We get a lot of calls about mold in apartments. Many of you want to know how to make apartment managers get rid of the nasty stuff.
Paul Bloom called consumer expert Amy Davis when he said the mold in his apartment was making him sick.
"I've had the fatigue, joint pain," Bloom explained to Davis.
Bloom has had the symptoms for months, but he only discovered the mold inside the wall of his unit where the air-conditioning unit is. The mold was black, growing up the walls and on the bottom where Bloom suspects his A/C condensing unit had been dripping for months.
He reported the mold to management at the Elm Grove Apartments in Kingwood. He said maintenance workers used some sort of bleach and water mixture to spray the walls and wipe it off, but he thinks they need to do more.
"It needs to be remediated and all of the stuff that's in my apartment needs to be professionally cleaned," Bloom said.
No one in the leasing office would talk with us about the issue, but allergist Dr. Carlos Vital explained that mold allergies can be serious.
"Molds can cause an array of symptoms depending upon the individual," said Vital.
He said while mold may trigger asthma attacks in Bloom, it might have no effect on someone else. Most landlords cover their tracks with a standard mold addendum they require tenants to sign along with the lease agreement. It explains that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends cleaning the mold-infected area with soap and water, letting it dry and then spraying it with Lysol or Pine-Sol.
"Federal guidelines do not state what is an acceptable level of mold indoors," said Vital.
Because of that, tenants who are super sensitive to mold may be on their own finding a place that suits their nose.
By law landlords are required to repair any condition that affects the health and safety of the occupants, but the standard is an ordinary tenant, not someone with respiratory issues or mold sensitivity.
If you're trying to convince your complex to more thoroughly remediate mold in your apartment, a note from your doctor might help spur them or convince them to move you to a unit without mold issues.