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Mold and Mildew Prevention

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  • Mold and Mildew Prevention

    Hi Friends! I haven't been on here in ages because (knock on wood) after my first two years of getting this ship upright and cleaning out the riff raff, things have been fairly smooth sailing at our facility! Recently however we have had a couple reports of mold/mildew in our storage units. As I'm sure you guys know, the Storsmart tenant insurance policy we require does not cover mold/mildew damage unless there is a water leak in the unit which thankfully in these there is not.

    I've been trolling past posts on this topic and see the most helpful ideas (aside from installing climate control technology which we aren't going to do bc 340 of our 400 units are outdoor metal units with rollup doors) include advising tenants to store their items up off the concrete floor and perhaps selling a moisture-absorbing product such as Damp Rid in our office.

    Does anyone have other effective brilliant ideas we should be aware of? I would like to put together a flyer for Move In folders reminding new tenants that FYI WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for mold/mildew, WE LIVE IN OREGON, and here are some precautions you can take.

    This has been less of a problem for us than I would expect considering all the moisture here but it is usually cold when it is wet and in the summer when the temperatures crank up the rain dries up.

    Frankly I'm stunned that our tenants are even surprised when they leave all their stuff in a tiny dark metal box for 8 months and then roll up the door and find mold or mildew. They forget that this is not their living room!!!

    Thanks for any ideas or input!

  • #2
    OH! And hi -- it's me again -- I also meant to ask two more things:

    1. Can Mold/Mildew spread from one unit to another via the spores traveling?

    2. Does anyone have contact info for a good wholesale supplier for DampRid products that we could sell in our office?

    Thank you!


    • #3
      I used to sell Dri-Z-Air and know about Damp Rid and Damp Check. I tell people to cover and wrap items, especially anything with a fabric. I preach the mattress covers and seal them. You have to remember though that most tenants let cost drive their decisions and drive up units are less than indoor units that are heated at my facility. I tell all of them that true climate control is heated, a/c and humidity control. They say on a very regular basis the #1 of the top 10 things tenants say at move in, "I am only going to need the unit for a month or two so it will all be ok". Yea, right! I am in Eugene, Oregon.

      I provide the brochure for the TenantOne Direct Insurance but we do not sell it and do not provide insurance. It is all on them. We never ever accept responsibility for mold problems. It s on them to protect and cover their own items. Your hand out should state that.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


      • #4
        Thank you so much! Being in Eugene we have very similar climates but I think it may be even wetter where you are! And this January has been one of the rainiest in several years, according to several articles I found online. She assured me nothing was wet when she moved in last June but she did point out her AC window unit sitting there and said she had drained it before moving it into the unit so it was "dry." Hmmmm.... I'm thinking maybe it wasn't completely dry?

        Anyway yes it's hard to not say "I'm Sorry" but we try to be very careful to not let those words slip out of our mouths because then it sounds like it's our fault and we are assuming responsibility. Thanks again for chiming in!


        • #5
          I can and you can recommend till we are blue in the face and remind them that insurance coverage is on them and I ALWAYS talk about covering/wrapping/sealing items but that would involve more money and effort and so, it is on them. Just like when a tenant does not pay rent and they have reasons/excuses out the ying yang and they are going to auction, WE cannot care more for their items than they do.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


          • #6
            Yes mold and mildew do spread via airborne spores. Which means it can spread from unit to unit.

            I buy my damp check from Chateau products.

            Being in Iowa I deal with tons of humidity as well. We offer free pallets at all of our facilities. We tell people air flow is important to prevent these issues so don't lean stuff against the wall. We also recommend covering items with plastics. And furniture bags help as well.


            • #7
              Thank you RandyL ! So if a Tenant at your facility came to the office and let you know that they had mildew (or mold? I'm not sure which it is even tho I did inspect the unit, it's white/green and growing on her furniture) would you terminate their leases and let them know that because of the danger of it spreading to other units, you need them to remove all of their items from the facility so you can deep clean the unit?


              • #8
                I have never taken any deep cleaning actions on any of the units. Some of my units have a fire wall and we may clean that with a light bleach solution, but nothing on the metal walls besides dusting them off.

                I have also not terminated the rental agreement of people who have reported this issue to me. Usually some light cleaning will take care of the problem.

                Now if it is a serious issue creating odors or it is real thick my course of action may be different, but I have never encountered that yet.


                • #9
                  OK thanks RandyL ! We have inspected the units on either side and there is zero sign of mildew in them so (so far) it doesn't seem to have spread anywhere. I'm sure the Tenant will be getting rid of the affected items anyway so it doesn't spread to the rest of the stuff in her unit. Thanks again for sharing!


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