Why Is Black Mould Dangerous?

Monday 11th December 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Black mould on a white surface

?CONTENTS

Some kinds of black mould are very harmful to be exposed to, and in some cases, can be lethal. You must bring in mould removal professionals as soon as you spot mould growth in your home to protect your health and minimise damage to your property. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer thorough, long-lasting mould removal services nationwide. Our nine-stage mould removal process can eliminate all the mould in your home, including mould in the air. 

Keep reading to find out why black mould is dangerous and how to get rid of it.

What is black mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in damp environments. It spreads through airborne spores that land and grow on organic materials such as wood or drywall. While there are many types of moulds, black mould stands out due to its dark colour and potentially harmful effects.

Black mould is not always truly black. Instead, it is an umbrella term for moulds that are dark colours which can range from greenish-black and brown to grey. 

One of the most infamous types of black mould is Stachybotrys chartarum. Often referred to as "toxic black mould", it has a slimy texture and distinct musty odour. Other kinds that can grow in your home include Cladosporium and Alternaria. 

Black moulds need constant moisture for growth, and as such is usually found by leaky pipes or in condensation-prone areas, like on window sills. 

Is black mould dangerous?

All types of mould can be hazardous. They produce allergens and irritants, and when mould is inhaled, ingested, or touched, it can lead to a range of issues including allergic reactions and respiratory infections. 

Some people are especially vulnerable to mould growth including people with pre-existing respiratory and skin conditions, and weakened immune systems. Young children and elderly people may also experience more serious reactions as a result of exposure to mould. 

But some kinds of mould - including several types of black mould - also produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic substances that may lead to more health problems like sick building syndrome or fatal asthma attacks. 

Only some types of black mould occasionally produce black mould, so to ensure you keep residents and visitors safe, you must have all mould removed from your home as soon as you spot it. 

Certain strains of black mould are more dangerous than others due to the higher levels of mycotoxins they produce. For instance, Aspergillus niger – a common type found indoors - creates ochratoxin A (OTA) which is linked with kidney disease and cancer.

What causes black mould?

The main cause of black mould is dampness and poor ventilation. It thrives in humid, warm conditions where there is little airflow. This can often be seen in bathrooms or kitchens due to steam from showers or cooking.

In addition, certain building materials provide the perfect food source for the fungus. Materials such as drywall, wood and carpet are all prone to mould growth if they become wet and are not dried quickly enough.

Penetrating and rising damp, as well as leaks in pipes, walls or roofs should be repaired within 24 to 48 hours (how long it can take mould to start growing) to prevent a possible outbreak of black mould. Any flooding should also be cleared up and the property dried out within this time frame.

How to remove black mould from your home

You should always bring in mould removal professionals to deal with mould growth in your home. Removing black mould is not a DIY job. Attempting to clean up black mould with harsh chemicals and methods is not recommended as it can damage the surface and encourage mould spores to spread around your home. Cleaning mould will also bring you in close contact with the harmful fungus. 

Professionals on the other hand will have the specialist equipment, training, and protective gear to safely and thoroughly eliminate the mould. They can even isolate the affected area to stop spores spreading during the treatment. 

Mould cleaners can diagnose the cause of the black mould in your home and advise on how to prevent it returning in the future, as well. They can keep your home mould-free in the long-run. 

Get in touch

We offer a lifetime guarantee* with every mould remediation so if the mould returns our technicians will come back to site for free. We will also provide specific recommendations to help you protect your home against mould in the future. 

To learn more about our mould remediation services, speak to our team on 0208 066 0360 or via enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

*subject to advisories

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Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison

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