After months of rain lashing South East Queensland, chances are you’ve already experienced mould this season. It can affect clothing, shoes, furniture, walls, and many other parts of the home. Mould only grows when there is sufficient moisture on a surface or humidity in the air. Common causes include: leaky roofs and walls including and blocked gutters and downpipes, leaky plumbing, excessive rainfall. Mould is found both indoors and outdoors. Mould can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mould in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mould spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture they will grow.

After months of rain lashing South East Queensland, chances are you’ve already experienced mould this season. It can affect clothing, shoes, furniture, walls, and many other parts of the home. Mould only grows when there is sufficient moisture on a surface or humidity in the air. Common causes include: leaky roofs and walls including and blocked gutters and downpipes, leaky plumbing, excessive rainfall. Mould is found both indoors and outdoors. Mould can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mould in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mould spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture they will grow.

WHAT CAUSES MOULD?

Mould is part of the fungi group that also includes mushrooms and yeast. It often grows in poorly ventilated spaces including kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. Dust and dirt can also encourage mould growth. It can range in colour from green, white and brown and is attracted to surfaces including roofs, windows, or areas where there has been flooding or rising dampness levels. Mould can grow on paper, cardboard, and wood, as well as wallpaper, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. Large infestations of mould can be identified by a smell, which is often described as a “musty” smell.

According to Gerard Murtagh, from cleaning company MouldMen, mould in the home is caused by wet or dampness, lack of ventilation, and humidity. ‘Due to the wet weather, we’re seeing more and more properties that are being flood affected or water damaged,’ he said. ‘We’re seeing a lot of houses that have got water ingress through them. Sometimes it’s because the gutters are filling up so quickly with water, they just can’t get the water away from the home. They then go back over into the eaves or feet and then that water can flow into the house.’

HOW DO YOU STOP MOULD FROM GROWING?

Removing the dampness and humidity is the key to stopping mould, as it needs moisture and nutrients to grow. When it’s a sunny day, allow as much sunlight as possible into the area. When it’s wet and humid, try the following:

– Put your air conditioner on a dry cycle or using a dehumidifier if you do not have an air conditioner. – Don’t pack your furniture too close to the wall — leave room for airflow. – Use absorbent beads to soak up extra moisture in wardrobes and other areas. – Plant lovers should know that reducing the number of indoor plants in your home can stop mould forming.

HOW DO YOU REMOVE MOULD?

There are a number of products you can use to remove mould. According to the QLD Government, they recommend the following: – A mix of three parts vinegar to two parts water – A few drops of Oil of Clove in vinegar (10 drops to 1L) is often recommended but can cause surfaces to discolour or cause allergies (please use a test patch first) – Methylated spirits at a ratio of 70 per cent and 30 per cent water – Tea tree oil with water – Half cut lemon, bi-carb soda and vinegar – Fungicide (which can be found at Bunnings)

Any cloths used with mould removal should be discarded to avoid the spread of spores. Using a broom or brush to remove the mould is not recommended as it can have the same effect. Please ensure when you’re tackling any type of mould, that you wear the correct PPE, including gloves and facemask.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FIXING MOULD IN A RENTAL PROPERTY?

While the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does not make specific reference to mould, it does outline specific requirements in relation to the standard that a rental property must be maintained.

If mould becomes present in a rental property, the tenant should notify the property manager/owner as soon as they are aware of the mould issue.

Deciding who is responsible for cleaning mould and repairing any resultant damage depends on how the mould appeared in the first place.

If mould is a result of problems with the property (for example, a leaking roof, or water damage caused by leaking pipework), it is the property manager/owner’s responsibility to address the mould and make any necessary repairs.

If the tenant has caused the mould to appear (for example, by allowing steam to build up in a bathroom without proper ventilation and/or regular cleaning), they are responsible for cleaning it and paying for any damages that the mould has caused.

If you’re experiencing mould that you think is not due to the wet weather and may be caused from a leaking roof, please take photos and get in contact with your Property Manager as quickly as possible so they can discuss it with you in finer detail. If you are a Landlord, it is in your best interest to address mould issues promptly to avoid long term damage to your investment property. We also recommend having exhaust fans in bathrooms to prevent mouldy ceilings 

BUY  |   SELL  |   RENT  |   MANAGE