Property Managers fear it, tenants hate it and owners are usually just confused by it but it is unfortunately a part of life in many properties in Sydney so we have to talk about Mould.
Why it’s a thing, why it’s an issue and a serious sticking point when it comes to renting, managing it and who exactly is responsible. So here goes!
Despite the common belief that there is always an underlying building issue or source of its appearance in many cases it just isn’t so as many properties are susceptible to mould due to factors such as a lack of natural light and ventilation and allowing a property to be ventilated to outside is a big factor in allowing mould to grow and spread.
Mould’s organisms (part of the common fungi group) are airborne everywhere, indoors and outdoors. It is in moist and inadequately ventilated areas’ that inhibits its growth it thrives on moisture and organic material.
Another important note is that mould needs to be cleaned / killed as it appears but not just from walls, from clothing, glass and window frames really wherever it appears and thoroughly. It will otherwise continue to grow if the environment allows it to. All forms of mould have some potential to cause health problems.
The responsibility of a mould issue can be summarised by Landlords being required to address any dampness issue, i.e. a leak or water penetration issue that is causing the problem, however a tenant must ventilate the premises and is advised to clean mould as it appears.
There are ways in which mould can be managed and in a Residential Tenancy it does require some effort on the tenant’s part so here are some tips I’ve gathered from NSW Health, the office of fair trading, experience as well as other agents.
Some Important Points:
- If not removed/ cleaned then mould will grow and spread. Mould can be removed using either a household bleach, specific mould cleaning product or wiping down the area with Vinegar.
- The appearance of mould does not always indicate that there is an underlying issue i.e. a leak or water penetration issue.
How to Prevent Mould and Manage it
Allow and ensure proper ventilation as preventative meaning;
- Ventilate areas to the outside, windows and doors whenever possible and practical
- While drying clothes, either hanging or using a dryer, ensure you ventilate or do so in a cool area of the property to ensure less moisture is held in the air
- Use any available exhaust fans or vents in bathrooms or laundry
- Dry clothes and footwear thoroughly prior to storing them
- Do not block any fan vents and keep free of any build up
- Allow Sunlight into the home whenever possible by opening blinds during the day
- Doors and windows should be open whenever practical, overnight condensation on windows should be allowed to dry or dried out where possible
- Furniture and items should not be pushed up directly against the walls, as this creates dark airless areas allowing for mould to grow
- Dehumidifiers do work when used, most agents or landlords will happily supply one when requested, they draw moisture out of the air in affected areas, they may not be a permanent solution but they do what ventilating would do when you can’t ventilate properly or securely
“Regular ventilation and cleaning of any mould that appears should prevent re occurrence”
Mould Removal Australia has kindly compiled a Fact Sheet on the prevention and treatment of mould, if you’d like a copy just send through an enquiry and i’ll send it over to you.
Hope this can somewhat dispel some theories and thoughts about Mould, let me know if you have any other thoughts or want to ready about any other issues. I’m all ears!
Oh & the Pic is actually Marble because… ewww Mould.