Fungus Among Us: How to Keep it from Eating Away Your Profits

MoldSpring is in the air, and after this sloppy winter, so are mold spores.
Landlords across the country now have to contend with the expense of mold mitigation, only to find that it will return a short time later.
But with a little education, tenants can do more than complain about mold.  They can play a major role in preventing it from developing in your unit.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has some tips for your renters to keep mold at bay:
First, it’s good to know what you are dealing with.  Mold grows anywhere there is moisture, including in the air. The problem with mold is not what you see, but the tiny spores it produces when it is disturbed.  Mold is generally harmless, but can cause health problems for renters, especially those who suffer from asthma or allergies. It is not a good idea for you or your tenant to try to remove the mold, especially without an effective respiratory mask.
Look for mold to grow in these typical problem areas:
  • kitchen, bathroom and laundry room
  • fish tank
  • leaky window, roof
  • houseplants
  • humidifiers
  • non-vented burning appliances: water heater, dryer, stove
Have you renters follows these steps to reduce the chances of mold developing:
  • immediately notify landlord of any suspected water leaks or reappearing mold
  • always use exhaust fans when cooking or after showers
  • periodically disinfect the walls and floors around sinks, tubs, toilets, windows and patio doors
  • don’t shove the furniture against the wall “ leave a space for circulation
  • don’t close off heating vents (mold likes the damp cold)
  • close windows during rainstorms
There is some good news:  Mold needs at least 24 hours of moisture to grow.  Find the water source and you find the mold.  Remove the water source, and you kill the mold.
If you are having trouble finding the source of mold in your unit, there are a number of high-tech devices that help you search it out.  One of the most effective, however, is much simpler:  a well-trained dog.  A number of K-9 mold detection teams are available to sniff out the problem — literally.

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