Mold is one of the worst problems you can have in your home because it leads to both health and home issues.
Mold exposure can cause mild, allergy-like symptoms, but it also has effects like migraines, skin rashes, and pulmonary hemorrhage. The colony itself could be destroying your home from the inside out, since mold literally feeds on the structural elements of your home.
If you own your home, it’s imperative that you call a mold company in St. Louis right away to rid your home of mold and help you prevent against it in the future. But things are a little more complicated if you are in a rental situation, whether you are the tenant or landlord.
When mold is found in a rental property, who is responsible: the landlord or the tenant?
Who is Responsible for Mold in Rental Properties?
The person who owns the home is the responsible party when it comes to mold. Therefore, the landlord is responsible for handling mold issues in a rental home.
But that doesn’t mean the tenant is without accountability.
Tenants of rental homes should do everything they can to avoid mold in their home. This includes frequent cleaning, drying spills immediately, reporting leaks to the landlord ASAP, and controlling humidity. As long as all of these things are done, mold shouldn’t be a huge problem for rental properties.
How long should it take a landlord to deal with mold?
In most states, a landlord has 14 days to evaluate the mold issue in a rental property. Your individual rental agreement may vary slightly.
But that doesn’t mean they can have the mold removed in that time. Often, a mold removal company must be called to handle the situation. Then, the home needs to be thoroughly inspected for mold damage, and humidity levels need to be restored. These things take time to be done right, even if no repairs are needed.
For this reason, a landlord has a full 30 days to handle a mold issue in their rental properties.
Of course, most tenants are going to be understanding —and appreciative — if their landlord takes extra time to ensure the home is mold free and in even better condition than before the mold damage.
Mold inspections for rental properties
Mold inspections benefit the tenant and landlord. From the potential renter’s perspective, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting. And for a landlord, inspections help you keep tabs on the condition of your property between tenants.
To properly check a home for mold, you should always check the following areas:
- Crawl space or basement
- Window sills
- Air ducts
- Laundry room
It’s not a bad idea to purchase a DIY mold testing kit. We highly recommend professional inspections, though, because they are an impartial 3rd party that both tenants and landlords can trust.
Mold Removal for Rental Properties
The severity of your mold infestation will determine the best way to get rid of it.
A small amount of mold (10 square feet) can be removed safely with a bleach cleaner. Just make sure the mold is surface level only, and wear a mask and gloves when scrubbing mold away.
Anything larger than 10 square feet needs to be handled by a mold removal professional from Pure Maintenance of St. Louis. Removing it may involve tearing out carpet, breaking into walls, and evacuating the home.
There are some things you can do to prevent mold before it starts, which is much preferred to dealing with a major mold issue later on.
Here are a few of them.
Bathrooms and kitchens need to be well ventilated because of the high moisture in these areas, but the rest of the home should have good air flow as well. Running fans throughout the home helps, as does opening the windows on low-humidity days.
Finding water leaks before they can turn into a mold problem is the #1 way to prevent mold.
Common areas for mold include kitchen and bathroom drains, inside cabinets, and around the base of walls after flooding, plumbing leaks or spills. When tenants actively inspect the home for water leaks and the early signs of mold, it can really give their landlord a head start in preventing severe mold issues.
Landlords and tenants alike should be educated about mold in order to prevent it inside a rental property.
Mold can be unpredictable, but a few things about it are always true. For starters, it almost always shows up when indoor moisture is high. This could be from a leak, busted pipe, or a major spill. In any event, the moisture needs to be cleaned up right away to prevent mold from setting up.
Also, knowing where mold is most likely to grow is invaluable information for both parties, so there can be constant checks on these mold hot spots.
And above all, communicate with one another about potential mold issues. Sharing pertinent information between landlord and tenant could be the one vital step that keeps a rental property mold free.
In Conclusion: Rental Properties & Mold
Preventing mold is much easier than getting rid of it, but in a rental home, when the person who lives in the home isn’t the one responsible for its care, the lines can blur and make it difficult to effectively prevent mold.
Whether you own rental homes or are living in one, the best advice we can give is to be careful concerning mold. Keep an eye out for conditions that are favorable for mold, and do everything you can to prevent mold rather than waiting for it to appear.
Being vigilant about preventing mold and honest when it does appear will save both parties precious time, and it will protect all who spend time in the home.