Mold and mildew are like fungus siblings: they can look a lot alike, and both prefer areas that are warm and moist. It is worth noting what are the important differences between the two, such differences that both you and your tenants need to know to sustain the cleanliness and safety of your Evanston rental properties. By means of educating yourself on how to spot the difference between toxic mold and mildew, you can well prevent a little problem from growing into an expensive nightmare.
There exist many different kinds of mold and mildew, most of which are not considered toxic or poisonous. And the likelihoods are that your tenant doesn’t recognize crucial details concerning mold or mildew, what it looks like, or what to do if they chance upon it. Mildew, for example, is a common surface fungus that looks typically gray or white. It is typically flat and powdery, often collecting in bathrooms or other areas that are frequently damp. It can have a bad smell, particularly if tolerated long enough that it has grown considerably for some time. Mildew can usually be removed quite easily by the tenant with a bleach solution and a scrub brush.
Mold, then again, is commonly more invasive and a lot harder to get rid of. It prefers to hide in walls and ceilings, specifically those with high humidity levels or water damage. This can make mold hard to spot. Typically, the first clue that you have a mold problem is the smell. Mold smells musty, a foul odor that doesn’t disappear. The next indicator of mold is the color. Molds can cultivate in a variety of blacks, greens, and even reds, and may look fuzzy or sometimes slimy.
Toxic mold or Stachybotrys chartarum (also called Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold that often grows on materials like fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, and lint. It requires constant moisture to thrive. This sort of mold regularly ensues after substantial water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, or flooding. Even though not everyone will get sick from toxic mold, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that some people may endure physical symptoms following exposure to this strain of mold, including respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, infections, and even asthma.
As soon as this type of mold has grabbed hold, it can be difficult and expensive to get rid of. Hard facades can typically be scrubbed with a bleach solution, but carpets, wallboard, cabinets, and furniture with mold growing on them must be completely replaced.
This makes catching any potential problems early on extremely important. When it comes to mold problems, your first line of defense is your tenant. The most excellent method to stay ahead of the mold is to help your tenant understand what they can do to mitigate mildew and mold growth.
Mold is tricky, and you may not notice the early signs of a problem. This is the reason why every rental home’s routine maintenance should include regular checks for evidence of water damage and mold. If any issues with water leaks, condensation, or flooding are identified, they should be corrected immediately to reduce the growth of mold. If mold is seen in your rental home, the property undoubtedly has a significant problem with water or moisture that needs to be addressed. Merely scrubbing the property may not be sufficient if the conditions that incited the mold to thrive in the first place have not been adjusted.
When you hire Real Property Management Chicago Edge, you’ll be taking advantage of our many services, including regular evaluations and comprehensive checks designed to catch and identify problem areas before they become catastrophic. Our team of experts can assist you to prevent the spread of mold and mildew in your Evanston rental homes, as well as ensure that you are informed of the risks and remedies involved. Are you interested in a free assessment? Contact us online or call us directly at 773-904-7700.
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