Mould Issues in Rental Properties Singapore
As a real estate salesperson, I understand that the comfort and well-being of tenants are paramount.
One common issue plagues rental properties in Singapore, especially in our humid climate, is mould.
Mould not only affects the aesthetics of a property but can also have adverse health effects if left unaddressed.
In this blog, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of mould issues in rental properties in Singapore and provide valuable insights on prevention and remediation.
Before we carry on the guide for the Landlord and Tenant Responsibility, we would like to give an Overview based on my practical experience in property management services.
Certainly, most of the time, the landlords and the tenants would like this to be resolved in a professional approach with the advice of the expertise.
There would sometimes be gaps on the expectations between the landlords and the tenants. While it can be disputed that we live in an environment with moulds around us that, at times, we cannot see it with the naked eye. I could recall a tenant taking a torchlight for viewing when we were seeking for a tenant for our client at a property in Tenerife.
For landlords who need to reach out and get advice from a practitioner for more than 14 years can contact us. We have dealt with this situation numerous times, and we can assist in providing amicable solutions to the nitty gritty situation.
There shall be 3 Steps Approach:
Step 1 – Appoint a Surveyor to do a Site Inspection of the Property.
The Mould Specialist will often do a visual inspection with several specialist tools and equipment, including a moisture meter, thermal imaging
camera, and other equipment. The inspection is a visual inspection. No samples of moulds or materials are taken. The 1st level report ONLY identifies the presence of any moulds; it does not identify the type, genus or species.
Further specialist testing is available if it is required that will detail the type and genus will require additional charges.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY (RH%) PERCENTAGE
Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can “hold” at that temperature. When the air can’t “hold” all the moisture, then it condenses as dew.
Humans are very sensitive to humidity, as the skin relies on the air to remove moisture. Sweating is your body’s attempt to keep cool and maintain its current temperature. If the air is at 100 per cent relative humidity, sweat will not evaporate into the air. As a result, we feel much hotter than the actual temperature when the relative humidity is high. If the relative humidity is low, we can feel much cooler than the actual temperature because our sweat
evaporates easily, cooling -us off. For example,If the air temperature is 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 F) and the relative humidity is 100 percent, we feel like it’s 35 C (95 F).
PROVIDING REPORT SUMMARY
- Results if there are Mould Growth and Spread with Mould Mite colonies on the surfaces. (if any)
- Which Area that is affected. More Common Areas would be on the Ceilings Near Aircon ducts, Aircon Trunkings, Bathrooms and areas near windows.
Moulds may also be seen on hard surfaces, including Doors, door frames, and cupboards.
The specialist would also inform that paint manufacturers would clearly state that mould must first be removed and killed, PRIOR to repainting.
By not taking this step, The mould growth may grow out through the paint.
Having Said so, for few occasions the landlords may agree on a said cost for the cleaning and repainting works or just the repainting works.
Through our experiences after the repainting can last for another one or two more tenancy term or longer.
Step 2 – Rectification of the Mould.
The Mouldgone specialist remediation team would attend; cleaning and disinfecting the affected area with a
Botanical Disinfectant. Once completed, the entire area is sprayed with Concrobium Non-Toxic anti-mould chemical.
Cleaning Chemical – Concrobium Broad Spectrum Botanical fungicide. The product that is a USA FDA-certified non-toxic fungicide.
Step 3 – Repainting Premises with Anit-Mould. (For a Guide, the Painting Works for a 2 bedroom if only ceiling can cost around $1000~ if entire apartment ~ $3,000-$3,500)
Specialists may recommends Zinsser Pera-White anti-mould paint.
Things to take Note that the Mould Remover Specialist cannot do.
They do not paint over with anti-mould paint without proper treatment.
They do not treat soft furnishings, such as sofas or curtains. Only treat hard surfaces.
They do not treat antiques. Although they claim their chemicals are 100% Non-toxic – they are FDA registered fungicides. They are not stain removers or Insecticides.
For Mould Removal treatments usually comes with 6-month warranty.
Understanding Mould Issues in rental properties singapore
Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid environments. In Singapore, where humidity levels can be high, it’s no surprise that mould is a common problem in rental properties. It often appears as unsightly black, green, or brown patches on walls, ceilings, or even furniture.
Mould is not just an eyesore; it can pose health risks. Exposure to mould spores can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritations. Tenants, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, are particularly vulnerable.
Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma.
Prevention Is Key
- Proper Ventilation: Ensure that the property is well-ventilated. Encourage tenants to open windows regularly to allow fresh air to circulate, reducing humidity levels.
- Use of Dehumidifiers: In high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens, using a dehumidifier can help maintain optimal moisture levels.
- Regular Cleaning: Advise tenants to regularly clean and wipe down moisture-prone surfaces, such as bathroom tiles and kitchen counters. Promptly repair any leaks or plumbing issues.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Explain to tenants that overcrowding rooms with furniture can restrict airflow, creating pockets of humidity where mould can thrive.
- Install Ceiling Fans: For All Bedrooms and Living Rooms if possible.
Educate your tenants about their role in mould prevention:
- Report Leaks: Encourage tenants to report any leaks or signs of mould promptly.
- Proper Use of Appliances: Ensure they use exhaust fans when cooking and bathing to reduce moisture buildup.
As a real estate salesperson, it’s crucial to inform landlords about their responsibilities:
- Regular Maintenance: Landlords should conduct regular inspections and maintenance to address plumbing issues, leaks, and any potential mould growth.
- Educate Tenants: Landlords should provide tenants with information on mould prevention and how to handle it if it occurs.
In case mould does appear despite preventive measures, it’s essential to address it promptly:
- Professional Help: Advise tenants to contact professional mould removal services for large or stubborn mould problems.
- DIY Cleaning: Tenants can mix water and mild detergent for small areas to clean the affected surface. Ensure they wear protective gear like gloves and masks.
As a real estate salesperson, your commitment to ensuring tenants’ safe and comfortable living environment extends to mould prevention and remediation. By sharing this information with landlords and tenants, you contribute to healthier rental properties in Singapore and happier, more satisfied clients. Remember, prevention is the best cure for mould issues in rental properties, so always prioritize education and proactive measures.
I know there are many thing in your mind that you need to seek a better clarity and you would wish that your Realtor can handle it for you. Speak to us today.