Rental Management Tip: How to Kill Mold

landlord helpA number of landlords are experiencing mold problems after a particularly wet winter which brought flooding to many areas.

Many landlords and property managers turn to bleach as a way to eliminate mold, and that works — if it’s the right dilution of bleach.

Experts warn that the bleach you buy in the grocery store is simply not enough to eliminate the existing mold. In fact, household bleach can actually mask the mold, making it harder to detect.  Mold guru Doug Hoffman, who was consulted to help with the mold epidemic after Hurricane Katrina, suggests a stronger biocide, like outdoor Clorox, available at home improvement stores.

Other experts suggest that tea tree oil or vinegar can be effective as natural biocides, if you can tolerate the smell.

One of the important things to keep in mind when handling mold is avoiding the spores that are released as you touch it.  Use a mask and gloves appropriate for the job.  Also, avoid the fumes from biocides, and never mix bleach with other cleansers, especially if you are working in a tight space with no ventilation. is a new website featuring a wealth of information on molds and how to remove them. This site is an invaluable resource to those looking into mold abatement.  You can find articles that cover specific situations, like bathrooms, and outline remedies that work.  You can also listen to a short how-to video featuring Doug Hoffman.

But once the old mold is dead, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a new outbreak if moisture remains. Eliminate the moisture, and you eliminate the problem.

See Mold on the Rise: 10 Tips to Avoid Trouble in Your Property.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at