Mold has no place in a safe and healthy home. It can cause a range of health issues ranging from allergy-like symptoms to respiratory issues.
As part of the implied warranty of habitability, it’s a landlord’s responsibility to keep a rental property free of health hazards. And that includes keeping it mold-free. Here’s a quick guide to how to get rid of mold in your apartment.
Fix the moisture problem first
Mold thrives on moisture and develops near leaky pipes, cracked foundation, or moist basements. Fix the water problem first or else any mold remediation you do will be short-lived. Repair leaking pipes, check your moisture seals, and run a dehumidifier as needed.
Do you need a specialist?
If mold growth only covers a small area (10 square feet or less), then you can probably handle mold remediation yourself. But if mold has had time to take root in a larger area or has gotten into systems like ductwork or the HVAC system, call a specialist who knows how to get rid of mold in such situations.
Protect yourself and seal off the area
Close off the affected areas from the rest of the rental property. You can do this by sealing doors and openings with sheeting. You can also seal seams with duct tape to prevent spores from spreading out while you work.
Wear gloves, an N95 mask and goggles, as well as old clothing you can dispose of when done. Get a box fan by a window to circulate fresh air while you work
Moisten and remove contaminated surfaces
Moisten any moldy materials and rooms with a mist sprayer. This will prevent mold spores from spreading while you work. Then, remove any porous moldy materials. Once you’re done, wet/dry vacuum to clean up affected areas.
Bag moldy materials
Place wet or moldy materials in plastic trash bags that are at least 6 mil thick immediately and tie them closed. Wipe them down with a damp cloth doused with detergent solution to make sure you aren’t bringing out mold from the work area. Then you can dispose of the bags with normal trash.
Once you’ve removed porous moldy materials, you should scrub down non-porous surfaces and wood with a cleaner that is one quart of water and ½ cup bleach. Work with a soft brush and continue until signs of mold disappear. Allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and then wipe dry.
Dry the area & dispose of supplies
Once you’re done removing mold, you will need to give the area time to properly dry out. Keep air circulating and use a dehumidifier and fan if needed. Throw out all supplies and old clothing you’ve used to prevent mold spores from spreading any further.
Once everything is properly dried out, it’s time to replace and rebuild all the insulation, drywall, panels, carpeting and other materials that you’ve had to remove.
Make sure the moisture problem has been properly dealt with at this point or you will have to do this all over again! Consider using paint with added mildewcide in the formula to provide extra protection against future mold growth.
As a final note, detection and prevention is better than cure. Make sure that your water pipes and other home systems are clean and well maintained. Keeping a good rapport with your tenants makes it far more likely that they will report mold or moisture situations early, allowing for quick and easy mold remediation.
For additional resources on how to kill black mold, you can find more helpful tips, how-tos, and infographics at the CDC’s mold cleanup and remediation resources webpage.
You’re one step closer to becoming a great landlord
Mold infestations are just one of the many things that a rental property owner like you will have to deal with to maintain a clean, healthy, and attractive rental property.
If you’d rather avoid the hassle of being a hands-on rental property manager, then Sundance Property Management is here to help. We’re a full-service property management company with more than 30 years of experience in the real estate and rental property markets in states like Ohio, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. We are experts on investment property acquisition and management.
Allow our seasoned team of real estate professionals to handle all your investment property needs, from keeping your tenants happy to maintaining your rental properties in great shape.