20 March 2019
Advice for tenants with seven simple steps to preventing mould growth in rented properties
One of the most common complaints of tenants in rented accommodation is the development of mould in a property – but it is something that can usually be reduced or remedied by the occupant themselves.
Indeed, landlords and property agents should always advise their tenants of how they can take simple steps to reduce moisture levels – as nobody wants mould to develop.
As many regular day to day activities produce moisture, leading to condensation and then potentially mould growth, the key is to strike the right balance between warmth and ventilation.
Here is our simple seven step guide to reducing the risk of mould;
- Produce less moisture – Try not to dry clothes indoors, but if you have to do so in a room with an extractor fan or with a slightly open window. Use condensing tumble driers or vent them to the outside, cover pans when cooking and don’t leave kettles boiling.
- Remove Excess Moisture - Always wipe windows and window sills of your home every morning to remove condensation. This is especially important in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – just opening the window is not enough.
- Ventilate – Ventilate rooms as often as you can. Open a window slightly or use the trickle vents often found on new UPVC windows. Always ventilate when using kitchens and bathrooms and close the doors to prevent moisture spreading to other rooms. Continue to ventilate for a short period after a bath, shower or cooking.
- Give your property room to breathe - Leave space between the back of furniture and cold walls and clear window sills of clutter that will restrict opening the window. Ventilate cupboards, wardrobes and avoid overfilling them as this prevents air circulating. Open bedroom windows for up to an hour as soon as you arise and throw back the sheets or duvets to air the bed and bedding.
- Try and establish a constant temperature – In cold weather it is best to keep rooms warm and avoid condensation with a low, constant background heat on all day, rather than short bursts of high heat when you are in the house. Good heating controls on your radiators, room thermostats will help control heat levels and manage your costs.
- Insulate and draught-proof – Something more for landlords than tenants, but insulation, secondary or double glazing, cavity wall insulation and draft-proof windows and external doors make a huge difference. They are investments which can lead to longer term savings, and in some cases, grants are available for insulating your home.
- Consider buying a hygrometer – A low cost purchase which will help you monitor the relative humidity in your home, and alert you to the need to take steps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air if it gets too high.
HOW TO REMOVE BLACK MOULD SUCCESSFULLY
Black mould can grow on walls, ceilings, furnishings and even on clothes and toys, which can be depressing and expensive, so if it does appear, here is our advice on how best to deal with it.
- Carefully remove excess mould with a damp cloth and throw away after. Or if possible, use a vacuum cleaner and empty after. Do not brush mould as this releases spores into the air.
- Wipe down affected areas using a fungicidal wash or diluted bleach – remember always use rubber gloves and wear safety glasses.
- Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and disinfectant – and great for cleaning mould or mildew. Try a dilute of three to four drops of Tea Tree oil in two litres of water (hot or cold), but always carry out a test on small area before using more widely. Soak mildewed items in the solution or spray on to trouble spots using a plant mister. Wipe, then rinse off.
- After treatment redecorate using a fungicidal paint or wall paper paste – do not paint over using an ordinary paint.
- Dry clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets.
Should you need any further advice, contact or Residential Lettings Team on (01482) 564564