OK, it’s probably impossible to prevent your rental from ever getting a little bit of mould from time to time, especially if your tenants don’t take care to avoid excessive condensation and they don’t clean bathrooms thoroughly, but you can design a property that is at least mould resistant. Here’s how:
- Use anti-mould paint in the bathroom, like this one.
It promises to keep walls and ceilings mould-free for 6 years.
- Use large tiles in the bathroom to cut down on the amount of grout used, as this attracts mould. Alternatively, use wipe clean ceiling and wall panels, which don’t have any grout between so are easier to keep clean and stay free from mould. Apparently these ones can be fitted over existing tiles, you don’t need a (expensive) tiler to install them and they attract less condensation than tiles.
- If you do use tiles, use dark grout between them and dark sealant around baths, showers and sinks. This won’t guarantee you a mould-free property, but it will make the mould less unsightly! Dark tiles like these work with darker grout, but you can even use dark grout with contrasting paler tiles.
- Install an extractor fan and encourage tenants to use the fan rather than opening the window as this will be more efficient at evacuating steam – leaving a window open in the winter will allow cold air to enter, increasing condensation. In small bathrooms or those that are especially cold, install a humidity sensor fan, like this, which will continue to run while ever there is moisture in the air.
- Make sure there is a radiator or other heat source in the bathroom and encourage the tenants to heat the property – or at least the bathroom – thoroughly. If damp becomes an issue, it might be sensible to offer to include the gas bill in the rent to make sure tenants don’t avoid heating the property to save money (you could always cap the amount you’ll pay if bills become excessive, or decide the bills are worth it for a mould-free property, you choose!)
- Warn tenants that drying clothes on radiators could cause condensation and mould. If they do this, they must open windows. To avoid it, consider installing a tumble dryer (although this will increase their energy bills).
- Discourage tenants from leaving products such as shampoo bottles and soap on the edges of baths and showers, which will attract mould, by providing adequate storage. Give them a shower squeege too to stop water from pooling at the side of the bath or shower tray.
- Avoid positioning beds against outside walls because if any fabric rests against a cold wall, it will grow mould. For the same reason, warn tenants not to leave bags etc resting against walls for long periods.
- Remind tenants to routinely ventilate rooms and open curtains daily – mould loves the dark!
If you do get mould, it can easily be cleaned with diluted bleach, or with Dettol Mould & Mildew remover but, as they say, prevention is better than cure!
Do you have any tips for a mould-free property? If so, we’d love to hear them!