Mold and mildew are like fungus siblings: they can look a lot alike, and both prefer areas that are warm and moist. Yet there are important differences between the two, contrasts that both you and your tenants need to know to have your Omaha rental properties kept sanitary and protected. By educating yourself on the ways to spot the difference between toxic mold and mildew, you can thoroughly prevent a little problem from growing into an expensive nightmare.
There are numerous diverse kinds of mold and mildew, most of which are not considered toxic or poisonous. And the possibilities are that your tenant doesn’t understand enough concerning mold or mildew, what it looks like, or what to prepare if they see it. Mildew, for example, is a common surface fungus that usually looks gray or white. It is typically flat and powdery, regularly collecting in bathrooms or other areas that are frequently damp. It can produce a bad smell, notably if allowed to progress for a prolonged time. Mildew can usually be removed quite easily by the tenant with a bleach solution and a scrub brush.
In comparison, mold is usually more invasive and a lot harder to get rid of. It likes to hide in walls and ceilings, particularly those with high humidity levels or water damage. This can make mold hard to spot. Normally, the first clue that you have a mold problem is the smell. Mold smells musty, a foul odor that doesn’t diminish or leave. The following sign of mold is the color. Molds can increase in a range 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 grow. This sort of mold habitually transpires following significant 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 physical symptoms after exposure to this strain of mold, including respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, infections, and even asthma.
Once this type of mold has started to show signs of growing, it can be difficult and expensive to get rid of. Hard exteriors can normally be cleaned with a bleach solution, except 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 dependable way to stay ahead of the 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 concerns with water leaks, condensation, or flooding are discovered, they should be corrected immediately to reduce the growth of mold. If mold is found in your rental home, the property clearly has a significant problem with water or moisture that needs to be addressed. Merely cleaning the property may not be adequate if the circumstances that prompted the mold to thrive in the first place have not been changed.
When you hire Real Property Management Legacy, 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 Omaha rental homes, as well as ensure that you are informed of the risks and remedies involved. Interested in a free assessment? Contact us online or call us directly at 402-905-0459.
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