Avoiding Damp At Home Puts You At Risk
Damp is a property condition that spreads and puts the health of those living there at tremendous risk of respiratory illnesses.
A combination of old, period properties and wet British weather results in damp being a common problem in UK homes. 4% of our 23 million properties were affected by damp during 2015 to 2017 alone and 41% of renters have lived in a home with mould during the past year according to YouGov. Damp can strike any property, regardless of age so long as the conditions are right for it to thrive. However, just because damp is typical doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked or ignored as it can pose serious problems to the health of all household members if left to take hold.
Who Is At Risk?
As we spend up to 16 hours of the day at home, if damp is present in your property then you’re putting yourself at risk of developing respiratory problems or conditions such as asthma and related allergies. Some people will be more sensitive to the presence of damp, and these usually include children and babies, elderly people, and those with existing conditions such as eczema and asthma. It’s also worth bearing in mind that very young children, elderly people and those who are unwell are likely to spend more than 16 hours in the home, thus providing them with additional exposure to the problem.
The Severity Of The Problem
One of the most common symptoms of damp is the development of mould, which is found in damp, cold buildings or those with poor ventilation. The invisible mould spores that are airborne can easily be inhaled without your knowledge, which can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, an irritated throat, a tight chest as well as nasal congestion. A 2011 report into ‘Respiratory and Allergic Health Effects of Dampness, Mold and Dampness-Related Agents’ found that lung function is reduced when there are increased levels of indoor dampness, which can exacerbate or even be the cause of asthma.
In children, this effect is particularly pronounced – the World Health Organisation believes that a considerable proportion of the world’s 300 million childhood asthma cases are caused by damp living conditions including the presence of mould at home.
What Can Be Done?
Now that you understand the gravity of identifying a damp problem, it’s important to take remedial steps to eradicate any from your home. Darren Goodwin our damp proofing expert in Kent explains that taking a look around your property for signs of mould and damp is the essential first stop. Check that extract fans are working property and air bricks aren’t blocked. Look for signs of disrepair and for any leaks, problems with broken pipes or outdoor guttering. If you find anything, then it’s essential that you speak to the relevant people to get these problems fixed. Consulting with a professional damp proofing company is also worthwhile. They can assess the extent of the condition and advise you on the next steps to put your home on the path back towards good health.