Prevention is always the safest way, no matter what the situation is. Be it for your health or for your properties. To formulate a solution even before a problem arises is the best and proven strategy, not to mention it will save you money in the long run. Purposely ignoring a maintenance or repair issue can prove to be damaging and could potentially put you or your residents at risk.
One of the most common issues that can catch property owners and residents by surprise is the sudden surfacing of mold in the area. Mold grows slowly and gradually increases in number because they are largely unnoticed when they first start to appear. old typically thrives in damp and dark environments, hidden within other structures, certain molds can seemingly go from invisible to a serious health hazard in the snap of your fingers.
There are many thousands of different species of mold and at least a thousand different species living and found, but the toxic variety is called Black Mold, or Stachybotrys atra. It will often appear as slimy and features a dark greenish-black (sometimes gray) coloration to it that is not often found as with other species and groups of this fungi, toxic mold thrives in damp places in the home including leaky roofs, windows, or pipes, or even under floors and in ceilings if you’ve had a flood or leak. Black Mold has a distinctive odor that favors a mildew and very musty odor, and when present can severely limit your ability to guarantee the safety of a rental home. It is important to note, Stachybotrys molds are not always black, meaning molds of different colors could also be dangerous and the truth is that the color of the mold to the naked eye cannot tell you anything about whether it’s toxic or not.
While mold, in most situations is very common in damp indoor environments, Stachybotrys is less common than other mold species, including Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t have statistics about how often Stachybotrys molds are found in buildings, but it’s less common than ostentatious media reports would prefer to admit.
As a general rule, any mold growth that is found inside of the home or business should be safely and quickly removed. Any moisture issues should also be corrected quickly since the presence of toxic mold can cause a myriad of respiratory, immunologic, and neurologic symptoms. The CDC reports links between the presence of mold in the home and serious health effects, including respiratory problems (coughing or wheezing, throat irritation, nasal stuffiness), eye irritation, or skin irritation. People with allergies, asthma or lung disease are among those who could be severely affected, leading to serious infections in the lungs or other life-threatening conditions.
The threat posed by toxic mold is real and it is unwise to take the issue lightly. It would be wise to contain any possibility of an outbreak and control it as efficiently as possible. There are legal remedies that are available to your residents should you fail to address molds issues on your property and you fail to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Aside from the possibility of being sued, toxic mold can cause damages to a rental home and would severely depreciate the value of it. Wherever there is moisture, concern for mold is definitely an issue to be faced with. It thrives on cardboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, carpet, and upholstery. It can also grow on wood products, including the wood inside walls and floors, on insulation, and even on drywall and paint. With all these in mind, plus the damage to your property, checking for mold and taking actions such as mold prevention strategies may feel like a hassle but, in the long run, doing so would result to cost savings too.
Call the Experts
It is never easy to get rid of mold, although there are plenty of DIY kits readily available on the internet for anyone to purchase, it is still best to leave it to the experts. Property managers tend to disregard mold as they may try to avoid costs by ignoring water damage or casually informing residents to deal with it themselves. But containing mold is not an easy task and should never be taken lightly and place the health of your residents in jeopardy.
If you have visible mold or a suspected mold problem, we, at Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire understand the hazards that it presents to rental property owners. Our team of expert property managers and service professionals in Exeter will address the issue early and correct it, thereby saving you both time and money. For a free, no-hassle assessment of your property contact us online or call us at 603-343-2202 for more information.
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