The Dude Abides,
That sounds awful!!! It also sounds like your apartment may be toxic. A lot of times mold is not visible as it is inside wall or ceiling cavities, under floors, and in crawl spaces.
You can do a visual check first. Look under cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, walls behind sofas and beds, and take a look at that crawlspace again. Check under the refrigerator. See if there's a spot where you can lift the linoleum to see under it. Also, check the HVAC unit and look for mold around the vents.
Of course from a medical standpoint, the ERMI test is the only reliable measure. Some only get the HERTSMI-2, which measures the most toxigenic molds. I prefer the ERMI, because it gives you a fuller picture of a much broader range of molds in your environment, not all of which are toxigenic. You can calculate the HERTSMI-2 yourself from the ERMI results.
Can you move or switch units? The only issue with moving (for anyone) is you don't know what's really in that new place unless you do an ERMI and get a qualified person to inspect for mold and moisture and construction issues that contribute to mold.
On a lighter note, that's amazing The Three Stooges worked on your apartment. The Three Stooges worked in maintenance in my office building, too. Boy, those guys sure get around!!!
Those Three Stooges DO get around a lot, unfortunately! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. "Hey, Moe!"
In the back of my head, I've been wondering about
mold. But, it's likely due more to how often it's mentioned on this forum. Many seeds get planted and then they germinate and start to grow. Then, I get anxious and have to leave the forum for a while.
But, given "The Great Flood" I had in my kitchen -- and, the standing water for several hours -- I've always had this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that mold could be a problem.
I've been noticing a small spot on the ceiling in my bedroom. I'm probably being paranoid and it's likely nothing, but maybe you could take a look at the photo I snapped.
It's just to the right of where the fan attaches to the ceiling. I don't know if you'll even be able to see it.
Here's a photo: /bit.ly/2sj7G5x
What do you think? Is there anything to it?
As for moving, I've long wanted to move. For a variety of reasons. There's only four units here and none of the other three units are empty. Besides, I'd like to leave this property. I'm on a month-to-month lease with no contract, thus I can leave anytime.
The two issues with me leaving are:
The area in which I live has seen big increases in housing prices and rents in the past several years. Even if I moved into an apartment that was smaller and less nice (my current place is not that big and not exactly opulent), I'd have to pay more. Like, at least $200 per month more.
In January, I quit my job and I'm still unemployed. Thus, in order to qualify for another apartment, I might have to lay-down a sizeable chunk of cash. And, of course, I'd also have to sign a lease. I'd be fine with a six-month lease, but many places seem to want a year. Some will allow a shorter lease, but at an even higher monthly cost. Then, of course, when you renew your lease, they jack-up your rent again. It's like Las Vegas - the house always wins.
Of course, if crap hit the fan, I'd leave and figure-it-out.
Part of me wants to investigate mold, but part of me doesn't want to know. Another part of me thinks I'm likely worrying about
nothing. Then, another part of me just wants a pint of gelato. I think I know which part of my splintered self I should follow.
A few nights ago, I had one of these:/www.talentigelato.com/products/vanilla-bean-gelato
I highly recommend it -- or, one of their many other flavors.
That might take your mind off the photo I shared.