Mould is a very basic organism that is designed to decompose other organic materials and create a system that recycles certain nutrients throughout an ecosystem. It has existed and thrived on this planet for billions of years and therefore, has become very effective at spreading through areas with high levels of moisture. Mould spores thrive on moisture; in fact moisture is the key element in mould growth. Many people underestimate just how quickly mould can actually grow. They will ignore small patch of mould thinking that they don’t have to rush to remove it, when all of a sudden that small patch has spread throughout a large area.
There are several common ways in which moisture can enter a home and provide a breeding ground for mould spores. Externally, it can come from broken or blocked guttering, a leak in the roof or general flooding. Internally, it will often be caused by a lack of ventilation, bad temperature control and the use of appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. As mould survives by decomposing organic materials, regular vacuuming and dusting are a great way to minimise it’s potential to grow and spread.
The health issues arising from mould are usually more severe for the elderly, young children and those with allergies such as asthma. Extended exposure to mould can also cause allergies itself, even in those who suffer from no other breathing-related issues. There have been many cases of people developing a sensitivity to mould, worsening other health conditions in the process.
One of the most common types of household mould is Toxic Black Mould. Now, not all dark coloured mould is Black Mould, often it can be a dark black colour and not actually be toxic at all. Toxic Black Mould however, can cause a number of serious health conditions such as breathing issues, organ damage, and mental impairment and in extreme cases it can even be fatal.
Some of the health problems Black Mould can cause:
- Neurological problems
- Circulatory issues
- Vision problems
- Skin problems
- Tiredness & fatigue
- Respiratory issues
What causes black mould?
Black Mould can grow anywhere where moisture is prevalent, just the same as regular mould. It thrives on breaking down and decomposing organic matter in the direct environment. However, Black Mould typically takes a little longer to grow and develop than regular mould.
How can I remove Black Mould?
As Toxic Black Mould can put your health at serious risk, it should be removed immediately upon discovery. However, home remedies and DIY jobs are not the appropriate way to remove Toxic Black Mould. Incorrect action taken against Black Mould can actually spread the toxic spores into the air and throughout the house. You should always call a professional to be certain that the job is done properly and effectively the first time around.
Check out our Mould Removal page to find out more about the process.
Tips to Help Prevent
Identify problem areas – There is no definitive way to completely prevent the growth of mould, but you can often undertake a number of steps to help reduce the chances of your home developing mould. The first thing you can do is identify areas of your home that may be prone to moisture build up or leaks. Take notice of areas of that house that have high levels of condensation, have existing watermarks and stains and gutters that frequently flood. The more problems you can address early on, the more chance you have of preventing mould from ever growing.
Dry any wet areas – This may seem like an obvious action to take, however, many people will ignore small leaks and seepage, as they don’t see it as a major issue. Any time that there is a build up of water in any area of your home; you should dry it immediately to deny mould the chance to thrive on the moisture.
Proper ventilation – Simple day-to-day activities such as showering, cooking or using the washing machine can create a lot of humidity in that particular area of the home. By using air conditioning, dehumidifiers, home ventilation systems, or simply opening a window when using one of these appliances you can greatly reduce the moisture build up in the air of your home and save yourself a lot of money in the long run.
Pay attention to roofs gutters – One of the most common causes of external mould growth is from leaking and overflowing gutters. If you take the time to check your gutters on a semi-regular basis and identify any blockages or leaks, you can help stop moisture build up around the external walls and surfaces of your home.
Enhance the overall airflow in your home – A lack of airflow in your home can be one of the critical factors in mould build up. You can easily improve the airflow by opening windows to let fresh air in, opening doors between rooms and by moving furniture away from walls. The more you can circulate air throughout every area of the home, the better chance you will have at preventing mould growth.
Monitor Humidity Indoors – If you live in a particularly humid climate, you may want to invest in buying a humidity meter to accurately measure areas of your home that are prone to high levels of humidity. This will allow you to accurately determine which rooms may be more prone to humidity than others, and give you a better understanding of where the increased moisture may be coming from.