What Does Black Mould Look Like?

Wednesday 8th November 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Black mould on a wall and skirting board CONTENTS

Black mould has a reputation for being a toxic and sometimes deadly growth in your home. Although only some kinds are that dangerous, you should still take it very seriously and have any removed as soon as you spot it. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer our mould removal services 365 days a year. Our technicians are mould experts that can eliminate all the mould from your home, including mould in the air. We operate nationwide, 24/7, and can be on site within several hours if it's an emergency.

Keep reading to find out more about what black mould is, the signs that it's growing, and how to remove it. 

What is black mould?

Mould, a type of fungus, thrives in damp and humid conditions. It's a natural part of our environment and plays an essential role in breaking down dead organic material. Black mould is a category of moulds that are black or dark in colour (usually dark green or grey). 

The reason why we often call it dangerous lies in its potential health effects. Mould releases allergens and irritants, and some types release mycotoxins (toxic compounds). Inhaling, ingesting, and touching mould can provoke allergic responses such as sneezing, skin inflammation, or even more serious respiratory issues if not treated in a timely manner. 

Some kinds of black mould, like Stachybotrys chartarum, release mycotoxins which can lead to other health problems, like sick building syndrome. There are lots of other kinds of black mould that can grow in your home including Alternaria and Cladosporium, both of which can trigger fatal asthma attacks.

The visual signs of black mould

To spot black mould, you need to look for dark spots which could range from greenish-black to jet black in colour. Its distinguishing feature is its slimy texture which turns powdery when dry. The surface beneath might feel damp because this particular strain needs constant moisture to survive. 

Mould is not always flat - it might have a fuzzy texture due to its spore-producing structures. Black mould colonies also tend to grow in circular patterns which spread outward over time. You can find out more about what mould looks like in this blog.

Another key symptom of mould growth to be wary of is the musty odour the fungus produces. This smell is caused by the mould producing microbial volatile organic compounds. 

If you suspect black mould is growing in your home, bring in professional mould cleaners as soon as possible before your mould problem becomes a big issue that threatens people's health and damages your property. 

What causes black mould?

Black mould grows best in areas that are damp and poorly ventilated. The main cause of black mould is persistent moisture. This can be due to condensation forming on surfaces, penetrating or rising damp, leaks, floods, or even surfaces getting wet when washing.

Lack of proper ventilation lets stagnant, humid air build up and get trapped, too, which enables the surrounding area to get damp. For example, bathrooms without exhaust fans often become hotspots for this unwanted guest. You can sometimes find black mould on walls, as well, which is usually caused by condensation.

Mould feeds on organic material such as wood or paper-based products like wallpaper, drywall, and some kinds of fabric, also. The presence of such materials can help black mould spread quickly in your home. Over time, mould can cause them to deteriorate and may even lead to structural damage. 

How to get rid of black mould

Getting rid of black mould is a task that needs careful handling. Removing black mould is not as simple as scrubbing the surface with bleach or a black mould remover. When disturbed, spores which are hazardous to health can be released into the air, potentially causing respiratory ailments or allergic reactions.

Besides the health risks, incorrect cleaning methods may only suppress the problem temporarily, such as just removing the visible mould, without addressing underlying causes like moisture build-up or poor ventilation. Any mould will simply grow back.

To effectively eliminate black mould, bring in mould specialists. They will have the advanced equipment, techniques, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to thoroughly remove all traces of the black mould from your home. 

Professionals will also know how to safely clean up the mould. They will seal off affected areas to prevent cross-contamination before treating the mould and removing damaged materials safely. Then, they will use eco-friendly products designed specifically for deep-rooted fungal eradication, and ensure every trace is gone while maintaining indoor air quality.

For peace of mind that all the mould in your home is dealt with, bring in mould remediation professionals. They can even identify the specific cause of the black mould and advise on how to prevent it from returning in the future. 

Book your mould remediation today

Our technicians have been accredited by Dewpoint Professional and will follow a nine-stage mould removal process to eliminate all the mould in your home.

Get in touch with our team on 0208 066 0360 or send an email to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to schedule your free site survey for our mould remediation services

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Melissa Harrison

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