Mold in HVAC / Hot Water Heater Closet

On August 15th I woke up to the sound of a drip. I soon realized water was running down the wall in my bedroom. I got up and was on my way to the kitchen to get a container to catch the water when I saw water on the floor in the dining area. I looked to see where it was coming from and it was coming from under the door to the closet that houses the HVAC and hot water heater.

I called the person listed by the apartment complex to contact in case of emergencies. This happened on a Saturday. When I explained about the water I was told the apartment above me had a clogged drip line from their air conditioner and that it had been cleared. The person I was speaking to told me they were away from their truck, which I took to mean they were off property. They said they would be here in an about an hour. It took an hour and a half. I keep mopping up water and finally they show up. I was left with the impression nothing could be done until the following Monday. By the time they left it seemed as if the water was cleaned up.

A couple of hours later water starts to come from under the same closet door. Only this time faster than I could keep up with mopping it up. The ceiling in the bedroom also started leaking heavily from the soffit just as you enter the bedroom. I put a pan under the drip to catch the water. Emptying it many times. By Sunday night I was sloshing around in water. The carpeting was soaked in the area of the leak in the bedroom. Water also went down a wall behind the door leading to the bedroom.

I went to the office Monday morning to complain and explain that in my opinion this was to much water for a drip line leak. Turns out the apartment upstairs hot water heater also went out. The carpet cleaning person came out around 5:00 pm on Monday to suck up the water. Now I have mold in my closet, the HVAC closet and closet that washer/dryer is in. I reported the mold on Wednesday after noon to the office. No one showed up until I went back to the office to complain with pictures on my phone on Friday afternoon. Then the maintenance man came with some spray in a bottle (smelled like bleach), rags and some Kilz. He sprayed the mold area and wiped down that area's he could reach and sprayed Kilz on the areas. I asked him if he was concerned about what might be lurking behind the walls and he said no that it was sealed pretty good up there. Said he'd be back on Monday as there is painting to do.

Today is Sunday and while doing laundry today I noticed mold on the wall by my washer. It's higher up on the wall than the top of the washer nothing that I could see down lower. So I looked in the HVAC closet to see if any mold was back. There was mold in there on the back wall and side wall again. I do not think this has been handled properly from the get go. I am concerned about how wet the 2 by 4's got and how much water the ends may have soaked up since the ends aren't treated. I'm not sure that a busy maintenance person is the right person to handle this mold problem. Maybe a mold expert is needed.

Reply

You are 100% correct that a "maintenance" person is not the right person to handle a mold issue. Here are the proper steps to follow if you have mold in your home.

Here is an article on the landlords responsibility for mold. You need to call your local Department of Health and find out your legal rights in your state. The mold may eventually cause you to have health problems if it is left there. If the department of health doesn't help then call an attorney.

Your health should be your main concern at this point. If it were me I would move out to limit my exposure to the mold. You need to speak with an attorney about your legal responsibilities for paying rent. If the mold is bad enough it is possible that your landlord may be responsible for paying for your moving expenses.



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