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Toxic Mold vs Mildew: What’s Lurking in YOUR Bathroom?

Scrubbing a Wall in a Ellsworth Rental PropertyMold and mildew are like fungus siblings: they can look a lot alike, and both prefer areas that are warm and moist. Although there are important differences between the two, there are significant variations that you and your tenants need to know to be certain that your Ellsworth rental properties are kept in good condition and safe. Through educating yourself on the ways to spot the difference between toxic mold and mildew, you can better prevent a little problem from growing into an expensive nightmare.

There are several different kinds of mold and mildew, most of which are not considered toxic or poisonous. There is a great chance that your tenant does not know a lot about mold or mildew, what it appears like, or what to do in the event they find it. Mildew, for example, is a common surface fungus that usually looks gray or white. It is naturally flat and powdery, usually collecting in bathrooms or other areas that are frequently damp. It can have a bad smell, mainly if left to thrive for a while. Mildew can usually be removed quite easily by the tenant with a bleach solution and a scrub brush.

Mold, in contrast, is frequently more invasive and a lot harder to get rid of. It prefers to hide in walls and ceilings, especially those with high humidity levels or water damage. This can make mold hard to spot. The most common first clue that you have a mold problem is the smell. Mold smells musty, a foul odor that doesn’t seem to go away. The second sign of mold is the color. Molds can develop 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 flourish. This kind of mold regularly happens following massive water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, or flooding. While not everyone will get sick from toxic mold, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that some people may feel signs of physical symptoms as soon as they have exposure to this strain of mold, including respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, infections, and even asthma.

The minute this type of mold has started, it can be difficult and expensive to get rid of. Hard surfaces can generally be disinfected 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 dealing with mold problems, your first line of defense is your tenant. The most optimum and proven strategy to avert the threat of mold is to help your tenant understand what they can do to mitigate mildew and mold growth.

Sadly, mold is tricky, and you may not notice the early signs of a problem. This is 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 detected in your rental home, the property unquestionably has a significant problem with water or moisture that needs to be addressed. Merely cleansing the property may not be sufficient if the conditions that prompted the mold to grow in the first place have not been changed.

When you hire Real Property Management Acadia, 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 help you prevent the spread of mold and mildew in your Ellsworth 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 207-561-7482.

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