Cleaning mould the right way: 3 steps for landlords
As a conscientious landlord, ensuring the health and well-being of your tenants is always a priority. One critical aspect of maintaining a safe and habitable living environment is addressing the presence of mould promptly and effectively.
Let’s go through the three essential steps to take when a tenant reports a mould problem. If you’re unsure how to confirm the presence of mould, check out our black mould guide.
These steps are in line with the latest government guidance and will ensure that you are complying with all UK legislation.
Step 1: Document the issue
The first step in addressing mould in your tenant’s home is to document its presence. Make a visit in person to photograph the affected area and draw around it to preserve a record. This documentation serves a dual purpose: it can help identify the source of the mould and assist in planning remedial action.
If organised quickly, a qualified professional can assess the mould source before removal. However, it’s crucial not to delay the removal process. Tenant health should always be prioritised above all.
Tenants may wish to pursue medical advice following the presence of mould in their home, especially if they have pre-existing conditions. However, landlords must not wait for a diagnosis to take action. The presence of mould is reason enough.
Step 2: Safely remove mould
Mould can be effectively removed from hard surfaces using appropriate cleaning products, but it’s crucial to follow a few guidelines:
- Opt for mould and mildew-specific cleaning products over bleach. This choice prioritises health and safety.
- For absorbent materials such as carpets, soft furnishings, ceiling tiles and damp plaster, removal may be necessary if mould has penetrated deeply, making it difficult or impossible to entirely eliminate the mould.
Anyone who removes mould should wear protective equipment. Government guidance recommends:
- Eye protection (like goggles)
- Gloves (like thick household cleaning gloves)
- Face mask (to protect from any fumes)
This equipment includes a mask, gloves, and goggles to prevent contact with mould spores or cleaning products. To prevent the spread of mould spores, keep doors shut during the clean-up, but ensure windows are open during and after the process. All protective gear and clothing should be washed or disposed of safely after use. Materials removed during the clean-up, as well as the cloth or sponge used, should be bagged and disposed of properly. Always follow product guidance to protect both the workers and the tenants living in the home.
Mould cleaning – removal and protection
When people try to clean a mould problem, they often reach for simple bleach-based solutions.
As shown above, the government guidance states that specialist mould and mildew products should always be used to clean away mould.
The Dryzone Mould Removal & Prevention Kit is a two-part system.
First, use Dryzone Mould Remover to get rid of surface mould staining.
Then, make sure mould stays gone. Dryzone Mould Sanitiser removes the invisible mould hyphae that lie under the surface of mould-ridden walls.
Once the mould has been eliminated, apply a mould-resistant paint or anti-mould additive to maintain a biocidal barrier to mould growth. In tandem with solving environmental and structural issues, this ensures that the property remains mould-free.
Step 3: Address building deficiencies
Remember – giving tenants the tools to constantly firefight minor mould issues is not the sole solution. While you should equip tenants with mould removers, solving the underlying environmental issue that’s causing mould growth is essential.
Dealing with building deficiencies, condensation issues, and a lack of ventilation will help you maintain a healthy living environment.
Moisture can enter homes through structural defects like leaking pipes or damaged roofs. Quick and effective repairs not only remove moisture but also prevent expensive treatments later. Always engage with TrustMark approved contractors to ensure expert consultation and treatment.
Combat condensation by improving ventilation in moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Regularly maintain ventilation systems and educate tenants on their proper use.
Boost indoor temperature and reduce condensation risk by investing in energy efficiency measures like retrofit insulation. Ensure tenants can control their heating and provide clear instructions on its use.
These steps can help prevent mould and maintain a comfortable living space for your tenants.
Work closely with your tenants to find collaborative solutions and prevent future recurrences. Some tenants who struggle with independent living may face challenges in maintaining a cleaning regime after mould removal, so building relationships with cleaning professionals who can support tenants can be immensely beneficial.
In severe cases, it may be necessary to relocate tenants to alternative, suitable accommodation until the damp and mould hazard has been resolved.
Taking swift and appropriate action to remove mould from your properties is essential for the well-being of your tenants. By following these three steps to prioritise the swift removal of mould, you can ensure a clean and healthy living environment for your tenants while fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship.