9 Common Sources of Mold in Apartment Buildings: Part Two

At McMahon services, we are experts at water damage restoration, mold remediation, and reconstruction services. We have seen almost every type of mold damage that can occur, and in this two part series, we will outline the most common sources of mold in apartment buildings. This guide will help you stop problems before they start, as well as explaining what to do right away if you find mold at your property.

Missed part one? Here’s where you can read the first four sources of mold in apartment buildings.

Mold Source Five: Burst Pipes And Other Plumbing Problems

Burst pipes and other plumbing leaks are always a serious problem, but in an apartment building they are especially bad. Hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water can flow down from upper floors, cause water damage in common areas like halls and stairways, as well as destroying the walls, floors, and ceilings in individual units.

A single leak or rupture can affect multiple apartments, leaving them uninhabitable. Fast action is needed from an emergency plumber to stop the water. Next, a water damage restoration professional will work to remove wet materials and start the structural drying process as quickly as possible. The faster you act, the less damage (and lost rental income) you will face in the future. 

Mold Source Six: Occupant Activities 

In northern Illinois, the indoor air can be uncomfortably dry in the winter. As a result, many building occupants will run humidifiers to add moisture to the air. However, humidifiers can promote mold growth if not used correctly or run too often. Other activities like cooking, bathing, laundry, pet problems, and contents like aquariums and waterbeds can raise humidity levels and encourage mold growth. Even too many people living in a unit can raise humidity levels higher than is recommended. 

Mold Source Seven: Exterior Drains and Gutters

Property owners and managers count on the exterior drains and gutters on their buildings to keep precipitation away from their building. If your drains and gutters are in bad shape or clogged with leaves and debris, water will collect around and even end up inside of your property. This unwanted water can cause serious structural damage, and allow mold to grow in hidden places. 

Mold Source Eight: Problems With Building Exteriors

Beyond your gutters and drains, you need to make sure that all other parts of your building’s exterior are in good shape. Damaged doors, windows, siding, and the mortar around bricks and windows can all allow water to seep through.

Moisture from rain, snow, and ice can enter your property laterally through compromised building exteriors, causing water damage to the walls. By the time you can see this damage in the interior of the building, your exterior most likely needs major repairs. 

Mold Source Nine: Roof Leaks

One of the biggest elements of your building’s exterior is the roof. Whether your property has a flat roof or a traditional shingle roof, the surface can deteriorate allowing water to collect and leak inside. Water going through the roof and into the apartments below can cause ceiling water damage and worse. Keep your roof in good repair, and if your building has an attic, it’s important that you inspect it regularly for leaks and mold.

Don’t Ignore Mold Damage At Your Chicago Property 

A small leak may not seem like an emergency, but if it’s ignored, water damage can allow mold to start growing in as little as 24 hours. Excessive mold growth can cause structural damage to the walls, floors, and drywall in your apartment building, requiring major repairs and lots of lost rental income. 

As a property owner, make sure you provide your renters with instructions on maintaining safe moisture levels in their units, install helpful tools like kitchen and bathroom fans, and perform inspections at least annually to check for potential problems. 

Apartment building owners and managers should take quick action to address water damage and get professional help with mold removal to avoid even worse damage in the future. It’s essential to have trusted local contacts for emergency plumbing, water damage restoration, and reconstruction and roofing help. 

At McMahon Services and Construction, we can help you with all of these projects, making the repair process (and working with your insurance company) as streamlined as possible. We are ready to respond 24/7 – contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep your rental property safe, attractive, and profitable in 2024.