Mold in Apartment And Wall Issues?

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seanwalsh

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So I been in a small studio apartment for many years already. Where I'm located, its very humid and hot. My main door is made of glass... here lot of apartment doors have a glass door as oppose to a regular door. I also have 2 windows. Back then, I didn't know that during the day you are suppose to have all your doors and windows open for air so I rarely had it opened. Did have my ceiling fans on almost always though. Then a while later, notice I was getting these white chalk spots on the wall that might be mold? Well it was like that for a while but I sort of ignored it.


Now years later, I notice certain spots on my wall have like this white chalk on it and its more noticeable. I used vinegar on it but the white chalk spots seem to always come back within an hour. I then made a mistake last time and put muriatic acid on the wall and basically now have several spots on he wall damaged/broken.... white spots. I assume you could imagine how that looks like? It looks like chipped wall in several spots. Is that dangerous to keep it like that? Could i just buy some paint and repaint those areas and thats it? I have zero clue about this. Also is turning on the ceiling fan bad idea because of this? I only have my mini split ac on few hours at night and thats all.


Now the other thing is the last few years, I been having my windows opened during the day but I think its too late and the damage is already done? Now when im not in this apartment and gone for a month or more, I typically have my ceiling fans on. But I don't have windows open for security. When I came back to my apartment each time, there seem to be always mold on my pillow and everything. But last time when I came back, I notice there are like black mold spots on one side of the walls and in the ceiling? I have a mini split ac on the wall and notice there is lot of those black mold spots around that area and on the ceiling. Does anyone know how this all happened? I did leave my ceiling fans on when i was away but it was pretty low though... as oppose to high mode.
 

seanwalsh

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Now few other things I want to address. My shower head for the last few years always seem to have issues. H ad to call the manager and they have maintenance come and replace the shower head and put in a new shower head. They done this many times already throughout the years. But the last time was over a year ago though. Also when i look underneath my bathroom sink, there seem to be lot of white cement that is under it? I'm not sure how to explain it but years ago when i moved in, im not sure if it was like this... so could the cement build up? I do know the building also few times had broke pipes etc. Its an older building.


Now is it possible this is all caused by water damage somewhere in my apartment? But what about the apartment above me or below me? The thing is this apartment is a cheap apartment that i been renting for a while and i like it... but these issues such as mold, damaged walls has me concerned and don't know what to do. Such that does the damaged wall from the muriatic acid need to be fixed first before the mold?


So earlier I ended up just spraying vinegar where i see black mold. I then immediately scrubbed it with an old sponge. That is a mistake right I then read you suppose to spray vinegar but leave it on for an hour... then use a scrubber brush and then brush the wall? So would that destroy the mold or not? Am i suppose to contact a mold expert on this? Again i have no clue what to do here but concerned because of all these issues. Also the bathroom... there is black mold as well but not as much as the area near the mini split ac. But the ceiling and the walls on the bathroom is very yellow... thing is many times I turn on hot water for a long time... and do not open the window that is in the bathroom for air circulation for years. Reason being that window is very tiny and you just see like brick there with nothing else and also because I think cockroach might come through from it which is why I always have it closed.


Advice for me on this?
 

kok328

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Yes, mold will occur where moisture and stagnant air is present.
The white mold you speak of sounds like efflorescence
Take pics and document everything especially interactions with management.
You'll most likely have to break the lease and will have ammo to prove unlivable conditions, so you won't be liable for remaining lease term or deposit forfieture.
If not remedied, you will become ill.
I know you indicated that its cheap but, at the expense of your health?
 

seanwalsh

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I heard of efflorescene but I'm not sure that is the reason. Again years ago, I never had any of this. I can post pictures of the apartment now for you and others to give me your opinion?


I am not exactly sure the wall surface I have. It is not drywall I don't believe. I know its a very cheap type of wall because someone else told me thats how these old buildings were built. Would picture probably tell you what its made of? Don't have dehumidifier.


I have a mini split ac. I normally turn it on for many hours at night. The issue here though is I haven't gotten it cleaned in years. Back then years ago, my landlord would have someone check the inside of the AC and clean it... they use to do that once a year or even twice a year but they stopped doing it for a few years. Could that be the reason why i have mold or not?


Also I been more worried about having my ceiling fans turned on especially in the room where there is mold on the wall/ceiling. Because that spreads the mold around much more? The same with the ac right? My apartment is a small studio that is like 2 small rooms but there is like a folding door ... not really a door that separate the room from the kitchen/main area so to speak. Then you have the small bathroom.


When i look very closely at the ceiling, it definitely looks like mold to me except it isn't like black like what i see when i google mold... its more like grayish color. That is still mold right? But just not as extreme? Again, I was away from my apartment for around 2 months or so and when I came back, I noticed this. I had my ceiling fans on but not that very high so I think that could have caused it.


The thing however is I know for a fact that my old building has lot of plumbing/water issues. So is it possible that could be the cause of this? For example when i look at my bathroom sink... under it... where the pipes are... it looks moldy there as well.


So what is the best option here? Do i ask my landlord to contact a mold inspector for them to take look? Do I do that myself and contact them? I definitely would have to let the landlord know this. Now is it possible for me to clean the mold myself? I do my spray bottle with white vinegar, I even bought one of those scrubbers. But last time when i sprayed vinegar on the wall and wait over an hour for it to dry, i took the scrubber to scrub the wall and none of the mold seem to be removed.


Well i stayed at this apartment for many years already and I like it but I want to make sure its safe. Back then, there were none of these issues. So it wasn't like this and it was because I didn't take care oft he apartment that good when I first came in. However, I don't recall it ever having mold on the ceiling. Will me posting lot of pictures get me lot of advice on what to do then?


I don't mind having say someone coming over and then inspecting and it and they do lot of work on it for few weeks and then I find a place to stay temporarily for say a month or so before I move back into this apartment.
 

seanwalsh

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Okay so now the issue is a lot worst now. I was gone for almost 2 months again and when I came back, there is mold but it looks more gray on the ceiling and wall on the other end of the room with the main mold issues. Not only that there is gray mold on the top wall in my other room. I have like 2 rooms in this tiny studio apartment. The strange thing is there is little to almost no mold on the other side of the wall in my apartment. If it was humidity, shouldn't the wall in every corner of the apartment been affected by this?


Now the bigger issue is the gray mold is now on the middle and other side of the ceiling and looks spread throughout. The thing is I am almost positive there was no gray mold or any mold in that area before i posted this. Does that mean most likely the gray mold spread because I used the mini split AC or the ceiling fan? I am pretty certain the ceiling fan is what caused the gray mold to spread? It is literally on the ceiling now on the middle and other side.


The reason why I did not contact the property manager about this earlier was because I was so overwhelmed... I didn't know what to do. Because if I was the reason for this, wouldn't I have to pay for the repair and damages? This apartment where I rent in this 3rd world country is very low which is why I been staying at this apartment for years. Before it had these mold issues, it was fine but there was always problems with the shower head back then etc. I know I have hard water because when I use a water bucket to sometimes wash clothes, you then see white spots in the bucket after pouring the water out? There was also a leak in the ceiling in the bathroom whenever it rained real hard back then but that hasn't happened in some time.



Does this sound like this was caused by me or not? Again I was gone from the apartment for 2 months but did have ceiling fans turned on but it wasn't very high though. Each time I come back, there is always mold on the bed sheets and pillows but that happens to everyone I heard here unless if you have the ac on all the time or windows opened and ceiling fans on always? But if you buy dehumidifier that would work?



Does this sound like water damage as in leaky pipes or ceiling that could have caused this? I do know they always have to fix the water heater and things like that in the building. Also i notice in the ceiling where the gray mold is in the middle of the ceiling, there is like a crack. Could this be the ceiling roof that caused this? Again I didn't let the property manager know because I was just overwhelmed because if it is my fault, then wouldn't i be liable for the damages? But whenever I was gone for a while and then come back, not once had I seen the wall or ceiling get black or gray mold though.



I did spray vinegar on the gray mold on the lower area of the wall and an hour later scrubbed it with a scrub brittle brush with handle. I notice it does remove some of the gray mold but not all. Am i suppose to spray vinegar or baking soda again and then scrub it a 2nd time in order to get rid of it?



So my options are try to clean everything myself... contact property manager and have them look at it... or me directly contacting someone to look into this? Obviously I would prefer option 1 so that way I could fix the issue without having to let the property manager know. Option 3 is good but that mean i have to pay out of pocket. Option 2 is best option? Again the reason why I didn't contact the property manager about this is because I thought this was caused by me. If i know for sure this wasn't caused by me and it suddenly happened while I was in the apartment and normally have my ceiling fans on and windows and door open for air, then I would have contacted them a long time ago.


I had asked my neighbor in the building a question on what the walls in our building was made of and he told me it was drywall. Is that why it is hard to scrub it off with a brush bristle with handle?
 

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