The dreaded phone call: It's a phone call you've been dreading: your property manager has conducted a routine inspection at your investment property and has revealed a substantial mould problem. In all other regards, the property is in great repair - but there's mould present. It's not the tenant's negligence that has resulted in this mould infestation - it's generally an issue to do with the property's construction or a building defect.
As experienced property managers, we know that mould infestation is a problem that must be taken seriously: living in a mouldy environment can cause health complaints that endanger both a tenant and a landlord.
There’s no quick fix
"I've got a quick fix for mould,"says our landlord. "Just get the tenants to wash the mould away with a bleach solution. That will fix it." Wrong.
Many landlords may initially use 'Doctor Google' rather than a professional. Google may tell you that bleach is the miracle mould cure-all when in fact, bleach makes the mould problem worse.
Bleach feeds mould
Chemicals like bleach are actually a smorgasbord for some fungi: whilst initially you may think bleach solves your mould problem, it actually feeds it. Bleach is effective in sanitising surfaces, and when used on mould it can indeed remove the discoloration associated with an infestation.
It will not, however, remove the microflora which will allow mould to return in exactly the same spot. Any mould that is killed by bleach then leaves behind hazardous mycotoxins - dead mould spores that still present a health hazard.
Bleach Linked To Health Problems
The Herald Sun has reported on the relationship between the use of bleach and health problems - linking the the use of bleach in domestic environments to higher rates of flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia in children.
Research speculates that airborne irritants released whilst cleaning with mould may damage the lining of lung cells, sparking inflammation and making it easy for infections to take hold.
Advertising increasingly promotes the use of antimicrobial products including bleach in the home environment - which makes communicating to owners the risks of this seemingly quick fix difficult.