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Can Damp Damage Your Health?

man inspecting damp in property

We all know that damp can be detrimental to your home’s structural integrity, but what are the effects of damp on health? There are multiple negative problems damp can cause to your health, including affecting those with asthma, allergies, respiratory problems, and causing infections. Additionally, damp can have a damaging effect on your overall immune system.

Whose Health Can Damp Impact?

Some people are more susceptible to damp house health issues, including those with a weakened immune system, such as people undergoing chemotherapy. Additionally, people with respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies are also more sensitive to damp and mould. Furthermore, individuals with existing skin problems like eczema are also at risk of health complications when coming into contact with mould and damp. Finally, the elderly, children, and babies should stay away from mould and damp at all costs.

How Does it Affect Health?

Mould produces irritants, allergens, and occasionally toxic substances; each of these can cause an allergic reaction when touched or inhaled. An allergic reaction will typically present itself in the form of a skin rash, red or watery eyes, a runny nose, and excessive sneezing. For those with asthma, mould can also evoke asthma attacks which is why asthmatic people are particularly vulnerable to its effects.

What Causes Damp?

Damp and mould are caused by excess moisture which can be a result of rain seeping in through damaged window frames or a faulty roof, rising damp in cellars, or leaking pipes. If your home is newly built, you may experience damp as the plaster and such may still be drying out. Additionally, excess moisture indoors ifs often caused by condensation from household activities such as cooking, laundry and showering.

If you locate damp or mould within your home, it’s highly important that you track down where the excess moisture is coming from, or the problem will worsen. Upon determining what the problem is, you can repair the problems and make necessary adjustments to minimise the moisture in the air. If the problem is particularly severe, you may need to contact our professional team to remove the mould for you.

How Do You Prevent Damp? 

Typically speaking, damp, and consequently mould, will be caused by excess condensation in your home. Mould appears as a cluster of small black dots on your walls where condensation has settled. For damp that is caused by condensation, you can prevent the issue from worsening by taking steps to reduce condensation in your home.

Firstly, you should aim to produce less moisture by avoiding the use of paraffin heaters, venting your tumble drier, drying your clothes outside, and putting lids on pots and pans when you cook. However, even with these measures in place, you will inevitably produce some moisture. Therefore, you should be sure to let moist air escape and allow fresh air into your home. This can be done through the proper use of extractor fans and the opening of your internal doors to ventilate the space. However, when bathing, cooking, or drying clothes, you should keep these doors shut and open the windows in the room instead. Additionally, you should make certain that there are gaps between your external facing, colder walls and furniture to allow breathing space.

Insulation is also a huge factor when it comes to damp-proofing as warmer homes don’t tend to suffer from condensation. As well as insulation, you should draught proof your external doors and windows using double glazing. You can also keep your space warm by putting the heating on regularly.

How Do You Get Rid of Mould?

Once you have mould, no amount of preventative measures are going to help you and you’ll have to tackle the mould problem head on. Your first port of call will be to clean the mould using a spray that contains bleach. This will hopefully remove any staining and, once dry, you can spray the area with anti-fungal wash. For extra protection, you might cover the area with mould-resistant paint when it’s completely dry.

What If Condensation Isn’t the Problem?

As previously mentioned, condensation is not the sole cause of damp and mould. Penetrating damp and rising damp are also problems that can cool walls permitting  mould growth. Penetrating damp is caused by water seeping into the property through defective brickwork, unsealed window frames, blocked guttering, and damaged roofs. Each of these can be easily remedied. Rising damp is a result of a non-existent or defective damp proof course; this will have to be implemented or amended by our specialist team.

Book a Site Survey

With the help of Garratt’s Damp, your home can undergo damp proofing treatment through our effective damp proofing systems. We offer no obligation, free property surveys to help you identify the cause of the issue and decide on the best course of remedial action. If you’re concerned about the presence of damp or mould in your home and its effect on your health, please contact us. We’ll be able to relieve you of your damp related issues and minimise the effects it can have on your health.

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