You’d be forgiven for thinking that people in the Western World live in relatively good conditions – but did you know that nearly half of all houses in Europe and North America have serious damp and mold problems.If you’ve moved home lately chances are you’ll have encountered at least one nightmare property infested with mould.Most people, however, are not even aware of the issue.It’s very common not to even be able to see damp at first – it often hides in corners, behind wallpaper and even in the walls.
Scientific studies have shown damp to cause serious health problems.Many times people get hayfever-like symptoms as a result of damp – watery eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion.More than that, mould has been linked to asthma, which can be exacerbated and even caused by it.There have also been cases of serious respiratory illness arising from damp. Another recent study even revealed a connection between mold and depression!
How, then, does this fungal intruder enter your home?To start with, it’s important to state that mould occurs naturally in small amounts and can be sorted out quite simply. But the real problems occur when it is allowed to spread and develop fungal spores.The buildup of fungal spores and mold happens when high humidity combines with poor ventilation.The air inside a home becomes naturally humid after things like showers, cooking or tumble drying.However it needs to escape somewhere!Poor ventilation could be caused by dodgy workmen who cut corners on damp proofing when building the house.Sometimes air vents are missing or blocked up. This is becoming more and more common these days as we seal up our homes to keep the heat in and reduce energy costs.
Hopefully by know you’re convinced that mold in the home is something that needs preventative action. And just because you don’t already have damp, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do act now.Left unchecked it becomes a lot harder – and costlier – to deal with. Here are some top tips on how to avoid damp buildup in your home or workplace:
- Dry up any build up of condensation you notice around the house within 24-48 hours.If you take away the moisture, you leave no chance of mold building up in the first place.
- Ensure that you get proper ventilation in the building to give moisture an escape route.Aside from air vents, something as simple as opening a window after taking a shower can help.
- Insulate cold surfaces where condensation might collect, such as windows, pipes, roofs and external walls.
- It’s well worth considering investing in one of the many dehumidifiers out there to remove moisture from the atmosphere. Certain portable air conditioners also do the job, with the added bonus of keeping you cool in the summer.
- Know your rights.Once mold problems get serious they can cause serious problems that could cost you a lot. Insurance companies are notoriously bad for damp coverage – but it’s certainly worth checking with them. If you’re renting, get your landlord to hire professional mould inspectors to deal with the problem.