Mold growth is a huge problem that no landlord or property management company wants to deal with. When the signs of mold appear, you need to act fast, otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble. Under the implied warranty of habitability, the landlord must keep their rental property free from issues that could put their tenant’s health at risk. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Mold can be hard to get rid of, and often, you’ll have to move your tenants out of the rental unit while you deal with mold growth. Whether or not they’ll be allowed to return is another concern.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold or Stachybotrys is a kind of mold that is commonly known as “toxic black mold”. Unlike other kinds of mold, black mold is the one that’ll likely make you sick. This is because toxic black mold produces mycotoxins that can cause allergic reactions.
What Are The Causes of Black Mold?
Black mold, like any other kind of mold, thrives in moist environments. You’ll likely find black mold growing in areas that were damaged by water, such as on the ceiling, carpets, etc. of basements and attics. Its signs aren’t always visible at surface level, so if your walls were damaged by water, you’ll have to tear them down to ensure that the mold hasn’t started to grow on the drywall. To identify if your home has become a breeding ground for black mold, be on the lookout for the following:
- Black spots. If you see dark-colored spots on the ceiling, carpets, walls, etc., it’s likely black mold.
- Musty smells. If your tenants complain about a pungent odor, it’s probably mold, even if the signs of mold aren’t visible.
- Allergy symptoms. The cause of your tenant’s allergic reactions could be mold. The common symptoms of an allergic reaction include red eyes, runny nose, itchy skin, and so on.
What Health Problems Are Caused By Black Mold?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in general, mold can trigger allergic reactions such as colds, coughing, fatigue, and so on. Black mold, on the other hand, isn’t likely to cause serious medical concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it hasn’t been proven that Stachybotrys can cause severe issues that other types of mold don’t cause. In other words, the effects of black mold are similar to the effects of other kinds of mold.
Although black mold is unlikely to cause cancer, keep in mind that as the property owner, you still owe it to your tenants to maintain a mold-free unit. Remember, keeping your tenants happy is an important part of property management. Mold may not be that dangerous, but it’s still bothersome, especially to tenants that have asthma.
How Can You Get Rid of Black Mold?
Below, we’ll outline some of the ways you can remove black mold from your investment property. Remember to gear up with rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask to keep yourself safe from its spores.
Getting Rid of Mold From Walls
- Spray the walls with a mold and mildew remover. If your walls are covered in wallpaper, you can use a homemade solution of dish soap and water.
- Scrub the walls with a stiff-bristled brush or wipe them down with a sponge if you have wallpapered walls.
- Rinse the walls with water.
- Dry the walls with a cloth, preferably microfiber.
Getting Rid of Mold From Furniture or Upholstery
- Bring the furniture outside, positioning it under direct sunlight. This will kill the mold and make clean-up easier.
- Scrub the areas where there is mold growth with a stiff-bristled brush. Be careful not to scrub areas that don’t have mold, as this can cause the spores to spread out.
- Once the spores have been “loosened” from the upholstery, use a vacuum to remove them.
- Spray the cleaned area with a homemade solution of detergent and warm water.
- Allow it to air-dry outdoors.
Getting Rid of Mold From Bathrooms
Mold From Tiles
- Spray bleach or a mold and mildew remover onto the tiles.
- Scrub the area using a stiff-bristled brush.
- Rinse the area with water and then dry with a cloth.
Mold From Showers and Baths
- Spray a mold and mildew remover onto the affected area.
- Allow it to sit for one hour.
- Scrub the area using a stiff-bristled brush that has been dipped in hot water.
- Rinse the area with water.
Mold From Shower Drains
Warning: Do not use try this if you recently poured a chemical cleaner down the drain.
- Shove a funnel down the drain and then pour bicarbonate soda into it.
- Pour white vinegar down the drain. You’ll notice it starting to bubble.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes or wait until the bubbling settles.
- Pour hot water down the drain, wait a few minutes, and then pour cold water.
Getting Rid of Mold From Ceilings
- Spray water and detergent onto the affected area.
- Allow it to dry, then spray it again with bleach and water. This may ruin the paint on your ceiling, so you may need to re-paint it.
- Allow it to dry for around 20 minutes, and then re-apply another layer of bleach and water. Let it dry.
- To make sure that the spores are killed, use a fungicide to clean the area once more.
How Can You Prevent Mold in Your Rental Property?
Mold removal costs $2,347 on average. This is a steep price, especially for landlords that are relying on rental income alone. To make sure that you earn a decent passive income from your investment property, you need to keep your costs low. Follow these property management steps to ensure that mold doesn’t appear in your rental property:
- Make sure that the rental unit is well-ventilated.
- Make sure that the indoor humidity is at 30% to 50%.
- Stay on top of repairs, especially structural and plumbing problems.
- Wipe shower walls, doors, and curtains regularly.
- Dry areas that have been affected by flooding.
The best way to prevent mold in your investment property is by hiring a property management company. Luxury Property Care can ensure that your rental unit is free from mold and other problems so that you can continue to provide your tenants with a liveable home. Ultimately, preventive maintenance is the key to keeping mold out of your rental unit. That’s why we conduct inspections and repairs year-round.