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Questions about HVAC unit


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I just moved out of this apartment, but I am concerned for the safety of anyone else who moves into it. There have been multiple water leaks since I lived there, and who knows what before me. I took some pictures, and this stuff doesn't look right to me, but I was hoping someone here could give a more professional opinion on the matter.

The HVAC unit..

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... Jan252.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB139.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB140.jpg

And my larger concern is what I found in the attic, directly above it.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... _AptB1.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB115.jpg

I am not exactly sure what I was looking at, but this is the length that was taken to keep me from seeing it.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ept121.jpg

That was done after it rained into the apartment. And whatever the patch was, is didn't hold, as this is what it looks like now.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... AptB13.jpg

More attic pictures can be found here.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB116.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB120.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB117.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB125.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB128.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB122.jpg

And whatever that blackish stuff is that is all over the HVAC unit and the insulation, it has also made it's way all through the ventilation system of the apartment. This is a picture of the vent in the bathroom.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... AptB14.jpg

I am not sure if that grayish stuff is some sort of mold or spiderwebs, but since I didn't see any spiders, I am thinking that it is in fact mold.

As I said, I no longer live there, but I know for a fact that many a lie has been told to cover up dangerous and even life threatening problems there, and I would appreciate any information that anyone can give. I understand that discretion is important, and I am asking only for myself, out of curiosity.



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Really does not look all that bad. Yes, it has some roof leaks but those can be repaired or the roof replaced if needed. As for the crud on the HVAC and the registers/vents, that looks like old dust and dirt. It looks like it is an old system that has really never been cleaned.

Just be sure that you change your air filter every month in your new home.

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Sounds like you may be looking too hard for something to be wrong. Scott's right. The roof is leaking at the penetrations; fix them. The fan is dirty; clean it.

As far as the padlocks on the scuttle access: It looks like you have a common attic, meaning that there's no wall in the attic between apartments. If the scuttle is unlocked, your neighbor can get in the attic from his apartment, and drop down into yours through that scuttle. Plus, the building owner doesn't want his tenants using the attic for storage or even living space.

Good luck in the new place.

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I very much appreciate your replies. It could be that you are correct. I lived in a different apartment, in the same complex, and because of serious mold issues, was transferred into the newer one. I lived in that one for about a year. I didn't have near the problems there that we had the first, however, there were several things which worried me, and which were never really fixed.

There was a very horrible smell which was coming from the front bathroom, and was it finally decided to have been caused by algae growing in the toilet and possibly the waterpipes. The problem was never really resolved, but they did at least dump some acid down into the pipes and replace the floor tile, which seemed to help somewhat.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... -20069.jpg

Beyond that however, there have been more recent issues as well. The ceiling in the hallway, or a portion of it anyway, fell down on my head a few days ago. The paint was bubbled up and cracked and peeling away from the wall. I went to touch it, to see if it was still wet, (which it was) and that is when it began to fall in clumps and rain plaster down onto my head. There are cracks in the ceiling and wall in that area, and as I began looking around for the source of the problem, I discovered this.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... AptB18.jpg

Obvious water damage in the kitchen, just above the drop down ceiling, which leads into the hallway where the current problem is. Thta doesn't appear to be wet anymore, but I do not remember having seen it in the past, and after my last experience, I am sure that I would have checked. (That was how I finally found the source of the leak in my first apartment, which had been making my daughter and myself very ill.)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... aptB16.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB112.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... einhal.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/t ... ptB142.jpg

In short, my concern is that these issues may not be addressed as they should be, and I am wondering if the problem may in fact be a much larger one than it appears to be. As I said, I no longer live there, but I have friends who do, and just how out of human decency hate the idea of anyone moving into an apartment which may be on the verge of making people sick, as our first apartment did.

Again, I could be overreacting, but any input is very much appreciated.



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Hi Stacy,

It seems like there are more than a few "issues" you have found. Does your municipality have building/property inspectors? If people are getting sick in this building, some authority should be notified.

Getting the city involved usually gets things done; but each municipality is different...

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It's important that you realize that all of the pictures you have posted are symptoms of problems, not just the problems themselves. The water is likely from a roof or plumbing leak.

IF there's a long term moisture problem in an under-ventilated space, and IF it's lead to growth in a mold or mildew colony, and IF that colony is of a few certain types out of thousands of possible culprits...

There are a lot of people that believe very strongly that a a significant colonization of some molds can lead to health problems in humans, usually those who already have respiratory or immunodeficiency diseases. Then, there are a lot of people that believe very strongly that the mold issue has been blown terribly out of proportion by the media. We live surrounded by microorganisms everyday at home, at work, and certainly outside.

Try to get the management company to fix the problems. If you, or your friend, consider it so much of a problem, leave.

If you thought your last apartment was such a disaster, why didn't you try to keep your friend out of it? Also, if things were so bad, why did you stay in the same complex, with the same management company and owner?

Good luck.

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