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How to Prevent Mold in Your Rental Property: 7 Steps to Take

Having mold in your rental property can be a huge hassle. From minor damages to major health hazards, mold is something you definitely want to avoid. However, preventing mold catastrophes isn’t always easy in rental properties because you aren’t there all the time.

In many areas, you aren’t required by law to handle mold in your rental properties. However, mold isn’t an issue you want to ignore. Mold can cause staining and strong odors, and when it gets out of hand can cause a range of health problems like nose, throat, eye, and lung irritation. Toxic varieties of mold can cause even more severe health consequences.

Once mold gets to that point, your property is no longer inhabitable, and the cost for mold remediation can be astronomical. So, as the landlord, what can you do to prevent mold in your rental property?

1. Keep Humidity Levels Low

Mold is caused by moisture. So, it’s no surprise that keeping humidity levels low is critical to keeping mold problems at bay. If you want to stay on top of mold problems, you might even include a dehumidifier with your property. If you live in a humid area, encourage your tenants to keep their windows and doors closed. Humidity levels can be hard to maintain, but it’s possible to keep the humidity levels under control with a bit of cooperation with your tenants.

2. Fix Leaks and Spills As Soon As Possible

Encourage your tenants to clean spills immediately and to submit maintenance requests the second they spot a leak. Even the tiniest leak can result in a significant mold issue down the road. Let them know to check under the cabinets and around the water fixtures regularly because those are the top areas for leaks. When tenants put in maintenance requests or notify you about a leak, it’s essential to take care of it right away. This isn’t a repair you want to drag your feet on. 

3. Look Into Mold Inhibitors For Paint

Mold spores can grow quickly, so it’s wise to consider using mold inhibitors in the paint for your rental property. Mold inhibitors in paint prevent mold from attaching to any painted surface. It won’t completely stop mold growth, but it’s a terrific way to keep mold problems from multiplying – especially on the walls where staining is a real concern. 

4. Regularly Inspect Vulnerable Areas of Your Property

Take the time to inspect the vulnerable areas of your property as often as possible. You might even write regular inspections into the lease so that you’re able to go in and check the property for any leaks and mold trouble spots while the tenants are still living in the property. When you go to inspect, make sure to check all the wet rooms, like the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen, and thoroughly inspect the walls around the windows, too.

5. Encourage Fan and Window Use

Again, moisture is what causes mold. So, opening up the windows and running fans can be a great way to keep the moisture levels low in the property. For instance, after someone showers, there’s a natural build-up of moisture on the walls and floors. 

However, if they run a fan or open the windows, it will help the water dry much quicker, preventing mold growth. Encourage your tenants to use a fan and open windows periodically. You might even include a few standing fans with the property to promote this practice. Also, remember that you don’t want to encourage tenants to keep the windows open if the property is in a humid climate. Just stick with fans. 

6. Install Waterproof Flooring

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Another fantastic prevention method is waterproof flooring. Mold growth under the flooring can be hard to catch and difficult to remedy without entirely replacing the flooring. That’s why installing waterproof flooring is an exceptional proactive measure to take. There are many types of water-resistant and waterproof flooring, like click-lock vinyl plank, tile, and some varieties of laminate. Ultimately, you want to choose a flooring material that looks great and resists water damage and mold build-up.

7. Always Use a Moisture Barrier on Your Flooring Installation

If you’re remodeling or building a rental property from the ground up, moisture barriers can be a long-term lifesaver. Moisture barriers add a non-permeable layer of underlayment beneath flooring and prevent the spread of liquids to lower levels of foundation. Moisture barriers are a proactive, surefire way to keep mold at bay and lower long term maintenance costs.

Don’t Let Mold Impact Your Bottom Line

Mold is an unfortunate adversary every landlord has to face at one point or another. However, the above six steps are a great way to prevent mold from multiplying in your properties.

Be sure to inform your tenants about the dangers of mold and encourage them to do their part. You might even add some provisions in the lease that require the tenant to take proactive measures.

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