Mold Issues in New York City Co-Ops, Condos, and Apartments

The housing situation for the 8 ½ million residents of New York City is unique as compared to the rest of the country. According to some statistics, about a 1/3 of all Americans live in apartments whereas almost 70% of New York City residents live in apartments. In the borough of Manhattan, roughly ¾ of the housing inventory is comprised of co-ops.

Regardless of whether a New Yorker lives in an apartment, co-op, or condo, water damage or elevated humidity levels indoors can quickly result in the growth of mold.  The presence of elevated levels of mold can cause a wide range of health concerns from triggering asthma and causing allergies to hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). Exposure to some types of mold can lead to infections in people with a weakened immune system and could expose people to toxins known as mycotoxins.

Mold spores and fragments occur naturally in the environment and can enter a building from the outside through open doorways and windows as well as through the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system’s outdoor air intakes. Spores can even attach themselves to people, making clothing, shoes, bags, and even pets, all convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors.

“When mold spores come in contact with a surface where there is moisture, such as where leaks may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, or where there has been flooding or excessive humidity, it can begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours,” said Michael Berrevoets, President, VOETS, LLC. “Many building materials, furnishings, and belongings provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow when moisture is present. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some types of mold. Other materials such as dust, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, also commonly support mold growth. Mold may even be on or in many building materials before they were ever used to construct a building.”

To help identify and resolve mold and other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) issues, VOETS offers comprehensive inspections, environmental testing, and consulting services. If an issue is found, their professionals can provide the expertise to handle the situation and help to ensure that the problem is safely and effectively resolved.

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