for 6 months now

(Mar 20, 2016) Anonymous said:

I've been dealing with mold in my apartment for 6 months now. I even called the health inspector to come and look and all she did was laugh at me. Finally had a big leak in the ceiling and wall which caused paint to peel off and revealed the mold underneath. I got screamed at several times by the repairmen telling me there was no mold even when they stared straight at it. When they got word that I called the health inspector they came and yelled at me until I was in tears.

I am extremely Ill and I believe the mold is to blame. My children are also Ill with symptoms ranging from coughing, persistent sinusitis and bloody noses, itchy eyes, sneezing. They are unwilling to properly fix the issue.

Their remedy is to bleach it and paint over it. The last straw had been pulled after that. I hired a 5 star mold investigator and don't know what to do when I get the test results back. We already know from testing that we have aspergillis penicillium cladosporium and stachybotrys

I am terrified and for some reason the state does not care. Even my cat is being affected by this. I don't have money to stay in a hotel. I don't know where to go. They are coming back in 2 days and I believe they are going to try to bleach it again but the inspector I hired told me to not let them touch it.

He made me aware of how bleach is ineffective and can make the issue worse. As well as informing me that even dead mold can cause reactions. I'm disgusted and terrified. I live in a Housing Authority and I'm certain the Health dpt has been paid off to shut peo


Bleach and paint are not an effective mold remediation plan.


You need to start with a consult with your doctor, asking if your illness complaints are likely to be aggravated by or caused by mold exposure in the home.

Keep in mind that every mold genera/species are everywhere, all the time. It's when there is a high concentration of harmful or allergenic molds present in our living environment that it can be a problem.

In the More Reading advice above see the live link at


or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Reader follow-up:

(Mar 26, 2016) Anonymous said:
Update dealing with mold for 6 months : In reply we got air quality results back and there was over 260000% + spores of penicillium. 26000%+ stachybotrys. 12000% + chaetomium. Living in a hotel at my own expense with my young kids for a week now. After giving the IAQ results they gave me an eviction notice. I have sought legal council.


While air testing alone for mold contamination is very unreliable (results can vary by 4 orders of magnitude depending on how a sample is collected), very high levels such as your results are not ambiguous: they indicate that the building is unsafe.

What's ugly about "air tests for mold" is not only are they expensive, but they don't deliver what's needed. What's needed is a thorough visual inspection to find all of the mold reservoirs, define the cleanup needed, and figure out the cause of mold growth so that can be fixed.

Watch out also: if your things, particularly soft goods like curtains, bedding, upholstered furniture, have been exposed to high levels of moldy dust or airborne mold, you could import problematic levels of mold to a new home even if you move out. Such items need to be laundered, dry cleaned, or in some cases HEPA vacuumed (a couch for example).

If an upholstered couch has actual mold growth (as opposed to settled airborne spores or moldy dust on it) the it cannot be reliably cleaned and probably has to be discarded. Clean your things before bringing them into a new home.

Discuss your rights and costs with an attorney.

Anonymous said:
We did have a full inspection with a thorough report and other tests were done as well. I have the full report I just wanted to give you an idea of the problem. Full contained remediation was recommended. The manager did have a remediation company come in but from listoning I can hear the sound of like a fan.

All of our things are still in the house. We have nothing. They asked us to not go in on Friday because they said there were chemicals sprayed. But I'm scared to even go back in.


A fan, if it was part of a negative air system - blowing OUT of the work area - might have been part of a proper dust containment regimen.

I don't object to spraying chemicals but hearing that anyone is spraying puts me on red alert for shortcuts: spraying instead of adequate removal, demolition, cleaning.

Frankly I would be surprised if a professional, competent mold remediation company would leave the occupants' possessions in place and exposed to the dust and debris created by a professional mold remediation job. Usually contents are removed or sometimes gathered together in the center of a room and tightly sealed in plastic.

Of course the things themselves may need separate cleaning depending on what has been going on.

Anonymous said:
Yes that was my concern as well because it is my belongings including my children's toys and clothes. We just looked and there is no ventilation. Basically they have the fans going blowing air around with no negative pressure.

There's a fan blowing on the curtains... all of the windows of the apartment are closed. I find it odd they aren't considering the adjoining apartments above and below which have a shared wall with the biggest contaminated walls that were in our apartment. I very much appreciate your input.

As far as I know they are not doing this remediation properly. Just add it into the lost of things they have done wrong to me.

(Apr 14, 2016) Anonymous said:

Update: so we got test results from the manager and they didn't even write down the drywall was moldy or anything. They didn't do IAQ testing on the wall. Their tape samples show barely anything, and their post remediation testing shows ZERO mold spores found. Their post tape sample found 3 stachybotrys spores on a pipe.

They also only used one HEPA air filter for remediation. They sent photos of the doorways covered in plastic but not my rug, or fridge, or couch, or open bathroom closet area where I keep makeup, Toothbrushes, and other hygeine and personal products.

They only provided their test results and no remediation report. And upon reoccupying the apartment, everything was covered in drywall dust. We had our guy come and run tests again inside the wall and they didn't touch the mold.

The level inside the wall found over 42000 asp/pen spores still, and cellulose fibers on our belongings and in the air. For the lack of a better phrase, this is a sh** show. Now I told them that they didn't fix the problem still, and now they are just ignoring us. What a joke. I'm so happy I found your page.

Had I not, I wouldn't be as informed as I now am. So thank you for this site. This literally is a life saver. After allergy testing we found myself and 2 of my children are very allergic to aspergillis + penicillium mold. It is really comforting knowing that I am not crazy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(mod) said:

While I far prefer tape samples of dust or visible mold to the unreliable world of "just air testing" for mold, when tap sampling, EVERYTHING depends on where yo stick the tape. An ignorant, incompetent, or biased "investigator" can simply stick the tape to collect a sample on an obviously clean surface while ignoring an obviously moldy surface.

That said, 42,000 Pen/Asp spores in indoor air is very high. Finding that "in" a wall cavity is also strongly suggestive of a mold contamination problem there.

Having tested tools and tests used to "suck" samples out of walls, I find those too very unreliable: the test simply can't move enough air to provide a broad wall area sample. SO your wall cavity test must have been intelligently chosen to look into a high-risk area. Good going.

Do not let some idiot come into your home and begin demolition willy-nilly or there is risk of spreading contaminated dust all over the place. If there is a problem that requires professional cleaning (more than 30 sq.ft. of contiguous mold) then the professional will know how to exercise proper dust containment etc.

Thanks for the nice comments; we work hard to provide accurate, unbiased information and are thrilled when a reader finds it useful. Working together makes us smarter.

Question: mom and stepdad live in a Georgia home that's a total health hazard. What can I do?

(May 22, 2016) Jon said:

I'm trying to be pointed in the right direction. My mom and stepdad live in a home that's is a total health hazard,
But my stepdad won't do anything about it. My parents are seniors 77 & 66 yrs of age & stubborn. Is there a way to force them to renovate or relocate, for their own safety ?

This is in ATLANTA, Ga. The list of problems include: electrical, plumbing, flooring, no insulation, lead & mold presance.
What can a I do?


Check with your local health department and with Elder protective services

Question: rental unit mold - what are my rights?

(July 8, 2016) Krystal said:

I live in a low income apartment iv had black mold for about 3 years. My apartment manager gave me spray and said I have to clean it. The mold has been coming back off and on, now I have mushrooms growing from my wall. What can I do about this

(July 9, 2016) Patrick said:
I have black mold in my bathroom from the people upstairs. 3 times the people upstairs flooded my bathroom and now I have black mold what are my rights


Krystal, Spray alone is not an effective remedy for mold contamination nor will spraying mold do any of the following:

- find and fix the cause of leaks that caused the mold growth
- remove moldy materials that cannot be cleaned, such as dryrwall, insulation, wall-to-wall carpeting
- clean moldy wall, ceiling, or floor cavities

Patrick: your rights are in your rental contract - something to review with an attorney. In many jurisdictions the tenant is entitled to safe, habitable space.

Question: greenish black fuzzy modl: is it deadly?

(Sept 25, 2016) Theodore jones said:
I think I have mold in my apt it's greenish back fuzz and it has mushrooms growing is this one deadly


I can't know from just your one line e-text how dangerous is the mold in your apartment, Theodore, but if there is 30 sq.ft. or more of contiguous indoor mold it almost certainly merits professional cleaning and a repair of the leak that caused it. Certainly there are some green fuzzy molds such as some species of Aspergillus or Penicillium that are hazardous at high levels in indoor air.

Where occupants are elderly, asthmatic, immune impaired, infant, or otherwise at extra risk, the hazard is even more serious.

Question: mold smell, son in hospital

(Oct 15, 2016) sandra sherman said:
there is the smell of mold in our rental trailor complained but no one would ever do anything now my son is in the hospital wiah high white blood count dont know if that is the reason but with leaking plumbing and floors i am jus not sure dont have the money to test is there any free tests iam on cherokee housing.


If you smell mold, there's a mold reservoir to find and remove as well as a need to find and fix the leaks that caused it, Sandra.

In my OPINION testing for mold is unnecessary and not justified UNLESS your son's doctor says she needs to know the mold genera/species to which your son was probably exposed: there will probably be more than one mold genera/species present.

Otherwise, the steps to find, remove and clean up mold contamination indoors are not affected by the mold identity.

Question: moldy black slime in apartment in Oxford New Zealand

2016/10/18 Annie said:
We have been living in an apt. in Oxford NZ. The bathroom has had mold in the windows, but not everywhere. When I mop the floor, within 24 hours there is a black filmy substance all over the floors. Can't see where its coming from, but we live downstairs of a two story place. Should we be concerned about what is in the air depositing on the floors?


I'd be concerned, Annie, since even if the slime is not mold but algae or something else it's a slip and fall hazard. We don't know if the source is in the air (which should mean it shows up on other floors too) or something left on the floor from leaks or poor cleaning.

Question: Mold in Moncks Corner South Carolina

2016/10/21 Sharlenepole said:
I live in his housing at 110 northbridge crt apt d8 in moncks corner SC and believe I have a mold issue to the point I have have had two biopsies. My management doesn't see it my way. How can I get someone to check it before they bring in the contract rafters to prove me wrong!


Sharlene please see RENTERS & TENANTS: MOLD ADVICE where we give our best advice about what a tenant can and should do about mold hazards indoors.

If you believe there is an unsafe or unhealthy condition in your rental home and management will not respond to written notice by either taking appropriate action or providing you with authoritative evidence that the mold problem you cite is not present, then your recourse is with your health department or an attorney.


Continue reading at RENTERS & TENANTS: MOLD ADVICE - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



Or see MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? - figure out when to hire someone

An easy-to-print PDF version of this RENTERS & TENANTS: MOLD ADVICE article is HERE.


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