What can you do about mould?


If you already have mould, it can be relatively easy to get rid of. It can also be extremely difficult, and if it is, removing it is a professional job.

Before you start, make sure you’re not missing any mould patches. It often appears on walls and ceilings, but also look under carpets, in cupboards, and behind furniture.

Small areas of mould on walls caused by condensation can often be removed with soapy water. For more stubborn mould, look for specialist cleaning sprays. These are strong, bleach-based sprays. You can also make your own with one part bleach to one part water (never use neat bleach as it can damage walls). Whichever method you use, wear a mask, goggles and long gloves to protect yourself from the mould spores.

If you have a large area (over one square metre) of mould, then you’ll need to get a professional mould cleaning company to help. They can often respond to callouts within a day.

Damp and mould are hard to avoid during the winter. It’s pretty much inevitable that your property will suffer from damp in some form for at least part of the year, but there is much you can do to avoid or minimise it.

For example, washing can’t be dried outside in winter, so if there’s no tumble dryer, it’s inevitable that people will use radiators. And few people will be willing to leave their windows open in winter.

With this in mind, you could:

  • Install a tumble dryer if possible (this is especially important in HMOs, where there are multiple tenants all trying to dry washing).
  • Make sure there are working extractor fans.
  • Install vented windows so air can circulate without windows being opened.
  • Make sure the heating has a thermostat and that this is working.

We regularly publish practical advice for landlords. Keep in touch by following @IAMinventories on Twitter

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People and property are my passion, and I love it when they work together in harmony, especially when it involves a binding legal agreement that provides an accurate written record of the condition, contents, and cleanliness of a property at the beginning, during and end of a tenancy. My role is to share insights, knowledge, skills, and know-how with people invested in property. Read more about the evolution of IAM Inventories.