CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local college student forced out of her apartment says mold is to blame.
The TAMU-CC student reached out to Action 10 News after she said she made every effort to solve the problem.
Savannah Torres had mold growing throughout her apartment in the university-approved complex, and now wants other renters to be aware that mold could be lurking where you least expect it.
The Midtown Corpus Christi Apartments website encourages renters to experience college living from a new perspective, but for Torres, a Texas A&M-CC student majoring in psychology, her experience turned out to be a nightmare.
"It's just been horrible,” Torres told us as she gave us an up-close look of her apartment. “Absolutely horrible. When I first moved in, my closet had mold on the top and they said it was just mildew.”
Torres, like many, found herself in a situation she’d never been in before.
"I didn't know what the difference was between mold and mildew,” she said.
Torres says she called management within 24 hours, and they wiped things down with bleach.
"Then I came back to see if they cleaned it all and there was still mold everywhere,” she said. "So they only cleaned what they could see on the walls. You can see where they tried to clean it off, but there's mold all right here.”
A few days later, Torres said she once again called management about the problem. This time, she says they told her "the apartment is good as new.”
But Torres told us, it was anything but good as new.
Mold covered her couch in the living room; it was in the bedroom. There was mold all over her shoes, growing her hair scrunchies, and it's even growing on her jackets.
Torres claims she asked management to hire an inspector, and they reportedly told her that their maintenence staff could handle it.
That's when Torres turned to an independent contractor.
"They came and they tested it, and it tested high for two different types of molds,” she said.
And that's not all. Action 10 News obtained the testing results from the independent contractor.
"They said it was uninhabitable because it didn't meet the state standards for living because of how much mold was in this apartment,” Torres said.
Action 10 News took a good look at the report and here are just a few of the results:
- A visual inspection reveals musty smells, mold growth in several areas, heavy visible spotting on the couch, furniture, moisture staining the ceiling, evidence of limited cleaning activity, visible moisture on the countertop, and elevated humidity readings.
The report went so far as to say: "This species is an indoor air-quality concern from both a health-and-safety and building-component-deterioration perspective. . . ."
That means the mold could cause permanent problems to the building, and not just the apartment.
Torres eventually moved out, but now she's concerned about the next person who moves in.
"They're going to allow someone to move in here when I move out,” she said. “That's a disgrace.”
We reached out to Midtown Corpus Apartments, and after repeated attempts, management declined to be interviewed for this story.
As for Torres: "If I had more allergies than I do, it could have been much worse and I could have easily gone to the hospital.”
Torres did manage to salvage some of her things, and paid her rent, even though she moved out. She told us she paid the money because she didn’t want to ruin her credit.
But what about you? Are you concerned you might have mold where you live and not know it?
Then here's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says to look out for:
Mold grows in places with lots of moisture like leaks in roofs, windows, pipes, or where there's been flooding.
It also grows on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood. It can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric and upholstery.
Now that you know where mold grows, here are some of the symptoms you could be experiencing if mold is growing where you live.
They include, but are not limited to, nasal congestion, runny nose, skin rash, itching, watery eyes, asthma, and tightness in your chest.
And, finally, if you find out you do have mold, what should you do? Should you leave?
The CDC says if you believe you're getting sick due to mold exposure, talk with your doctor.
They also recommend removing any moldy items, properly cleaning and drying the affected areas, removing or replacing carpets and upholstery, or you can always call a professional.