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The "Silent but Deadly" Organic Property Defacer...

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

What are the first things you notice in the image below?

  1. Unsightly Black Mould?

  2. Pavers?

  3. Hot Water System?

  4. Fence?

  5. The colours orange, blue and grey?


Yep!


That's what I noticed too when we first attended this property to clean the outdoor paved areas that surround it.


Now...


Take a look at the same area from a different angle. What else do you see?



Photos above and below - Customer's home (Douglas)


6.

A large greyish area

along the fence side of the pavers?


7.

Dark blue & orange pavers

lining the house?


8.

Light blue & orange pavers

as you move towards

the fence?



Finally...

Take one last look!


Photo - Customer's home (Douglas)


Post treatment

  1. The mould is dead & gone, and

  2. Orange has returned to the pavers along the fence



BUT...

A lot of orange, sandy debris was lost during this clean



Why


???



To my surprise & horror...



MOULD!!


"...actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity." (poison.org)


Image left: Black Mould spores


As a fungi, mould gets its energy from the organic matter that it lives on. Outdoors, organic matter is everywhere in the form of leaf and dead insect fragments that contribute to dust.

Moulds produce and spread hydrolytic enzymes from their hyphal tips (heterotrophy) to decompose starch, cellulose and lignin (complex biopolymers) into more manageable forms that the hyphae can absorb. Black Mould (S. Chartarum) especially loves cellulose-rich materials.


When Black Mould is staring you in the face like this...

Photo - Customer's home (Kirwan)

..an interconnected network of hyphae (mycelium) has grown to produce large colonies.











Happy Hyphae Family Magnified View


Hyphae expand by projecting cytoplasm and organelles from the hyphal tips over and/or through new food sources where nutrients are absorbed. Buildings and their associated porous materials offer mould an endless food supply. Materials include:

  • solid wood

  • wood products, including paper and mulch

  • fabric

  • wallpaper glue

  • sheet rock

  • soap scum

  • leather

  • insulation

  • potted plants

  • pavers

  • concrete

Mould colonies generally grow in buildings due to their temperature and humidity stability


A 2020 research article describes how


"...the rising trend to use bio-based construction materials, can easily support mould growth and facilitate indoor organic proliferation."


However...



High damp & temperature (NQ)

=

Mould thrives



Check out this example of paint damage from Black Mould that we recently came across

Video - Tenant's home (Kirwan)


Attaching itself to the surface it feeds from, Black Mould penetrates!


With total disregard for the integrity of your home and/or investment, it allows water and organic matter to breach and destroy your protective surface.



You wouldn't let a VANDAL

get away with doing this

to your property!



So, why let MOULD

get away with it?



Tenants and Landlords


Landlord responsibility:

  • Maintaining the good condition of the home they tenant out

  • Ensuring structural repairs are made to prevent mould growth


Tenant responsibility:

  • Maintain adequate ventilation in the home, especially in winter

  • When responsible for mould growth, clean it and pay for damage caused

  • DON'T PAINT OVER MOULD, as one UK landlord found his tenants did because untreated mould keeps growing and breaks through!

  • Report mould growth to the landlord / property manager asap and continue to report if it continues growing



"Cleaning up small amounts of mold can be done by homeowners. Eliminating mold from large areas requires expertise..." (poison.org)