Many property owners are boosting their bottom line by hosting vacation and long-term rentals. However, seasonal homes or businesses that are closed up for long periods of time become a prime breeding ground for mold. To keep income flowing, owners need to prevent mold from growing.
Jim Oliver, co-founder of Natural Home Solutions LLC, a mold remediation company serving New England and the tri-state area, advises vacation rental hosts, landlords, property managers and retailers to take the following measures from lodgify.com to maintain mold-free properties:
- Keep water out by routinely inspecting the outside of the property for foundation problems, poorly installed windows, clogged gutters, roof concerns, poor drainage and storm damage.
- Keep indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50%. Use a portable dehumidifier in areas that are consistently above 60% humidity. Consider a HVAC-compatible, whole house dehumidifier as well. Prices range from $1,300-$2,800.
- Install bathroom fans and attic vents to remove moisture.
- Use mold-resistant building materials like wallboard, paint primer and porcelain. Avoid carpeting basements. In other areas, rugs with a higher pile are more prone to collecting mold and mildew than short-pile rugs.
- Winterize plumbing and shut off water to appliances and outside faucets in cold weather climates.
If a property shows signs of contamination, Natural Home Solutions starts by inspecting areas of concern for signs of contamination, performs ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to detect signs of microorganisms, as well as Air Quality or Tape tests to collect air and/or surface samples. An independent laboratory then analyzes the samples and if mold is confirmed, they determine the source and the type of mold.
“If you require mold remediation, we eliminate contaminants with EnzyCleanseTM, an effective organic solution that is non-toxic, and safe around humans or pets,” explains Oliver’s partner Laura Champagne. “When we test or treat a property for mold contamination, we comply with applicable government and health department standards and certifications. What’s more, contaminants may not be limited to mold, but also, urine, feces and sweat as well.”
This is critical for commercial property managers, who are a resident’s first contact for mold contamination complaints. It’s often their duty to evaluate a problem and implement solutions.
“If you delay necessary remediation efforts, you may become legally responsible for mold-related illnesses or property damage,” says Oliver. “If a resident pursues litigation despite your best efforts, our professional testing process documents important evidence. It can also provide an expert opinion to help your attorney structure a defense.”
Professional inspection and testing help identify and document contamination sources. Sometimes a tenant or renter is responsible for allowing mold to thrive due to moisture from a resident’s overflowing sink, residential pets, or rain entering an open window.
“In addition to inspection, testing, and remediation services, we help educate residents and association members about mold and its consequences,” says Champagne. “We explain how mold occurs and discuss its potential for injury and damage. When residents understand how it grows and contaminates their living spaces, they assume some of the responsibility for prevention and also for adverse outcomes.”
Individual landlords are also responsible for identifying and resolving unhealthy or unsafe conditions on their property. When left unresolved, mold sometimes sickens tenants, especially those with existing respiratory issues. It often causes visible and hidden structural deterioration, and it can damage a tenant’s personal property.
“When properties are left unattended for a period of time, such as seasonal homes or businesses, turbulent weather may have caused issues that owners are unaware of, which can both surprise and overwhelm them,” adds Champagne. “Natural Home Solutions can be an important part of their resolution team.”
Mold spores grow quickly when they have enough moisture, warmth, and a porous surface. By the time a renter or property owner notices a moldy odor, mold contamination already has the potential to cause harm. Regular professional testing can detect mold contamination early enough to prevent serious problems and avoid costly property repairs.
Oliver explains the EnzyCleanseTM fogger produces micro-droplets small enough to penetrate contaminated surfaces and reach areas like wall cavities to break down mold roots and spores, thus eliminating contaminations. EnzyCleanseTM also continues working to prevent mold growth long after the treatment.
“When property owners fail to fix mold problems in a timely manner, they become more costly over time,” concludes Champagne. “To keep your vacation home expenses in check, a professional is your best ally to provide timely solutions to minimize your risks of financial loss.”
About Natural Home Solutions LLC
Natural Home Solutions LLC, is committed to keeping homes and businesses safe from mold contamination. Serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, the professional team performs high-quality mold testing and nontoxic, non-destructive remediation at an economical price. As one of only a few EnzyCleanseTM licensees in the world, the company is proud to offer this safe, green alternative with a two-year performance guarantee. EnzyCleanseTM is an organic, naturally-derived mold elimination solution created by the scientists at XSPOR Life Sciences. Call 860-436-7021 for an estimate. Learn more at naturalhome.solutions.