201 W. Kenyon Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 map - 217-352-7961 - 24 hours every day HomeContact UsFAQA-Z IndexSearch
CHAMPAIGN URBANA PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT
Our mission:
To improve the health, safety and
well-being of the community through prevention, education, collaboration,
and regulation.
About CUPHD
Maternal and Child Health Dental Health Environmental Health Infectious Disease Prevention & Mgmt. Wellness and Health Promotion

Mold in Residences
Frequently Asked Questions

I am a renter that lives in Champaign, Illinois. I have contacted my landlord multiple times about mold in my house/apartment, but nothing gets done. Is there anyone else I can contact?

If you have reported the issue to the landlord and there has been no action, contact the City of Champaign Neighborhood Services Division at (217) 403-7070. You may also file a complaint with the Tenant Union at (217) 352-6220.

What if I am a renter in Urbana, Illinois?

If the issue has not been resolved by the landlord for an Urbana property, contact the City of Urbana Building Safety & Code Division at (217) 384-2443. You may also file a complaint with the Tenant Union at (217) 352-6220.

I am a renter that resides in Champaign County, but outside of Champaign-Urbana. Since my landlord won't fix the mold problem where I live, whom should I call?

Contact the town or village government where you live to find out if the landlord is violating any town or village codes. If you reside in the county outside of town/village limits, contact the Township Supervisor for your area.

There is a statewide set of rights and laws for tenants and landlords. Where do I find information?

Information is available on the State of Illinois Attorney General's website.
See their document titled Landlord & Tenant Rights & Laws (English or Spanish).

I own my home. Is there a government agency that can help me with mold removal or costs associated with removal?

As the homeowner, removing mold from your home is your responsibility. For assistance with remediation, look up "mold remediation" online or in your phone book.

I've read about "toxic molds" that grow in homes and other buildings. Should I be concerned about a serious health risk to me and my family?

The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven. (See facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds - CDC).

A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes. The common health concerns from molds include hay fever-like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. For the most part, one should take routine measures to prevent mold growth in the home.

Who are the people who are most at risk for health problems associated with exposure to mold?

People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections.

How can I clean areas of mold in my home or business?

The guidelines for cleaning smaller areas (less than 30 square feet) of mold growth include the following practices:

  • Find and fix the source of excess moisture. Any mold cleanup or remediation plan that does not address underlying moisture problems will ultimately fail.
  • Heavily damaged, porous materials (such a carpeting or drywall) that cannot be thoroughly dried and cleaned should be discarded and replaced. Non-porous surfaces and porous materials that cannot be removed should be cleaned using a soap or detergent solution. Areas that have been cleaned also may be disinfected using a diluted bleach solution (no more than 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water), but it is critical that all visible mold growth and soiling are cleaned off using a soap or detergent solution before applying a disinfectant. Bleach will be less effective if dirt and visible mold are not removed first.
  • Minimize dust and debris when removing moldy drywall, carpet, and other materials by misting surfaces with water. Do not dry scrape or sand surfaces contaminated with mold, and do not use hammers when removing drywall.
  • Water-damaged materials and debris should be double-bagged, sealed, and the bag wiped clean prior to removal from work areas. This will help to prevent mold spores from spreading to other, uncontaminated areas.
  • Provide continuous ventilation, especially when cleaning agents or disinfectants are used.
  • Wear rubber gloves and protective clothing that are easily cleaned or discarded. In addition, wear a properly fitted N95 or HEPA respirator mask. These masks can be purchased for a minimal cost at a hardware store. To prevent eye irritation, wear goggles without ventilation holes.

The guidelines for cleaning areas of mold growth larger than 30 square feet (roughly the size of a sheet of dry wall) include these additional practices, which may require the services of a professional mold remediator:

  • Isolate work areas using methods similar to those used for lead or asbestos abatement. This should include critical barriers that block all openings, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system components to prevent the spread of materials into surrounding areas, and negatively pressurizing the work areas from surrounding areas. The HVAC system also should be shut down during removal activities.
  • Clean all surfaces within the work areas to remove settled dust or debris prior to taking apart critical barriers. Surfaces in surrounding areas also can be cleaned, if necessary, after taking apart the critical barriers. Use cleaning methods, products and devices that are known to be successful in the cleanup of mold contaminated dusts, such as HEPA vacuums and diluted bleach solutions.
  • Surfaces should be cleaned by HEPA vacuuming until surface dust is no longer visible. After vacuuming, surfaces should be wet cleaned with a soap or detergent solution. If a residue remains, it should be vacuumed. Cleaning can be followed by disinfection with a diluted bleach solution (no more than 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water). It is critical that all visible mold growth and soiling are cleaned off using a soap or detergent solution before applying a disinfectant. Bleach will be less effective if dirt and visible mold are not removed first.
  • Allow complete drying of all materials wet from excess moisture, cleaning activities, or disinfection.
  • Provide continuous ventilation, especially when cleaning agents or disinfectants are used.

Some information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health.