Sometimes, no matter how careful and thoughtful you were with leaving windows open and drying your clothes outside, mould and mildew find their way inside.
But when it comes to end-of-tenancy cleaning, you should pay extra attention to every detail, room, and damage caused while living in the rental property. Doing so ensures your deposited money back and probably some positive recommendations on your rental history.
But mould and mildew are serious problems for human health, and they should be addressed on time and with care. In this guide, you’ll find some move-out cleaning tips on removing mould and mildew and preventing them from reappearing.
Check your home thoroughly before starting your move out clean
It’s great advice before you even begin cleaning your rental property and buying the cleaning supplies and products needed to do so to make a full property inspection – room by room.
It’s really important to know how to do end-of-tenancy cleaning the right way. To do so, you must know if any problems or damages should be addressed.
Before you get started, make sure you check your rental place for mould and mildew, especially if you have a thriving organic garden indoors, as you should always begin with areas where humidity is higher.
Remember that these growths can appear on damp surfaces and can grow on almost every surface, whether it is a wall, ceiling tiles, carpet, or plant.
Ask yourself can you do it without help
Well, first of all, tenants need to realise that not every black-coloured mould is ‘’black mould’’ and not all mould and mildew varieties are dangerous for people’s health.
Most likely, if you’ve found mould in your rental place, it is a common mildew which can be cleaned easily with the right supplies and products.
If you’re not pregnant or have some kind of breathing problems or compromised immune system, then you can deal with the mould problem with easy by yourself.
But if you’re in the risk group, you should ask friends, family, or your landlord for assistance in cleaning. Another option is to hire licensed end of tenancy cleaners who will take care of the problem for you.
Prepare the equipment you will need
Before you get started with the mould and mildew cleaning, you’ll need to identify where the mould is coming from, where the compromised areas are, whether there are any damages, and last but not least – what cleaning products and supplies you’ll need to perform the end-of-tenancy cleaning perfectly!
Depending on the area you’re going to clean, you’ll need cleaning supplies like microfiber cloths, hot and cool water, a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer or a fan, white vinegar, baking soda, and some liquid soap.
Make sure you do not use bleach during the end of tenancy cleaning
If bleach is the first thing that came to your mind when you started thinking about what cleaning tools you’ll need, think again!
Yes, there’s no doubt that it visibly removes mould and mildew when used, but it is a common misconception that bleach will remove mould for good.
Its primary function is to disinfect, and while it eliminates mould and mildew on hard surfaces like glass, sinks, tiles, or bathtubs, you should know that mould spreads its roots much deeper into the surfaces, reaching more nutrients.
Bleach visibly bleaches the colour of the mould, making people believe that they actually took care of the problem. And last but not least – bleach can be dangerous when inhaled due to the dioxin compound that’s in it.
And did you know that bleach contains 90% water, so when you apply it on a porous surface, the chlorine in it dries up really fast, leaving the water content to be absorbed into the surfaces, contributing to further mould growth?
Get yourself some rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a protective mask! Even if it is not ‘’black mould’’, protecting your skin from this awful type of fungi is essential.
Also, before you start cleaning, open all windows to ensure you’re cleaning in a well-ventilated area. Taking lots of breaks is also crucial when cleaning mould and mildew. Get some fresh air occasionally while cleaning.
With some hard work and dedication, you’ll eliminate the problem in no time.
How to treat various areas before moving out
Once you have detected what caused mould in the first place and taken care of it, it is time to deal with the infestation with care. It’s important to remember that there’s always more than what is visible to the naked eye because, as mentioned above, mould spreads its roots much deeper into surfaces. By following the tips below, you’ll get rid of mould and mildew for good, no matter where it is in your rental property.
- Carpets – Mould often finds its way under carpets due to spillages, wet carpet cleaning methods, flooding problems, and more. To remove it, you’ll need to vacuum the damaged carpet thoroughly. Then, it’s best to apply cool water and liquid soap on the affected areas using a damp cloth, scrubbing gently. Keep doing this until you notice the damage is gone, and then you can rinse. Make sure you use a hair dryer or fan to completely dry out the treated area!
- Upholstery – It is pretty uncommon for mould to grow on synthetic fabric, so before you start cleaning any upholstery, check the framework of the furniture to find out if something is going on underneath. However, if the affected area is small, it can be treated. First of all, you’ll need to vacuum thoroughly again. Then, with the help of ammonia, cool water, and a damp cloth, treat the area carefully until the liquid is absorbed enough. Keep repeating this process until you notice that the spot has disappeared. Don’t forget to dry out the area completely!
- Walls – You can use various cleaning techniques to remove mould and mildew from the walls of your rental property. Before you begin, check the corners near the floors and ceilings of rooms with higher moisture exposure, like basements, bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms. You can use a solution of warm water and liquid soap to scrub gently on the affected area. Make sure you squeeze the sponge well every time you reapply the solution. Or you can use white vinegar, baking soda, and warm water and use the same technique. When you notice that the mould disappears, dry out the area with a cloth.
- Furniture – Treating furniture is no different from treating any other area damaged by mould and mildew. The first thing to be done is to vacuum the area well. Next, you can use a special mould remover product or a solution of liquid soap and cool water. It’s up to you, depending on the condition of the affected area. Using a soft-bristled brush, start cleaning gently with the solution of your choice. Then, rinse with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly using a hair dryer or a fan.
- Bathroom – Depending on where mould has grown in the bathroom, you can use several different bathroom cleaning techniques to get rid of it. You can apply bleach or a special mould remover on tiles and grouting. Marble is a natural stone which is perfect for improving aesthetic value. Still, tiles made of this material must be cleaned with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, water and mild dish detergent and not harsh cleaners. Again, using a soft-bristled brush, start cleaning the affected area gently. Next, you’ll want to rinse with water and dry the area with a cloth. If you’re cleaning showers and bathtubs, mix water and baking soda to a paste, apply it to the mould area, let it stay for about 10 minutes, and scrub it off with a brush.
Fortunately, using these move-out cleaning tips, you’ll deal with the mould and mildew problem quickly and easily. As a tenant, your legal obligation is to keep the rental property in good condition.
When you finish cleaning, it is good advice to ventilate the rental place well by opening windows for at least a couple of hours. When using the proper protection and cleaning product supplies, you’ll deal with the mould problem like a pro!