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Candice in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Alrlight, hi, thank you for your help in advance:) I have two questions, different spots in a rented home, so sorta unrelatedd.. Here’s the background info:

There is a sheet of drywall in my basement covered with black mold. I had public health here last week and they told me it needed to be removed, so I advised my landlord. He had his own maintenance man come in who told me that mold in drywall is safe, causes so spores and is just natural decomposition of the drywall. He said you could remove it, but it’s really nothing. Is that true?!!

Also, I’ve heard that if it is contained it is of no concern; like inside the wall, under the shower walls.. Well there was a flood here, before I moved in, in the apt above mine, directly above mine and my 3yr old daughter’s bedrooms. I can see the water damage has been painted over, and since the basement and garage were filled with garbage when I moved in (broken building supplies, rotting food, dirty carpets and even rusty old car parts) and they won’t do any electrical repairs.. Well basically it’s just clear the way they ‘re choosing to run things so I would think it fair to assume that as little was done as possible to mend after the flood.. So my concern is – could what is in the ceiling be affecting us? Both my daughter and I get stuffy, runny noses once we are in bed for the night, and I’ve been waking up with athsma attacks every day (previous to living here, I haven’t needed my rescuer in years unless I was somewhere smokey), and with black mucous in my throat, sometimes even a bloody nose.. (I have allergies too so I’m more sensitive) Even if I go in my room to put away laundry during the day I start having sneezing fits.. But once we go out for the day, everyone’s symptoms disappear..

Questions:

So my questions again, to be clear are:

1. Is mold on drywall safe? /Non-spore-causing?

2. Is mold in the house safe as long as it is behind walls?

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3 thoughts to “Candice in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada”

  1. No and No. Without a doubt in both cases. It should be fairly easy to find any mold help site that will say that any mold on porous building materials must be removed and discarded, NOT cleaned or covered up or treated.

    It might be true that mold behind tile etc. is *safer* than visible mold on the wall, that is only mentioned to warn people that uncovering the mold will increase spore counts in the house and further contaminate the contents and inhabitants. Even if spores are contained behind walls (and they almost definitely aren’t and DEFINITELY won’t be forever, as the mold continues to grow and destroy the structure), the toxins are gases and simply can’t be contained behind the structures. The wall would have to be impervious to gases, and it’s not. I hope you can move out. The landlord is negligent regarding the air quality safety, but he’s also being negligent about saving the structure of his investment. Not smart.

  2. Hi Candace,
    I completely agree with Jen here. If you can move out, it is imperative that you do so. Mold contamination is insidious and will prove to be anathema. The health department really needs to condemn this property. It is not worth your health and that of your child to slowly get worst and worst because of landlord negligence and apathy. Mold is nothing to take a chance on and your symptoms are ‘classic’ for mold exposure.

  3. What is a renters rights with respect to mold? and with a landlord who says “just run a dehumidifer. Not much issue online

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