What is Black Mould?

Black mould growth is encountered by some property owners. If you are concerned that your property has a black mould problem, this page will assist you in dealing with the problem. This page will highlight what black mould is and advise on possible causes and remedies. Black mould can be unsightly on internal decoration or affect furniture or clothing.

Black Mould

Mould is a fungus which originates from spores which are airborne and germinate in areas where condensed pure water is present. Mould tends to be a result of humid conditions and a lack of ventilation. Mould will develop over organic materials such as wallpaper, plaster and paint.

Bathrooms and Kitchens tend to be more vulnerable to the development of black mould due to the excess moisture which is generated in these rooms. Bathrooms often do not have a ventilation system capable of handling the amount of moisture which is generated. Bedrooms are also likely to suffer from black mould due to the amount of moisture which is generated through breathing and a lack of ventilation. When this water vapour meets a cold surface such as a window or wall which has not been insulated, this can condense and result in condensation. If this condensation is allowed to gather over a prolonged period, this may result in black mould developing in these areas of your property.

What Causes Black Mould?

Black mould requires pure water to develop, this is the moisture that is crated on a cold surface when warm moist air meets it and condenses. Poor ventilation tends to be the most common cause of this issue. Simple steps can be taken in order to balance the moisture levels in the property and reduce the risk of black mould appearing like opening windows to allow the air in the property to be “changed”.

How to Stop Mould Growth?

Quite simply if you have a condensation problem which is encouraging mould growth you need to reduce the level of moisture in the air in your property and potentially increase the surface temperature. There are various steps which can be taken in order to try to prevent mould issues arising within your property.

Changing Habits
Simple lifestyle changes such as cooking with the lids on saucepans, avoiding bottled gas heaters and drying washing outside can make a huge difference to the levels of moisture in your property. Making the effort to open your bathroom or kitchen window for ten minutes after showering or cooking can make a huge difference. Closing the bathroom or kitchen door during bathing or cooking and immediately after will help to prevent the transfer of moist air to other rooms throughout the property.

Adequate Heating
Effectively heating your property is important in order to maintain a regular internal air and surface temperature, this will also warm the internal wall fabrics of the building and, this, in addition to, well insulated walls and roof spaces will reduce the possibility of your property being affected by condensation black mould.

Efficient Ventilation
Effective ventilation is important throughout the property, however, this is more important in kitchen, bathroom and utility areas, where moisture is created in order to remove this moisture at source. Note that if you are using a damp dehumidifier, this will not solve the cause of the problem.Installing Ventilation
It is important to adjust and improve ventilation within the affected areas to prevent a re-occurrence of mould. Richardson & Starling can provide a variety of ventilation products to assist in the ventilation of your property. One such unit is a Cyclone 7 extractor fan, this fan tracks and detects water vapour in the atmosphere within the room in which it is fitted before removing it. This fan come with a 7-year product guarantee. We have a range of different condensation control units which are designed specifically for apartments, flats and houses.

Improve Air Quality
As stated, above extractor fans or indeed positive air input systems can be used to improve the air quality within a property and thus reduce the risk of black mould, the most obvious solution is to open windows, even for a short period of time each day, this will allow a “change of air” within the property. It is worth noting that clean fresh air is easier to heat than moisture laden air.

What to Do Next?

If you are still concerned that your property has a mould issue, then it is time to seek professional advice.

Richardson & Starling’s are fully endorsed by the Property Care Association. Our surveyors are highly trained at providing solutions for many damp and mould issues which can arise within properties and can discuss the most appropriate remedial treatments if these are required.Not sure what is causing damp in your home? Contact your local branch for advice or a property survey to regain your peace of mind.