Mold Infestation in your Airbnb Rental – As an Airbnb host, it is your responsibility to maintain a certain level of sanitation.
But keeping your Airbnb rental clean entails more than providing fresh sheets and thoroughly scrubbing your toilets.
While both may pose a nuisance for your guests, there are actually far more serious sanitation issues that could cause severe health problems.
Take, for example, mold.
If your rental was exposed to water damage or if the climate there is tropical or humid, chances are that the apartment you’re renting out may be affected by mold.
If this is the case, you should take your time to learn what mold is, how it develops, how to get rid of mold and even better, how to prevent it from forming in the first place.
Mold Infestation in your Airbnb Rental
Experts at Emergency Home Solutions provide some valuable insights into how mold is cleaned and how failing to do so can affect your Airbnb business.
What is mold?
Mold is a colony of microorganisms that develop on a suitable host, such as a wet wall or fixture.
Individual mold spores are invisible to the naked eye.
However, once it finds a suitable surface to grow on, mold quickly reproduces and forms a black, blue, white or green stain on the affected area.
How does mold develop?
Mold can spread in two ways.
The first way is by growing tiny roots and spreading across the affected surface.
The second is by releasing spores into the air that float around looking for a new suitable host.
Once they find their target, they quickly spread across the area.
Furthermore, if you spend a lot of time in an area contaminated by these spores, you can develop a variety of health issues.
Is mold dangerous for your health?
If you’ve ever suffered symptoms from mold, you will know that mold represents a serious health hazard.
However, not all mold types are harmful to our health.
Some types of mold are not dangerous, while others could cause or aggravate serious health issues.
It is also very difficult to determine how the patient contracted their mold-related health issue, whether through inhalation or ingestion.
When talking about dangerous types of mold, below are the highly toxic ones you should avoid at all costs.
Dangerous types of mold
Aspergillus consists of a few hundred different mold species.
Aspergillus exists in various climates.
It can aggravate asthma and immune-deficiency diseases.
Penicillium can cause permanent neurological damage and seriously endanger a person’s immune system.
It can result in serious skin lesions, internal organ infections, and respiratory issues.
Paecilomyces can also cause serious respiratory issues, as well as hypersensitivity of the skin.
Stachybotrys or black mold can cause respiratory issues and aggravate existing ones like asthma.
It is also linked to nose bleeds and memory loss.
Finally, Fusarium can result in eye, skin or nails infections and seriously affect those with a weak immune system.
Mold in an Airbnb rental
An Airbnb host must ensure the residence they are renting is thoroughly cleaned before the guests arrive.
This includes taking care of a mold infestation your Airbnb rental may have.
Host Protection Insurance is there to protect the host against various unsolicited claims.
However, any disease contracted due to exposure to mold is not covered by this insurance policy.
Therefore, you will be held accountable for any health issues that develop as a result of a mold infestation.
Unfortunately, getting rid of mold is tricky and requires a lot of time and effort.
Since hosts are given 24 hours to respond to the guests’ claim before the company issues a refund, eliminating the mold in time is next to impossible.
Even worse, failing to do so can seriously jeopardize your rental business with Airbnb.
Sure, you can mask the stains on the wall, but the spores and the micro-organisms that form them will still lurk around and potentially cause a health issue.
How to properly clean mold?
When it comes to cleaning mold, solving the underlying issue is imperative.
The first thing you should do is find the source of the moisture.
Once you take care of this issue, you can proceed to clean up the areas affected by mold.
A bleach solution will work well for small areas like bathtubs and windows.
You should treat larger areas like walls and ceilings with a specialized product like Trisodium Phosphate (TSP).
After you’ve treated the walls with the solution, make sure you repaint them.
However, if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet, you should leave the cleaning to a professional.
They will be able to thoroughly remove the infestation from your walls, flooring, and air.
How to prevent a mold infestation?
Even if the mold infestation is not apparent at first, there are several signs that your Airbnb rental might suffer from mold in the near future.
The most common one is a stale odor, especially in areas of the apartment high in humidity like the kitchen or the bathroom.
Another way to detect mold is to conduct a visual check around the rental.
Look for mold in rooms with high humidity as well as concealed areas: behind peeling wallpapers, around doors and windows and vents or behind vanities.
The key to preventing mold is eliminating the source of the moisture in your Airbnb rental.
If you live in a humid area, purchase a dehumidifier or use products that help battle the humidity.
Run the bathroom fan after taking a shower to properly ventilate the room.
Keep the door open afterwards as well.
Check for leaking pipes, faucets or air conditioning systems.
By eliminating the source of humidity, you are ensuring that the mold has no fertile ground to develop on.
When to contact a professional?
If the mold spreads across the entire home and infects more than one area, cleaning the mold by conventional methods is futile, and may even prove dangerous.
As you scrub the mold off the walls, the spores release into the air, potentially causing even more trouble.
Mold infestation is not something to be taken lightly and is often best left to a professional.
If your Airbnb rental is in Orange County, companies like Emergency Home Solutions can help you thoroughly eliminate the issue.
When you have a residence to rent out, it is in your best interest to be proactive when it comes to maintenance issues.
Ways to Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling
Don’t let bed bugs keep you down during your Travels.
Nothing will make you lose sleep faster than wondering if the bed you are sleeping in is secretly harboring creepy crawly blood-sucking bed bugs.
Protect your peace of mind by being prepared, taking the proper precautions, and using preventative Bed Bug measures to make sure you don’t inadvertently bring a few unwanted visitors back home with you.
Even though the bed bug infestation is widespread, you can travel safely by following a few simple rules at each step of your trip.
We put together this helpful checklist so you can sleep tight without worrying if anything will bite or go bump in the night.
Prevent Bed Bugs Before You Leave
Preventative packing is the first step toward a bed bug free trip.
When selecting your suitcases, pick any that have a hard shell.
Because there are fewer places for bedbugs to hide, you are less likely to return home with more than souvenirs if you can use this type of suitcase.
Buy a box of large Ziploc bags from the grocery store and pack everything in them, not just the items like shampoo that may leak.
Pack a few essentials in the battle against bedbugs including a flashlight, a roll of masking tape, and one plastic trash bag for each piece of luggage you are bringing.
Don’t forget to count briefcases, backpacks, laptop bags, and purses as luggage.
Call your hotel or other accommodations and ask if they have had a problem with bedbugs and what they do for detection and prevention.
No need to change your reservation if a hotel has had a previous problem, in some respects, that may be the best place to stay since the hotel staff will be hyper vigilant to prevent additional problems.
You can also do a search for the name of your hotel and bedbugs to see if there are any reports about previous problems.
No matter with you are staying in the finest hotel or in a beach side shack in Belize, be sure to call to check.
When You Arrive
Conduct a thorough inspection of your room to ensure it is bedbug free.
It is important to know what you are looking for in order to conduct a thorough search.
Adult bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed and reddish-brown in color.
Their flat bodies are easy to hide in cracks, crevices, and fabric folds.
In addition to live bedbugs, you want to watch for signs that there were/are bedbugs in the room.
Look for evidence of fecal matter on the sheets and linens which will resemble black or brown pepper and for empty body shells.
Upon arriving in your hotel room, place all luggage in the bathtub or shower and grab your flashlight.
Start at the bed and use the flashlight to look at the headboard, behind the headboard, under the bed, under the mattress, along the piping of the mattress, and at the box spring.
Check the linens for black or brown spots.
Next check the bedside table including inside and underneath any drawers and underneath the table itself.
Check along the baseboards, in and under the dresser drawers, in the closet, in the drapes, any upholstered fabric furnishings paying special attention to crevices and folds, and behind mirrors and pictures.
If you do not find any evidence of past or present bedbugs, you can rest easy.
If you do, alert the front desk and request a different room that is not in any way adjacent to the first room.
Make sure you search the new room just as carefully.
Once you have completed your search, move your luggage into the room and place it on the luggage rack.
The luggage rack and suitcase should be away from the wall and any furniture.
Your best defense is not to unpack your belongings but rather leave them in your suitcase encased in their plastic bags until you need them.
Use the trash bags you brought from home to enclose each piece of luggage, taping the bag closed whenever you are not accessing your belongings.
Keep your shoes in the bathroom or inside one of the trash bags rather than in the closet or under the bed.
When You Get Home
In order to make sure you arrive without any stowaways that can invade your home and cost serious money to eradicate, make sure your prevention program doesn’t stop at your front door.
When you arrive home, unpack your bags in the garage or outside.
Carefully inspect your belongings as you unpack them for evidence of unwanted guests.
Wash all clothes on the hottest setting, even those that were not worn during the trip.
Dry everything on a high temperature setting for at least 30 minutes.
Vacuum or steam-clean your suitcase inside and out before putting it away.
If you have items that can’t be washed, seal them in plastic bags and set them outside in the sun for 10-14 days.
With proper preparation and the right precautions you can feel confident that you have done all you can to ensure that you will sleep tight and not need to worry about letting the bed bugs bite.
Green Reasons for Apartment Rental vs. Hotel
The reasons for choosing to stay in an apartment versus a hotel when one travels are manifold and include exposure to a local lifestyle, eluding tourist traps and the sub-par services they provide, and access to conveniences that simply aren’t offered in a standard hotel room.
To add to that list of why living like a local is an increasingly attractive option: going “green.”
I have edited down my reasons why staying at an apartment, for those that are more green-friendly.
Many of them overlap, and they all operate under the function of sustainability.
It is important, however, to point out that we have many obligations towards sustainable living that should expand to all areas of our lives, so while staying at an apartment doesn’t eliminate your carbon footprint, it does certainly reduce it and contribute to a “greener” lifestyle.
Apartment Rental vs. Hotel
Air Quality & Temperature Control
Never underestimate the power of an open window!
While hotels tend to limit or completely eliminate window.
Opening capabilities, apartments and houses function to do just the opposite.
So let the sun shine in!
It’ll help houseplants –another hotel room rarity- and improve air quality and circulation.
Finally, windows allow you to control the temperature in a far more green-friendly way: natural breezes are just as effective as that energy-wasting AC, and undeniably sound.
Living in a short-term apartment or home rental also allows you to decide what types of cleaning materials will be used to keep things clean during your stay.
That way, the industrial strength toxic chemicals that are used in hotels aren’t floating around in your airspace.
Plainly put, apartments and homes have recycling options that hotels simply don’t.
Most apartments are required by law to have recycling bins for at least paper and plastic, and homes have regularly scheduled recycling pick up. Hotel rooms have trash bins.
Also, using kitchen flatware and utensils altogether eliminates the creation of garbage in the first place.
Unless you throw out your china after one use, in which case this article and blog are probably not for you.
Residential zoning means more services that are catered to you within your immediate vicinity.
This helps you avoid the use of cars, taxis, and other environmentally inefficient modes of transport.
In that vein, residential areas are almost always situated conveniently near subways, trams, and/or buses, and lots of apartments have bike storage or bike rentals nearby.
Unless you’re the type of person to wash your sheets on a daily basis, the amount of water that you’ll save alone is a good enough argument for staying in an apartment.
Although some hotels are now required by law to reduce the number of times they wash sheets per week, there is still a stigma attached to reduced washing in hotel rooms.
Not so with an apartment –you can clean your sheets as you see fit.
And save tons of water in the process.
This logic also extends to low flush toilets and energy star appliances, which you are far more likely to find in an apartment than a hotel.
I think it’s safe to assume that your home or apartment will have a kitchen, as most people at some point in their life will cook to feed themselves.
When you stay at a hotel this general tenet is thrust aside for the glories of room service and restaurant dining.
Two things; you don’t know the source material of your food –that means that you don’t have control over its origin.
Secondly, restaurants are concerned with efficiency -not necessarily environmental efficiency: If blasting a dish with water from a high-pressure hose is what will make it clean in the shortest amount of time, so be it.
When you cook at home you can eat organically and locally, which means that the production of your food is closer to being environmentally sound.
You can also eat in season, which is perhaps most important to maintaining a “green” regiment.
Then, after you’ve finished eating your food on non-disposable china, you can wash it at low pressure with organic dish soap and hang it on a rack to be dried by the breeze coming in through your open windows. Full circle.
Best Places for Green Consumer to Buy Vacation Homes
Keystone Condo Rental Location, Location, Location
Looking for the perfect place to stay during your summer vacation or winter ski getaway?
The Keystone Studio Condo in Keystone, Colorado will not disappoint.
Located in the Soda Springs II condo development, it’s perfect for a couple, a small group of friends, or a family of four.
It comfortably sleeps four in a Murphy bed and a pull-out couch.
During our one-week trip to Keystone in June, we rented the Keystone Studio Condo and it was a fantastic, relaxing experience.
Here’s what we loved.
Inside the Keystone Studio Condo
If you’re looking for a Keystone condo rental, look no further. The Keystone Studio Condo is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Rockies.
It takes just minutes to drive to the slopes or to the Keystone Conference Center.
You can hike out of the condo area to a number of trails or drive to beautiful Loveland Pass.
Keystone is lovely in the summer and the winter, and there are two private porches outside the condo from which you can soak in the scenery.
Though in the winter you’ll probably enjoy the view from the indoor fireplace more.
The condo is also a short drive from the cities of Silverthorne, Dillon, and Frisco, which have full grocery stores and a Target so you can stock up on supplies for your stay.
You’ll be comfortable any time of year in this condo.
It has a stocked kitchen, complete with a full-size refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.
There’s a washer and dryer so you can pack light and do laundry while you’re there.
The condo is right across from the swimming pool (perfect after a long hike) and the hot tub (divine after a day on the slopes).
There’s also cable, wifi, a fireplace, and a ski locker on the front porch.
The pool is just across from the condo
Rates for a Keystone Condo Rental
The rates vary by season and range from $75 to $190/night (with a 3 or 4 night minimum stay), which is competitive with similar lodging.
Holidays are pricier and the off-season (summer and early fall) is bargain-priced.
I would highly recommend the Keystone Studio Condo in the Soda Springs II condo development.
It’s comfortable, in a beautiful setting, and full of amenities.
Keystone is gorgeous and the perfect base for summer activities like hiking, white water rafting, and horseback riding.
It’s also the ideal location for a winter ski vacation.
Any time of year, the Keystone Studio Condo is a great place to stay.
Have you stayed in Keystone, Colorado?
Where did you stay?
Did you rent a Keystone condo?