This fact sheet provides useful information on how you can prevent moisture build-up and manage the presence of mould in your home.

Mould is a furry growth of tiny fungi and is usually black or green in colour.

Mould can occur over time due to a build up of condensation, lack of ventilation or following a water leak if the dampness is not fixed promptly. Some locations in Australia are more prone to mould such as tropical areas where there is high humidity.

For mould to grow and multiply is requires nutrients (food) and a suitable place to grow. Many porous materials (such as wood, plasterboard and fabrics etc.) provide food that can support mould growth. Even dust that has settled on these materials can be a food source for mould.

Most minor occurrences of mould can be resolved easily when promptly treated, such as fixing the cause of the mould and not allowing the mould spores to grow or multiply.

People can be exposed to mould through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion.

Although health effects are uncommon to occupants in normal indoor environments, mould exposure can result in adverse health effects to some individuals.

The health effects may include:

• Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin;
• Allergic reaction (e.g., asthma flare-up or hay fever symptoms);
• Chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) – includes a range of health
mould related health effects.
• Hypersensitivity pneumonitis—a rare lung disease where the lungs become
inflamed due to an allergic reaction to certain inhaled substances (e.g. organic
dust, fungus, mould or chemicals); and
• Infection.

If you believe you are experiencing negative health effects as a result of mould you should contact your doctor and report this to DHA immediately.

Mould grows in the natural environment. The presence of mould spores in the air is normal and people are exposed to mould every day. However, wherever possible, mould growth should be identified and appropriately treated to minimise the risk of exposure and potential health problems.

Indoor mould is usually identified by a musty odour or an earthy smell. If you can smell mould, it is possible that you can locate mould by doing a visual inspection.
Mould can also be identified by sight and early stages of growth are often a small circular discolouration, smaller than a 5 cent piece. It often looks like ‘fuzz’ or may appear to be a stain or smudge. The most common mould colours are black, green or white.

Occupants have an obligation to act reasonably and promptly to ensure you prevent or mitigate the existence of circumstances that are conducive to mould growth and/or spread.

Maintain proper ventilation
• Use exhausts fans in the kitchen when cooking
• Ensure there is adequate ventilation such as exhaust fans or circulation of fresh air through windows in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries
• Move furniture items away from walls to allow for air flow and avoid storing large amounts of documents in low ventilated areas (i.e. sheds, garage, basements)

Reduce Humidity
• Avoid growing a large number of indoor plants without
removing the humidity they produce
• Limit the use of unflued gas heater
Control moisture/dampness
• Regularly clean and dry surfaces to remove condensation or moisture
• Ensure soft and porous furnishings are completely dried if they get damp
• Report any plumbing or water leaks as soon as possible
• Proactive use of dehumidifiers or air conditioners in dehumidify mode in times of protracted wet weather

Control moisture/dampness
• Regularly clean and dry surfaces to remove condensation or moisture
• Ensure soft and porous furnishings are completely dried if they get damp
• Report any plumbing or water leaks as soon as possible

For the routine cleanup of mouldy surfaces, use a mild detergent or vinegar diluted in a water solution (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water).

If the mould is not readily removed and the item cannot be discarded, use a diluted bleach solution (250ml of bleach in 4 litres of water) to clean the surface. When using bleach, protective equipment is recommended: PVC or nitrate rubber gloves; safety glasses; and shoes. Make sure the area is well ventilated while you are cleaning with bleach.

Ensure the surface is dried completely once cleaned. Absorbent materials, such as carpet may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced if they are contaminated with mould. The use of a standard vacuum cleaner is discouraged as it may spread mould spores.  Please contact DHA if mould is present in the carpet.

Wear safety gear such as gloves, dust mask and eye protection when removing mould.

As mould can grow and spread extremely quickly, you must act without hesitation. 

For any mould that cannot be rectified easily by simple cleaning, please contact DHA immediately by calling 139 342.

What to do if the issue persists?

To submit an emergency maintenance request, please call us on 139 342.

Routine maintenance requests are to be submitted via Online Services.

Manuals and troubleshooting

Manuals and troubleshooting guides can be viewed from the manufacturer's website or