There may be no scarier word in the rental industry than mold. Landlords and tenants both fear it’s potentially devastating effects on their health and home. But how do you know if mold is present in your rental home? Learn tips below from a company specializing in rental home management in Washington DC on how to tell if you have mold and what you should do.
How to Determine if it is Mold or Dirt?
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist conditions and on organic materials. So, if you notice discoloration you suspect to be mold, there are a few steps you can take. Quickly test for mold by dipping a swab in diluted bleach and dab it on the affected area. This mixture should be 1 part bleach to 16 parts water. If the spot lightens after several seconds, it’s likely mold. However, if there is little change, it is probably just dirt. Clean the area thoroughly and continue to monitor.
Signs of Mold Growth in Your DC Rental Property
- Water damage
- Humidity and Condensation
- Strange odor
- Health issues
- Visible discoloration
Health-Related Signs of Mold in Your Rental Home
- Feeling fatigued
- Chronic coughing
- Skin tingling
- Hives or skin irritation
- Shortness of breath
How to Prevent Mold Growth Before it Happens
No one wants the expense or hazard of having mold in their home. Mold does not like well-lit areas and can multiply quickly without being seen. As a tenant, you play a vital role in preventing mold issues from arising, follow these simple steps.
- Dry up any wet spots right away: Spills and leaks need to be wiped up immediately. If the area cannot be thoroughly dried, utilize fans to aid in drying the area quickly.
- Ensure proper airflow: Use a dehumidifier in dark or damp areas such as a basement to keep moisture down. Also, be sure to keep air vents free of furniture to ensure proper circulation of air.
- Vent moisture-producing appliances: Appliances such as the dryer need to be vented to the outside of the home. This is much better than the attic or basement.
When to Call Your Rental Home Management Company in Washington DC
Mold can escalate quickly and just as quickly become very costly to repair. To mitigate this damage, the tenant has a responsibility to notify their landlord of any ongoing or potential issues. Failure to do so may result in the tenant being held partially or fully responsible for the clean-up. Therefore, to avoid liability as a tenant, follow these guidelines for notifying your landlord below.
- If there is a leak: Water is mold’s best friend. Leaks or water damage must be addressed quickly as mold can set in in as little as 48 hours. If you notice water damage or an active leak, reach out to your landlord right away.
- If you notice a musty odor: Not all mold can be seen, but it does have a smell. If you notice a musty odor that has suddenly appeared or got worse, contact your landlord. They may need to send a maintenance vendor to investigate the issue further.
- If you see mold: This may seem obvious, but as soon as you notice something, say something. It is not uncommon for moisture to come through exterior walls or from unseen pipes. If mold appears, it may be hiding a more significant problem, and you should notify your property manager immediately.
Landlords and tenants in Foggy Bottom and throughout D.C. must both play their part to keep a rental property free from mold. Understanding the warning signs, preventative measures, and when to reach out to your landlord is the first step. Are you a homeowner searching for rental home management in Washington DC? Bay Property Management Group Washington DC offers full-service property management for a stress-free investment experience.