Wall with black mould growing on it

Black Spot Mould

Black spot mould (also known as Aspergillus Niger) is a common problem in households due to leaks, moisture in the air, and poor ventilation throughout the property.

Black mould doesn’t just look horrible either. It can cause major damage to your furniture, and have a real impact on your physical health.

It doesn’t matter how old your property is, black mould can affect old and new properties alike. In fact, black mould can occur in any part of any property where there is potential for dampness or condensation.

Once you have eliminated the source of the moisture that is causing the black mould to occur, you should make cleaning the black mould away top of your list of priorities. A black mould eradication kit can go a long way in helping you remove it from your property entirely.

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What is Black Spot Mould?

Black spot mould is often the direct result of condensation building up within your property. it will usually appear in areas of your building where the circulation of air is at a minimum.

This means that it might appear in areas where there aren’t any windows, in floor-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling junctions, or even behind colder walls where it might not be visible immediately.

Basically, if your property has any areas that are cold, with humidity that regularly exceeds 70%, then you may be at serious risk of developing black mould.

What Causes Black Mould Growth?

One of the main causes of black mould growth is the condensation brought about from everyday living conditions, and poor ventilation. Every household is going to produce a large amount of water vapour through normal everyday activities. Showering, having a bath, cooking, drying clothes – all of these activities create moisture-laden air, and that is what starts the condensation process triggering black mould growth.

If that same moisture-dense air cannot properly ventilate out of the property, then it’s going to land on the walls creating the perfect environment in which black mould can grow. Making sure that any ventilation present in the property can work as intended is another key factor in causing mould growth.

If air vents are blocked then they will need clearing, if double glazing is installed then it will need to be opened every now and then to allow the air out, if you have an extractor fan then it will need to be operational to allow steam or dense air to clear.

Keeping ventilation levels high is especially important in areas of the house where the most water vapour is created. This means kitchens, bathrooms, and below-ground structures will all need special attention paid to them as they are much more likely to create condensation and allow for black mould growth.

You can tell when condensation is beginning to build up easily. When the water vapour comes into contact with a surface colder than the resting air temperature, that same vapour is going to condense on the surface. On a material such as wallpaper you might notice that the surface is slightly damp, or cold. On painted walls you might notice water beads, and on wooden surfaces you might notice softened wood.

When black mould spores in the air naturally come into contact with these surfaces laden with condensation, they are going to germinate. that means that they are going to grow, fruit, and spread their spores further around your property creating a self perpetuating black mould problem.

You should also be constantly aware that black mould wont just appear in lived in or populated areas of your property. You can easily find it below your floorboards, in your loft, behind insulation or even behind plasterboard. If left to fester, these patches of black mould can easily lead to the degradation of your properties timber or other materials, especially if its left for the long term and quite a severe case.

Condensation black spot mould

The picture above shows black spot mould at the cold spot of the wall / junction as well as mould on the plasterboard finish where the “dabs” holding the plasterboard have created a cold spot.

The “dabs” are the only contact between the plasterboard and the cold wall, therefore the temperature of the cold wall is transferred through the “dab” on to the surface of the plasterboard. This causes moisture trapped in the air to “condensate” out at this cold spot. This is otherwise known as “Cold bridging”.

How Black Mould Affects Your Health?

There is plenty of valid concern regarding black mould, and your physical health. Particularly, a focus on how the effect of mould spores in the air might effect children, the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions or even yourself.

Mould spores, much like pollen, is everywhere. Properly distributed it wont cause an issue, however when its highly concentrated like in an unventilated room which is encountered often by an individual, these spores can cause problems.

The black mould spores might exacerbate problems in those suffering from asthma, those with respiratory issues, those with pulmonary conditions, or other issues that might be inflamed through contaminated air.

You also have to consider the allergies in some people which can be triggered by black mould spores. If a person with allergies were to inhale the black mould spores, then they may cause their immune system to create an allergic reaction as it tries to defend itself from the foreign spores.

In short, there is a very real possibility that black mould spores can be degradative to a persons health, and all efforts must be taken to remove the black mould once it is discovered.

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How To Spot Signs Of Black Mould

Black mould is quite easy to recognise. When its active, the mould will have a black, or green slimy appearance.

If the black mould is inactive it is going to be powdery and dry.

It’s important to remember that whether the black mould is active or inactive, it can still pose a problem.

You also have to consider that sometimes, black mould isn’t going to be as easily spotted. It could be in your loft, tucked under the floorboards, behind a cupboard, or even behind your wallpaper. In these instances, its handy to know a few of the telltale signs of black mould.

Telltale Signs of Black Mould:

  • A Damp musty smell– When mould growth is active the mould emits volatile compounds which caused the distinctly ‘musty’ odours associated with dampness. This can be very important in that it is not uncommon to get such a musty smell in a house yet there is no visible evidence of mould growth on walls.
  • Coughing- can be a sign of an allergic reaction
  • Mould- will appear on the window sills, ceiling and walls of the property

How To Get Rid Of Mould

Black mould can be treated very easily. We have put together a useful guide of how to remove black mould which provides details of how to use the combination of mould eradication kits and improving the ventilation in the property (using the bathroom and kitchen fans or positive pressure units) to treating black mould for good. Remember, just cleaning away the existing black mould won’t work. You have to eliminate the source of the moisture to put a complete stop to the mould.

Removing black mould properly will reduce the potential for health hazards associated with such growth in domestic properties, and with our recommendations, a healthy, mould-free living environment can be achieved. If you would like to speak to a specialist then contact us online or call 0800 288 8660.