Skip to main content

Search

background image swirl

The Health Risks of Damp and Mould and How to Prevent them

Damp and mould inside properties is caused by excess moisture and poor ventilation.

By Mark Hadley, Residential Sales Engineer, February 2022

Damp caused by condensation can lead to black dots and dark green stains appearing around window frames, on walls and ceilings, and even on or behind furniture. These dark marks are mould, a type of fungus.

This fungus is present almost everywhere, including in the air. Small amounts of mould in the environment do not pose a substantial risk to healthy people with regular immune system function. However, those more sensitive to mould spores can develop respiratory problems.

When in large enough quantities, these mould spores can cause ill health in almost anyone. The health risks include skin rashes, headaches, aches and pains, a dry cough, irritated eyes, sinusitis, and may even worsen allergies and asthma.

The black mould will continue to grow until the source of the moisture has been removed.

Identifying the Problem

No two instances of mould growth around the home will look exactly alike, but the tell-tale signs of black mould in a property include:

  • A musty smell
  • Dark coloured specks on walls, windowsills, the ceiling, or inside cupboards
  • Signs of condensed water vapour on windows, windowsills, and walls
  • Cracking paint and peeling wallpaper
  • Walls that feel cold and damp to the touch

If left untreated, it can cause damage to paint/wallpaper, décor, and potential health issues due to the volume of spores produced.

Treating and Preventing the Problem

The most significant contributor to damp and black mould is excess moisture from everyday living and poor ventilation. The average family of four can produce approximately 18 litres of water a day, which means moisture needs to be ventilated continuously.

If moisture cannot escape the property, it will pool on cold surfaces and organic materials will absorb the water vapour and begin to feel damp. Combined with the mould spores from the air, they will begin to germinate, creating unsightly stains and causing problems in the property and to your health.

Below are some tips to treating the build-up of excess moisture:

  • Keep lids on pans when cooking
  • Dry clothes outside rather than using radiators
  • Vent the tumble dryer to the outside
  • Avoid using paraffin heaters or flue-less bottled gas heaters
  • Open windows to vent excess moisture
  • Use extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens to vent the excess moisture to outside
  • Use continuous ventilation to vent stale air from the whole house
  • Insulate and draught-proof the home
  • Keep the heating at a constant temperature to prevent cold patches

Prevention is better than cure and, the best solution is to mechanically remove the excess moisture from the air.

Extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms help remove the excess moisture in the air from showering, cooking, and cleaning. However, they can do little to stop the damp and mould growth that develops in other areas of the property from everyday activities.

Whole-house Ventilation Solution

The ideal solution is to improve ventilation and lower the humidity throughout the property. Not only that but replacing damp air with fresh and filtered air can create a healthy living environment.

When it comes to retrofitting houses, flats, apartments, and even bungalows, it’s important to choose the right ventilation system for the size of the building to ensure the system is working effectively.

Positive Input Ventilation Dimaster Eco

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) Drimaster ECO Range

  • Works by pushing fresh, filtered air into the property
  • Is best for houses with lofts
  • Different model types to suit the property needs
  • Removes indoor air pollutants from the property
  •  Compliant with Building Regulations
  • 5 years warranty

Read More

 

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) Flatmaster

  • Works by pushing fresh, filtered air into the property
  • Is best for properties without lofts
  • Has a heater element to prevent cold drafts
  • Removes indoor air pollutants from the property
  • Compliant with Building Regulations
  • 5 years warranty

Read More

Positive Input Ventilation - Flatmaster
Positive Input Ventilation Dri 365

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) DRI-365

  • Works by pushing fresh, filtered air into the property
  • Is best for properties with lofts
  • Has an inbuilt heat recovery system
  • Removes indoor air pollutants from the property
  • Compliant with Building Regulations
  • 5 years warranty

Read More

 

Join the Condensation Conversation

Let's talk about the effects of condensation, damp, and mould - how it impacts the tenant and the property. Speak with our experts and your peers on our online message board.

CLICK HERE

But what are your thoughts?
Get them heard on Nuaire’s Online Messaging Forum and join the Condensation Conversation
Read More