With the humidity of summer hitting, here are 5 steps to check to detect mold problems in your rental property, the weekly maintenance tip from Keepe.
Mold can not only lead to structural damage to your property, but also cause serious health risks to you and your tenants if not caught and treated in a timely manner in your rental property.
Because of the severe and broad effects that mold can have, responsible ways to detect mold problems and evaluated them will require both physical examinations of your property as well as open communication with your tenants and/or on-site building manager.
Here are some tips to check during the summer humidity season:
No. 1 – Mold spores or dark spots
Let’s start with the most severe. If you can see mold, you likely have a significant problem on your hands. Visible mold usually indicates just a small portion of a problem that lies underneath.
No. 2 -Water or moisture collection
Mold needs moisture and dampness to settle and grow. Elevated moisture levels in building materials can be another sign of possible mold. A common complaint, for instance, may be a water stain on the ceiling. Official assessment will require a professional with the appropriate materials to confirm whether it’s just a leak to be fixed, or mold.
No. 3 – Musty or damp smell
Not all mold has the same scent, so this may be hard to pinpoint. Generally, the scent of mold is unpleasant and as though something is moist in the area. Some compare the smell to rotten wood or wet socks. Bottom line—if it is not a common scent in the building or apartment, it should be investigated.
No. 4 – Flooding
If your building or any apartment within it has a history of flooding, you should keep a watchful eye on that space. If the flood was not handled by an appropriate professional, you stand the risk of growing mold on both a short- and long-term basis.
No. 5 – Health symptoms
There are several symptoms that could mean exposure to mold. These can be tricky, because the symptoms alone cannot prove a mold problem. However, if you are evaluating all of the above factors on a periodic basis, any additional health reactions can help you determine whether you have a problem. Signs of health symptoms from residents (or others who spend significant time on your property) that may be problematic:
- A lingering cold or flu-like symptoms;
- Frequent headaches that perpetuate and/or get worse;
- Difficulty breathing or other respiratory issues;
- Irritated eyes, skin, throat or nose.
Mold detection should be part of your regularly scheduled property inspections.
Keep in mind that problem areas can include places that have the most exposure to moisture and little access to light, such as basements, bathroom ceilings and ductwork of your HVAC systems.
However, if you notice (or your residents report) any of the listed red flags in the interim and detect mold problems, don’t wait to take action. A mold problem will only get worse and cannot be solved by a simple cleaning in your rental property.
If you stay proactive, you will be better positioned to minimize your mold risks, keep costs down and keep your tenants happy.
Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at https://www.keepe.com