Damp Specialist

Visible black mould exposure: What are the effects that come with and why it should be treated sooner rather than later

Mould in anyone’s house is at the very least unsightly and at its worst a danger to health. If your house has visible black mould it can be a sign that something more serious is happening within the fabric of your building. When black mould appears, it is important to firstly, assess what is causing this and to rule out any simple daily problems, which can be easily rectified.

To begin, it is advisable to check if any furniture has been placed too close to the walls, as a lack of air circulation can cause a build-up of mould on the surface of wallpapers and paints. Excess moisture in a room is also a common issue and easily spotted if your windows suffer from heavy internal condensation. In these instances, it is imperative to increase the air flow and reduce the moisture in the atmosphere. Ensure you move furniture away from walls slightly so that air can move freely and if possible open windows regularly to let in fresh air. If you do still have excess moisture in the air, then hiring a dehumidifier can help by drawing the moisture out of the air, and drying any plaster work, these units can also be installed permanently if the humidity in the air is an ongoing problem.

If you have carried out the above checks and see no improvement in visible black mould, then it is advisable to seek the help of a damp specialist as this could be the symptom of a more serious issue. Many of the more serious problems are caused by the ingress of water into the fabric of the building. This can happen through cracked masonry, misplaced roof tiles, damaged chimney stacks or a faulty damp proof course.

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If your property is suffering from any of these issues, then the timbers of the property can become saturated with the offending moisture which can result in wet or dry rot setting in. Affected timbers may appear soft and spongy to the touch or have visible cracks running along the horizontal lengths. Quite often mould spores can be visibly seen forming on the surface of the wood.

Dry rot can cause more damage than its cousin wet rot, as dry rot can spread from the saturated timbers and start to affect nearby dry timers. In both cases, the structure of wood is eaten away by the mould which reduces the integrity of the wooden beans, joists or floorboards. If black mould manages to penetrate through your walls then plaster can start to bubble and flake away and paint can start to peel off. If left untreated, this can spread throughout your entire property and can be both timely and costly to repair.

Black mould can also cause a host of health problems. Breathing in the spores from the atmosphere can cause allergies, chest infections, asthma, headaches, nausea and sickness as the toxins within the spores are inhaled. It is therefore imperative to address any black mould as soon as it is spotted to reduce the amount of structural and physical damage it can cause.