black mould in the corner of the wall

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Black mould

Black mould is the name given to a specific genis of toxic mould, ‘Stachybotrys chartarum’.  It is a common household problem that is generally down to poor ventilation, leaks or moisture in the air.

In addition to its unsightly appearance and damaging effect it can have on furniture and fabrics, black mould is also known for the harmful impact it can have on human and animal health.

All buildings, new and old, are potentially at risk from black mould and it can appear in any part of the home where there is a damp stagnant atmosphere.

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What causes black mould?

Black mould in the home is commonly caused by excess moisture due to condensation in combination with a lack of air ventilation and potentially other types of damp such as penetrating damp due to a leaking pipe. However, the most common cause of black mould is simply due to the way we now live within properties.

Modern occupancy lifestyles generate large quantities of water vapour through tasks like showering and cooking. When this vapour comes into contact with a surface colder than itself it will condense and leave behind beads of water. If the water is in contact with organic material, i.e. wall paint or wallpaper, over time the area will start to feel damp and it will begin to fester. This in turn creates an ideal environment for mould. If black mould spores are floating through the air or within house dust they will land and gather on the moisture and begin to germinate.

These conditions are exacerbated by a lack of adequate air ventilation in the property. Without a source of clean fresh and dry air circulating around the building, water vapour becomes trapped inside, creating the damp, stale and stagnant atmosphere that black mould thrives in.

Black mould health hazards

Firstly, we are not doctors. The only advice we can give you here is advice that is generally recognised by our industrial bodies and certain medical/health website online.

The general guidance however, is inhaling or ingesting black mould spores or mycotoxins has long been associated with ill health in humans and animals alike. This is particularly prominent amongst the young, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma. Some of the adverse long term health effects of direct contact with black mould are:

  • Circulatory and respiratory problems
  • Skin inflammation and rashes
  • Eye inflammation and soreness
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Tiredness and Discomfort Symptoms

To find out more, click on the big button below to visit our page on black mould health risks.

Learn more about black mould health risks

How to identify black mould

Black mould has a very distinctive appearance. When active and germinating it is usually dark green or black and slimy. In its inactive state it will appear dry and powdery, however, it is important to recognise that black mould can cause problems in either state.

Unfortunately black mould is not always immediately visible as it can germinate in spots hidden from sight such as:

  • Behind walls
  • Behind wallpaper
  • Under floorboards
  • In the loft

Spotting black mould sometimes requires a significant degree of vigilance. Some of the telltale signs of a black mould issue in your property include:

  • Visible sight of mould appearing on your walls, window sills, or ceiling
  • Unappealing damp earthy smell
  • Increase in allergic symptoms such as coughing
  • Appearance of skin rashes when spending extended periods of time in the home

How to get rid of black mould

Firstly, in order to stop black mould from occuring, you must tackle the source of the moisture. Without tackling the source of moisture then the mould is likely to return.
There are some very cost effective methods to tackle and get rid of the black mould ranging from free solutions to mechanical solutions.

In terms of the free solutions, this is purely down to our lifestyles within our property or home and what we can do to change our lifestyles that will then have a positive impact at reducing the black mould.  To find out more, visit our page on how to stop condensation and excess moisture for free tips and tricks.

If the free lifestyle changes do not resolve the black mould issue, then we will need to consider and combination of chemical products ad mechanical solutions to remove the black mould.  To find out more, visit our black mould removal web page.

Contact the black mould specialists

As the market leaders in treating and removing black mould Peter Cox offer a holistic service where a fully trained and qualified black mould removal specialist will comprehensively investigate your property to identify all the black mould areas and the source of the moisture leading to the black mould growth. 

  We have a team of specialists at a local branch near you who would be happy to discuss your black mould problems and offer invaluable help and advice on the best way to preserve your property and return it to a safely habitable space.

To contact us for help and advice, or to book a survey, call us on 0800 633 5712, click to find your local branch or complete the form below to contact us online.

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