| | |

Our Wet Weather & Mould

With Mould being a current issue for many of you I thought it would be wise to provide you with some information I’ve gathered from the team at Mould Removal & consumer site Choice.com.au

Some, if not all properties are experiencing mould in some form as a consequence of the unrelenting rain and abnormally high humidity that we have been experiencing. Even if you have never encountered mould growth previously, it is likely that you may come across it at the moment given the weather conditions.

I wanted to offer some useful information on how to prevent and manage the presence of mould as we navigate this constant wet weather and also considering Winter is not that far off.

Where Mould Thrives…

Bathroom: Mould can appear around sink drains, in the shower recess and even on the walls and ceilings. Toothbrush holders can also be harbouring mould. It’ll thrive in your tiling grout and on bathroom ceilings when bathrooms are not sufficiently ventilated.

Laundry: Front-loaders are especially prone to mould, so wipe them down after each load. Regularly clean the detergent dispenser. If you use a tumble dryer, ensure the room is well ventilated and always use an exhaust fan.

Kitchen: Old food in the fridge can quickly develop mould. Regularly clean out the fridge to prevent this from happening, it will spread to other food items and the seals of your fridge.

Wardrobes: Improperly stored clothing can become a breeding ground for mould. Ensure all clothing is well dried before placing them inside the wardrobe. If the wardrobe does not receive adequate airflow, consider investing in a moisture absorber (charcoal products are a great natural option). Wardrobes that have too many clothes packed in fare worse and where shoes are being stored at the same time. Shoes that have any damp fabrics that are then stored can be the source for mould to arise.

Window Frames: When cool air outside meets warmer inside temperatures, condensation forms on the inside of windows or glass doors, this dampness can lead to mould forming on curtains, blinds and timber work and it can spread from there.

Whilst owners are responsible to repair any leaks or water ingress causing the mould, if mould arises simply due to the environment allowing it to develop, that can be seen to be the tenants responsibility to manage.”

Ventilation! Adequately ventilating a property is by far one of the most effective ways to prevent the growth of mould.

Some preventative tips & other advice…

Ventilation: Adequately ventilating a property is by far one of the most effective ways to prevent the growth of mould. As a tenant you should always make sure that where possible, windows are left open for fresh air especially on dry days, exhaust fans in bathrooms are used and steam is not left to dissipate throughout the property. Make sure exhaust fan covers are cleaned to keep them working at their best, they need to be kept on for a short while after showering as well.

Cleaning: Mould loves dust – all surfaces need to be kept clean and regularly wiped down to prevent the build-up of dust/mould. This is also especially important for clothes and shoes which should be regularly checked if they are stored away in cupboards or wardrobes for long periods of time.

Drying Clothes: It is not recommended to dry clothes inside as this will release moisture into the air as the clothes dry, creating the perfect environment for mould growth.

Wet Areas: It is so important to make sure that wet areas such as laundries and bathrooms are dried quickly, this is also an important step once floors have been mopped and windows washed.

Air-Conditioning: If your property has air-conditioning, it is recommended to periodically run this each day during wet or very humid weather as it will ventilate with the circulation of cool air and reduce atmospheric humidity. The use of a dehumidifier is also recommended if there is one present or available to you.

Dealing with & Treating Mould…

Firstly, remove the source of moisture. The best way to control mould growth is to control moisture, so it is important to identify the sources of moisture and remove or control them, otherwise, the mould problem is likely to reoccur.  Mould will only grow in damp unventilated rooms. Check for sources of water from roofing and plumbing leaks including damaged pipes and drains, and report the issue if repairs are required. Wash clothing, bedding and other soft fabric articles, such as soft toys, in a washing machine on a hot cycle. Items that have been mouldy for several weeks, like bedding may not be able to be cleaned and may need to be disposed of. Wash all the clothes you used for cleaning up separately to other clothes.

Other contaminated soft furnishings that cannot be put in a washing machine will have to be cleaned professionally. If this is not possible, they may need to be thrown out.

If you do find mould, the best home-prepared products are vinegar and clove oil solutions which will kill and remove the mould. Contrary to popular belief bleach is ineffective as it will simply bleach the mould and leave it in place to grow and spread even further. Do not dry brush the mouldy area, as the brush can flick spores into the air where they may be breathed in.

A recommended cleaning method is to mix four litres of hot water, 1 tablespoon bicarb of soda and half a cup of vinegar and clean down the surface. Once cleaned, then prepare a quarter teaspoon of clove oil per litre of water, place in a spray bottle, lightly mist the mouldy area, leave it for 20 minutes, wipe down with a dry towel and repeat the mist and wipe step a few more times.

If you’ve decided to remove mould, make sure there is good ventilation and wear protective clothing, such as a shower cap, rubber gloves, eye protection, overalls, suitable footwear and a face mask.  The proper protective gear is advised in order to protect your health.

Lastly…

Whilst a landlord is responsible to repair any leaks or water ingress issues that are causing the mould to begin with, most cases recently, mould have arisen simply because of the weather events and difficulties in properly ventilating our homes.

Hope this has been of some help and I thank everyone who has been extremely patient whilst we work through the various roof leaks and issues that have arisen as a result of the storms, and work towards securing trades who are obviously in demand at this time.

With thanks,
Antonio

Share:


– Antonio

Director & Property Manager