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Rental Home and Apartment Mold Problems & Inspection

      Q. Dec. 16, 2011, from Canada. We are living in a house that has mould growing all the way through, on walls and the roof and also on our belongings. We have been cleaning this for the last 2 years and 6 months. The landlord and real estate just don't care. My 5 children and myself are always sick, These are just some of what we are experiencing: Really bad headaches, Fevers, Runny noses, Constant coughs, Sneezing for half an hour at a time, Hives, My 6 Yr old son has bowel problems, My 9Yr old daughter has constant kidney infections and uti's, Bleeding noses, Ringing in the ears, and There is much more. Do you think this could be making us sick as i can't afford to pay anyone to inspect the mould, Please give me some advice. The mould is pitch black.

      A. What you describe are commonly-experienced mold-caused health problems. Your family's serious mold-related health problems mean you need to move somewhere safe as soon as possible.  Read about landlord mold liability. Landlords owe a legal duty to provide tenants with habitable housing, and mold in rental units makes units uninhabitable. The problem is that landlords don't care about the mold health problems of their tenants. If you sue a landlord, it will take years in court and cost many thousands of dollars in attorney fees. In the interim, your family's health is at very serious risk. Please read all about mold health on the 400 pages of the Mold Inspector website. You can use low-cost Tenant to Landlord legal notice forms available at to try to get positive action from your landlord.  You should also read these two of mold expert Phillip Fry’s mold ebooks: (1) Mold Health Guide; and (2) Mold Legal Guide, only $15 each for email attachment delivery to you from Mold Mart. 

      Q. Nov. 25, 2011. I’m experiencing respiratory issues in my home, since the hurricane / wet season in late august early September. I have been attempting to isolate and problem solve what the issue is and need an expert at this point.  There is not obvious evidence of mold so it has been a bit of a mind challenge.  Is it really happening?  I consistently wake up with a slight lung burn and a low lying sinus kind of congestion, perhaps a slight fever, I feel sick but my health and vitality are normal.  I feel itchy, closest thing i have experienced is hay fever. This is a tight envelope house, I think because the heat retention is excellent in the winter. I rent. I need help immediately.  I am concerned about developing a chronic sensitivity / asthma to allergens or mold for myself and my 11 year old daughter. I have questions about what the landlords responsibility or what tenant rights I have if it comes down to expensive remediation 
or expensive testing.

     A. Your health symptoms could well be mold-related.  You should get medical help from a local lung doctor as the first medical specialty to get help from. You should also read carefully three of my in depth mold advice ebooks Mold Health Guide, Mold Legal Guide, and Do It Best Yourself Mold Inspection, Testing, Remediation, and Prevention, only $15 for email attachment delivery to you from You can buy all five of my mold advice ebooks for only $49 in the Mold Library.  Your landlord has the obligation to provide you with a habitable place to live, and if your rental is mold-infested, that is not a habitable environment. Please read more about landlord legal liability for mold. When you suspect mold but cannot see mold growth, your best course of investigative action is to do air testing of the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register and of the air in each room of your rental unit. You can use do it yourself mold test kits for such testing. You can buy good mold test kits. For testing the air flow out of the heating/ventilating/air conditioning (HVAC) ducts, tape one opened mold test kit to each duct register grill with the sticky side facing outward air flow. Run your HVAC system for 10 minutes, and then remove and seal the test kits and watch for mold growth in each mold test kit over a 7 day time period. If there are many mold colonies growing and/or different types (visually) of mold colonies (different colors, different appearance), that is a good indication you are living in mold infestation because of mold contamination of your HVAC, a very common problem.  Learn about air conditioning mold.  If you see big mold growth (more than one or two mold colonies after 7 days), you can submit your mold sample test kits to Mold Mart for mold lab analysis to determine the different mold species inhabiting your rental residence.  You should also be a good mold detective and look for mold by using a strong flashlight to look into each HVAC duct for mold growth, and also check for mold growth beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks and behind and beneath furniture in your home and in your rental home’s basement, crawl space, and attic.  My DIY book has plenty of practical pointers for you to do your own home mold inspection. Please email me any follow up mold questions you may have. Phillip Fry, mold expert, Certified Environmental Hygienist

My family and I just recently moved into a rental home. ( My husband was laid off and we had to sell our home and move to something cheaper.)  My children are all having allergy symptoms (they have not previously had allergies), my 4 year old has waken up a couple times in the middle of the night saying that he can't swallow and once he had trouble breathing.  Is feeling like you can't swallow a side effect from mold exposure?  He also has frequent nose bleeds and is always congested.  I am also having congestion and a hoarse voice when waking up in the morning.  I am running air purifiers but honestly it only seems to help a little.  All the mentioned symptoms are with the purifiers running.  The house has cement walls in over half of the living space in the basement.  There are bedrooms and a family room down there. It always smells musty in the house and especially in the basement.  Throughout most of the house we are not able to put furniture or anything against (or close to) the walls because within a day there is moisture and mold growing where the item touched or almost touched the wall.  This is not just in the basement but throughout most of the house.  Especially in my bedroom where there is a corner where if a book or piece of paper gets near the wall, black mold grows almost within a few hours.  All of the window sills especially upstairs (not much of a problem in the basement) get moisture in them everyday and then if I don't clean them constantly mold will show up within a day.  In the kitchen the cupboards smell musty, so much that I won't put my food or anything in them.  Under the sink there seems to be dry rot and also a couple small spots on the floor. The kitchen floor got wet the other day (there is carpet in the kitchen) and a huge mold smell instantly was present.  We have talked to the landlord about these things and he just says not to put furniture or anything against the walls and clean them if mold becomes present (which we do often) and just clean the window sills a couple times a day.  He is not interested in putting money into this house.  I told my husband that we should try to move.  We really don't have much money to move and my husband thinks my concern over the mold is exaggerated.  I am hoping to get some insight into this problem and a possible solution. [April 29, 2002]

A. You are absolutely right that you need to leave that mold hell immediately. Your family's health can be permanently and seriously injured by continuing to live in that mold infested place. Most landlords don't care about what health damage is done to tenants by mold. It will take many lawsuit victories by tenants against landlords for mold-caused health problems before landlords will get the message that they owe a duty to provide a habitable, mold-safe rental environment for their tenants. Visit: Landlord Mold. Read the in depth ebook Mold Legal Guide.

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480-217-7173 USA
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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970