Damp and its many related conditions can cause a lot of damage to your home but more importantly it can also lead to a series of health problems as well as aggravating existing health conditions. This makes spotting signs of damp and having them dealt with as quickly as possible a very important measure to take.
Rising damp and black spot mould
Rising damp is a condition where the water that is naturally in the ground, soaks up through the walls of your home. When your home doesn’t have adequate damp proofing, then the problem can lead to rising damp, and this can see the growth of mould.
Black spot mould, caused by condensation, is a particularly big problem. Proper name Stachybotrys chart arum, it is often known as toxic black mould and can release spores that cause problems for people with health conditions and even those without them. The health symptoms of black mould include:
- Chronic coughing and sneezing
- Irritation to the eyes
- Irritation to the mucous membrane of the nose and throat
- Chronic fatigue
- Persistent headaches
The trouble with these symptoms is that they can also be the symptoms of other conditions. So how do you know if your health issues are relating to black mould and rising damp or other problems?
One simple step is to take note of your symptoms and see if you still experience them when outside your home. Headaches and rashes might take a little while to fade, but problems with eye, throat and nose irritation can often fade very quickly when the cause isn’t present. If your symptoms lessen or disappear when away from home, this can indicate a mould infestation somewhere.
How it grows
Black spot mould needs humidity to grow, and is only caused by high humidity, condensation. Other allergies and health problems can be associated with other damp in general, such as rising damp and penetrating damp. Penetrating damp is where water leaks into the property through some weakness such as a leaking roof or guttering that is blocked. The leak makes the walls and other areas wet and allows spores for the mould to grow and multiply.
Condensation and high humidity levels are the main causes of mould infestations. Poor ventilation is usually to blame, and there are steps that can be taken to balance the moisture levels in a home and reduce the risk of black mould. Apart from what the occupants can do, Tapco HomeDry can offer other solutions to extract or control excess humidity in the home.
Dry and wet rot
Other common problem that occurs in houses suffering from damp are different types of wood rotting fungi such as dry rot and wet rot. These need certain amount of moisture develop and to create spores that infect the wood and other elements of the property.
The actual fungi themselves aren’t harmful to human health, but their presence indicates that there is a higher than a healthy level of moisture in the property. These problems can affect anyone with respiratory conditions such as asthma, making it difficult and even dangerous to live in a property when these problems are present.
The problem with spotting these conditions is that you often can’t until they have a presence in your homes. Signs of damp can be subtle such as changes in the colour of wood or water tide marks on walls. But if the leak is somewhere out of sight, such as under floorboards, it can be tricky. All fungi needs high moisture levels, with wet rot needing more than dry rot. Wet rot effects timbers and can lead to structural damage to wood, whilst dry rot is far more serious and can spread to other areas of the building, very quickly causing serious damage.
If you think your home has either of these conditions, it is very important to get an expert to conduct a survey as quickly as possible. This will find if any problems are present and provide a solution for how to eradicate them.
Woodworm is a less common occurrence than in years gone by as treatments to wood prevent it. But you can still see your home become infected by any of the wood boring beetles and insects that are grouped together and called woodworm. While not dangerous to your health you should still call an expert to look at any potential infestation and find the right treatment.
If you think you have any of these issues and need expert advice or a survey, give Tapco HomeDry a call or use our online form.
We want to help you avoid these unpleasant health issues and get your home clean and safe once more.