Black Mold - the eternal enemy of construction

Black mold is not only one of the most dreaded pathogens for residents, especially allergic people. In addition, the black or brown traces of the growing mold fungi mean a lot of trouble, a lot of work and usually high costs.

When and how are molds recognized?

Scientists from a wide variety of research disciplines today know about 100,000 different types of mold, of which more than 100 can occur in living areas and usually stay undetected there for a long time. Connoisseurs of matter, such as construction experts, often have the enviable gift of smelling the oncoming mold. However, most people do not perceive the fungus patches that grow out of tens of thousands of spores until they are already visible in the larger area. In addition to the quite obvious black mold, the color spectrum of the silent destroyers ranges from gray and green to red or yellow. And they can be present everywhere, whether on or under the wallpaper, on the shower curtain, behind a living wall that has not moved from the room, in the tile joints of the kitchen and not infrequently even under the loose plaster of the walls of cellars.

Black mold is a serious health risk

Many of these fungi are classified as very dangerous to health and with a partially toxic effect, which can not only lead to serious complications due to illness due to illness or children. One of the most serious indicators of an approaching infestation with black mold is, for example, when residents complain of inexplicable sneezing, persistent cold or even diarrhea or vomiting, and the causes can not be explained by their symptoms. But apart from such, rather harmless health problems, the black mold with its mycotoxins is already for some time in the strong suspicion to trigger various types of cancers in humans, and especially affecting the respiratory organs, metabolism and our digestive system.

Molds love it moist and warm

But: As important as the immediate and complete elimination of all self-localized sites of mold attack is also to eliminate its causes, and as long as possible, should be at least as important issue. A task that does not tolerate any delay in time and sometimes becomes a lengthy filigree work for homeowners, because the existing home of origin for moisture-loving molds in buildings can be quite long:

These areas of a property are particularly susceptible to black molds:

  • Skylights and chimneys, openings or holes inside throat plates;
  • Outstanding concrete and steel parts on uninsulated balcony overhangs or lintels;
  • Splashing water within the base areas of the foundation;
  • Insufficient or completely missing vapor barriers in cellars and roof structures (also dew or condensation water within the insulating layer);
  • Damaged, slipped or completely missing roof tiles;
  • Clogged and leaking rainwater pipes on the roof including their down pipes;
  • Formation of condensation on sub-cooled interior walls as a result of defective facade insulation;
  • Infiltration of leachate over the lower part of the outer walls due to lack of waterproofing of the masonry;

In the interior of the house, it is especially the damp rooms, which are extremely moldy and therefore require special attention. Evaporated water, which inevitably results from cooking, washing and showering, promotes mold growth in the medium term as well as condensation on the inner surfaces of window panes because the temperature and humidity differences between indoor and outdoor air are simply too high in these sensitive areas.

Black cock once purely physically seen or:

The water has to go out, only how?

If we assume that a newly purchased property has been built according to the latest building codes and standards, including heat-insulating facades and energetic airtightness, in terms of heating technology and building trade: WHAT can and must the residents take into account to prevent the formation of mold?

Whether breathing, cooking, cleaning, sweating, bathing or washing clothes - always create considerable amounts of water, which are even larger when pets "live with", a room fountains cut flowers or indoor plants for mental relaxation of the tenants provide or rainy clothes over the radiators Drying is hung. With a multi-person household, a ten-liter bucket with water can be made during the day. Makes then in the year between 2,000 and 3,000 liters, which can not just be let out through the windows and doors. Who thinks to evaporate these amounts of water in the apartment and that even with maximum aufgedrehter heating, can be after a few weeks before a very significant mold problem.

Water belongs in the drain and not in the room air!

First, the inhabitants of a house should always internalize the fact that used air in the rooms has the property to absorb a much smaller amount of water or moisture than the fresh air is able to. That means, especially for damp rooms, that the windows should not only be opened for their own sensation of warmth for ventilation. Regular bump ventilation is required, if possible at the same time on all windows of the residential building and at least two to three times a day for at least five minutes. This type of waste air and condensate disposal should take place if possible with fully open windows, only tilt them, does not bring the desired success. For targeted prophylaxis against black mold also includes that tiled walls in wet rooms are removed after showering or bathing with a window wiper, which is ideally equipped with a soft rubber lip. Anyone who dries their laundry during the cold season in the house, prevents the formation of condensation with the highest possible spin speed (1,600 to 1,800 rev / min) of his washing machine also before.

Many tiles in damp rooms make it easy for the mold

Even if it is trendy and chic looks: If tiled too generous in the bathroom, the function of the inner walls as a moisture buffer significantly reduced. Therefore, in very humid rooms of the house, except in the immediate splash water area, to work very sparingly with tiles. For ceilings as well as the upper wall sections, the application of mineral lime plaster or coating is recommended, since moisture can then be much better absorbed and moldy tile joints are largely avoided. This is particularly true for windowless baths, which are extremely vulnerable to black mold infestation by complete tiling in combination with a too low-sized ventilation device. But even if the inhabitants have done everything right, the damp or partially moldy wall in the bathroom can also be an indication of a leaking water pipe behind it, which confirms the practice that the gray can go quite hidden ways that are sometimes difficult to locate,

So cool rooms are more resistant to black mold?

On the contrary, especially in cooler rooms, corridors and especially often in bedrooms, molds occur very frequently and undetected for a longer period of time. This is partly due to the fact that people tend to sweat during the sleep phase and penetrate through the open door moist and warm air from the other rooms. Therefore, cool rooms should be monitored very carefully and at shorter intervals on incipient mold. Favored are areas behind curtains and cabinets but also wall coverings, rubbing strips and window sills. But the alarm bells should also ring when under the wallpaper, especially on outer walls, suddenly show dark to deep black spots.

Good eyes and a strong sense of smell help

At least to give yourself a first overview of the approximate extent of a possible mold infestation. So a musty and musty smell, which is felt when entering the house, usually a pretty sure indication that something is wrong here. In the biological sense, molds are living organisms that realize their organic metabolic processes via the air in the room, which in turn is accompanied by a marked odor formation. Sometimes, however, homeowners have already become accustomed to these odors or take them, completely unconsciously, was no more. In this case, it helps to ask one of his friendly neighbors for help rating the matter with a neutral nose. All hidden parts of the house, where the black mold was able to develop unobserved, should be optically controlled. This applies, among other things, wall coverings, toilet cisterns, ceiling tiles and wallpapers as well as walls that have been displaced with furniture for a long time.

It is more accurate with accurate measuring instruments

Suspicious wall sections suspected of containing black molds can also be located quite reliably using a non-contact infrared thermometer and digital hygrometer to take measurements at different locations in the room. Air quality values ​​between 40 and 60 percent are considered harmless and should be measured in a well-tempered room (not below 16° C internal temperature). When it comes to detecting black mold behind wooden wall coverings, humidity levels in excess of 70 percent are considered to be particularly critical, and there's nothing wrong with looking right behind the panel a second time.

Already a relatively dare assumption that in the house initial traces of mold development show, possibly even in several places, should be taken as an opportunity to seek expert advice. With the help of specially prepared in the laboratory culture media are environmental physicians, allergists and sometimes certified surveyors in a position to determine very accurate assessments of mold infestation and they may possibly also assess the associated health risks in detail. Since mold often leads to costly and time-consuming legal disputes between tenants and homeowners, but sometimes even to claims for damages against participating construction companies, in such situations, the securing of court-enforceable evidence, which should already be left to an experienced expert at this early stage.

Mold removal in-house

No matter if the infestation is black mold or another dangerous type of toxic fungal plexus: it should never be wiped dry on the surface and the highest principle of mold control is always, the larger the detected damage area, the more meaningful the use of Be professionals. Those who really want to lend a hand should be physically fit, have no weakened immune system and also do not suffer from allergies. That children and older people do not participate in the work and during this time outside the building are better off, should be self-evident. If mold is limited to smaller patches, such patches can be treated effectively with pure or high-percentage alcohol. After plenty of brushing, the liquid must act for at least 30 minutes. The mold residues are then rubbed off with an alcohol-soaked cloth and disposed of immediately afterwards.

Basically, any type of black mold control will only be as efficient as its causes are identified and remedied. And that is in the first instance the excessive humidity, which, when it returns, also revives the mold.

Tips & Tricks

Of course, nobody expects that regularly airs, heats energy conscious and also in the house makes everything right so that he encounters unexpected traces of black mold. But:

  • Nevertheless, you should approach the elimination of the fungus neatly and deliberately, because they are not life-threatening for completely healthy people, at least in the initial stage.
  • In order to be prepared for future disputes with the owner of the property, it makes sense to carefully document the black mold-infested parts of the building with photo shoots.
  • In many places, it is possible to involve the responsible health department in case of a suspected black mold, who usually carry out an on-site consultation including reliable temperature and humidity measurements for a small amount of money and take appropriate laboratory samples.

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