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Thanks to old plumbing, my upstairs toilet has flooded the bathroom -- and it's dripped all the way down to the downstairs bedroom, where it's soaked into the carpet there as well. I've got buckets and towels; however, I'm highly allergic to mold and mildew. What can I do to prevent the growth of mold?

Note: This is a rental situation, so anything involving ripping up the floor to get at insulation will require the landlord's approval and thus will take a few days at least, so non-invasive methods are preferred.

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3 Answers 3

What you describe requires major plumbing work and can cause devastating damage to your home. Your landlord should be responsible for fixing this because with moisture leaking behind the walls like this then it can quickly create major property damage to his rental unit and unhealthy mold.

Your landlords refusal to fix this on his own is creating a health hazard for you, and in many countries and states there are laws that protect tenants and give them certain rights in a landlord-tenant relationship. One of these rights is the right to a safe and hazard free home, which means you can and should be able to bring suit against the landlord in the event where he refuses to fix a situation with the property that is creating a signficant health hazard for you and your family.

To get rid of the mildew, talk to your landlord and tell him to fix the leak immediately.

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The sooner your get rid of the moisture, the less risk of mold. A big blower and a dehumidifier is the best thing to do and are easily obtainable. You can probably rent a big unit from your local home improvement store for relatively cheap; you won't need it very long.

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Obviously step 1 should be to stop more water from leaking. You don't say whether this is an ongoing leak or not, but if the problem is the toilet overflowing the bowl or tank, there is usually a shut-off valve at the toilet water inlet that you could shut. Otherwise, if you have access you could shut off the water where it enters the house, but of course that would stop your entire water supply. (As of now this question is 2 days old, so I sincerely hope the leak has been stopped.)

Also, it's definitely in the landlord's best interest to prevent mold, so I personally would tear up carpet and ask permission later. But that depends on your relationship with the landlord.

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