As a first-time renter, one of the things you’ll most likely find in your apartment at some time is mold. While mold can be dangerous in some cases, if you take the proper steps to address it, you’ll be just fine. Read on below to learn about the four most common types of apartment mold and how you can get rid of them.
Trichoderma is a family of mold that can be found all over, but the species Trichoderma longibrachiatum is the most common. This species is what’s often considered “common household mold” and is most likely what you’ll see if you have mold in your apartment.
Trichoderma can grow anywhere in your apartment where there’s other organic material. Like most mold, it requires some moisture to thrive, so it can be helpful to invest in a dehumidifier to decrease the odds of a significant outbreak.
If you have mold in your bathroom shower or sink, odds are it’s alternaria, especially if it causes you to experience allergic symptoms. Alternaria is the most common allergenic mold and can affect those with allergies, hay fever, asthma, or other conditions. Alternaria can be very dangerous for those with weak immune systems, and it can even cause infection in some cases, so it’s important to address it quickly.
Stachybotrys, commonly known as “black mold,” is not something you want to see in your apartment. Black mold is frequently found in damp areas like air vents and places with water damage and often appears as a black, gray, or green peppery substance on the walls.
Black mold is the most dangerous type of household mold and can be very toxic in the air and especially through direct contact. If you think you might have black mold, do not attempt to address it yourself. Black mold should always be taken care of by licensed mold remediation specialists who have the tools and protective equipment necessary to address the problem without being harmed.
Not all dark mode is black mold, and it can often be tricky to figure out what you’re dealing with. One mold commonly confused with black mold is Chaetomium, a dark mold commonly caused by flooding and large water leaks. Chaetomium is sometimes even called “the other black mold.” Chaetomium typically starts out as a fuzzy white mold and gets darker over time, eventually becoming nearly black.
Should you have mold tested?
Since several types of mold are often mistaken for one another, should you have the mold in your apartment tested to see what kind it is? The short answer is no. Different types of mold can affect different people to widely varying degrees, and even mold that’s usually mild can be harmful or deadly to someone with a mold allergy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it.”
How to get rid of mold
The most reliable way to get rid of apartment mold is to simply call your landlord and arrange for a mold remediation specialist to take care of the problem. Dangerous mold that will make your apartment inhabitable will always be your landlord’s responsibility to address, especially if they were aware of it before you moved into the apartment.
For small cases of mold, you can usually take care of things yourself with a cup of bleach in a gallon of water or a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water. Spray either mixture on the affected areas, and let it sit for three to four hours before rinsing off.