Mold is a common issue in many rental properties, especially in high humidity and flood areas. Depending on the state, there may be mold laws to adhere to when renting out property. While not all mold is toxic, some can cause health issues which is a liability and all mold causes damage to the property itself.
It is important as a landlord or property manager to take the steps to prevent and treat mold immediately. It is a good idea to have a professional come out an inspect the property to see if there is any pre-exisiting mold and point out potential breeding grounds to look out for.
When you manage multiple properties it is wise to provide all tenants with a list of tips for minimizing the potential for mold growth. While it is impossible to remove every single mold spore it is possible to keep it to a minimum to avoid property damage and health hazards. A few tips to include in the list for preventing mold include:
- When showering leave a window open or use an exhaust fan to minimize the moisture build up.
- If they have a dryer they need to ensure the vent is properly hooked up and the moisture is not building up behind the dryer.
- When cooking there should be an exhaust fan turned on to allow steam to dissipate.
- Any spills or overflows need to be cleaned up immediately and the area needs to be fully dried.
- Any signs of leaking from the roof or burst pipes needs to be reported immediately.
- Try to keep the humidity level between 30 and 50 %. In areas of high humidity a dehumidifier is a good tool for reducing the humidity.
As a landlord it is a good idea to make sure the property is insulated properly. It is also a good idea to remove carpeting from bathrooms and kitchens and replace with a hardwood, tile, or vinyl surface.
Once mold has been seen it is important to work as fast as possible to treat it to avoid it spreading. While some cases require professionals to treat and dispose of any mold, there are ways to treat it yourself. When treating mold you want to keep your hands, respiratory system and eyes protected with the use of rubber gloves, masks, and goggles. There are cleaning solutions specific to mold and mildew that you can purchase at hardware stores or a simple solution of bleach and water may do the trick.