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Shielding Your Rental Home from Mold

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

A damp and musty home exposes household members to the risk of acquiring various diseases, including nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, and eye or skin irritation. The situation may be different for individuals with mold allergies or chronic lung illnesses. Most noteworthy, damages resulting from mold are not generally covered by home insurance. Thus, the need to prevent the occurrence of molds in your home.

Where do molds grow?

A mold can grow in places where moisture abounds, such as windows, pipes, and roofs. It can practically grow anywhere, from tiles on your ceiling to carpet to upholstery. The most common types of mold include:

  1. Alternaria – the most common form of allergenic mold that usually grows in showers, bathtubs and anywhere that is damp
  2. Aspergillus – commonly found in American households, specifically on foods and in air conditioning systems
  3. Cladosporium – grows on the back of painted surfaces, toilets, and fiberglass air ducts
  4. Stachybotrys atra (the “black mold”) – can trigger allergic reactions
  5. Ulocladium – usually in black color and grows in homes that have experienced extensive water damage

Mold prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests the following steps to control mold growth:

  • Keeping humidity levels as low as possible by turning on the air conditioner or using dehumidifier
  • Fixing leaky roofs, pipes, and windows
  • Cleaning and drying carpets, upholstery, walls, and other pieces of furniture after flooding within two days at the most
  • Putting ventilation in the showers, laundry area, and cooking area and using exhaust fans wherever possible
  • Using mold-killing products such as vinegar, bleach, and borax to clean the bathroom

Avoid the possibility of your tenant suing you for compensation and damage resulting from mold contamination in your rental home. While it is the tenant’s role to collect and provide proof of such, it is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure proper living conditions are available for your tenants from the beginning. Mold contamination is a serious problem you can avoid being entangled with by taking the necessary steps in managing your rental home.

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