Rental properties are at just as much risk to mould problems as any other residence. When mold growth is excessive, remediation and removal can be expensive. Mould contamination is a real problem for landlords: loss of rent, invoices for expensive property damage, and lawsuits from tenants who suffer health issues from mould-related illnesses are just some of the issues that arise.
The issue with mould
Mould is a fungi. It is a natural part of the environment and mostly thrives in the outdoor environment. Mould becomes a problem when it blossoms indoors. Mold spores that find a moist place to develop inside homes pose as a serious cause for concern for two critical reasons – your health and future property damage.
The young, the elderly, and Individuals who suffer from respiratory conditions are especially prone to health-related problems due to mould growth. Even those who are generally healthy experience watery eyes, a runny nose and coughs that are triggered by mould spores.
Putting health issues aside, property damage occurs when mould takes hold and spreads. Porous materials, such as wood, drywall and carpeting sustain mould spores even when slightly damp. Areas rich in moisture nourish mould growth. Mould can flourish on surfaces, behind walls and under floorboards, weakening the materials it covers and becoming a hidden source of structural damage.
Mould has a dank and musty unpleasant smell, which is one of the first telltale signs of a problem within a rental property. Black splotches, like those spreading across the underneath of a sink or along bathroom walls, are a visual indication of a mould problem.
Three distinct types of mould are commonly found indoors, these are:
Aspergillus – This type of mould is allergenic and spores can generally be found inside air conditioning units.
Cladosporium – Black or dark green cladosporium mould spores grow behind toilets, on painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. This strand of mould is typically nontoxic to humans, but can trigger allergic reactions in vulnerable individuals.
Stachybotrys atra – This is a rarer mould species; however, it still exists and can be identified with its greenish, blackish coloring.
Preventing and reacting to mould
The more common areas that mould tends to establish in rental homes include areas that receive less ventilation, such as the bathroom and laundry. A leaking pipe can drip moisture underneath the kitchen sink, allowing mould to thrive alongside and beneath the cabinetry. Drafty windows can release moisture inside and mould also can find a point of entry from heating and air conditioning units.
When any species of mould grows inside your residence, the landlord should be notified immediately. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that tenant homes are habitable. Landlords are also responsible for notifying tenants of any existing mould within the rental property prior to the signing of the lease. Examine your lease to understand who is responsible for resolving circumstances around mould growth.
The responsibility of mould remediation falls upon the landlord if the mould presents a health hazard or makes the property uninhabitable. However, if the mould growth resulted from the tenant’s actions, the landlord can charge the tenant for the cost of mould remediation services. Read your lease for details about how to handle the presence of mould within your home.
Mould testing and assessment
If you suspect mould growth in your rental property, two options can confirm whether or not mould has taken hold. A do-it-yourself mould testing kit is one way of doing it. The other option is calling in a certified mould remediation company to offer a more accurate reading of the level of mould within your rental home. Renters may wish to ask their landlord to cover the expense of hiring a professional to evaluate any possible contamination of mould within the property.
If mould is obvious, take steps to document its presence. Clearly photograph the mould, or take well-lit videos showing evidence of the growth. Any leaks in close proximity to the mould should also be photographed or captured on video. When you notify your landlord about the mould within your home, keep detailed notes about the conversation, including the date and time of the call, as well as records about what was discussed to resolve the mould issue.
As a tenant of a rental property, you can take steps to prevent mold within your residence. Humidity levels maintained at 50 percent or less can efficiently control mould growth. Request immediate maintenance as soon as you discover faulty plumbing, a leaky roof or any other issues that allow moisture to enter the home. Prevent the buildup of condensation around windows, piping or exterior walls with insulation. Any damp carpeting must be dried thoroughly and quickly to avoid mould growth underneath. Mould growth can occur in as quickly as 48 hours.
Professional mould remediation
If mould contamination is discovered in your rental property, a professional mold remediation service is best suited to clean up the damage. Attempting a DIY removal only spreads the mould spores to other areas of the home, increasing the contamination.
Mould Pro is correctly equipped to return your rental property to its original, mould-free condition. Skilled mould remediation technicians use advanced mould detection equipment to conduct mould inspections that precisely evaluate the level of mould spores within your rental property. Specialists then professionally clean up all evidence of mould with current techniques that leave your property mould-free.