How To Protect Yourself From Mold In Your Rented Home

Posted on: 8 September 2015

Mold in your home can be toxic and causes various health problems, so you should keep an eye out for any mold growth. If you rent or are looking to rent a home, make sure you look for, prevent, and alert your landlord to any mold growth in the home. Here are three tips to help keep your home mold-free as a tenant.

1. Check for Mold Growth

The first step to protecting yourself against mold in your home is to identify problem areas in the house. There are a few ways to do this:

Visually Inspect the Home

If you are looking for a new place to rent, or even if you are already renting a home, you should check for evidence of mold. Use a flashlight to check under sinks and in the corners of the kitchen and bathrooms for any mold. Mold may not always grow in large patches, but it can appear as small black, blue, green, or grey colored dots on a surface. 

Talk to the Landlord

If you see bright white or yellow spots on surfaces in the home, or you smell bleach in the home, this can be evidence that the landlord has attempted to clean up mold with bleach. Ask the landlord if they have had mold problems. Because bleach only kills surface spores, there may be mold spores remaining inside a porous surface, which could potentially cause health problems.

Hire a Professional Inspector

You can also hire a professional mold inspector to check an apartment's air for mold spores. If you suspect a home has the presence of mold, it may be growing behind the walls where you can't see it. A professional mold inspector can also test the home's walls for mold. But because they will need to cut a section of wall from the home for the test, make sure you talk to your landlord first.

2. Alert Your Landlord to Mold Growth

If you do find mold in your rental home, you need to let your landlord know as soon as possible. If the mold has been caused by a leaky pipe, roof, or window, your landlord needs to remedy the cause and any resulting mold growth. In all states except Arkansas the landlord is responsible for maintaining a fit and habitable housing and rental property. This law requires your landlord to repair any leaks in the home, or they can be held liable for your health problems resulting from mold growth.

You should also let your landlord know of any mold growth in your home so your landlord can keep the home you are renting well-maintained as mold can permanently damage surfaces in the home. The property is your landlord's investment so they also want to know about a mold problem before it grows too big and costs them more money to remedy. When mold growth covers a surface larger than 10 square feet, your landlord may need to hire a professional mold remediation company to remove the mold. 

3. Prevent Mold Growth

As a renter, you should do all you can to keep mold from growing in your home in the future. Mold can grow in damp environments with a humidity of between 70 to 93 percent, and your bathroom can put an excess amount of moisture in your home's air. Take some steps to keep the moisture vented out of your home. 

Hang up wet towels to let them air dry instead of leaving them in a pile. Also, use a fabric shower curtain that you can occasionally wash and dry to remove mold spores. After showering, spread open the curtain across the shower stall so the curtain's fabric can dry. Then, open the bathroom window or turn on the bathroom fan for at least 15 minutes after showering to vent the moisture outside. 

These three tips can help keep your home mold-free while you are renting, and it will prevent your landlord from paying for costly tenant services to repair damage from mold.