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baronbyran
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Mold
Sep 2nd, 2018 at 6:46pm
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Hi all,

We have been living in Sienna 2 in Joyful Mansion for 8 months now, but we have had increasing problems with black mold.

It started about 1 month after we moved in and we cleaned it as much as we could, but over the months it has grown huge and now is all over our bedroom ceiling and down the walls and has invaded our living room, bathroom and second bedroom. It gets bigger almost immediately after we cleaned it away and it has infected our cupboards and much of our clothes. We asked the landlord through the agency, but they told us to spray it with bleach and open the windows and use a dehumidifier.

OK, we got 3 dehumidifiers for the living room and 2 bedrooms and use them constantly. We sprayed it with anti mold cleaner from a shop in DB North and cleaned it, but it has just come back more than ever and this last week was kind of like a huge explosion of mold as it is everywhere now and our walls are really black with it. The dehumidifiers don't clear it and our cleaning and spray is not working.

We are desperate and have a little child who is in the second bedroom, which is now covered in it.

I know it is supposed to be dangerous to health, so I am asking people who must also have it too...what to do? What works? Please offer good advice because this is really really scary.
  
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garmato
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Re: Mold
Reply #1 - Sep 3rd, 2018 at 12:42am
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My post will be too long so I'll keep it concise.

Consider using warm soapy water to very gently remove mold. Skip this step if your walls were painted with cheap paint (common in HK to use $80 paint diluted with water and no antifungal properties) as you may unintentionally strip the paint off the wall.

Next step (or you can skip the soapy water part), soak paper towel in bleach and put it over the mold, wait at least 15 mins before removing. This should kill and remove most of the mold.

Mold is caused by a combination of warm air and moisture (above 70% indoor relative humidity) and takes as little as 24 hours to start growing.

For reference: mold growth per RH levels:
RH 90% = 3 days for mold to appear
85% = 1 week
80% = 1.5 to 2 weeks
75% = 7 to 8 weeks
70% = 4 to 5 months
65% = little to no mold risk

Factors that cause mold include:
- tumble dryers
- hot shower
- cooking (boiling water; kettle)
- condensation (window, caused by difference in temperature indoor vs. outdoor)
- anything wet/damp will grow mold (ex. damp clothes)

Reduce risk of mold:

- Keep household indoor RH at 65% or lower

- Use dehumidifier or air con, even 1 hour is enough; no need to leave it on all day unless during heavy storm.

- Close bathroom door when taking hot shower, open bathroom window and/or ventilator to remove steam. Alternatively take cooler showers.

- Dry off bathroom tiles (side topic: towels should be washed every 2-3 days, have a separate one dedicated for wiping tiles and windows)

- Some advise to place furniture at least 2 inch away from walls (to avoid condensation and markings on walls)

Other considerations are possible leaky pipes, poor ventilation, allowing damp and condensation to accumulate, poor paint job.

Professional painters advise to use good quality paint and NEVER dilute with water as it reduces the paint's quality and properties. DIY can be as little as $1,500 for entire apartment (very messy, time consuming) vs. professional contractor $50,000.
  
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fish22
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Re: Mold
Reply #2 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 8:40am
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Stupid advise above ))) you have to prove through lawyers that this apartment is dangerous for your health and is not suitable for living) simple white vinegar may solve the problem for a while
  
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Poka
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Re: Mold
Reply #3 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 12:44pm
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Sad situation. Most likely both the landlord and the real estate agent are aware of this issue. If you can track down previous tenant you have a good case to convince them to do something about it.

You can try and remove it yourself, but in most cases it will only temporary disappear as it most likely growing behind the paint and nothing you will be able to do yourself without tearing the place apart.

If the landlord is unwilling to do something about it unfortunately you have little option of either get a professional to do it at your own cost, or if possible find another place to live.
  
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Poka
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Re: Mold
Reply #4 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 12:53pm
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Btw - here is a thread which might be helpful https://geoexpat.com/forum/61/thread338601-1.html

And this is the form referred to. Night be worth to have then visit and use the report as a negotiation with the landlord. If it as bad as it sounds you need to deal with it ASAP

Www.tntgroup.com.hk/moldstoppers/

Good luck and do letís know how it works out
  
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fish22
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Re: Mold
Reply #5 - Sep 17th, 2018 at 5:12am
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No need to do it at own cost . Need to prove that the landlord leased the apt which is not suitable for living . If the landlord refuses just go to the court . Most landlords do renovations and pest control before they give their appt for rental , most of them also agree to solve the problem . If not - then the court . Call to social workers ask to come and check
  
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fish22
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Re: Mold
Reply #6 - Sep 17th, 2018 at 5:14am
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And probably the whole building is infected but he still rents it out
  
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Poka
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Re: Mold
Reply #7 - Sep 17th, 2018 at 6:15am
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fish22 wrote on Sep 17th, 2018 at 5:12am:
No need to do it at own cost . Need to prove that the landlord leased the apt which is not suitable for living . If the landlord refuses just go to the court . Most landlords do renovations and pest control before they give their appt for rental , most of them also agree to solve the problem . If not - then the court . Call to social workers ask to come and check



Yes and it will take a year or more while your family is inhaling toxic. I know for sure what I would do
  
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garmato
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Re: Mold
Reply #8 - Sep 17th, 2018 at 12:10pm
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fish22, I'm not surprised you're advising OP to escalate the matter to such an extreme considering in your previous post you harassed San Hing staff over a simple gas meter reading. Phew!

OP asked how to tackle mold problem. I posted the most common tips from various websites. If OP has taken proper precautions then it's possible what Poka said about an existing mold problem covered up by a quick paint job.

What I'm most puzzled about is OP saying mold getting worse and spreading into cabinets and clothes. I honestly believe turning on fans and aircon even for short time works wonders compared to dehumidifiers. I know someone who has dehumidifiers on all day long yet they had mold problem and even damaged wooden floors.

Lawsuits are very expensive and time consuming. I've read about people who sued their landlords and like Poka says, it usually takes at least 1 year.

It's best to try to take proper precautions to reduce risk of mold. I would still advise OP to try to clean up the mold, turn on fans and aircon for a little bit to see if things improve. Next thing is write a letter/email/Whatapps to the agent with photos of the mold for suggestions. Lawyers always advise "get everything in writing".

If the situation is really bad, OP can ask agent if landlord agrees to hire someone to inspect (like TNT Group that Poka linked). They can report their findings if it's an existing problem or through fault of the tenant.

Either way, it's in both party's interest for the unit to be free of mold. If tenant is at fault, maybe compromise by sharing the cost of cleanup deducted from rent. If an existing problem, landlord should pay fully for cleanup. Either way it's inconvenient for OP.

fish22 fails to consider landlord could easily turn the situation around and claim the tenant damaged the property through improper care; kick them out, keep deposit, and claim compensation for damages.

Should treat the matter step-by-step calmly and not jump to suing people.
  
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garmato
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Re: Mold
Reply #9 - Sep 17th, 2018 at 12:17pm
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It makes sense that landlord should take care of mold problem but also have to keep in mind if the mold was caused by tenant, then tenant probably liable for cost of cleanup.

Landlord is responsible for general upkeep of the property so long as damage is not resulting from tenants improper care of the property. Usually contracts make note of "wear and tear" which is open to interpretation but generally light damage and not of serious nature will be responsibility of landlord while mild damage may be deducted from the deposit.

If the mold problem was pre-existing and tenant took all necessary precautions then they should get clarification if they have grounds to terminate the contract without penalty. Ideally it should be mutually agreed upon.

Anyway, good luck to OP. Hope they can find a solution.
  
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fish22
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Re: Mold
Reply #10 - Sep 30th, 2018 at 12:55am
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Garmato, I meant IF the landlord refuses . If he tries to turn the situation saying the tenants spoiled the Aprt then special commission may be appointed and they will easily find out the reason and timing when the Mold appeared I had similar problem few years ago : a lot of Mold appeared in the kitchen , then I dropped the fixed contract after talking to the owner and got one month rental free of charge and all the deposit back , moved out within one week to a better place without any problem
  
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Tcook
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Re: Mold
Reply #11 - Sep 30th, 2018 at 4:09am
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The best solution is just move out and get a better place.
  
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Otis The Tramp
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Re: Mold
Reply #12 - Oct 7th, 2018 at 2:56am
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Everything that Garmato said.

Humidity and mold are part of life. Clean, paint, dehumidify: That's all most homes in DB need.
  
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fish22
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Re: Mold
Reply #13 - Oct 8th, 2018 at 2:10am
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Otis, not at all ))) not all the buildings have molds  chianti is nice , we ve been living here for many years and nothing happened , Siena and horizon have problem , if you live here for many years and make friends with local residents you ll get the right info where it is better to live , and of course dehumidifiers and renovation at least every two three years are necessary , air cons must be switched on for few hours per day at least
  
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Otis The Tramp
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Re: Mold
Reply #14 - Oct 8th, 2018 at 2:56am
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Fish22, I didn't say all buildings in DB have mold. But in a humid climate like Hong Kong, any building can suffer from it. All it needs is damp, warmth and darkness.
  
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Wellminton06
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Re: Mold
Reply #15 - Oct 8th, 2018 at 3:48am
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Everywhere has mold. Why are you only compaining Siena 2? I live in Joyful Mansion many years but never see any mold in my appartment. Take your compaint elsewhere.  Sad
  
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GSDB
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Re: Mold
Reply #16 - Mar 5th, 2019 at 8:32am
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Mold comes from poor ventilation, so open a window or get a dehumidifier, its as simple or easy as that. You can also but anti-mold paint which prevents mold from growing and it very good, you can also get anti-mold silicone which also does a good job at preventing mold around showers etc. Hope this helps.
  
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HK1980
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Re: Mold
Reply #17 - Mar 22nd, 2019 at 3:43am
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We used to live in a Joyful Mansion A unit.

It got warm in the afternoon as it faced the afternoon sun, but then got cold quickly overnight and in the morning because of colder winter strong wind that came off the mountain.
The temperature gradient made it very prone to condensation, which is perfect for damp...then mould.

Now we are in Peaceful mansion our unit faces a different direction and does not have those issues.

This isn't a matter of a problem with the building, but just simple science.

I suggest installing heater bars (can buy in Wing On) for placement against walls that get damp, and in cupboards.
This creates a gentle circulation of air.

Basically its a bit of a battle here in HK, and ac/fans/heater bars/dehumidifiers...and lots of cleaning and even painting...its needed.
  
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