Where to Report Mold Issues as a Tenant

California is one of a handful of nations that strictly regulates mould development in rental properties. The presence of mould in your apartment or house can change the indoor air quality, causing you to suffer from a range of harmful health effects from the spores. When you suspect mold growth, you have several methods available to report it. When the mould is reported and verified, the landlord may take steps to eradicate it.

Dangers of Mold

Molds thrive in moist, warm surroundings and release spores into the air. Particular mold spores are toxic when inhaled, and they can cause a variety of conditions, from rashes and allergies to acute respiratory problems. While mould can affect individuals of all ages, the children and elderly are at a higher risk of infection. Some breeds are more hazardous than others, and only a certified removal specialist can remove mold entirely. As a renter, you’re entitled to rent a mold-free property.

How to Detect Mold

The obvious way to detect mold will be always to see it. Mold can appear as yellow, brown or black spots or patches. While it is more inclined to see mold growing in high moisture areas like the bathroom, kitchen or near windows, it may grow anywhere, including in the walls, carpeting and floors. You might also notice a musty odor in highly concentrated regions as well as an increase in respiratory problems. California law requires landlords to disclose the presence of mold prior to a tenant signs a lease agreement.

Inform the Landlord

When you suspect mold growth, then contact your landlord immediately and follow up in writing. Explain the issue in detail and also take photographs if necessary. If mold is growing in an area that does not have a lot of moisture or even plumbing, such as in a closet, bedroom or wall, the landlord must check for leaking pipes, windows or roofing. The landlord must to not only mend any difficulties causing the mold growth, but taking every precaution when removing it. Keep notes of conversations and copies of letters and emails in case you want to share your side of the story in a predicament.

Other Alternatives

If a landlord won’t take care of the mould issue, tenants have alternative places to report it. The local housing and code enforcement department could inspect the rental property and record any violations. The department may then put pressure on the landlord to make the repairs. A landlord can be held liable for any damages brought on by inaction or neglect, so tenants may file a lawsuit in severe instances. You may also talk to your community housing and tenants rights group for advice on managing the mold problem, such as California’s “repair and deduct” remedy or when to contact a lawyer.

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Typical Residential HVAC Cooling Load

Homeowner satisfaction using a whole-house air conditioning system is dependent upon proper system sizing. A correctly sized air-conditioning program will keep temperatures and humidity in the conditioned space at comfortable levels despite high exterior heat and heat. Air conditioner cooling size generally is expressed in tons. 1 ton of cooling capacity equals removal of 12,000 British thermal units of heat per hour, an amount of heat that could melt a 1-ton block of ice in 24 hours.

Rule of Thumb

There is no single “average” cooling figure that’s valid anywhere in the United States. But there’s a general guideline given by the American Society of Home Inspectors that you can use to produce a quick but rough estimate of the cooling capability you will need, depending on the square footage of your floor area. In the temperate northern half of the continental United States, 1 ton of cooling capacity should be sufficient to cool between 700 and 1,000 square feet of ground area. In the hot southern half of the country, 1 ton of cooling capacity can cool between 450 and 700 square feet of ground area, presuming the house has 8-foot ceilings, insulation in ceilings and walls and tight-fitting windows.

Cooling Load Factors

There are at least nine factors affecting the residential cooling capability necessary for a specific home in a specific site. They are general climate for the area; average outdoor temperatures and humidity; insulation amount; air leakage; compass orientation of windows; glazing size and kind; existence and use of awnings, blinds or drapes; amount of shading from trees or overhangs; and amount of heat produced by equipment and individuals in the home.

Prevent Oversizing

Selecting the right size of cooling equipment is essential for optimal performance. Oversizing an air-conditioning system means higher setup costs and inefficient operation. An air conditioner not only cools the air but dehumidifies as well. But an oversized air conditioner cools the air so fast that the unit does not run long enough to dehumidify the air. The outcome would be a clammy feeling for the occupants and encouragement of unhealthy mold development. An undersized system will not trendy effectively about the hottest days when you really require cooling. A contractor shouldn’t only assume the existing system’s cooling capability was right and sell you just like it. Manual J released by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America comprises proven procedures for contractors to follow when calculating air conditioner size.

Great Quotes

A good estimate of the needed air conditioner size requires the contractor to measure the volume of each room and determine the amount of air leakage and the insulating R-value of the house’s building materials, insulation and windows. Other factors include the size, condition and location of supply ducts, positioning of the home and consequent heat gain through windows. Also be sure the contractor uses outdoor temperature and humidity averages particular to your area of the condition when designing the new program. Use of overall statewide figures could result in oversizing or undersizing the air conditioner.

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