What's this black stuff?

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I've just moved into a house with my spouse and 2 kids. It was owned by an elderly couple who bought the house from new in the 1960's and they sadly died last year, both in their 90's.

It's evident that not much has been done to the house in all that time. Most probably, the bedroom carpets have never been changed.

We've been cleaning the house and I've grown concerned about the amount of black 'dust' covering every inch of the house. It is at the edges of carpets, all over kitchen tiles, uPVC doors are covered in it, all above the radiators and on the radiators. It's upstairs and downstairs in equal measure. The bathroom has been renovated sometime within the last 8 years I'd say, and even the wall tiles had a layer of black film on them when we wiped them.

The only source of gas is the standard boiler in the loft. There is an electric freestanding cooker and an electric fire.

We do not know much about the house as sadly the elderly owners did not have any family, so the house was sold by Solicitors, therefore there are no records for the house.

Is this just dust and dirt, or something we should be worried about? We are renovating the whole house, but obviously living here in the meantime with 2 young children, I'm concerned about the black stuff. We had a survey done before purchase and nothing was raised about the 'muck'.

Thanks in advance!

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Any photos of said black stuff? Has a new roof been fitted?
 
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Did they perhaps have a coal or wood fire? Is it/was it in an industrial area and maybe fall out from that? Any signs of any fire damage in the house?
 
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Did they perhaps have a coal or wood fire? Is it/was it in an industrial area and maybe fall out from that? Any signs of any fire damage in the house?

I thought that as well (Remembering the previous thread about coal dust in the attic)

But this is everywhere? Sounds more like mould.

Perhaps the old couple (as they do) didn't use the heating much or visit many of the rooms, leaving them cold and unventilated/windows shut?
 
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I have added further comment below.

Life is so serious these days 

I saw your second post just after I replied, thank you.

I’m a new user, and the first reply I received seemed to be just trolling... it's a very stressful time for me at the moment and it is a serious issue to me and I came here hoping to receive some serious/useful advice and answers, as I have done since.

People need to lighten up a bit.

And some people need to consider others a little more.
 
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Thanks all!

I already added 6 photos to the end of my post, I hope you can all see them?

There’s no sign of previous fire damage.

I think the roof is original. There has been a porch and conservatory added around 20 years ago, so some ground works have been done.

I suspect there will have been a coal fire in the living room in the past and I considered that it could be soot – the relatively new electric coal-effect fire is set on a chimney breast and has a 70’s brick built surround and deep, tiled hearth. However, with the black being upstairs, even inside the built in wardrobes, I didn’t think it would be soot. Even I grew up with a (closed) coal fire which my parents had until around 2010 and we didn’t have black on the walls.

I was hoping it wasn’t going to be the dreaded m-word after Googling this earlier, but it doesn’t seem to be ‘growing’ like mould does, unless this is a different type of mould that I’ve not seen before?

Thanks for your replies.
 
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I'm not sure if you've mentioned the materials the house is made from, of if there's evidence of recent(ish) work - particularly drilling or cutting the fabric of the building. In my own experience, black dust can be from the block/bricks in the wall, my old place was terrible for it as the walls were made from a very dark type of breeze-block. Likewise a slate roof can also be a source of dark grey dust up in the loft if work has been done on it at some point.
I wouldn't worry too much about the mould right now - if it were bad you'd probably smell it, and as long as you're ventilating and heating the place well, it shouldn't get unhealthy.
 
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I saw your second post just after I replied, thank you.

I’m a new user, and the first reply I received seemed to be just trolling... it's a very stressful time for me at the moment and it is a serious issue to me and I came here hoping to receive some serious/useful advice and answers, as I have done since.

I will apologise on behalf of everyone on the site for what ever trolling comments you saw, I don't see most of them because I blocked most of them long ago. Just click on there name and select 'block' along the top and they disappear for ever more. They are certainly no great loss to the forum, or the world.
 
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I'm not sure if you've mentioned the materials the house is made from, of if there's evidence of recent(ish) work - particularly drilling or cutting the fabric of the building. In my own experience, black dust can be from the block/bricks in the wall, my old place was terrible for it as the walls were made from a very dark type of breeze-block. Likewise a slate roof can also be a source of dark grey dust up in the loft if work has been done on it at some point.

I wouldn't worry too much about the mould right now - if it were bad you'd probably smell it, and as long as you're ventilating and heating the place well, it shouldn't get unhealthy.

Ah OK, that's something to consider then, thank you. I'm not actually sure what the house is made of as such, it's bricks from the outside BUT there is some kind of shed-felt looking tiled decorative cladding on the front of the house, so I wonder if that could be it somehow? Roof looks to be tiled, but the surveyor did say the ventilation in the roof space is inadequate?

Yes, there's no smell of damp or mould and the surveyor only picked up that the rear wall of the dining room which adjoins the neighbours has damp, no mould there though.

Might ask the neighbours if they had the same problem or if they knew what the previous owners were like!

Thanks again!
 
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Old carpet underlay dust is black and gets everywhere.

I'm disappointed that I may have missed out on any trolling :( But I'll accept Harrys apology anyway (y)
 
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Old carpet underlay dust is black and gets everywhere.

I'm disappointed that I may have missed out on any trolling :( But I'll accept Harrys apology anyway (y)

Ah OK, the underlay is falling to pieces! I think the carpet downstairs is only a few years old, but probably wasn't changed for 30 years before that, so possibly underlay dust!

I'm quite happy that no one has come up with anything serious about this so far, so perhaps nothing to worry about and will just get on with scrubbing!

There wasn't any 'trolling' as such, all the comments are above which I replied to, I was just disappointed and frustrated that straight off the bat someone made a silly remark instead of offering thoughts and advice on a forum where people come to find help, particularly as I was quite worried about the dust. All good though, nice to see that I have received lots of suggestions and help from strangers wanting to provide it, in their own time, for free :D
 

JP_

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I was thinking same, my floor had loads of black dust from old underlay.
 
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I see the PC brigade have been at it again FFS. Hey DIYnot, guess what? You're nothing without your userbase, you'd do well to remember that.
How about just sticking to the topic? You want drama, go and watch Eastenders. You've come to my thread and commented twice to contribute nothing other than whinging about people.

Maybe you'd do better on Mumsnet.
 
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