Renting a new « mold free » apartment

(Sorry for my English, I'm french Canadian...)

Hi,

I actually leave in a moldy apartment. I have many symptoms pointing toward mold intoxication. I seriously consider moving.

But...How can we be sure we move in a « mold free » apartment? It's not really realistic to say to the owner « wait a minute, I need to call a professional to inspect your building and we will wait for the result and then if the apartment is still available, I will rent it if the result is good...»

And it's impossible to repeat that process to every apartment we can visit...

Yes, we can ask for water damage, but at the same time mold can come from many differents ways and can be invisible...

So, what's the solution?

Thanks guys !

Comments

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭✭

    There's no single solution, but many smaller things you can do that might help.

    I'd suggest looking for a toxic mold support group in your area - they might have experience or know where to go/avoid/etc.

    You can also call mold remediation companies and ask which apartment complexes they might recommend, if they've dealt with any that wanted to fix things right, etc.

    You can call the apartment companies and ask them questions - how do they inspect an apartment after someone leaves, do they keep records of water damage, etc. If you explain your situation, they may be able to help - the people who work at apartment complexes are people too... some will be helpful. If not, move on to the next option.

    If you're renting from big apartment complexes, you can start with a single monthly rental, make sure you can live there and be healthy. Or they may allow you to move to a different apartment within the complex (without breaking your lease) if you have problems with one unit...

    You can also do your own inspection... go tour an apartment and look around for water damage. Look under the sinks, by the water heater. Feel the drywall and make sure it feels dry and firm. If you're really serious, you could do an ERMI or HERTSMI kit yourself, make sure it's safe. They can expedite tests for you if needed - see if the cost is worth it for you.

    If you do any of these things, report back what was most effective. I'm sure there are other people who would like to know what worked for you!

  • Hey, thanks! Many good options. I will certainly do that !

  • On the same topic...

    If I can quit my apartment but I have doubt about the presence of mold in my workplace, can I contaminate my new apartment by still being at the same workplace? So, is it better to wait to do the two at the same time, or it's better than nothing to at least do the most obvious one?

    Broadly, if simple items (for example just books and paper) from our old apartment can contaminate the new apartment, how can we avoid contamination that our clients at works can bring with them or contamination that can happen if I go somewhere with mold? If we start to think about that, it quickly starts to be overwhelming.

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭✭

    What ever you can do to lower you exposure should be an improvement. Ditching every last possible form of exposure might be required to fully recover, but you've gotta start somewhere. I would suggest doing what you can and seeing how much it helps. You might be able to tolerate some mold exposure at work, but work+home is too much... you won't know unless you try.

    The biggest problems tend to come from where mold has an environment where it can grow unchecked - most often in water damaged buildings. If you take the same mold to a normal home, you still have mold but it shouldn't spread wildly (in the absence of water or moisture problems in the normal home).

    Books and other things can hold mold or mycotoxins. If you're desperate, put everything you have in storage or with a friend. Stay somewhere clean and don't go to work (take a few sick days). See if you feel better. Then re-expose yourself to the books - see if you feel worse.

    The main point - you don't have to be perfect to see improvement... but be prepared to do multiple rounds (home, work, books, etc.) if needed.

  • Ok, got it! Thanks ! So, I can keep the 5 most important books and the 5 sheet of paper (legal things) that are the most important?

    But can we fully avoid recontamination with everything we can be in contact with, with paper or new books we can receive or buy, people we meet, new places we go from where we bring something?

    Thanks to take time, it's really helpful. It's a bit stressfull when you realize you have to make this big change in a short period of time...!

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭✭
    edited May 10

    It's all a matter of degree. I'd suggest doing what you can now to improve your life - don't let "perfect" be the enemy of progress.

    Imagine mold exposure is the amount of weight you're carrying around in a backpack. Some people can naturally carry more weight, some will buckle under the lightest load.

    Living and sleeping in a moldy apartment? That's like putting a 100-pound weight in the backpack. Try running a marathon with that on your back - it won't be fun, even if you are one of the people who can naturally carry a lot of weight.

    Bringing all your books along to a new apartment? Maybe it adds 5 pounds. If you're really worried about it, put them in airtight bags, minimize the exposure.

    Taking off your shoes and leaving them outside every time you go into your new place? Maybe you take 2 pounds out of the backpack. If you're really sensitive and can't carry any load, that 2 pounds matters... but until you take out the 100 pounds from living in a moldy apartment, you won't even notice a change of only 2 pounds.

    Go to an office that is moldy, walk around, then bring your shoes and clothes back into a clean apartment that does not have any moisture problems? Maybe add 5 pounds to the backpack... but do the same thing in an apartment with mold problems - the 5 pounds starts growing over time and eventually turns into a 50 pound weight.

    Convert pounds to kilograms if you want... but I think you get the idea. If you're sick and living somewhere moldy - get out. Stay with friends while you look for a new place. You will be able to think more clearly once you get out.

  • Thanks for your patience! :)

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭✭

    It's easy to think it's complicated (and it certainly can be), and when you are exposed to mold it can be hard to think straight and work through all the implications. I've been there, and it's easy to second-guess every possible decision... Good luck! It's not easy, but if you feel better it is totally worth it!

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