Advice for renters who find mold
Determine the cause of mold
Mold can be caused by leaking pipes, lack of ventilation, and roof and foundation leaks. Finding the source of mold can be helpful for preventing more mold from growing and for asking that the mold problem be resolved by the property owner.
Ask for a home assessment
Asking for a mold assessment from a local health department can help renters determine how much mold is in their household. Mold can grow behind walls, under floors, and in other unexpected places. Having an environmental and health professional involved can help renters address the entire mold issue. During assessments, many inspectors give renters contacts and advice on how to best address their specific problem.
Skip testing for type of mold
Many types of mold can cause symptoms and all mold should be removed immediately from a household immediately. Testing to determine the type of mold in a household requires expenses for at-home kits or hiring specialists to conduct testing.
Keep a record of everything
Health department assessment notes, photographs, mold levels, landlord communication, medical records, and doctors notes regarding mold should be saved so the renter will have evidence of a mold issue when asking that the issue be resolved.
Continue paying rent
Some tenants stop paying their rent because they are living in an environment with mold. However, not paying rent can end in eviction, which can hurt the tenant even more.
Prevent more mold from growing
Use ventilation to prevent humid air from getting rapped inside the home by keeping doors and windows open and using fans. Using cleaning products and bleach on mold regularly can clean existing mold.
Sources: Cheryl Haase, environmental technician for Ledge Light Health District; Carrie Redlich, environmental and pulmonary physician at Yale New Haven Hospital; Katie Baldwin, supervisor of regulated facilities and housing at Ledge Light Health District; Jennifer Muggeo, deputy director for Ledge Light Health District
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