Damp and mould in the home is a particularly unpleasant problem to deal with. It looks unsightly and leaves a musty smell that’s hard to live with.
But damp and mould aren’t just an aesthetic nuisance. The long term build-up of mould in your property can have serious and even potentially fatal health risks for you and your family.
Here’s a look at the causes and dangers of damp and mould in your home, and why professional help should always be sought.
Causes of Damp and Mould
Lack of ventilation and inadequate heating during wet periods, especially in winter can cause the build-up of excess moisture which turns into condensation and settles on cold surfaces.
Damp problems can also be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp from the property’s foundations, loose and missing roof tiles, cracks in the external walls of your home, and damaged window structures.
Mould produces spores which release toxic allergens into the surrounding environment. These allergens can prove to harmful and even life threatening if you’re exposed to them over a long period of time.
Mould allergens are particularly dangerous for babies, children, the elderly and those with existing allergy conditions such as asthma.
Exposure to mould can also lead to asthma and other respiratory problems such as bronchitis and lung disease, as well as skin allergies such as eczema.
Types of Mould
All kinds of mould are a health risk, but depending on the type, some strains are far more toxic and can be life threatening.
Although it comes from the same family as penicillin, green mould won’t cure bacterial infections! Often found on walls, cabinetry, carpets and damp mattresses, green mould can cause respiratory problems which can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia.
The most common sort of mould is Black Mould which can often be found in kitchens and bathrooms where humidity levels are high. Unpleasant to look at, black mould can often be treated easily if the area affected is small enough.
Toxic Black Mould
Not to be confused with common Black Mould, Toxic Black Mould, also known as Stachybotrys is highly toxic and is the most dangerous type of mould. Fortunately it is very rare, and grows in areas where damp is a prolonged, long term problem.
Toxic Black Mould produces mycotoxins which can be inhaled or ingested. Mycotoxins can cause respiratory and circulatory problems. They can even cause neurological problems such as dizziness, confusion and seizures.
Toxic Black Mould is more greenish/grey than common black mould, and often has a slimy appearance.
Although small areas of common black and green mould can be treated at home, recurring damp patches could indicate a bigger problem, therefore a full damp survey conducted by a professional is recommended.
Terminate Pest Control offers damp and timber surveys and reports as well as installation of ventilation units to rid your home of unwanted condensation and humidity.
For more information and advice on damp and condensation control, contact Terminate Pest Control, Cornwall today.
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