wiping dirty bathroom tiles

Dealing with mould

Sometimes no matter what you do, the mould just keeps coming back.

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Mould is a health hazard that can lead to increased illness in your household, so it’s important to manage it as best you can.

Managing mould

  • Wipe condensation off windows and walls. You can get squeegees for windows but an old towel – regularly washed and dried in the sun – will also do the trick.
  • Remove surface mould and mildew from hard surfaces when it appears. You can use methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle or a 1:4 bleach/water solution. You can use white vinegar, but be aware it doesn’t kill all types of mould and any residue left behind could encourage more mould to grow.
  • Mildew on shower curtains is usually because a bathroom isn’t getting enough air and the curtain can’t dry out. Treat the curtain with a 1:4 bleach/water solution and leave it drawn when not in use.

Signs of moisture issues

According to a 2015 BRANZ survey, more than half of New Zealand rental houses had visible mould. It’s often caused by moisture issues in the home and may be beyond your control to manage.

These are some of the symptoms:

  • Musty smells in rooms that are closed for any period of time
  • Damp or mouldy clothes in wardrobes
  • Mould or mildew forming behind paintings, mirrors, etc
  • Stains or watermarks on ceilings or walls
  • Mouldy ceilings and walls
  • Problems with areas of rotting wood in the structure of the house
  • Mould under the house.

Read more in our dampness and ventilation section.

Talk to your landlord about making repairs if required. See our sections on your rights and what to do if your landlord won’t make repairs.

If you think the mould, cold and damp in the home is bad enough that it could be affecting your health, you may be eligible for a healthy home assessment.

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A renter's guide to a warmer home

Our free guide provides advice and tips on what you can do to make your home warmer, cosier and cheaper to heat.

See more from our guide

Why is this information free?

This report is available free to consumers and was produced with funding from the Ministry of Health.

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