Is All Mould Dangerous?

Wednesday 3rd January 2024

Ellen Warren

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A microscopic close-up of mould

CONTENTS

Without testing mould for yourself, you can never know how dangerous it is without calling for expert help. Although most moulds are harmless and only cause reactions in asthmatics or those with allergies, you may still be vulnerable to some dangerous variants.

At ICE Cleaning, we provide exceptional mould remediation services offered by certified experts who implement processes to detect, isolate, and eradicate all traces of the infestation, ensuring your safety from future attacks.

Read on to learn which types of mould are dangerous and how to deal with them.

Understanding mould: a comprehensive overview

Mould comes from the Fungi Kingdom, meaning it is closer to the family of mushrooms and toadstools than plants or bacteria. However, this growth can quickly become a colony if allowed to fester and spread.

The ideal setting for mould is a damp area, like bathrooms after a hot shower or kitchens with poor ventilation. These are perfect for mould because they offer all three things it needs to thrive: moisture, warmth, and food from organic materials like wood or wallpaper paste.

While penicillin mould is less harmful, other types, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, pose health hazards for healthy people and can make immunocompromised people very sick.

The diversity of mould species

Mould growths could be countless organisms that flourish without you knowing. It is a diverse organism that can range from playing a significant role in modern medicine to a hazardous growth that can decay homes and food.

Penicillium, for instance, is a growth that we can find inside our homes despite its well-known use as a form of antibiotic. With other forms like Cladosporium, it will commonly grow around windows or air ducts without posing a threat.

But, some, like Stachybotrys chartarum, can develop into a dangerous form that produces mycotoxins. This toxin can cause disease in animals and illnesses in humans, causing nausea, gastrointestinal effects, and vomiting.

Health implications of mould exposure

Although there are many harmless mould variants, some growths are more dangerous, like Acremonium, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys. Moulds produce microscopic spores, which we could inhale, ingest, or touch, causing allergic reactions or respiratory issues.

A study found a link between indoor mould exposure and respiratory problems, allergies, or asthma. It is concerning for those with weakened immune systems, asthmatics, and children.

Long-term exposure to certain varieties — like black mould — can leave you feeling more severe symptoms. Therefore, understanding which type has infested your home is key to creating a proper defence strategy.

Conditions conducive to mould growth

Mould is attracted to damp conditions because they are perfect for mould spores to create a colony. Whether it is from steamy showers or wet windowsills, excess moisture attracts these spores and leads to rapid mould growth.

Warmth is another condition mould requires, as spores thrive in temperatures from 10°C to 16°C. They also need organic materials like wood or cotton to feed on.

Mitigating mould risks in indoor environments

The key to keeping mould at bay is making your home less accommodating. Controlling humidity is key; aim for levels below 60%, as higher moisture will allow mould to spread quickly.

Proper ventilation helps, especially after steamy showers or cooking. However, this extends beyond opening windows; exhaust fans can filter out excess dampness before it settles.

Regular cleaning also prevents spores from settling down and multiplying, often combining with dust particles for easier access to porous surfaces. For leaks or condensation, getting mould removal professionals could save you from costly issues.

Legal standards and regulations for mould

With UK regulations regarding mould levels, local councils can use The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)Landlords in the private sector employ this guidance system to ensure that their properties meet the government's criteria.

If they find your home has a troublesome case of mould, they could declare it a Category 1 hazard under the Housing Act 2004. Landlords must remain vigilant as neglecting their properties could lead to trouble with Environmental Health.

For those dealing with commercial spaces, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) set the regulations. These rules ensure employers keep their workers safe from biological hazards like mould.

Professional assessment and remediation of mould

Spotting mould might be simple, often growing with unsightly patches or a musty smell. Knowing if you are tackling a harmless variant or one that could cause respiratory illnesses is more complicated.

Experts from companies specialising in mould growth utilise tools and solutions that detect moisture levels invisible to the naked eye, ensuring all vulnerable areas are identified.

The mould on your property is then tested by these mould cleaners, who identify the strain and its level of danger before proceeding with remediation. The process is a long and often complicated one that requires strict post-care and professional guidance.

Frequently asked questions

How can you tell if mould is dangerous?

Dangerous mould often has a musty smell and appears discoloured or fuzzy. Expert analysis is best to confirm toxicity.

Is there a harmless mould?

Certain species, like Penicillium chrysogenum, typically pose no threat to healthy individuals when encountered in normal amounts.

Are all moulds harmful to health?

Not all moulds are dangerous; some are benign while others cause allergic reactions or worse.

What percentage of mould is dangerous?

Most indoor varieties are not dangerous, but 10% might trigger allergies or other ailments.

Get in touch

At ICE Cleaning, we offer thorough mould cleaning services that can keep your home safe from an infestation. Our certified technicians utilise advanced techniques to identify, isolate, and eliminate mould, ensuring a thorough and lasting solution.

To learn more about our mould remediation, contact our team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk today. We offer emergency cleaning the same day as your first call and work nationwide to ensure your needs are met wherever you are.

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