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Diagnose my mould!

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by theperthurbanist, 8th Sep, 2016.

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  1. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Perth
    Hi guys,

    I was hoping to get a second opinion (and third, and fourth!) on a mould issues i'm having with my IP in Perth. The master bedroom has been plagued with mould for the last two years or so. Some quick facts about the situation:
    • It is concentrated around the roof and cornice, but there are some signs of spreading (walls). As the attached photos show there are a few very defined spots (particularly one square in the corner - the outermost corner of the building) and some around the AC unit.
    • The room is not particularly well ventilated, but I'm not sure humidity is the only issue (due to regular, defined patches where it is developing on the roof).
    • I have done a very, very thorough clean 18months ago (multi-bucket-vinegar-technique, very thorough and careful), which seems to have only temporarily helped.
    • The building is around 30 yr old and is in an ok state, however the roof and gutters (when mould originally formed) were apparently in need of work). After the mould reappeared post-clean, I paid a 'handyman' $700 to pressure clean and re-grout the roof (possibly only this section of roof) at the recommendation of the PM. That was in Dec 2015. At this time I also asked the tenant to clean existing mould (thought I cant be 100% sure they did).
    • Mould has now reformed, appearing in winter (so I'm told) around 6 months after roof work was undertaken.
    • The tenant tells me it is mainly only an issue in winter (= after rain?) but I would take anything they say with a grain of salt).
    • The laundry (opposite side of the house) has also had a mould issue for years, but this is spot mold in corners etc and appears (to me) to be caused by humidity.
    SO, I'm basically wondering if the cause of mould:
    1. Is caused by damp from the roof, and the handyman didn't fix properly;
    2. Is damp from somewhere else;
    3. Is just humdity or some other cause.
    I'm also wondering, if #1, should I get the same guy out to take another look (possibly demanding this work be undertaken free of cost as he obviously didn't fix it the first time) or cut my losses and get someone new out.

    FYI I will be looking to repaint the entire house within the next 6-18 months, which whilst it will help get rid of the existing mould once and for all, but I definitely don't want the new paint to be ruined by an outbreak.

    I'd love some thoughts on what the mold in the photos might be caused from, if anyone has experience in such things. IMG_4103.JPG IMG_4104.JPG IMG_4106.JPG
     
  2. Phase2

    Phase2 Well-Known Member

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    Perth
    Looks like your roof/gutters are letting in water. I had a similar problem in my IP. Gutters were shot, and the downpipes ran inside the soffits and then down the wall..

    The problems I had were twofold. Some pipes were actually blocked from lack of prior maintenance and gutters overflowed back into the roof!! , and the other downpipes had rusted through above the soffit (where you can't see the pipe of course).

    Answer = replace all guttering and down pipes and problem solved. Cost about $2-3k and that included removal/disposal of old gutters and pipes.
     
  3. WallyB66

    WallyB66 Well-Known Member

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    QLD
    Had a heap of mould issues at one of my flats so unfortunately I know more about mould than I ever wanted to:(

    From the first pic- due to the symmetrical look of the mould would say water's pooling on top of ceiling between battens- agree with p2 comments above- gutters are the most visible part of the roof so I'd just check they are clean, pipes are not blocked and also assess age/ condition of gutters. Also use vinegar on mould not bleach-based products as this tends to be a longer term fix.
    good luck WallyB "PhD in Mould" o_O
     
    Perthguy and theperthurbanist like this.
  4. vbplease

    vbplease Well-Known Member

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    I'd check the number of downpipes. There may be an insufficient number of which is causing the gutters to overflow into the eave cavity and internal ceiling.

    I wouldn't waste time with bleach, vinegar etc.. the mould spores are well developed in the plasterboard. Treating the soffit surface only, won't stop it from returning. Likewise with the wall cavity. I'd engage a restoration company to strip the plasterboard ceiling and wall and treat with anti-microbial (after the source of moisture has been confirmed).
     
  5. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Yikes, that sounds expensive! (I know I know, 'owning property IS expensive', 'sometimes you have to spend money to save money', etc).

    Could be something to look into when I do get around to reprinting the interior.
     
  6. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far guys.
     
  7. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Any chance you can make a claim on building insurance? We had a similar issue though not as bad in our old home. Turns out water was coming into the roof cavity from our skylight, leaves were building up on the roof and all this caused water to come in.

    We claimed on building insurance and only had to pay the excess.
     
  8. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Don't let it slide. Your tenants should not have to live with mould.
     
  9. theperthurbanist

    theperthurbanist Well-Known Member

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    Hmm interesting, I'm not sure. The building is 40 odd years old if that effects anything?
     
  10. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Yep, lack of maintenance is not an insurance issue.
     
  11. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Mine was probably 1960's build.