The attached pictures are from an inspection performed last winter (mid January) in an Apartment located in Hollywood, Florida.
We were informed by the property manager of the apartment about a complain from the tenant living at the apartment about visual signs of what seemed to be mold presence in the unit.
On the day of the inspection tenant was interviewed and verbally stated the following:
- Signs of what seemed to be mold were detected by him approximated one month before the inspection in the walk in closet.
- Areas were cleaned. However new visible signs of mold appeared later.
When the inspection was performed, signs of mold observed at the shoes storage furniture installed at the walk-in closet.
When the relative humidity was checked inside the apartment at the beginning of the inspection, with the AC system OFF, high levels were detected at all rooms (range between 72% to 74%). Humidity was higher near the exterior wall facing the pool area. These levels were too high considering that above of 55 % to 60% is potentially favorable for mold growth.
After the AC system was ON for approximated 20 minutes, the levels of humidity dropped to a range between 56% to 60%.
AC unit coil was found clean and we were informed that the unit was cleaned recently. However we were informed by the AC contractor that did the service on the unit that an old repair done at the condensation water tray that is not visible (It’s a metal cover over the old tray) was found with mold when the system was serviced and even that the unit was cleaned as much as possible, the humidity trapped between the old tray and the new cover could be one of the causes of the mold grown at the apartment.
Air samples were taken inside the apartment, on the Bedroom near the affected area.
As per the lab results, mold concentration in the air were ABNORMAL and based on the mold counts, it was likely a mold source from which spores were able to become airborne and were an exposure concern to the occupants.
We arrive to the conclusion that mold and mildew grown at the Bedroom and Walking Closet was based on the following possible conditions:
1- Humidity trapped between old condensation water tray and metal cover installed over. We were informed by the AC contractor that did the last service on the unit that an old repair done at the condensation water tray that is not visible (It’s a metal cover over the old tray) was found with mold when the system was serviced and even that the unit was cleaned as much as possible, the humidity trapped between the old tray and the new cover could be one of the causes of the mold grown at the apartment.
2- High humidity coming from outside the apartment combined with lack of the AC system working on winter: At the beginning of the inspection the Air Conditioning was OFF due to the temperature outside was relatively low (75 degree). However humidity was high (75%). When the relative humidity was checked inside the apartment under described condition (AC OFF), high levels were found at all places to (range between 73%). When the AC was turned ON humidity levels dropped around 57%. Humidity levels over 60% are potentially favorable for mold growth.
3- Lack of ventilation detected at the Walk-in closet. No AC diffuser was found at the room.