Renters Mold Problem
White Pen Asp mold showing up on black clothes in closets and on furniture is common in all properties with humidity problems around 70% RH or higher. In smaller rental properties is much more common in late winter and early spring. I have encountered it in small rental properties about 6 times in the last 6 weeks during mold testing in West Palm Beach, during mold inspection in Miami, and during Ft Lauderdale mold inspections, as well as in all of Palm Beach, Dade, and Broward Counties.
Why smaller rental properties? and why this time of the year? Because condo and apartment renters live in smaller properties and they do not use the AC all winter long, this is a first hand observation and not a guess, the renters of small properties admit they do not use the AC. After 3 to 5 months without AC all that shower steam and cooking steam builds up and fills up a small property without giving the property a chance to dry out. Two to three people showering each day and two to three meals cooked each day is more than the air in a small 1000 foot apartment or condo can dilute and dissipate adequately before the next set of showers and meals especially if the AC is not on all fall, winter, and spring.
In a small property the humidity levels will linger around 60%RH to 70%RH for hours or most of the day and create a breeding ground for humidity mold. In a larger home of 2000 to 3000 sf or more, humidity from two to three showers and two to three cooked meals will be able to become diluted and then dissipate or escape within a few minutes, and humidity levels will drop below 60% RH or even much lower before long. This is not just a theory, but is an observation seen over and over each year.
Thus larger properties often do not have these problems, also people with more money are more likely to use the AC a few times in South Floridas warm spring, winter, and fall. More importantly people in smaller lower income rental properties are much less likely to have properly working bathroom ventilation fans. During such mold investigations I find that 1/2 the people in small condos and apartments with humidity mold issues do not use the bathroom ventilation fan, because not using the fan saves money, and the other 1/2 of the people do not have properly working vent fans, because the landlord will not properly maintain the property. I have personally observed this about 6 times in the last 6 weeks prior to this date of March 19th 2011.
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