A third of homes have mould problems

The ODT reports that More than a third of region’s homes have mould issues.

In the consumer advocacy organisation’s national rental survey, the results of which were released earlier this month, 37% of respondents in Otago said their rental properties suffered from mould that was difficult to remove or had reappeared.

Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson said the bulk of those surveyed in Otago lived in Dunedin, and the proportion of renters reporting mouldy homes was significantly above the national average of 26%.

Cosy Homes Trust project manager Jordana Whyte said she was not surprised Otago rentals were more likely to be mouldy than those in other regions.

I’m not surprised, Dunedin can be a damp cold place at times, and there are many old houses in the city.

Thirty-eight percent said they were unsure what to do, compared with a national average of 23%.

Renters should approach Tenancy Services if they struck problems with their landlord, Ms Wilson said.

“In cases where required repairs haven’t been done, you can issue the landlord with a 14-day notice to fix.

Dampness and mould is not only a landlord problem, it makes a difference how you live, how you heat and ventilate your home, and how you cook and how you dry clothes and air your bathroom.

And this won’t be confined to rental properties. I have an old home and continually have to deal with mould in the bathroom and living area. And we have a ventilation system, an outside vented clothes dryer, a kitchen extractor and two dehumidifiers to keep things under control.

And there a re a lot of young people flatting in Dunedin. I remember my son drying clothes on a rack in his bedroom, and he had a dampness problem.

Ms Whyte said the best way to remove mould was to create a mixture of 70% white vinegar and 30% water in an old spray bottle, spray it on the affected area, wait for two minutes and then gently scrub to remove the mould.

“The water’s important. It tricks the mould into thinking it’s getting a drink.”

The vinegar killed the mould, unlike bleach which turned the mould white but often left it alive, she said.

Rather than just implying landlords are the problem it would be better to educate people how to manage moisture in their flats or homes. Given the number of students in Dunedin perhaps they could have compulsory couyrses on sensible living at the University and Polytechnic.

Leave a comment

21 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  April 24, 2018

    Something else that can be done if a house has painted walls (not wallpaper) is do a mixture of diluted clove oil (1/2 t clove oil to 1L water) and spray on the walls – this will help inhibit mould growth. This will not kill mould, and is recommended to be done after using the vinegar solution to kill the mould.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 24, 2018

      Real clove oil, I assume ? It’d smell nice, too.

      You’re preaching to the converted, I fear.

      For no reason that I can see, my bedroom ceiling has been prone to light brown spots ever since I repainted it. Memo to self, repaint it with different paint, as this doesn’t happen anywhere else in the house, and save time cleaning it.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 24, 2018

        There are also things like Damp Rid and their $2 cousins which I am told work well .

        Reply
  2. unitedtribes2

     /  April 24, 2018

    If an advocacy group for workers did a survey to find out if their members thought they were being paid enough I wonder what the result would be.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 24, 2018

      😳 Huh?
      Do you mean paid enough mouldy old dough? o_O

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 24, 2018

        I have that on a record, but although it seems to be the original music, the words ‘Mouldy Old Dough’ are missing….what a shame !

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 24, 2018

          Did YOU write the names of those other ‘songs’ there ?

          Puppy Love was, I think, a remake – WHYYYYYY ???? Wasn’t one version enuff ?

          Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 24, 2018

      United, that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

      Reply
  3. “Dampness and mould is not only a landlord problem, it makes a difference how you live, how you heat and ventilate your home, and how you cook and how you dry clothes and air your bathroom.”

    Having lived in Dunedin and in Northern Europe, mainly London and Germany, I have experienced cold and damp. I’ve lived in a cold rural climate in a damp, old wooden uninsulated house where I had to light three fires all day to keep it dry and warm Even here in AKL I had a difficult to ventilate bathroom on the south side of a house. As you said Pete it’s all about management.

    The stupid is big in many and the lack of understanding on how to manage is strong. Apart from holding the hands and doing the housework for tenants, the main thing a landlord can do to sort a house out is to install a heat pump/air conditioner and as an adjunct one of those heat/fan lights in the bathroom. People will use them, even if they have an aversion to running costs in the first instance as their comfort will prevail.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 24, 2018

      Design vents for a through air flow. Or use windows to achieve it. Never had a problem.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 24, 2018

        Heat pumps are expensive to install, opening windows is free. I see some houses with curtains closed in the day, and when we saw a mouldy house on the news, it did. I wonder why it was mouldy when it was hermetically sealed and all the curtains pulled shut on a sunny day ???

        Reply
  4. Revel

     /  April 24, 2018

    And there a re a lot of young people flatting in Dunedin. I remember my son drying clothes on a rack in his bedroom, and he had a dampness problem.

    No kidding!!!

    Reply
  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  April 24, 2018

    He’s not the only one who does this, alas.

    I occasionally finish things off inside if they are just not quite dry enough to put away – but never try to dry the washing inside from scratch. I was told that dryers were expensive to run, but I haven’t found them to be so.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 24, 2018

      I’ve got a HRV system. It’s brilliant. If it’s too damp outside to get washing dry, I either use the dryer once in a blue moon to make sure it still works – but otherwise put them put on a rack in the dining room & they’re dry in the morning, with no moisture on the windows. HRV keep trying to sell me a $4K upgrade but I don’t need one. $300 filter change every two years. Costs less to run than a standard light bulb.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 24, 2018

        I have heard that the filters can be changed by the owner.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 24, 2018

          Not sure if this is so with the DVS system – but I’ll look into that. Got plenty of the aluminium tape you seal it with.

          Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 24, 2018

        I knew someone who bought an ‘HRV’ after a cold call ( I forget the brand, but it was not a good one) and it made very little difference. The windows wept as much as ours anyway.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 24, 2018

          HRV is a proprietary brand name for a particular system Kitty. Maybe they got a DVS?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 24, 2018

            They got the one that’s not as good, anyway; I never remember which one that is. It was a real surprise to see the weeping windows !

            Reply
  6. sorethumb

     /  April 24, 2018

    Houses in Christchurch have got rid of fireplaces and people are heating with electric heaters, so they wont want windows open in the winter.

    Reply

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