La Nina: Residents warned to prepare for mold in rainy, humid summer

Australians on the east coast are being warned to prepare for another musty summer after news of a third La Nina event.

In northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland, residents are still in the midst of clean-up efforts more than six months after the devastating flood crisis.

Last week, the Bureau of Meteorology officially declared the third La Nina event in as many years.

The weather event is expected to collide with two other major weather events – an Indian Ocean negative dipole and a southern annual mode – bringing persistent, above-average rainfall as well as the threat of major flooding in some areas.

The Australian Medical Association has issued a warning to east coast residents to prepare for a milder-than-average summer season, Channel 9 reported.

High levels of humidity and humidity are ideal conditions for mold to grow indoors and increase the risk of developing a respiratory infection.

For most Australians the risk is low, but the elderly and immunocompromised can suffer significant health problems if they inhale mold for a prolonged period.

Tim McKibbin, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW), told NCA Newswire that there are several ways tenants and landlords can prepare ahead of mold season.

“Months like damp, dark, still air,” I said.

Fight humidity

Turn on a fan in the bathroom when you shower or bathe.

Let the light in

Mold hates natural sunlight, so removing blinds and curtains to let light into a room is an easy way to reduce the spread of mold.

Break a window

Open a window in the bedrooms and living areas to allow cool air to flow through the house.

“I guess it’s a bit like Covid – you get all your injections, you wear your mask, you do everything right but unfortunately there’s no guarantee you won’t catch the virus,” Mr McKibbin said,

“Similarly here, you are doing everything right, but unfortunately it is likely to appear and then it will have to be dealt with.”

What rights do I have as a tenant?

“It’s a partnership between tenant and landlord,” McKibbin said.

“If a homeowner doesn’t have a fan in the bathroom, it’s hard to get fresh air into the room.

“But if there’s a fan in the bathroom and the tenant doesn’t turn it on, we have the same result.”

Mr McKibbin said the property should be fit for purpose, so if the property is rendered uninhabitable due to a mold outbreak, the tenant has reason to complain.

“The first thing is to report it to the property manager, and then you not only have to fix it, but also consider prevention strategies,” he said.

Unlikely places to check for mold

  1. Behind the couch
  2. Behind the headboard
  3. Interior cupboards
  4. around cupboards
  5. Apart from the man

Originally published as Experts warn to prepare for mold in the home before the third wet summer