How To Deal With Microbial Growth, Such as Mold, in Your Rental
- AMG Props
Various types of microbial growth are in our everyday environments. While it is entirely harmless in many cases, microbes can become toxic in others. However, even minor mold or bacterial growth signs can cause concern among tenants and landlords alike.
If you or your tenants notice any microbial growth, it should be addressed immediately. In addition to the legal obligations you have to your tenants, controlling microbial growth in rental properties is critical to ensuring their safety and wellbeing. It also protects the investment you have made in your rental property.
Microbial Growth Explained
Microbial growth occurs when the environment is conducive to a specific strain. For example, widely regarded as toxic, black mold prefers a moist, warm environment. While that may not sound like your rental unit, a small leak can quickly provide the required moisture for microbes to take hold.
Microbes are often found growing in basements, under floors, or inside cabinets or walls where a leak is present. These places all share a lack of ventilation, which could allow humidity to build up. This is one of the major contributing factors affecting microbial growth.
How To Identify Dangerous Microbes
There are several signs that you might have a problem with microbial growth in your rental, including:
- Black or dark stains or patches of growth on walls, floors, or under cabinets
- A persistent musty, earthy, or moldy smell
- Reports from tenants of rashes, sneezing, respiratory symptoms, and itchy eyes that are only present when inside the property
Controlling Microbial Growth in Your Rental Property
Fair housing laws require landlords to maintain rental properties in habitable condition. Microbes can quickly undermine those conditions if it contributes to tenants' health problems.
If a tenant reports microbial growth or notices microbe growth signs during a routine visit, you should have it tested. In most cases, you should not attempt to identify a distinct type of microbe yourself. Instead, contact a mold specialist to determine if you need specialized removal services.
Certified technicians will conduct a test to determine what type of microbes are present. Once you receive results, you can develop a plan to control the microbes that are present.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning small patches with a mild soap or bleach solution (don’t mix cleaners together). However, a professional remediation specialist should remove larger spots or microbial growth in a tenant-occupied property.
What To Do After Cleanup
Once the problem is removed, you should identify the underlying conditions that allowed it to occur. Some of the most common factors affecting microbial growth include:
- Excess humidity
- Lack of ventilation
- Leaky pipes
- Roof leaks
- Poor insulation in attics or crawl spaces
Addressing these issues will help prevent future problems. It is also helpful to discuss proper mold detection and prevention strategies with your tenants so they can be active partners in keeping the rental property safe, healthy, and comfortable.
Know When You Need Help To Maintain Your Rental Property
In addition to proper property management and upkeep, there are also numerous rules and requirements that landlords must follow. AMG Props specializes in helping San Diego area property owners manage all aspects of their rental properties. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
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