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Dealing with mould and dampness in your investment property this winter

Dealing with mould and dampness in your investment property this winter

During the winter months, as the temperature drops and dampness sets in, your tenants are more likely to enquire about the living conditions at your rental property.

Moulds are fungi that need moisture and organic material to grow. When disturbed or dried out, they release spores that can cause illness in some people. They may also cause structural damage if left untreated. Mould can cause a state of disrepair at rented premises. This can be the result of a breach of the residential tenancy agreement by the landlord or the tenant (e.g. the landlord fails to attend to dampness or the tenant fails to ventilate the premises). 

 

 HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF MOULD 

 

 Maintaining proper ventilation

  • Turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes. 
  • Open windows when weather permits, to improve cross ventilation. 

 

 Reduce humidity 

  • Limit the use of humidifiers.
  • Limit the number of fish tanks and indoor plants.
  • Limit use of unflued gas heaters 

 

 Equip your home with mould-resistant products 

  • Use mould-resistant products like mould-resistant drywall or mould-resistant Sheetrock, and mould inhibitors for paints. 

 

 Control moisture/ dampness 

  • Repair all water leaks and plumbing problems e.g. burst water pipes, leaking roof or blocked rain gutters. 
  • If water enters your home, completely clean and dry water-damaged carpets and building materials. Discard material that cannot be cleaned and dried completely. 

 

 Rising and lateral damp

  • Rising damp is ground moisture rising up a brick or stone wall. Poor sub-floor ventilation or moisture in the sub-floor area will worsen the problem. This can be fixed by installing a new damp course or waterproof barrier in the wall. Ensure the weep holes and air vents at the base of your home are uncovered. If you have rising or lateral damp an experienced building consultant can check the 'damp course' and recommend ways to fix the problem. 

 

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