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Black Mould

Condensation causes black mould

 

If you have any evidence of black mould in your home then you NEED to read this information and act urgently. Don't delay!

Mould is a serious problem for both Landlord and Tenant:

Mould is a serious problem because of the health risks associated with mould spores. Moulds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans. The mould fungi have been identified as the source of numerous health problems including infections, asthma, allergies, sinusitis and the serious lung condition Aspergillosis.

 

Be sure you understand mould:

The problem is many tenants simply don't understand that mould and mildew is not the same as damp. When they first see the ugly black spores they contact the Landlord or the Letting Agent to report the property is damp, but in most cases it is NOT damp and the property itself is not to blame. 9 times out of 10 the mould spores are caused from simple lack of ventilation, which ends up damaging the property and potentially causing health problems.

 

Learn more in these two short videos: 

Condensation or Damp?          Understanding Damp & Mould!       BBC: Dangers of Condensation 

HOW BLACK MOULD STARTS

Too few people realise that `Black mould` is generally caused by lifestyle. Put simply, it is caused by the way we live in our homes these days. The better insulated our properties the more we need to ventilate.

 

We cause a lot of moisture from:

  • Cooking
  • Boiling a kettle
  • Bathing
  • Shower
  • Drying clothes inside the property

These are every day activities, which in the summer months rarely cause an issue because we tend to open our windows and ventilate for long periods. However, during winter months we often keep our windows closed to retain heat, but this helps prevent all the accumulated moisture from escaping, which quickly encourages mould to form.

Where black mould forms condensation

Perfect conditions for mould:
Check the tiles around the bath/shower next time you finish bathing - all that moisture will gradually be absorbed by the walls of the property as it disburses.

Add to this the moisture from cooking, drying damp clothes and even breathing. Then consider that the more insulated the property the more moisture will be trapped inside. Unable to escape the moisture generally finds a porous place to settle (normally a plastered wall or window frame) and gradually form into spores, which rapidly becomes a colony, then becomes air-born and very easily transports to different areas of the property by attaching themselves to various hosts. These hosts can include people, animals, insects, shoes and clothes etc. Spores then thrive and grow where it is damp and moist - even your toothbrush!

 

In bathrooms

  • On ceilings over the bath or shower
  • Window glass, sills and frames
  • Under or behind the toilet and tank
  • Walls and tiled surfaces

Bedrooms

  • Windows, in the bottom corners, sides or on the glass
  • Behind dressers and wardrobes on exterior walls
  • Particularly on the top corners of the bedroom walls which are the furthest from any heating source.

Kitchens

  • Windows, in the bottom corners, sides or on the glass
  • Ceiling, where moisture has formed from cooking etc.
  • Any walls, especially on outer walls which are the coldest

Anywhere else

Typically, once spores move from room to room and start new colonies they can form anywhere.

Think you won't get black mould?

No matter how clean your home is, you are susceptible to black mould, as it only needs humidity to germinate, and in 24 to 48 hours, you will find that it has stuck and is spreading fast.

 

Black Mould is a term commonly used to describe a blackish-green substance, which can potentially result in health risk (not to mention damage the property) and is generally associated with poor indoor air quality that arises after fungal growth has been allowed to form. Basically it's lifestyle.

 

Many of us could have one type or another of mould somewhere in our home, although not all types are toxic. There are many types of mould, but the most common is black mould found on the inside of a property. If this appears you MUST clean and treat the area IMMEDIATELY, as it could potentially cause health problems and if not kept clear will spread throughout the property, land on any porous surface, even your toothbrush, and start a new colony.

 

Mould spores are known allergens, their microscopic spores become airborne at the slightest disturbance. Humans can then inhale these microscopic spores, which have been attributed (along with the dust mite) to trigger asthma and allergies, dust allergy and even hay fever. During growth, fungal colonies can produce gases known as `volites`, which are musty mildew-like odours, which you may associate with damp basements.

 

YOU are responsible:

As a tenant you need to understand that YOU are responsible for ensuring the property is adequately ventilated. You must clean any mould immediately, it is not your landlord's responsibility. Please follow the advice on black mould removal and prevention to prevent your landlord claiming against your deposit for costs of treating the mould.

How to help clean your bathroom keep it mould free

Here's a video clip showing tips on how to help keep your bathroom clean and mould-free.

 

Following this advice not only helps avoid mould but also reduces the cleaning time.

Tips to avoid mould

Top tips to avoid mould:

 

  1. After taking a shower use a squeegee to remove all the water from walls/tiles.
  2. Keep windows open for as long as possible, especially after bathing or cooking.
  3. Always use extractor fans where available.
  4. Don`t dry clothes inside. Or if you must then choose a room and keep the window of that room open until clothes are dry. Or use a condensing drier.
  5. Use a dehumidifier to help absorb moisture.
  6. Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use, even if you use the extractor fan.
  7. Never use portable flueless bottled gas heaters, as they produce moisture.

What if you find black mould?

What if you find black mould:

  1. Ventilate: Provide adequate ventilation during disinfecting and wear rubber gloves.
  2. Remove contaminated items: As you remove affected items from the property be sure not to walk them through the property, or if you must, find the shortest way to get them outside.
  3. Clean: Remove mould and clean infected areas immediately. You can buy mildewcide products, try Domestos mould killer, and use bleach with a disinfectant, they all work if used thoroughly. There are numerous kinds of paints in the market too that can get rid of black mould quite easily.
  4. Dry: Dry the surfaces asap. Use fans and or natural ventilation that exchanges inside air with outside air. Use a dehumidifier if you have one.
  5. Replace items: Depending on the extent of the mould damage, you can clean and retrieve items that have it, but make sure that they are non-porous, like plastic. If they are porous (books, clothing, carpets etc) the black mould spores could be lodged in the fibres, and if you retrieve them, they risk contaminating other items or surfaces before long.

For more detailed help visit How To.

 

Get advice

We hope this info helps you to prevent mould occurring during your tenancy, however, if you do find mould and then feel unable to manage it then PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE? It is better to tell us than risk damaging the property or health and potentially lose your deposit. Please, please don`t ignore mould, as it could damage your health as well as the property. We are here to help.

 

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