We're into January and deep into the winter and it's the time when chances of exposing your property to severe bouts of condensation leading to unwelcome mould is at its highest.
Rooms are more susceptible to moisture build-up during this time, when windows are left firmly closed most of the time to keep the heat in during the cold winter months. The natural air flow through the house you’d get in warmer weather isn’t there.
Essentially, mould is a fungus that develops from tiny airborne spores, able to grow anywhere in a home, from walls, pipes and ceilings through to carpets, clothing and paper with mildew and black mould the tell-tale signs.
Not only can this impact the air quality in your home, it can have a detrimental effect on health too. The young, the elderly and those with respiratory issues are particularly at risk. Remember, protect your investment and ensure you don’t have to re-decorate, avoid structural damage and prevent complaints from your tenants by staying mould aware.
Here’s our top 5 tips for landlords to help keep mould and condensation away:
1. Extractor fans
Ideally, your property will be fitted with a number of extractor fans. A larger one, sensibly positioned in the kitchen that can handle steam and cooking smells and vent it quickly outside. And also a smaller one for the bathroom to remove large amounts of humid air and moisture. Consider one in any utility room in the home if applicable.
It is important to use bathroom extractor fans whenever you take a bath or shower in order to avoid future problems from damp and mould. We cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused by damp where extractor fans have not been used properly.
If there is a window, it is also worth keeping it ajar and the door open, and even wipe down the walls to help prevent mildew appearing. This extractor fan and
In bathrooms without a window, you will find that the fan continues to run even after being turned off. This is because it is fitted with a timer to ensure that steam and humid air continues to be extracted after you have left the room.
2. Ask tenants to be smart with their storage
The biggest thing here is that bedrooms aren’t overfilled, whether they’re being used as an actual bedroom or a storage room. In bedrooms, wardrobes can be a breeding ground for black mould as it stops that all-important air circulation.
The same can be said for bedroom furniture such as the bed, cupboards and storage boxes, make sure they’re not too flush up against walls or skirting boards. This is especially true for external-facing walls.
3. Encourage tenants to dry clothes outside where possible
Using a tumble dryer with an external moisture exhaust pipe, or drying your clothes on a radiator can cause major condensation build-up in a home.
In winter, drying clothes outside on a line isn’t feasible isn’t so tenants should always attempt to keep rooms aired with adequate ventilation Ideally with the window open. Wet clothes shouldn’t be left lying around scrunched-up so they can’t dry properly and attract mould.
4. Prep the soil of houseplants
What’s often overlooked is that mould spores are a big fan of getting into moist soil, and house plants give it an ideal opportunity. Again, inform tenants to make sure they keep the soil clean and add an anti-fungal – that acts as a deterrent – to any plants located in the house.
5. Keep the properties guttering clear and ground water away
As the landlord, get the guttering and roof checked over as well, when either are these are damaged and causing a leak, mould may well be a stage that’s not to far away.
New internal marks and stains could on ceilings could be evidence of a leak outside. So make sure the guttering and brickwork outside of the property is checked and inspected for damage regularly