Don’t Want Mold? Know These Red Flags
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Mold is a death sentence for a property’s credibility. A history of mold damage and growth signals to prospective tenants that a property doesn’t care about the health and safety of its residents, that it isn’t well-maintained, and that the property is unsanitary. Even if these statements are untrue, mold will color prospective tenants’ perceptions of the property for years to come.
Mold can grow in any property, even under the watch of the most careful property managers. Catching mold early and taking proper steps to eradicate it will help minimize the risk to tenants, the property, and the property’s reputation. There are several red flags that point to mold growth in a property, including water stains, a musty odor, and allergic reactions.
Water Damage and Surface Discoloration
Water damage triggers mold growth within a home. Issues with moisture control, leakage, condensation, flooding, or other forms of water damage almost guarantee mold growth will take place in a property.
Discolored walls and ceilings, or floors with water stains, mean mold damage may be present in a property. Discoloration often indicates mold is growing beneath the surface. Peeling paint or wallpaper, warped or bulging walls, and bubbles in wallpaper are other indicators of risky water damage. Purchasing a dehumidifier can reduce mold growth in water-damaged areas.
A Musty Odor
A musty smell is one of the first things residents notice when mold damage is present. Mold smells musty and old, like the smell of opening an old book or exploring an untouched attic or basement. Mold smells different in various environments, and sometimes it does not emit an odor.
If a property manager suspects mold is growing in a home, he or she should hire a professional inspector for an expert opinion.
Visible Mold Growth
Mold doesn’t always look like mold. Sometimes, residents can dismiss mold growth as dirt, discoloration, or soot. Mold spores may be so small they go unnoticed.
Mold can come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Mold spores can have different appearances, so residents may not identify them as mold. Mold can be:
· Small black spots
· White threads
· Gray, brown, white, or green clusters
· Orange, pink, or purple clusters, if appearing behind vinyl or wallpaper
The Signs of a Mold Allergy and Health Problems
Mold can cause serious health problems. People who have severe mold allergies can suffer from neurological damage if exposed to spores. These problems can lead to legal action against the property.
If a tenant or property manager reports the following symptoms, there may be mold growth in the home and he or she should seek medical attention:
· Memory loss
· Sore eyes
· Congestion or runny nose
· Difficulty concentrating
· Asthma or difficulty breathing
· Skin rashes
The property manager should be the first to know if a tenant finds mold growth in his or her residence.