To many people in Britain, damp houses are simply a way of life. Our cool, moist climate combined with an aging housing stock means that many of us have long ago become used to the problems of condensation, peeling wallpaper and the sight of mould on the ceiling.
However if you’re currently suffering from damp problems in your home there is more to consider than just the well-known look and smell of a damp house. Indeed, evidence seems to be growing that living in a damp house has the potential to cause or exacerbate a range of health problems; some of them potentially quite significant.
So while you may have simply accepted the damp in your home as “normal” or may have chosen to ignore the problem for financial reasons it may well be time to reassess the situation in light of the health problems that you or your family may be experiencing as a result of the dampness.
But what does the research tell us? What can health problems really be affected by damp conditions?
Read on to find out…
Some of the commonest health problems caused by living in a damp environment are those that affect the respiratory system. This isn’t just because of the moisture in the air but also the microscopic bacteria and fungi that thrive in just such an environment, either floating around in the air or landing on moist surfaces in your home.
A study in 1997 analysed whether there was any scientific correlation between damp homes and the occurrence of asthma. As it turns out, the research suggests that people in damp homes are twice as likely to suffer from asthma when compared to those living in homes without damp problems. Other common respiratory ailments with links to household damp can include bronchitis, breathing difficulties and chest pains. Not surprisingly, fixing a damp home can go a long way to controlling or even eliminating these problems.
It seems that the micro-organisms found in damp, stagnant air can do more than cause the widely-known respiratory problems seen in many owners of damp homes. Research published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA found a clear link between those living in damp houses and the occurrence of unpleasant skin conditions like eczema.
While the risks seem greatest to those already suffering from such skin problems, there is a risk, especially among children, that the dampness in your house could be a key factor in any skin complaints experienced and that fixing damp problems could result in a significant improvement in conditions such as these.
Fever & Vomiting
Surprisingly, findings from research in Scotland also suggests that people living in damp homes are far more likely to suffer from problems associated with fever – including symptoms such as high temperatures, aches, pains and even fainting. To give you an example of the hard statistics for a moment, the study suggests that children are 7% more likely to suffer from blocked noses in homes infected with mould and there is a significant increase in the occurrence of vomiting among those living in damp homes.
In conclusion, it seems clear that a damp home is linked to all manner of health-related problems and that fixing problems with leaks, rising damp and the like should be considered a priority by anyone currently being affected. For both your home as well as your health; prevention is better than cure.
One of the most effective solutions here is to consult with an experienced damp proofing company who will be able to isolate the source of your problem and suggest permanent, effective solutions that will not only help to protect your home from the dangers of damp but also the health of your family too.