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  • Writer's picturePerceptive Things Team

How to Prevent Mold in An Apartment Building

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Mold poses a huge health risk to those living in apartment buildings. Without proper preventative measures and cleanup, toxic mold can lead to serious health problems and even lawsuits against landlords and property managers. Many people are also surprised to learn that most insurance policies do not cover mold remediation!

While the causes of mold growth vary by location, there are several generally accepted steps that both tenants and landlords can take to prevent mold.

In an apartment building, this means that any responsible landlord must take proactive steps to prevent mold growth. They should also know how to remove both small and large areas of indoor mold as necessary.

This article will show you how to prevent mold growth as well as help you remove any (minor) mold patches.

How do I prevent mold in my apartment?

Before you can prevent a mold outbreak, it is important to first understand what mold is.

Mold is one of the most common problems in apartment buildings, especially when they are old or poorly constructed.

Mold thrives on water and moisture in the air and on surfaces. Basements, attics, and bathrooms in apartment buildings are especially susceptible to mold growth because they often have leaky pipes and/or poor ventilation.

Mold is present nearly everywhere, both indoors as well as outdoors. Unfortunately for residents of multi-family housing units, bathrooms may be the most likely room in the building for water damage. This water damage is often how mold begins since there is often poor air circulation and high humidity in these small rooms.

According to the United States environmental protection agency and home waterworks, studies indicate that leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures, and fittings are a significant source of water wastage for many households.

Fixing these can save a household at least 10% of their water bill. This equates to $2,400 USD in water and wastewater bills saved over the lifetime of their toilet!

Steps to preventing mold growth in an apartment

The best thing you can do to protect your apartment is to prevent mold from growing in the first place. Mold can grow very quickly, which is why it is easier (and cheaper) to stop it before it takes over.

Steps landlords can take to prevent mold in their buildings include:

  1. Install a leak sensor system

  2. Fix moisture problems as soon as they are detected

  3. Check moisture-prone areas

  4. Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in good condition

  5. Clean up standing water inside the building or on the property

  6. Ensure that all exhaust fans and vents are working

  7. Teach tenants how to spot mold and educate them on the health impact

Install a water leak sensor system

One of the most important things a landlord can do to prevent mold in an apartment building is to install a water leak sensor system.

These systems monitor for signs of moisture, which is how they help you catch leaks before mold spores have a chance to grow.

leak sensor

Our water leak detector systems are able to send the homeowner or property manager an alert within a minute of a leak being detected. This is crucial for ensuring you are able to stop the leak before it causes damage.

Our sensors are easily installed around most home fixtures. This includes toilets, sinks, air conditioners, etc. Once a leak is detected, it automatically sends out updates via text, email, or phone call.

The photo to the left is what our Droplet Duo™ leak sensor looks like after installation!

Fix moisture problems as soon as they are detected

If you see a leak or get an alert from your sensor, take care of it as soon as possible. If water is left standing for too long, it will cause mold to grow quickly.

The longer an area goes without being cleaned up or repaired, the greater the chance for extensive damage and mold growth. It is important to focus on ways to lower humidity levels, remove condensation, and prevent additional water leaks.

A leak sensor is an ideal tool for an apartment complex because it allows the landlord to monitor for leaks that the tenants may not even notice themselves!

Check moisture-prone areas

Certain areas of apartments are notorious for getting leaks. These include roofs, exterior walls, basements, and bathrooms.

An apartment's ventilation system can often be inefficient at circulating indoor air. This is particularly an issue in older buildings, as even mildew on walls in a bathroom can potentially lead to mold infestation.

Ensuring these areas are well ventilated with exhaust fans and windows will help prevent mold from growing.

Be sure to use leak sensors to monitor water sources in your home. Good things to monitor would include your air conditioning unit, sinks, toilets, and refrigerators.

Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in good condition

Keeping any system that is used to control the temperature of your apartments in good working condition is key to preventing mold growth. In fact, if these systems malfunction, they can sometimes be a cause of the leaks that result in mold!

Keeping up to date on maintenance will not only reduce the risk of frequent mildew problems inside the building, but it will also save your tenants money on utilities.

Cleaning up standing water inside the building or on the property

prevent mold by cleaning up water

Any standing water on the property or inside apartment units can cause mold to grow and spread quickly. If you see any standing water (in a sink, in a puddle outside, etc.) be sure to clean it up as soon as possible.

Teach tenants how to spot mold and educate them on the health impact

The more tenants know how to spot mold and how it can impact their health, the better. Mold exposure can be extremely harmful and can result in serious symptoms if left untreated.

Make sure your tenants are aware that a mold problem is a health hazard that can lead to allergic reactions. Once they understand how important mold prevention is for their health, they will be more likely to inform you of any potential problems.

This is an easy win-win situation for both the landlord and the tenant!

What do I do if my apartment has mold?

Tenants can do their best to prevent mold growth, but it's the landlord who must take proactive steps. If the mold patch in your apartment is small, you can check out our article on How to Get Rid of Mold in an Apartment Building.

Trying to clean up mold yourself can be very dangerous.If your mold infestation is larger than the palm of your hand, it might be better to have someone else handle it.

If you suspect that there may be mold growing in your apartment units, it's important to contact a professional cleaning service. They have tests they can do to determine the kind of mold in the apartment and how dangerous it might be for the tenants.

Final thoughts on preventing mold in apartment buildings

We hope you found this post on how to prevent mold in apartment buildings to be useful! As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is why it is so important to invest in a water leak sensor!

If you suspect mold is growing in your apartment, try not to panic! While it is important to take action quickly, the reality is that mold is everywhere and we often do not notice it.

We’d love to hear some of your stories in the comments below. Have you ever detected mold in your apartment building? How did you handle it?

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