What you NEED to know about mould!
First we need to establish what mould is. Mould is produced by tiny spores…. mould may begin growing indoors when spores land on moist surfaces. There are many types of mould, but all require moisture and a food source for growth and reproduction. Mould can grow in all different areas of your home and during the winter months, household mould really takes a hold! So now is the best time to evaluate your home for mould. Both the lessor and tenants have a role to play in making sure the property is mould-free.
Who is responsible for mould in my rental?
Depending on the circumstances: If the mould appears as a result of fair wear and tear, or a result of a property maintenance issue such as a roof leak, it is the lessor’s responsibility to have it cleaned. It is always up to the lessor to ensure the premises are maintained and kept in good repair.
However, if the mould is caused by you, for example by not ventilating a bathroom using an extractor fan or opening a window, it may be your responsibility to get the mould removed.
Risks of mould if not treated:
The spores that mould produce can cause health problems if inhaled by people who are allergic or sensitive to them, such as a running or blocked nose, irritation of the eyes or skin and sometimes even wheezing. If you have asthma inhaling the spores may bring on an asthma attack. In very extreme cases it can cause an infection to the lungs.
Consumer protection are frequently receiving complaints from tenants who are concerned about the impact of mould on their health and also complaints that agencies fail to remedy the problem. Even if you are not effected by mould its important to still acknowledge the health risks associated with it and know they must be taken seriously.
Property damages from mould can happen on anything paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products to also things like dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpets, fabrics, and upholstery in your home. Ensure when inspecting the home that you check these areas. Mould can also produce an unpleasant odour that lingers after it is removed and this smell can be difficult and expensive to get rid of.
How do I prevent mould?
- Use fans, and open windows to help reduce the moisture in your home. Be especially vigilant during hot and humid months;
- Fix plumbing leaks as soon as possible;
- Do what you can to prevent rain water from seeping into your home. Check potential problem areas regularly;
- Clean the fabrics in your home routinely and keep them dry;
- Use items such as Damp-Rid tubs which collect moisture;
- Store items in dry, well-ventilated areas.
Hopefully this article helps you to gain a better understanding on mould in your home; how to treat it, how to prevent it and the risks if not managed.