I-Team: Mold hiding inside your home

Bathtub toys and shampoo bottles are common objects where mold grows

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Mold can make you sick if left untreated. Especially for people with weakened immune systems or people with respiratory issues.

The EPA says it is impossible to get rid of all mold in your home. What you need to do to keep your family safe is prevent mold from growing. There are two keys to remember; moisture control and act quickly.

Refrigerator pans, under sinks, in the shower. Mold can be growing just about anywhere in your home. So we brought in an expert to show you some places mold could be hiding.

"This is a thermal imaging camera, it picks up the moisture we can't see," said Michael Picard, Remediation Specialist for Prospect Builders.

KITCHEN

"So the common spot that people normally don't look at is the pans in the refrigerator, you can just see some of the dried up bacteria in there," said Picard.

(How long could it take moisture to turn into mold?)

"24-48 hours if it stays wet in with proper conditions," said Picard.

BASEMENT

"Right on the side of the piece of woodwork here," said Picard.

(What do you see there?)

"That is microbial growth, from a piece that's been sitting down here, from being exposed to the humidity that builds up in basements, said Picard.

LAUNDRY ROOM

"In your case there is a drip pan for the washing machine and there is water in it, you can get the bacteria mold growing in here, on the dirt that builds up in here," said Picard.

BATHROOM

"The shower caddy it's starting to rust out from all the time water being on it," said Picard.

(When you see the schmutz under the shampoo bottles is that potential mold?)

"Mold, bacteria, yes," said Picard.

BABY'S ROOM

(Humidifier) "What happens is what these do is absorb the water, you get the humidity, this should be changed very often, once they get brown, these filters can get moldy," said Picard.

(Then the filters can kick out mold?)  "You're just basically spreading it," said Picard.

RENTERS' RIGHTS

What about for people who rent.  Viewers ask us all the time, what can I do about the mold in my apartment?  Tom McCormick is a Springfield attorney.

(When a tenant finds mold in their apartment that they're renting what rights do they have?)

"The state sanitary code applies to all residential tenancies in the commonwealth and under the state sanitary code, landlords must provide apartments that are free from chronic dampness and mold," said McCormick.

If you have mold and your landlord isn't doing anything about it.  Attorney McCormick says to send a request to your landlord in writing, call the board of health or code enforcement to do an inspection.  If nothing comes of that McCormick suggests considering taking the landlord to housing court.

CLEANING UP THE MESS

For the best practices of cleaning up mold you can click here.

Picard also says anytime there is a water intrusion whether it is from a storm, ice dam, broken pipe or even a spill made by us the homeowner, it is best to get the affected area dry as soon as possible. Whether the homeowner does it themselves or if they have to hire a professional.

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