As a landlord, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that your rental property complies with local housing codes. This includes maintaining a mold-free home. Not only does this get rid of dangerous spores, but this also lengthens the lifespan of your South Florida rental home. Since mold growth isn’t covered by your insurance, it’s in your best interest to prevent this problem.
Where does mold come from?
Mold thrives in moist environments. In older homes, mold begins to grow inside paneling and wallpaper. If your walls begin to warp or if your tiles start to crack, this is probably a sign that you have a mold growth problem. Similarly, if you notice that your walls and floors feel softer than usual, you should consider this as a red flag.
However, a mold infestation can also occur in newly constructed homes. For instance, if your attic and basement aren’t “moisture-proof”, this can create a breeding ground for mold. This is why it’s important to use the right materials for your fascia and soffit.
Why is mold dangerous?
There should never be any signs of mold in your South Florida rental property. If your tenants suffer from mold-related losses (e.g. health issues), they may be able to take you to court. Here are several reasons why you should eliminate mold as soon as possible:
#1 Mold Can Destroy Your Home
Mold spreads fast. If the source of moisture isn’t removed immediately, mold and mildew can spread throughout the entire living space. This is because mold is airborne — meaning, its spores can land on all of your personal belongings and begin to cause damage. If you ignore the mold infestation, eventually, your entire rental property will require serious repairs. This can be expensive, as you’ll need to replace nearly everything.
#2 Mold Can Cause Health Problems
Mold exposure can cause health problems such as severe coughing, itchy eyes, chronic fatigue, and so on. People have also reported having headaches and memory problems due to mold. Individuals with respiratory diseases such as asthma are at higher risk of developing serious health issues.
As a landlord, the last thing you want is for your tenants to develop health problems due to your negligence. Not only can this result in a lawsuit, but it also ruins your reputation and increases your vacancies.
Since mold is a serious concern, you should regularly inspect your rental property. Enlisting the services of a property management company can help, as they can conduct all of the necessary checks for you.
How can you prevent mold growth?
This may sound cliche, but prevention is better than cure. Control the moisture before it can create mold. Here are some ways to stop indoor mold growth in your South Florida rental property:
#1 Pinpoint Problem Areas
Does your basement frequently flood? Are there leaks underneath your faucet? These are some of the common causes of mold. Mold thrives in moist environments, so the best solution would be to curb the moisture before it can cause a full-blown mold infestation. Take action the moment you notice these telltale signs. For instance, if the carpet in your basement has gotten damp, rip it out immediately and replace it with mold-resistant materials.
If your rental needs repairs (e.g. damaged gutters), don’t delay them. The upfront cost may be high, but it will be worth it in the long run. Besides, a property management company can help you look for contractors that offer their services at a reasonable rate.
#2 Tackle Wet Areas
Did someone spill water on the carpet? Did water seep into your basement after the storm? Wet areas in your rental should be dealt with ASAP — and yes, this includes the shower. While it would be impossible for you to wipe things dry for your tenants, it is possible to educate them about it. Your tenants have a role to play in property maintenance, so you should ask them to treat your rental as if it were their own.
To prevent mold in your rental property, ask your tenants to:
- Remove wet clothes from the washing machine
- Report pipe leaks to the property manager
- Remove water-damaged items such as furniture and carpet
- Open windows for improved indoor air circulation
#3 Monitor Indoor Humidity
Is your home too humid? Mold thrives in humid areas which is why it’s ideal to keep the indoor relative humidity (RH) between 30% and 50%. If you don’t have a moisture meter, you can monitor the RH by paying attention to “problem areas” in your home. You can tell if your home is too humid if you notice condensation on windows and walls.
#4 Clean Your Gutters
Gutters should be cleaned twice a year, however, you should clean them more often if you have trees near your home. Over time, roof gutters will accumulate dirt and debris. If they’re left uncleaned, this can damage them and cause them to leak. When water makes its way into the home, this can be the beginning of a mold infestation.
If your rental property is in a stormy state, you should regularly check and clean its roof gutters. Remove dirt and debris (e.g. leaves and nests) and conduct the necessary repairs.
If your single-family rental property is a two-story structure, you should discourage your tenants from doing the repairs themselves. The last thing you want is for your tenant to fall down the ladder. Instead, entrust this task to your property manager.
The best way to prevent mold in your rental property is by conducting regular repairs and inspections. As your full-service property management firm, Luxury Property Care is committed to protecting your investment property. When you hire us, you’ll have a dedicated property manager who will make sure that your home is always in tip-top shape.