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26th August 2021
Are black mould and damp bad for your health?

Are black mould and damp bad for your health?

Category: DampDamp Proofing

Mould and damp are very common concerns in a lot of households. We explore the health impact of leaving these issues untreated.

The health effects of damp and mould

According to the NHS, you’re more likely to have respiratory problems and infections, allergies, or asthma if you have damp and mould in your home. Your immune system may also be affected.

 

Moulds produce substances that can cause an allergic reaction (known as allergens), as well as irritants and potentially even toxic substances. An allergic reaction may be triggered by inhaling or touching mould spores. Symptoms of this include sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and a skin rash. Mould can also cause asthma attacks.

 

It’s important to tackle any problems with damp in your home, as prolonged exposure can lead to reduced lung function and cause chronic health problems such as pneumonia.

 

Not only can damp and mould cause ill health, but they also look unsightly and create an unpleasant living environment. Black mould may also spread and damage furniture and other belongings.

 

Who’s affected by damp and mould?

 

Some people are more sensitive than others to the effects of damp and black mould. People who may experience ill health are:

 

  • Babies and children
  • Elderly people
  • People with skin problems such as eczema
  • People with respiratory problems such as allergies and asthma
  • People with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy

It’s particularly important for these people to have issues with mould and damp in their home taken care of quickly.

 

What causes damp and mould?

 

Mould and damp problems can be triggered by a range of different things. This includes blocked or damaged gutters, lack of a damp proof course, damaged brickwork, poor ventilation, and leaking pipes. The causes of damp are not always easily identified by the untrained eye, so it’s always worth speaking to a damp proofing specialist if you have any concerns about damp in your home.

 

How do I know if I have damp and mould in my home?

 

There are many types of damp that can affect your home and lead to health issues. Here are some of the common issues faced by homeowners – and how to spot them.

 

Condensation

 

Condensation is a big cause of damp that often occurs in areas of the home with high levels of moisture and poor ventilation. Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly prone to condensation, so it’s a good idea to open windows or use extractor fans when there are higher than normal levels of steam in the air (for example, when cooking or having hot showers).

 

Condensation is more prevalent in the winter months, when the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is greatest. Infrequent occurrences can be harmless, but it’s worth calling in an expert if it starts to become a regular issue.

 

Rising damp

 

Rising damp occurs when groundwater travels up through the bricks and mortar of a property via capillary action, as it seeks a means of evaporation. Signs of rising damp include damaged skirting boards, tide marks on the walls, and signs of salt deposits.

 

Penetrating damp

 

Penetrating damp is a common problem that’s caused by many known issues, such as damaged roofs and masonry, poorly installed cavity wall insulation, blocked or damaged guttering, and leaky pipes.

 

Signs to look out for are:

 

  • Damaged or peeling plaster
  • A damp or musty odour
  • Localised damp patches
  • Watermarks that appear when it rains
  • The appearance of black mould
  • Damage to exterior stone or brickwork

Concerned about damp and mould in your home?

If you’re concerned about a damp problem in your home, please get in touch with our friendly, experienced team today on 01202 737739.

 

 

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