You may be aware in January of 2016 a new law went into effect regarding mold in property. The new law basically says that 'if mold is found in the property then it has to be addressed or fixed by persons having the proper credentials'. That is paraphrased from the actual text of the published law for California. For the sake of argument I will be just briefly discussing how this relates to rental properties.
According to California law mold being present in rental properties can make it substandard housing which requires the owners to fix the problem. This, however, does not relieve the tenants of their implied responsibility of performing regular cleaning maintenance of their home such as 'cleaning the bathroom every week' so mold does not start to grow on bathtubs and sinks.
I have received several calls this past year from renters concerned about mold in their home. I have inspected homes where the landlord wants 'to bury his or her head in the sand' and ignore the problem of apparent leaks or moisture intrusion thinking these will go away by themselves. Or after having a leak repaired fail to have the area dried properly believing that it will dry on its own in a few days. That does not happen like some property owners believe or property management companies believe, necessarily. The liability increases tremendously for landlords if they fail to do their 'due diligence' in this area.
The water damage industry (including mold remediation) has developed and established industry protocols to dry water damaged materials and remove mold over the last 30 plus years. When moisture intrusion occurs (whether from a plumbing leak or a leaky window, etc.) it does not necessarily dry out on its own until it has helped grow a fair bit of mold. By that time a larger problem has developed and can cost a lot more to fix along with potential liability for the owner and even affect occupant's health. This is one reason why it is necessary to dry the affected areas promptly so mold does not grow and moisture does not continue to damage property.
Not just any contractor can do this type of work. It needs to be someone trained specifically to do it per established industry guidelines. If a person has not been trained how to do it the problem will likely become worse and unnecessarily expose occupants to an unhealthy situation.
Mold testing or sampling can be done for one or more reasons. One reason can be to find out what your family is being exposed to inside your home which can be useful for those more affected by mold than others especially with health conditions that can be exacerbated by exposure to mold and mold spores such as a person having asthma.
This is done with a machine that pumps air through a 'cassette' which captures particles in the air like mold spores, pollen and rusts. These cassettes have a 'sticky' paper inside like fly paper where the particles get stuck and then is analyzed at a lab which identifies the various mold spore types and how many are present. When air sampling is done for a house or condo air samples are taken in one or more areas of the home and then at least one outside sample for comparison. The industry guidelines for an acceptable or normal inside air sample of mold spores is when the number and type of mold spores is similar in number and type to the outside sample.
This is exactly what it sounds like. One way to confirm if mold is present on a surface is by using what is called a 'tape lift' sample where special clear tape is used to pull particles off the selected surface and is analyzed at the lab identifying what types of mold are there.
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