Why Does Mould Grow After A Fire?

Tuesday 23rd May 2023

Ellen Warren

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Mould on damaged wall


After a fire, you may notice various effects that you would not expect to occur after a house fire. Aside from fire and smoke damage, there is a significant increase in dampness and humidity, which puts your home at risk of mould growth if not remediated immediately.

Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians offer effective and rapid mould remediation services. At ICE Cleaning, our cleaners can be on-site within a few hours in an emergency and conduct thorough cleaning methods with industrial-grade technology.

Read on to learn more about why mould grows after a house fire and what you can do to remove it.

What is mould?

Mould is a common fungus that grows in households with excess moisture and warmth, appearing in various colours — usually black or green. In 2021, around 904,000 homes in the UK suffered from damp problems which can result in mould growth. Because of the conditions required to thrive, mould is more likely to grow in bathrooms and kitchens.

It can continue to spread throughout a property, and it does so by releasing airborne spores that find porous spaces to settle where they grow undisturbed.

What are the risks of mould?

Those in vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are more likely to suffer more severe effects of mould. Anyone can have an allergic reaction to mould, like pollen allergies, but these effects vary depending on your age and health.

Children could develop chronic conditions such as asthma if they live in a home with mould. By living in these conditions, you may begin to experience:

  • A runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Irritated eyes
  • A sore throat
  • A fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

If left alone, mould also causes structural damage. As it eats away at plasterboard and wood, this leads to integral structures in your wall rotting away, leading to an unstable shelter.

Why does mould grow in a fire-damaged home?

Different types of fires may occur in your home, not just due to negligence but the flammables used and the source of the flame. These fires require a specific extinguishing method, as the wrong one could exacerbate the flames. The liquid types of fire extinguishers are:

  • Water mist or spray
  • Foam
  • Wet chemical

There is a large amount of damp present in the affected area after using a liquid-type extinguisher on a fire. A fire-damaged property suffering from damp can excel the growth of mould due to the warmth and humidity.

Any damaged or burnt organics like food provide sustenance for mould which encourages it to further spread and settle in other places of the home. Combined with smoke and fire damage, this creates a very unsafe environment.

Is it safe to stay in a fire-damaged home with mould?

After a fire, smoke lingers on the property even if you do not see it. This is because the smoke particles are fine and invisible to the naked eye, smaller than a grain of sand. Breathing in the invisible smoke will damage your lungs and may cause severe illness.

Mould poses a similar effect on your lungs, although it is not as extreme. Breathing in mould spores can lead to respiratory damage and other mould-related illnesses like:

  • Mycosis
  • Toxicity poisoning
  • Immune disorder

Mould, fire, and water damage from extinguishing solutions can also damage your home. Significant destruction caused by these elements leads to a lack of stability in floors, ceilings, and walls. These hazards could result in injuries and will make your home unsafe.

What to do if mould starts to grow in your home

If you see mould growing in your home, you must not try to clean it yourself. Scrubbing the mould may aggravate it and cause it to release more airborne spores.

DIY cleaning methods such as baking soda, vinegar, or bleach might appear to remove the mould, but it will regrow. This is because mould remediation requires air treatment and an assessment of the home to identify the source of mould.

Damp, poor ventilation, and unclean air can cause mould. You must contact a mould removal company that effectively removes this for you. In the meantime, you can help reduce the spread by:

  • Using an air purifier and dehumidifier
  • Installing double-glazed windows
  • Improving insulation
  • Identifying any leaks
  • Opening doors and windows to circulate air
  • Dry your clothes outside or on a heated clothes horse
  • Close the doors to the bathroom and kitchen when used
  • Wipe away condensation from windows

Get in touch

We offer mould removal services as well as fire damage cleaning. Our technicians are qualified to identify and remediate the source of what is causing the mould, assess the levels of damp on your property, and remove it.

With a mould treatment, we offer a lifetime guarantee* to ensure the mould does not return. If you want to know more, contact our service team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. Our team of experts are available nationwide, and our support staff work 24/7, 365 days a year.

*subject to advisories

Sydney Bowell

Sydney Bowell

Operations Assistant

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