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The Responsibility of a Landlord To Prevent Mold Growth
Mold growth behind baseboard.
How To Protect Yourself Against Mold
As a landlord, you bear certain responsibilities to your tenants. Among the most basic is to provide a living space that is clean and safe. The presence of mold in a rental unit represents an unclean and potentially unhealthy environment. In some cases, a landlord, property manager, contractor, or engineer can be sued or held liable for injuries or illnesses to tenants caused by mold. The conditions vary as to when you might be susceptible to actions against you. To protect yourself against mold insurance claims, the following steps could be helpful:
- Rely on your general liability insurance, though this could be subject to interpretation
- Purchase environmental insurance liability which could cover a mold infestation
- Take action to prevent the spread of mold
The surest way to protect against mold insurance claims by tenants, either residential or commercial, is to make sure mold does not spread in your properties. Since fungi thrives in warm, moist conditions, it is a good business practice to maintain properties and to address any water issues such as pipe leaks or roof leaks. If mold does appear, quick, aggressive action can take care of the problem. A local mold mitigation company in Shoreline, WA, can arrive on scene fast and provide an inspection and assessment of the property. Mold testing is important since it will reveal how much mold is present and what strain. With fast action, a mold claim against the property owner can be avoided.
Mold naturally occurs in the environment and is just about everywhere, albeit in low densities. There are hundreds of different types of mold, only a few of which are likely to cause a problem to homeowners or commercial property owners. Mold can grow on paper, drywall, cloth, wood, and other surfaces. Under the right conditions, mold colonies can form and spread in 48-72 hours. Mold insurance claims can be prevented by quick and effective mold remediation services.
3 Signs of Black Mold
Mold removal on the bathroom floor.
Three Signs To Look For During a Mold Inspection
Do you dread walking into the bathroom and seeing black mold line the ceiling? Mold can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. Although mold spores are everywhere, when colonies form in your house, they are both unappealing and damaging to the house. Prevention is key when house mold forms. However, if you do need the help of professional mold services, you may need to learn how to recognize it first.
1. Colored Spots
One of the biggest signs of mold is discoloring on your walls or ceiling. If you notice some weird colors or bulging, this should be addressed immediately. Leaky roofs can cause water damage in the ceiling, causing it to bulge or warp. If left untreated, this can quickly become a breeding ground for mold.
2. Musty Odor
Musty smells can come from a variety of things, which is why routine cleaning is just as important as any mold inspection. However, if the constant cleaning doesn't seem to help with the smell, you might be dealing with a mold problem. You may need to look around for the source of the odor and determine further. Be sure to let professional services in Lake Forest Park, WA, know so that they can properly identify the mold and help you get the problem fixed.
3. Deteriorating Walls
If you notice peeling wallpaper and chipping paint, you may want to take a closer look. Humidity and water damage may have occurred, which can lead to mold. Mold can cause damage to your house, so you may want to get those areas tested to prevent further damage.
One of the best ways to have proper mold inspections is to routinely check all areas of your home. Next time you see any colored spots, smell a musty odor or find deteriorating walls, you'll know what to do.
3 Tips for Handling Mold Damage
Keeping indoor humidity below 45 makes it harder for mold to grow
Take Measure to Prevent Mold Damage in Your Home
No one wants to think about all the places mold can hide in a house. Sometimes, however, mold does find a place to flourish. If your home in North City, WA, has a black mold problem, there are a few steps you can take to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.
1. Call for Help Quickly
The first thing you should do when you find a mold growth in your home is hire mold cleanup professionals. Mold is not something you want to leave alone. It starts with something as simple as excess moisture. It can start to grow within a few days, and the longer it is left to its own devices, the more damage it can do. The sooner technicians can get to your house, the faster the problem can be contained and mitigated.
2. Shut Down HVAC System
Mold spores travel through the air. A black mold problem in one area of your home can easily spread to the rest of your home if you keep circulating the spores through your air ducts. Spreading mold could complicate and prolong the remediation process. Turn off your air conditioner or heater until the remediation is complete.
3. Minimize Moisture
One of the most common factors that lead to mold damage is excess moisture. If you have a moisture problem in your home, it's probably only a matter of time before mold growth develops. Conversely, one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing or returning is to control the moisture levels. Fix leaks and clean up water damage quickly. Keep the humidity level in your home between 45 and 50%. Use a dehumidifier if you need to take moisture out of the air.
It can only take a couple of days after a water issue for black mold to grow in your home. If you find mold, respond quickly, keep it from spreading and take measure to prevent its return.
3 Reasons to Have Your Home Inspected by an Environmental Hygienist
You will need a hygienist to perform a more accurate test and inspection.
If you think that you have mold growing in your Shoreline, WA home, you might decide that you can just inspect your house yourself. However, this is generally not the best decision. While it may not be as convenient, having an environmental hygienist inspect for mold damage is the best way to determine if there is really a problem. Here are a few reasons that hiring a professional is preferable to doing it on your own.
1. There May be Hidden Mold in Your Home
You may sometimes need mold cleaning even if you don’t think you do. In some cases, you may have a musty odor in your home and be unable to locate the source. Don’t assume that there is no problem and that the smell will go away on its own. There may be a growth inside the walls or flooring that a hygienist will be able to find and remove.
2. Home Tests Are Inaccurate
Maybe you can’t see the mold, but a home test can find it, right? The answer is probably not. Because mold spores are present in most environments, many home tests will pick up mold even where there isn’t any damaging growth that requires mold cleaning.
3. They Are Trained and Experienced
You likely haven’t been trained to detect or clean up mold, so trying to do it on your own won’t give you the same results as hiring a mold remediation service. To ensure that the work is done well, you should leave it to the professionals.
Doing your own inspection and mold cleaning can seem like an appealing option, especially if you enjoy DIY home projects. In this case, however, it is best to hire a professional, since you could easily end up doing more harm than good if your actions result in mold spores spreading throughout your house.
Business Property Insurance Can Help When You Have Water Damage
As a business owner, the last thing you want to see when you walk through the front door on Monday morning is water covering the floor or dripping from the ceiling. If this happens, you'll immediately think of everything that needs to be thrown out, replaced, and fixed as a result of the water damage. However, with the right business property insurance, you can rest a little easier and focus instead on finding someone to take care of water cleanup at your Shoreline business.
Business property insurance usually covers damage resulting from the following four issues (and possibly others depending on the policy):
1. Broken Pipes
These are often the result of frozen pipes. The water inside freezes, expands, and cracks the pipe, sending torrents of water into your business. General corrosion can also be the cause of this headache, as can a sudden increase in water pressure.
2. Roof Leaks
If your roof drainage isn’t working properly because of clogs or a broken system, water will pool on your roof and eventually find its way down into your place of business, potentially causing water damage. Also note that points where pipes and wiring enter through the roof are weak spots where water could sneak in.
3. Appliance Issues
Things like AC units, dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters all involve water, and they all have the potential to leak.
4. Sprinkler Systems
Maybe there was a fire that led to the sprinklers going off, or maybe they randomly malfunctioned. Either way, everything is now wet. Computers and other technology will likely have to be replaced, furniture thrown out, and new inventory purchased.
A good business property insurance policy will cover these four primary types of water damage and help you get started with water cleanup as soon as possible. Your Shoreline, WA business will be on the road to its grand reopening in no time flat.