We’ve all heard of household damp, and it by no means has positive connotations. When thinking of household damp, we typically directly associate it with unsightly mold spores and structural instability. Despite this, not everyone is aware of just how detrimental household damp can be to one’s health. Not only does household damp create an uncomfortable and unpleasant living environment, but it also makes your home a more hazardous place to live.
The term “damp” refers to excessive moisture in a property, that either penetrates from the exterior or is formed within the property. When this dampness penetrates from outside, the cause will either be rising damp or penetrating damp. On the other hand, if damp is formed from within, this is typically due to condensation.
Read on to discover just how household damp can affect your health.
First and foremost, household damp can result in respiratory problems. These problems may start to develop if damp is left untreated and allowed to develop into mold. Common symptoms of respiratory problems include wheezing, coughing, a tight chest, and trouble breathing. Although likely to begin mildly, the symptoms can grow to become chronic if one is exposed to mold spores for an extended period of time.
In addition to these mild symptoms, more complex respiratory infections can also present themselves as a result of mold exposure. This includes the common cold, which can also become chronic from long-term exposure.
Other symptoms of respiratory infections include sneezing, a sore/scratchy throat, pressure/pain behind the face, a runny/blocked nose, a mild fever, and coughing.
Furthermore, mold exposure can actually be responsible for asthma and lead to asthma attacks for existing asthma sufferers.
After respiratory problems, the second most common issue caused by household damp is skin conditions. Skin conditions that are a result of mold will often present themselves as skin rashes, as they signify an allergic reaction to the spores. Typically speaking, these conditions will present themselves in individuals with existing skin conditions, such as eczema. Despite this, they can also affect those who have had no prior experience with skin conditions.
You can usually identify a skin rash caused by mold as a red, itchy, raised hive or cracked, red, and dry skin. On top of these skin reactions, the allergic reaction may take it one step forward and lead to watering, red, and itchy eyes, otherwise known as pinkeye.
Living with household damp can be a stressful experience, meaning that your physical health isn’t the only thing that can be affected. In fact, there have been studies that demonstrated that there was a connection between damp and moldy homes and depression.
From the unpleasant smell and appearance to the damage to your possessions, household damp doesn’t contribute to an enjoyable living environment. Not only this but the concern for health and financial costs can play on the mind of homeowners across the globe.
Additionally, the toxicity of mold can cause symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, and attentional issues.
The mental impact of mold can be much more difficult to diagnose than the physical effects; however, this doesn’t make them any less debilitating.
Preventing Household Damp
In order to avoid the impacts of household damp, the best action you can take is to prevent dampness completely. This involves reducing the amount of condensation in your home, ensuring that your exterior pointing is intact, your gutters are functioning, and your roof is in good shape. Furthermore, you should assure that your property has an up-to-date damp proof course in place.