What Is Mould?

Wednesday 1st November 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Mould growing in petri dishes CONTENTS

Thanks to our damp, cool weather, mould is a common feature in British homes. That is not to say you should not worry if you spot some growing in your property. It can put people's health at risk, damage your possessions and property, and make your home unpleasant to live in.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer our mould removal services nationwide. Our mould cleaners have been accredited by Dewpoint Professional, and are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including bank holidays. 

Keep reading to learn more about mould and what you should do when it starts to grow in your home. 

What is mould?

Mould is a fungus that flourishes in humid, temperate surroundings. It reproduces through tiny spores invisible to the naked eye which float around in the air. When these land on wet surfaces, they start growing and spreading.

Mould feeds off organic material like wood and paper, and can normally be found growing in the home on dust, wallpaper glue, paint, fabric, and wooden furniture. 

What is black mould?

Black mould is a category of moulds that are black or dark in colour. Some kinds produce mycotoxins, toxic chemicals which can cause serious health problems, but not all types of black mould are toxic or lethal, contrary to what many people believe. 

What causes mould?

Mould grows in environments that contain organic material, oxygen, and excess moisture. The main cause is dampness which can be down to leaks, condensation, penetrating or rising damp, and high humidity levels. 

As a result, it is usually found in the bathroom and kitchen, where washing and cooking produce lots of steam and humid air. It also tends to be found on or around windows where condensation can form, making the window sill damp. 

Another common cause is poor ventilation which allows humid air to remain trapped indoors. A lack of air circulation enables pockets of moist air to form around your home, such as behind furniture or inside wardrobes. 

If you notice signs of dampness or humidity in your home, make sure you take steps towards improving ventilation and controlling indoor climate as part of your mould prevention strategy. 

Should any mould patches appear despite this, remember that professional help from mould removal companies should be sought instead of attempting DIY clean-up methods yourself.

Different types of mould to keep an eye out for

There are lots of different mould species, and each prefers different growing conditions and can have different impacts on your home and health. Here are three of the most common types of mould that can grow in your home. 

Aspergillus

This type of mould typically appears white or greyish brown on surfaces. It often grows on walls, carpets, and clothing, and can produce mycotoxins. Most people inhale Aspergillus every day without getting ill, but some can suffer from Aspergillosis, an infection of the lungs or sinuses caused by the mould. 

Cladosporium

This black or green coloured mould is usually found growing on painted surfaces, woodwork, and even curtains when humidity is high. It does produce mycotoxins, but most are not dangerous to humans. It can provoke serious and even lethal asthma attacks. 

Stachybotrys chartarum

Often known as "toxic black mould", it thrives in continuously wet conditions like leaky pipes. It is linked to sick building syndrome and acute idiopathic pulmonary haemorrhage in infants. 

Is mould dangerous?

Mould produces allergens, irritants, and toxic substances which can cause a range of health problems including allergic reactions like sneezing and coughing, as well as respiratory infections. Moulds that produce mycotoxins can have more serious effects on people's health. 

For those with compromised immune systems, existing respiratory issues, or skin conditions, or the elderly and very young, the effects of mould exposure could be more serious. 

If you suspect mould growth in your property, it is essential to take swift action for the protection of your home environment. You must not attempt to clean up the mould yourself as you will be very likely to touch, inhale, or ingest the mould without the right personal protective equipment (PPE). 

You could also make the situation worse, such as by scrubbing the mould, which might release spores into the air that may spread around the rest of the property. 

Professional mould cleaners will have the PPE, specialist tools, and training to thoroughly tackle the mould problem in your home. They will give you peace of mind that all the mould has been eliminated from the hard surfaces and the air. 

Our technicians can even diagnose the root cause of the mould in your home and advise on how to prevent it returning in the future to keep your home mould-free.

The signs of mould growth

Mould can quickly grow and spread without you releasing. One key sign to look out for is an unusual musty, damp smell which is caused by mould releasing microbial volatile organic compounds. 

You should also be wary of the visual indicators of mould. That is, any black, green, white, or orange spots or patches on surfaces like the walls, ceilings, and around windows. Persistent cold or allergy symptoms indicate hidden mould growth in your home, too.

Get in touch

Every mould remediation comes with a lifetime guarantee* so if the mould returns, we will remove it for free. In an emergency, our technicians can be on site within several hours. 

Contact our team today on [TELEPHOBE] or via enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to book our mould cleaners. 

*subject to advisories.

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