When it comes to the general care of a property, the owners know that spotting problems before they become big and then fixing them quickly are solid strategies to save money. Repair all the defects you spot right away. Ignoring a maintenance or repair problem can bring about more costly repairs in the future. It also has the potential of endangering you or your residents.
One typical issue that can be often unforeseen for both residents and owners is the presence of mold in the property. Because it begins slowly and spreads gradually, often inside walls or hidden within other structures, certain molds can seemingly go from invisible to a serious health hazard in a snap of a finger. When not dealt with, mold could do a lot of damage to buildings.
There are many kinds of molds, but the toxic variety is called Black Mold, or Stachybotrys atra. Often a slimy greenish-black or gray in appearance, toxic mold thrives in damp places in the home. This includes underneath the floors if you’ve had a flood or in ceilings if you’ve had a leak. This also includes leaky roofs, windows, or pipes. Black Mold excretes an unpleasant musty odor. And when it appears in your property, it can drastically limit your ability to guarantee safety. This is because mold creates potential health problems for the residents. It is important to note, Stachybotrys molds are not always black. This means that dangerous molds come in different colors. In other words, visual inspection cannot distinguish whether what you’re dealing with is toxic or harmless mold.
While mold typically 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 data regarding how often Stachybotrys molds are found in buildings, but it’s less regular than ostentatious media reports would prefer to say.
Toxic mold, when it shows up, is a serious health concern. The CDC reports show a connection between the presence of mold in the property and serious health effects, including respiratory problems (coughing or wheezing, throat irritation, nasal stuffiness), eye irritation, or skin irritation. Individuals with allergies, asthma or lung disease could be even more severely affected, resulting in serious infections in the lungs or other life-threatening issues.
Because of the danger posed by toxic mold, it’s important to take hold of an outbreak as fast as possible. As a landlord, you can be held responsible if you know that mold is present in a rental home but fail to take the right steps to deal with it.
Besides legal liability, toxic mold can deal a lot of damage to a rental home if left unmanaged. Mold grows well wherever there is a regular supply of moisture. It can grow on cardboard, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, and upholstery. It can also grow on wood products, like the wood inside walls and floors, on insulation, and even on drywall and paint. While mold is a problem, in most instances its growth can be prevented before it causes too much damage. The key is to perform regular maintenance that includes good mold prevention strategies.
Call the Experts
Oddly enough, some property management firms don’t consider mold a serious issue. They may attempt to avoid costs by not fixing water damage right away or telling the tenants to fix it themselves. But mold should never be treated lightly and placing the health of your residents in jeopardy is never a good idea. The serious nature of mold and the great risks and damages it can cause— especially when ignored— makes it a job for a company that will work to safeguard you and your residents from undesirable consequences.
At Real Property Management Gold, we recognize the hazards that uncontrolled growths of mold pose to rental property owners. Our team of skilled property managers and service professionals in Southern Maryland will address the issue early and fix it, thus saving you both time and money. Would you like a free assessment of your rental property? Please contact us online or call us at 301-392-2172 for more information.