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Preventing and cleaning with black mould

We recently completed an end of tenancy clean which inspired me to write this post. The condition of the property was in fact terrible, one of the worst we had ever seem. I don’t normally discuss the condition of the properties we work on but in this case I thought that there was a significant issue to report. In this case the focus is not on the condition of the property but why the property has ended up in this condition.

What was terrible about this property was the amount of black mould; it was everywhere. As black mould grows into the substrate as well out from it, cleaning black mould is problematic. The problem being that it is actually growing into what you are trying to clean. The substrate can be almost any household surface. In this case it was the ceilings. walls, wallpaper, sealants around the bath etc., painted wood work and so on.

The reason for this common condition, in this case and in general, was a lack of ventilation.  In this property there was no passive ventilation of any kind that we could see. No vents of any type, no extractor fans in the bathroom, toilet or kitchen, no vents in the window frames. Vents in Upvc used to be compulsory, but that changed and became optional, now we see many window frames with no vents.

If you want to prevent black mould, ventilation is absolutely essential and prevention is definitely the best policy. You can also use some of the proprietary cleaners that will help prevent black mould. These chemicals are helpful but not completely effective, certainly not on established black mould.

To get rid of light infestation of black mould some of the proprietary cleaners are effective but need lots of elbow grease.

Generally, for heavy infestations of black mould more drastic action is required.

  • For black mould on silicon sealants (around baths, showers. sinks and basins) the old sealants need to be removed. Scrape the bulk of the sealant away, then use a silicon sealant eater. Just follow the instructions on the bottle. When dry a new bead of silicon sealant can be applied.
  • Sealant around windows will usually be an acrylic frame sealant. This will need to be removed (scraped out / off) and replaced. Alternatively rub the surface black mould off (best when dry) and paint over the sealant with a stain block paint then paint over the stain block paint with the original paint when the stain block paint is dry.
  • On walls and wall paper, clean the black mould with a small amount of sugar soap solution {according to the sugar soap solution instructions}. Then repaint the painted wall or paint over the wall papered wall when it is dry.

For long term prevention of black mould, you have to improve ventilation through the property. This will allow damp air to vent to the outside of the property and prevent black mould developing.

I you need help we can help we often deal we black mould as part of our carpet cleaning service

By Jake Vanoorschot.