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What You Need to Know About Basement Apartments and Mold

Apartment Mould

Recently, New York recognized mould as a risk to tenants health. Facing a law suit, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) agreed to remove mold in public housing quicker and more thoroughly.

This is a historic agreement because it recognizes mold and moisture as a threat to tenants and recognizes asthma as a disability, which will create future liability concerns for landlords who do not address any moisture and mould issues in buildings they own.

This agreement will set a precedent throughout North America that forces landlords to reduce tenant exposure to mold, which has clearly been linked to childhood asthma as reported in this NBC Dateline documentary.

Canada Mould Legislation

Here in Canada, the Province of Ontario has recently passed legislation requiring municipalities to enact bylaws to deal with basement apartments. Basement apartments already exist in the tens of thousands, often as illegal and unregulated rental units. The new provincial legislation allows municipalities to draft their own bylaws, recognizing that each has specific needs and issues to address.

If you are renting a basement apartment, you are at a slightly higher risk of exposure to mold. Whether you’re a basement dweller or renter, the basement is a prime location for mold growth and infestation for a number of reasons. Inadequate ventilation traps any moisture and creates the ideal conditions for mold to flourish.

Dampness can be chronic due to flooding, sewer backups and other sources, and water could leak in from cracks in the foundation or flooring.

Finding Mold

Like any other housing issue, mold does have some tell-tale signs. Quite often, there will be visible signs of mold growth in your home. Molds are characterized by its cotton-like features that may appear in colours such as gray, white, black, or green. Black mold is particularly dangerous so be sure to watch for any signs of this type of growth.

Many kinds of mold have a strong odor, so keep your nose sharp. If you smell mold, start looking for it immediately. Unfortunately even if there is no smell, some fragrance-free molds are still toxic, so you need to be mindful.

In most cases, a small amount of mold is not a major issue. However, if it goes unnoticed or uncontrolled, you may find yourself facing multiple medical issues, including breathing difficulties. If you have found mold in your basement apartment, let your landlord know and get them to call a professional to get it removed as soon as possible.

Worried About Mold in Your Home?

At Assurance Environmental Inspection Services, we have helped countless homeowners accurately identify if they have mold, which in turn leads to mold removal recommendations.

Our certified mold specialists will use state-of-the-art technology to properly detect and identify presumed danger in your home, so you can confidently renovate and/or resell your home.  Request a quote, and gain peace of mind (and a healthier home).

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