The relatively dry environment in Nevada isn’t one strongly associated with toxic mold. When people think of black mold developing and houses, they often think of humid areas, not Nevada. However, black mold grows inside houses in part because interior conditions at a property don’t necessarily reflect the exterior climate.
Even the hottest areas in Nevada contain houses that are developing toxic mold. Stachybotrys chartarum, which people refer to as black mold, is one of multiple kinds of mold that looks black and may grow in a home. It is also one of the most toxic molds, as it may release toxins when disturbed that can cause a host of symptoms. Children and older adults are most at risk for health consequences related to black mold exposure. The unfortunate truth is that by the time a tenant can see the mold in a rental property, it may have already become a significant health issue.
Black mold develops in in-between spaces
One of the reasons black mold develops so readily in residential dwelling units is that it thrives on cellulose, which can be found in many modern building materials. Like other types of mold, Stachybotrys chartarum prefers a dark environment. It may start on the inside of walls when there is a leaking pipe or a drip from the ceiling. The HVAC system may also see black mold development, the difference in air temperature can cause condensation that then leads to mold development.
Given that it starts inside air vents or inside the walls in many cases, black mold may grow for months before tenants ever see the mold. They may have noticed a damp, musty smell or health issues before they ever notice the mold.
Tenants in unsafe environments have rights
Nevada law requires that landlords properly maintain their facilities. Their obligations should include performing regular inspections of the property to ensure that no latent defects develop or worsen. Failing to properly maintain roofs, windows, air conditioning or plumbing could very easily result in black mold developing and causing health issues or property damage losses for tenants.
The first step toward addressing issues related to Stachybotrys chartarum usually involve documenting the issue and reporting it to a landlord as soon as possible. Realizing that even a small amount of visible black mold might be a sign of a much bigger problem that one cannot see may inspire tenants to take action before the situation gets out of control.