If you have renters who are afraid of mold or don't know what to do about a mold infestation, it's important to get some mold cleaning tips before jumping right into it. If you can see the mold, great, you're ready to get down to cleaning it up. But, if your nose notices a strong, musty smell but you're not sure where it's coming from, you need to check around the home, apartment or commercial building for areas with mold.
The most common areas where mold is found are as follows:
Bathrooms are considered a breeding ground for mold, as the wet, humid climate facilitates mold growth. Keep an eye on the area around tubs, and any surrounding areas that get wet often. If you happen to be replacing drywall in a bathroom, make sure to check for mold around pipes. When you're checking the basement for mold, keep your eyes to the ground.
The bottom of basement walls are one place that mold loves to hang out. Also check under the bathroom, or in any areas where there has been a history of water leaks. As people normally don't venture into attics very often, mold can go crazy up there! It only takes a little bit of moisture to do a lot of damage in an attic, and can quickly spread to the sentimental items that you have stored up there.
So, how should you deal with the mold infestation? The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you wear an N-95 respirator while cleaning up mold, so that you don't inhale mold spores. They also suggest wearing non-porous plastic gloves and goggles. To clean, use detergent and water, a 10% chlorine bleach solution or a commercial mold treatment product. If you find that you have mold on carpeting, inside the walls or on insulation, you need to completely remove these items from the home.
Now that you've cleaned the mold up, how do you avoid the growth of future mold spores? It's important to consider how the mold was formed. Was the mold in a bathroom that didn't have proper ventilation? Was the mold caused by a water leak? Improve bathroom ventilation, fix water leaks, check for water leaks often, and keep the humidity in your home and basement below 50%, using air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.
After taking these steps, hopefully you will no longer have mold problems. Instruct your tenants to let you know immediately if they see signs of mold, as it can grow quickly.