Mould can be found in many places, including buildings and residences. Mould thrives in damp environments, such as around pipe leaks, roofs, or windows, or in areas with flooding.
Mould loves to grow on cardboard, wood, ceiling tiles, and paper. Dust, fabric, wallpaper, paints, drywall, insulation, carpet, and upholstery can make all harbour mould.
>> Similar Reading: Damp vs Mould – Understanding The Differences
Causes of Black Mould
Mould is a form of fungus. Several mould species with a black colour or dark green are referred to as “black mould.” Stachybotrys chartarum is one such species.
Excess moisture is the source of mould, meaning property owners should take measures to ensure moisture saturation is managed and that localised areas don’t become over-saturated.
For example, leaking pipes will increase damp in basements or ground floors, and rain seeping in due to damage around window frames or to the roof are all causes of moisture in buildings. If you see signs of these issues and feel you need advice – get in touch with a Damp Surveyor.
If the water used to construct it is drying out – for instance, the plaster on the walls – a freshly constructed home may become damp.
Condensation can also lead to an excess of moisture indoors. It’s critical to figure out why you have extra moisture in your home if you have mould or damp, to avoid the issue getting worse in future and thus becoming far more costly to resolve.
When you know what’s producing the damp, you may either fix the problem or take action to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. You might need to hire an expert to remove the mould, but if it’s just a tiny quantity, you might be able to do it yourself.
Is Black Mould Dangerous to Health?
Yes, breathing issues, respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma are more likely if you have black mould in your house. Mould can also affect your immune system in a harmful way.
When the first signs of mould are found, you should contact a damp surveyor to get expert advice before any treatment is carried out.
A damp survey will allow you to understand the danger of the mould and the best way forward to treat it effectively. An accurate diagnosis of the issue by a professional to control mould is essential to ensure the right treatment approach is undertaken.
How dangerous is Black Mould to Health?
Often known as toxic mould, black mould releases mycotoxins, and it is widely believed that it can cause serious human health concerns. Mycotoxins are poisonous chemicals produced by fungi.
According to experts, prolonged exposure to black mould spores can make you more sensitive to breathing or eating mould spores, which can cause health problems. If a mould injury occurs, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to ensure the best possible outcome; otherwise, permanent damage can occur.
However, this is not to say that anybody who comes into contact with black mould will become unwell. The elderly, youngsters, and people with pre-existing respiratory diseases like allergies or a weakened immune system, on the other hand, are more likely to have allergic reactions, skin rashes and other side effects.
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Common Symptoms of Black Mould Affecting Your Health
Mould can have various effects on people, and it often goes unnoticed. If you’re allergic to mould, you can notice the following symptoms. If you have an actual mould allergy, these symptoms may be more severe:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Nose stuffiness
- Skin rash
- Red or itchy eyes
- Headaches or migraines
Moulds can trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma and make breathing more difficult for chronic respiratory diseases. An allergic reaction in lungs can also cause a fever. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult a doctor for further examination.
People with compromised immune systems are generally more susceptible to fungal infections, which can include mould-related lung illnesses.
Who Gets Affected?
Some individuals are more sensitive to black mold exposure than others, such as:
- People with weakened immune systems, for instance, chemotherapy patients
- People with chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
- Elderly people having skin conditions like eczema
- Children and infants
These individuals should avoid damp and mould.
How to Get Rid of Black Mould?
Identify Mould in Your Home
Dark patches or clusters in appearance. Spots or grouped growths should be looked for, especially in warm, moist areas.
There is a musty odour. Mould may have a musty odour that you may detect.
- Mold Allergies or Asthma
If you have asthma attacks or mold allergy symptoms in your house, mould may be present.
- Causes that Could Exist
Examine the area for signs of mold growth, such as a leak, water damage, a lack of ventilation, or old food, papers, or wood.
Removing Mould from Your Place
Fix any problems to prevent mold growth, and throw away anything that can’t be cleaned that has been contaminated by mould or is contributing to mould growth.
Protect yourself with gloves, a mask, rubber boots, and goggles while dealing with the mouldy area. You can also use a mould-resistant suit or disposable clothing if you’re cleaning a lot of moulds. To increase ventilation, open all doors and windows.
Remove any items that haven’t been contaminated by mould development from the area. Any goods that can’t be cleaned should be discarded. For example, mould-damaged carpet, drywall, and ceiling tiles should be removed and replaced.
Mould-affected nonporous surfaces should be covered and scrubbed with bleach, detergent or fungicide, and water, then dried.
Control Mould Growth
You can control the growth of black mould in your home by:
- Regulating humidity levels
- Repairing leaking windows, pipes, and roofs as soon as possible
- Cleaning and drying thoroughly after flooding
- Ventilate laundry, cooking, and shower areas
The Bottom Line
If you suspect black mould is affecting your health problems, it is advised to avoid handling or attempting to address the problem yourself because this may exacerbate your symptoms. However, when it comes to treating black mould, a damp proofing specialist can undoubtedly assist you.