Since It can be a challenging at times to be able to live up to all the legal and implied obligations of a property owner, it is important that if you lease or rent property you be thoroughly familiar with what is required of you as a landlord. Although, much of it may seem like common sense that can change depending on how any one person views a particular situation. Senate bill 655 that came into affect January of 2016 states, among other things, that the property must be maintained free of dampness and mold.
For example, what happens if a small leak has developed and it is reported by your tenant, business or residential? Obviously the first step is to find and repair the leak or source of water intrusion. Once that is accomplished many may feel that is the end of it and simply leave the area(s) to dry out on their own. Some will leave the wall open (such as after a plumber has cut out some drywall to repair the leak) to 'air it out' so it can dry. Is that really the wise course of action? No it is not.
The reason is that you really don't know how much moisture is there and were it has gone to. Keep in mind that mold starts to grow about 24 hours after getting a water source. So the longer the moisture is there trying......to dry out, then mold will continue to grow for that period of time. Let's say it hypothetically takes 2 weeks for the area to dry. At that point mold can be said to have been growing for almost the same amount of time.
Mold starts out microscopic (from 2 to 100 microns) so you can't see it until the growth accumulates to a certain extent. Just because you don't see any mold does not mean it is not there. There are mold spores in the air we breath all the time. And especially in newly opened walls where a repair has been made there area already mold spores present from when the house or building was built. Once the wall is opened up these spores now are released into the living area of the home or office even though you can't see them. Too many mold spores can cause breathing and other health problems depending on the person's immune system and the type of mold spore, mold or even mycotoxin they are exposed to.
So the point I am trying to make is that you just can't leave to chance an area to dry on its own. Have a professional like my company or another evaluate the situation and listen to their recommendations to address the situation. What about the potential costs of this scenario. We'll talk about how to deal with that next time within the next two weeks.