Mould and damp
Information for Queensland public housing tenants
Causes of mould
Mould grows in damp, dull and poorly ventilated spaces, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. Dust and dirt also helps mould grow.
Mould can negatively affect your health.
Preventing mould and damp
The best way to prevent mould and damp is ensure your home is dry and well-aired:
- Allow sunlight into the property as much as possible, especially in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
- Open doors and windows to allow air to circulate, particularly in the bathroom.
- Open windows or use an extractor fan when you’re cooking, or using a shower, bath or clothes dryer. (Check the air from your clothes dryer is vented outside, not inside. But don’t put holes in external walls or ceiling sheets without our approval.)
- Clean wet areas of your home, such as your bathroom, kitchen and laundry regularly. Wipe away moisture from windows, walls and near taps. Keep bathroom walls, showers, shower curtains, baths and basins as dry as possible.
- Dry and air damp clothes and shoes outside as soon as possible. Ensure they’re dry before putting in a wardrobe or clothes-storing area. Leave wardrobe doors open where possible.
- Clean carpets and rugs regularly using a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner.
- Clean up water leaks and spills indoors immediately. Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre if you find any water leaks.
- Clean evaporation trays in air-conditioners, dehumidifiers and refrigerators frequently. If you have a department-installed evaporative air-conditioner, we’ll clean its filters.
- Don’t run evaporative air-conditioning systems with water during high humidity (over 65%). If the air feels humid, run the air-conditioner without water and open the windows.
- Allow space between furniture and walls so air can flow, particularly wardrobes.
- Don’t stack boxes or other items against outside walls, especially walls that don’t get a lot of sun.
- Place absorbent beads in affected rooms to soak up extra moisture. You can buy these at the supermarket.
Note: All external doors and windows in your property should have security and insect screens. If you don’t, contact your nearest Housing Service Centre to arrange installation.
Steps to removing mould
- Obtain personal protective equipment, including half-face disposable respirators with P1 or P2 filters, to avoid inhaling mould spores when cleaning. You’ll find these at hardware stores.
- Place drop sheets on the floor and exclude people from the affected area if they’re not performing the work.
- Get 2 buckets: 1 for cleaning solution and 1 for clean water.
- Wipe the area clean with a microfibre cloth and cleaning solution. Don’t put dirty cloths back in the solution; rinse them in the clean water to avoid cross-contamination.
- After cleaning the area with the solution, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. Don’t use the same cloth you used with the solution.
- Wipe the surface dry with a clean cloth.
Remove mould using a suitable mould remover, such as:
- a solution of 3 parts vinegar and 2 parts water
- a solution of 70% methylated spirits and 30% water
- a solution of tea tree oil and water
- commercial products from the supermarket. Follow the safety instructions to protect your eyes and skin.
- Always use a different cloth with each process and throw them away after, or the mould spores will spread and mould will reappear.
- Don’t dry brush the area with a broom or brush, as this can spread mould.
Moving in and moving out
Before you move in, we ensure your home is clean and in good repair for you to live in. If you notice mould in your property when you move in, record it on your Entry Condition report.
When you move out, you must leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. If the property needs cleaning to remove mould, we’ll charge the costs to your account.