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Old 11-22-2013, 10:00 PM
 
196 posts, read 323,143 times
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I have a serious mold problem, I can smell it, but I cannot see all of it. One area I do see it is on the crease between my kitchen counter and the wall - its black spores and its growing bigger. My food gets moldy quick, anything left wet gets mold spots. My clothes get moldy, towels especially. In a recent inspection my management company, in true fashion, told me they were going to do all these grandiose things to "fix" the issues - but when I get the inspection schedule al they write on it is "caulk the kitchen back-splash". During the inspection they said they were going to replace the counter tops - but they always do this (end up taking the cheap, ghetto route). I know that caulking is not going to address the mold issue - and black mold is extremely hazardous. I cant just up and move out - I also know its going to be a fight trying to get them to do the right thing... what should a person do???
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 27,982,369 times
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Google your state and fair housing to see if you can get contact info on a legal aid group.

Otherwise, you could call the building inspector for your county and see if they'll do a mold test. Last resort, pay for a test yourself. Not all mold is toxic.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:26 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,717,564 times
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It sounds as though everything to this point has been verbal. Put your concerns in writing to the LL via return receipt certified mail and ask that the issue be addressed immediately.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,889 posts, read 2,285,436 times
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There are over 2000 strains of mold...with only 2 that are considered potentially hazardous to humans. Toxic black mold is not actually black, but green. It sounds like you have mildew...not mold. If you feel at risk, have the mold teased by a professional. If its deemed hazardous, then you may have grounds to break your lease.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:15 AM
 
10,255 posts, read 22,972,665 times
Reputation: 14856
Quote:
Originally Posted by magusat999 View Post
I have a serious mold problem, I can smell it, but I cannot see all of it. One area I do see it is on the crease between my kitchen counter and the wall - its black spores and its growing bigger. My food gets moldy quick, anything left wet gets mold spots. My clothes get moldy, towels especially. In a recent inspection my management company, in true fashion, told me they were going to do all these grandiose things to "fix" the issues - but when I get the inspection schedule al they write on it is "caulk the kitchen back-splash". During the inspection they said they were going to replace the counter tops - but they always do this (end up taking the cheap, ghetto route). I know that caulking is not going to address the mold issue - and black mold is extremely hazardous. I cant just up and move out - I also know its going to be a fight trying to get them to do the right thing... what should a person do???

Why don't you head down to the local Wally World ( Wal Mart) and buy a bottle of bleach spray, gloves and cleaning rags and get to cleaning? Bleach is awesome thing and it will take care of your mildew (for a while at least, mildew will return)

You're towels are getting moldy because you aren't letting dry between uses, or they aren't getting fully dry in the dryer. Don't let wet towels sit in a pile, hang them up and wash them often. As for your food, it will go moldy. I live in S Fl and bread will mold if the conditions are right.

Contact your landlord as well and have them come and take a look. You could have a water leak or could've had a water leak and the cabinets or undersink area is still damp.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Michigan
28 posts, read 73,108 times
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Mold is dangerous. It can cause long-term health problems. If you think you have a problem, I bet you do. You have seen it and smelled it.

I've been falling down the mold rabbit hole for a month now. Moved out. I'm glad I did. Everyone told me to just bleach it, it's just a musty smell; the landlord said it was dirt, and it's perfectly safe to live here. He seemed really nice and responsive and cleaned up the mold when I saw it. (Regardless, because of testing and moving out, he has cost me thousands of dollars. It doesn't matter if he was nice. I do not have the money for this. At all. It is going to take a while to recover financially from this. It's not a fair situation. If it's a problem you can try to get out of your lease.)

I went with my gut and got it tested and there was stachybotrys chartarum, the toxic kind. (Well, to be clear, it's not really toxic mold, but it produces dangerous mycotoxins, so the easiest way to label it is simply, toxic mold.). I also have two or more others strains of problem molds.

Here are some things I've learned. A mold inspector gave me a good rule of thumb. If you see mold or smell anything musty, even one drawer, when looking for a rental, walk away immediately. I wish I had, because I've got a lot to deal with now.

If there is mold, you need to remove it. Even molds that don't produce mycotoxins can cause health problems, and serious ones.

If there is mold, there is a moisture problem that MUST be fixed.

If there is a moisture problem, it needs to be fixed. That is a place where mold can grow. You don't want to take that chance.

Ok. So what can you do. Cancel everything extra in your life until you deal with this. It's a pain in the butt. Go stay elsewhere if you can.

How to test.

From what I've learned, the $10 Home Depot test kits are kind of a scam. Because there are molds everywhere, indoors and outdoors and naturally occurring, of course some mold will grow. Then you will be obligated to pay $40-$50 to send it and get the mold identified. Then what have you learned? That you have mold, which you already knew. I've also read that the medium they use in those kits is a food that not all mold types will grow on. I haven't read enough to validate it, but the test sounds limited.

Here's an easy DIY option. Google "tape lift" and "mold lab" or something. Find a place to analyze a sample of your mold. Take a piece of scotch tape. Press it on a spot of mold, mail it in. (There are videos online.) The lab will analyze and tell you the type of mold. There are molds that we do not expect to find inside (the mycotoxin-producing ones, and others) and this can help determine that. A website called Mold Control on a Budget will do it inexpensively, but may have limitations if you need it for legal purposes. A lab in Seminole, FL will do it for $40. Most others are $50. There seems to be tons of these labs. I can't vouch for any of them, even the ones I just mentioned. This is what the county inspector and private, licensed mold inspector did for me.

You could call your county or state department of public health. I did. They cost $75. They did a full visual inspection, but missed all the mold. I called them back. They did (the optional) tape lifts and missed the stachybotrys. I, obviously, had a very bad experience here. Lesson learned. You may not be the expert, but you have the right to demand answers until you are satisfied. The answers should make logical sense. I kept getting brush offs, and I pushed, and found toxic mold and knew to move out. I could have easily let it drop after the county inspector told me it was fine, and stayed and perhaps gotten really sick.

The next most expensive thing, and it's expensive, is a mold assessor or investigator. They should be licensed for your state, bonded and insured and all that. Maybe members of Air Quality associations.
$400. At least. They will need to take a minimum of two "air samples". One in the house, and one outside of the house to compare. This way you will know if your house has elevated counts in relation to the outside, naturally occurring molds. An air sample is good for about 1000 sq ft. But if you have a closed off area of concern, an attic or basement, I'm guessing they might suggest another air sample (at $125-$150 a piece.). My tape lifts were $75 each. They will also do a visual inspection, being their knowledge of how and where mold grows, so hopefully the tape lifts and air samples are taken from the right (most affected) places. You could have a false negative, by testing in the wrong places and not finding anything. They will also bring moisture meters and check the walls and floors. (Remember, if there is a moisture problem, it must be fixed.). I think there are fancier tools as well, infrared scanners or something.

Before spending $400 on a private investigator, know that your place should have doors and windows closed 24 hours prior to air sampling so as not to mix inside and outside air, and possibly dilute the indoor air counts. Likewise, if your landlord cleans up the visible mold right before an air sample, that could lower your counts. Yes, that means you have a dilemma. Tell the landlord, have him clean and remove the evidence, or spent $400 before you know if your landlord will be responsive. (My tape lifts by the county inspector showed mold in four places even after my landlord cleaned; guess he didn't do a good job. The mold assessor also found the stachy after he cleaned, but I think my air samples were messed up, though I'll never know.)

During all this I had taken a good look around and found more mold than I expected in corners and closets. ONLY LOOK!!! Don't touch, don't open or destroy things.

DO ****NOT***** REMOVE BASEBAORDS. DO ****NOT**** OPEN THINGS UP TO "SEE WHAT IS IN THERE." Don't pull back wallpaper, or take anything apart. The last thing you want is a direct faceful of mold spores!!!!! Do not ignore this advice. Mold can kill.

Okay next you have the problem of remediation. My landlord wiped off the visible non-stachy mold and vacuumed it and sincerely assured me it was fine. Did that help the moisture problem inside the walls? No. Would mold then grow back in a month. Presumably. And that would have been another month I lived there is a bad environment and then my own items may have even grown mold.

Some tidbits.

Stachybotrys is a big, heavy, sticky mold. Won't be airborne too much unless it's really bad. (I think.). It comes from prolonged exposure to wetness. (Think months or years of waterlogged wood beams by a long-term leak, or flood water that was never cleaned up.). People say it's rare, but I had it.

Drywall is good food for mold. Evidently, and ironically, contemporary building materials are great food for mold. The only way to "clean" it is to cut it out.

Other names to google. Penicillium. Aspergillosis.

Light molds can float in the air for days. Then land on horizontal surfaces. You. Your stuff.

Mold spores are invisible. They can cause health problems. Dead mold spores can also still cause health problems. And mycotoxins cause health problems.

Health problems seem to range from simple coughs and sneezing that go away, to chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive difficulties, lung surgeries and things that plague people for life. Who knows how anyone will react, if at all. It seems you can get sick from long-term exposure to mold (not even the toxic kind), but you could also get sick after two weeks.

I've read you shouldn't clean mold with bleach, though a lot of places still say you should/can. I'm guessing its not effective. Undiluted and non-ventilated bleach is dangerous. Be very, very careful if you decide to go on a hard-core cleaning spree.

Vacuums can churn up mold spores instead of actually vacuuming them up. You need a HEPA filtered vacuum. HEPA vacuums at department stores may not be "true HEPA". (Yep! WTH!?!?). There may be a HEPA filter, but mold spores could still leak out the back. True HEPA vacuums can get expensive. I went with a commercial version rather than residential vacuum. I believe mycotoxins are too small to even be vacuumed up by HEPA.

I am just a regular renter. I simply tried to convey what I learned in the past month from my own mold issue in a house I rented. I may not have every detail correct, because I am not expert, but I hope this email will give you the gist of things. Please verify what I've written if its important to you. But hopefully I've given you the terms and general ways to begin looking at this issue.

Also, look for a rent board, free legal services, or landlord-tenant relations org in your city or county. Though none of that helped me. Only five states have mold laws. You could maybe get more general info by calling one of them. CA is one.

I'd be curious if there was a moisture problem in your kitchen wall.

If you think you have a problem with mold, you may need to commit some serious time to the issue. I didn't know really anything about mold one month ago.

Please keep us posted and good luck.

Last edited by ragingtulip; 12-04-2013 at 02:07 AM..
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:23 AM
 
66 posts, read 136,052 times
Reputation: 45
Mold problems are very dangerous. My friend just dealt with this in a house she was renting. Her fiancee and the landlord tried to remedy the situation, but it kept coming back. She was finding it on her clothes in her bedroom closet! They eventually just moved out and got all their security deposit back plus the month rent for November back. They currently have all their furniture in someones garage trying to make sure it is all mold free.
She said it was a total nightmare and they lost a lot of their personal possessions.

Good luck to you, keep us posted.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 29,056 times
Reputation: 12
To all you that have mold, be sure you remove the entire she-rock wall, that has mold. Don't ever try to paint over it because it travels threw prime paint, cocking etc. it's so dangerous to apply bleach or ammonia to the mold because you have now created a toxic environment for you and your family. Don't people know that scientist create pencillian just by using mold, of course it's toxic for people. I see a bunch of people putting on certain site to just clean it up with bleach, how dumb can those people be, make sure you as an individual make sure that the entire wall is taken down and replaced with new tile or she-rock wall. It's so deadly that it travels threw anything. You're not support to paint over it, not even primer paint can eliminate the problem. Try using a detergent like the one you would use to wash your clothes. But in truth to be 100% sure that it's eliminated for your families safety! make sure the wall it completely replace and people please when asking a question over mold! or anything hazardous and dangerous! make sure you look it up in the cities health codes! on line, people will only respond based on there knowledge, and most of the time it'll be like a landlord answering and they love to lie to the people so they won't get sued. Only trust what you read in the cities health codes. Mold messes up with peoples mind, your Brian is being infected as you smell the deadly fungi, and it bring asthma to all those who are exposed. It's also attacks the immune system, so people with HIV, cancer, people taking Kimo therapy children and the elderly, are more at risk then any other person.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:03 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,717,564 times
Reputation: 26614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Israelbarraza View Post
... t's so dangerous to apply bleach or ammonia to the mold because you have now created a toxic environment for you and your family. ... It's so deadly that it travels threw anything. ... Mold messes up with peoples mind, your Brian is being infected as you smell the deadly fungi, and it bring asthma to all those who are exposed. It's also attacks the immune system, so people with HIV, cancer, people taking Kimo therapy children and the elderly, are more at risk then any other person.
May I suggest you read what the CDC says?

CDC - Mold - General Information: Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:16 PM
 
10,255 posts, read 22,972,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post

you are a much better person than I am! I didn't bother reading after the 'she-rock'.
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