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Can Damp and Mould Affect My Health? What Can Be Done To Help?

can damp and mould affect my health

There’s lots of reasons why you may suffer from conditions aggravated, irritated or even caused by airborne allergens and pollutants.

However, you really shouldn’t have to tolerate this within your own home – it should be a sanctuary, not a sanitorium!

If you’ve spotted any wet looking patches on walls or areas of colour on paint you’re not expecting, you need to ask and research: can damp and mould affect my health? The quick answer is… YES. Here’s how, and the steps to take to prevent it…

What is Damp?

Damp is moisture in the air, diffused onto a solid surface. In the home, this is normally in the form of wet patches on walls and ceilings. This penetrates into the structure of the property, and is primarily caused by residual moisture in the air. 

Damp causes damage to a property’s structural integrity, and can cause rot, fungi growth and deterioration of paint, wall structure and wallpaper.

Damp is normally treated by attempting to dry out the affected area completely. However, this is easier said than done – as once the damp has penetrated down deep into the surface, the potential for problems increases.

In the UK, homes tend to be built with damp-proofing materials, specialist drainage and stronger pipes, to prevent damp problems arising before they begin.

What is Mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that decomposes dead, organic material. It some instances, however,  it can affect living animals and plants. Mould is a naturally occurring organism, and has spores in the air that’s breathed by everyone daily.

On walls and surfaces in the home, discerning its origins can be an incredibly complex matter. It’s not actually the surface itself feeding the mould, but instead dirt and traces of organic materials within or on it. The mould grows to naturally break down, and decompose this matter.

Mould in the home needs to be chemically treated and dried, to ensure the treatment isn’t only cosmetic. Frequently, the visible mould is scrubbed off, but grows back in cases where the actual cause has been left untreated.

can damp and mould affect my health

Do Damp and Mould Release Allergens?

Both damp and mould release allergens into the air that can be hazardous to human health. Mould does this as part of its natural process in decomposing dead material.

Whilst you may be able to smell such toxins, they are often odourless – and won’t be noticed until a health problem is detected or diagnosed.

Are Allergens Hazardous To Health?

Both damp and mould increase the chances of respiratory illness significantly. 

Conditions caused, and aggravated, by allergens released by damp and mould, include bronchitis and asthma, and are worsened when air quality decreases.

After prolonged exposure to damp and mould, individuals will suffer from a reduce resistance to illness, due to the allergens attack on already weakened immune systems.

How Can This Be Prevented?

In order to ensure residual moisture does not enter the walls, ceilings or surfaces of the home, it needs to be properly enveloped with an air-tight seal.

The most successful product available to achieve is spray foam insulation, an industrial, chemical spray foam that expands onto walls, and across surfaces, to fill and seal off the interior of the property from the outside world.

The chemical make-up of spray foam insulation contains no toxins or formaldehyde, and as a complete vapour barrier, prevents any water or moisture from passing through. This keeps water outdoors, and dry, healthy air within.

The nature of the seal against the outside world also means that there’s no easy entrance points for pests or insects, further promoting a better air quality within the home.

Spray foam insulation should only be administered by a British Board of Agrement certified professional.

It can be installed in any home, of any shape or size, but a full (free!) home survey should be completed by specialists, before any work takes place, to ensure the job is appropriate and relevant to the property in question.

Ready to take the next step to a healthier, home environment? Simply click the button below to get started today!

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