Mold that grows in living spaces, especially in spaces that may be small and compact like an apartment, can cause health problems. It's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of mold and to quickly eliminate the problem.
Things You'll Need
- Face mask
- Rubber gloves
Conduct an inspection yourself to determine if your apartment has mold. Always wear gloves and a face mask when testing or collecting mold samples. A telltale symptom is an earthy or musty odor, especially around wet areas such as bathrooms, faucets, air conditioners, shower curtains and basement storage. Look for black, white, gray, yellow or green growth that looks like cotton or velvet. Another sign may be that foods grow mold quickly, even if they are in the refrigerator. If you feel well outside the apartment but experience symptoms of coughing, runny eyes or other allergy symptoms indoors, your apartment may have mold. You may also purchase mold testing kits on the Internet.
Identify the kind of mold in your apartment. Mold in your apartment is never desirable, and all molds can cause allergies. However, black mold, which is green and black in appearance and may appear uneven or blotchy on surfaces, is dangerous and should be immediately eliminated.
Recognize the dangerous symptoms of black mold. You may have black mold allergy if you're excessively listless for no apparent cause, have severe headaches, skin rashes, asthma-like symptoms or if you experience hearing or memory loss problems.
Look for signs of flooding or water damage. A home that has been flooded or drenched is prone to mold invasion. If you are in doubt, ask your landlord if the apartments above, below or on either side of you have ever flooded. Look for warped counters, cabinets or floors.
Hire a mold inspector, if you're still in doubt about the mold content in your apartment. You can find a private inspector by searching the Internet or phone directory.