Monstrous Mould Caused By Far North Queensland Weather
The Cairns Wet Season 2019 has been wet, wet, wet! With the onslaught of monsoon troughs, flooding in the Cairns region and persistent rainfall for many weeks we have seen one issue pop again in our property management day to day - Mould! Mould in Cairns is a reality many tenants and owners alike have to deal with come the raining season the damp, hot weather and continual excessive rain conditions mean that even the best aired homes can see mould creep in.
In regards to your responsibilities as an owner the RTA gives us the following information:
"Deciding who is responsible for cleaning mould depends on how it appeared
in the first place. The tenant should notify the property manager/owner as soon as they are aware of a mould issue. Generally, if the mould is a result of problems with the property (e.g. a leaking roof) it is the property manager/owner’s responsibility to clean the mould and make any necessary repairs. Some buildings may be more prone to mould due to factors such as the age of the building, structural issues, location, or the absence of adequate ventilation or extractor fans. The property manager/owner is more likely to be responsible for mould in these circumstances."
When rain and monsoon weather occurs in Cairns we definitely see an uptick in maintenance around mould, guttering and roof leaks. It is one of the unfortunate weather conditions that specifically affects the tropics.
This year due to a roof leak we have actually have had a mould infestation in our office as well see below for details!
This mould infestation has occurred over 1 week with Jackie herself cleaning the wall twice completely with bleach and other mould products over 24 hours it came back and spurred more due to torrential rain. We have located the issue as a roof leak but due to the excessive rain our roofing plumbing can not yet assess the leak and repair! While we always encourage tenants to clean mould this is just a personal example of how difficult it is to keep on top of in Cairns even when cleaning the wall many times in one week!
FURTHER MOULD INFORMATION
(Information received from the department of housing and public works.
This information has also been supplied to your tenant)
Mould grows in damp, dull and poorly ventilated spaces such as some kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. Dust and dirt in these areas also helps mould breed.
What can I do to reduce mould in my property?
Follow these hints to keep mould out of your property:
Open doors and windows to allow air to circulate, particularly in the bathroom during cool weather.
Keep bathroom walls, showers, shower curtains, baths and basins as dry as possible – open the door to allow air to circulate through the room.
Clean your bathroom and property regularly. Wipe away moisture on windows and walls to keep them dry.
Allow sunlight into the property as much as possible, especially in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
Make sure clothes and shoes are dry before putting them away in a wardrobe or clothes storing area.
Wash and dry damp clothes, and dry and air damp shoes outside as soon as possible.
Leave wardrobe doors open where possible.
Remove fruit and vegetables from plastic wrapping and refrigerate within 72 hours. Discard mouldy fruits and vegetables. Keep fresh food in sealed containers.
Evaporation trays in air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators should be cleaned frequently.
Do not run evaporative air-conditioning systems with water during times of high humidity (over 65%). If the air is feeling humid, run the evaporative air-conditioning system without water.
Always ensure windows are open when running an evaporative air-conditioning system.
Regularly clean carpets and rugs to prevent mould spores using a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vacuum cleaner. Most new vacuum cleaners include HEPA filters.
If water leaks or spills occur indoors, it is important to clean and dry the area immediately or preferably within 24-48 hours to prevent mould from growing.
Ensure the property does not have any water leaks that are visible.
How do I remove mould from my property?
Personal protective equipment, including half-face disposable respirators with P1 or P2 filters are available at hardware stores, and should be used to avoid possible mould spore inhalation when cleaning.
Take additional precautions to prevent mould spore release and transmission by using of drop sheets and excluding persons not performing the work from the area that is being cleaned.
Remove mould by using a suitable mould remover, such as:
– a solution of three parts vinegar and two parts water
– a solution of 70% methylated spirits and 30% water
– a solution of tea tree oil and water, or
– commercial products available from supermarkets.
Ensure that you comply with the safety precautions provided by the manufacturer to protect your eyes and skin from the solution or mould remover.
Wipe clean the affected area using a microfibre cloth with the cleaning solution. Use a two bucket system – one bucket with the solution and the other with clean water. Do not put the dirty cloth back in the solution – wash in the clean water bucket first. This avoids cross contamination.
After cleaning the mould-affected areas with the solution, wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth. Do not use the same cloth used with the solution.
Wipe all surfaces dry with a clean cloth.
It is important to use a different cloth with each process and dispose of them immediately, otherwise the mould spores will be spread and mould will reappear in a short time.
Do not attempt to dry brush the area using a broom or brush as this can increase spread of mould.