Effects of damp and mould on your body and health – and what you can do about it!

With the weather becoming colder and wetter, damp and mould might potentially be on the rise in your home – but there are ways to tackle and prevent it.

Firstly find the root cause, dont’ simply clean it yourself hoping it will keep it at bay. By wiping visible mould away you are releasing spores into the air, and therefore spreading it.

If left untreated, damp and mould can affect your health. This is especially true if you are elderly or have any underlying conditions. There are ways to find the exact cause of the damp, clean up the mould and minimise the risk of it returning.

The end result –  a healthier home and happier family.

can mould affect your health
Damp or mould in your home can lead to respiratory problems

So, what is Mould?

Mould is a fungus which can be found indoors or outdoors. It loves living in our homes, as they provide the perfect conditions for it to thrive – warmth, moisture and food in the form of carpet, wood, paper, dust and dirt. Unless the issue is dealt with and removed, it will continue to grow.

 

Can it affect my health?

If you have a damp/mould issue in your home, you are more likely to already have or, to develop respiratory problems. It can also have an adverse affect on the immune system.  This is bad news for anyone’s lungs, but it is very dangerous for vulnerable people with an underlying condition like asthma.

Risk Groups include the following:

  • The elderly
  • Babies and young children
  • Those with existing skin conditions e.g. eczema
  • People with weak immune systems
  • Individuals with respiratory problems like asthma and allergies

I’m not in one of the high risk groups. Can Mould affect my health?

Mould produces irritants, allergens and sometimes toxic substances. Touching or inhaling mould spores may result in an allergic reaction, like sneezing, red eyes, a runny nose and a skin rash.

Moisture causes mould & damp
Mould and damp are caused by an excess of moisture in the air

What causes damp and Mould?

Mould and damp are caused by an excess of moisture in the air. This can be caused by leaks in pipes, rising damp or rain seeping in due to damage to roof tiles or around window frames.  Key areas for leaks are the kitchen & bathroom.

A newly-built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out – for example the plaster on the walls. Some new builds are also so air tight that they do not allow fresh air to circulate around the home which results in damp & mould.

If you have mould or damp, it’s important to find out why you have excess moisture within your home.

Open windows every morning to allow fresh air to circulate
Open windows every morning to allow fresh air to circulate

 

You can help prevent damp/mould growth by:

  • Avoid drying washing inside
  • Open windows every morning to allow fresh air to circulate
  • Make sure your home is well insulated
  • Heat your home adequately
  • Put lids on saucepans while cooking and use sufficient extraction
  • When cooking, showering or bathing open the window, put the fan on and close the door of the room you’re in

When you know what’s causing the damp, take steps to limit the amount of moisture in the air and make sure your home is repaired. Tackling severe damp and mould problems may require an expert to assess your property and pinpoint exact causes.

 

Call us today on 083 845 8090

https://www.mouldsolutions.ie

Mould Solutions

November 2018

 

 

The Calm After The Storm – Uncover Storm Damage Before It’s Too Late

As Ireland recovers & normality resumes for most people, now is the time to check your home for storm damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia & Storm Brian. This should be done sooner rather than later as even small leaks or holes can lead to structural damage, mould & rot.

Hurricane Ophelia

 

#1 Firstly you should ensure that there are no immediate threats to your safety
If there’s a power cut it’s important to check for downed power lines that could present a safety hazard to you and your family. Never touch or move a downed power line, even if it appears to be inactive. Immediately turn off the gas if you smell gas in your home as this could indicate a break in the gas line. Do not take any risks with gas or electricity. If there’s any question in your mind, call in the professionals.

#2 Roof Inspection
Inspect your roof for dents, broken slates, and holes (big and small). If extensive damage is obvious from the ground, be sure to hire a professional rather than trying to navigate the roof yourself. Check gutters and downspouts as even small breaks & dents can lead to bigger problems down the road.

Check for roof damage
Check for roof damage

#3 Assess Garage, Sheds & Fences
If you have a garage, shed, fence or all of the above, take the time to carefully inspect for storm damage. These checks should be done as soon as possible, as this can help prevent all sorts of damage to the contents inside. Mending a partially broken fence can help eliminate a potential security threat to your property.

Assess your sheds & fences for storm damage
Assess your sheds/fences for storm damage

#4 Check the Attic
The Attic is an area which is often overlooked and is the perfect haven for mould growth, rot and other water damage. If water leaks into your home and compromises your roof or weakens your walls, you could be looking at both structural damage and destroyed contents.  It would be appropriate to check the attic regularly, but especially after extreme weather.

#5 Examine your floors, ceilings, windows and doors
From shattered windows to sunken ceilings, and warped doors, a bad storm can cause damage to the interior of your house as well as the exterior. Inspect your flooring, doorways, windows and ceilings for things like cracks, warping and leaks, broken glass, bulging, water damage and any other physical damage.

take photos of all damage big or small
Take photos of all damage big or small

#6 Take Photos of All Damage
As you survey the inside and outside of your home, don’t forget to take photos of the storm damage. Don’t be afraid to document even the smallest thing, since overlooking it now could result in much larger issues in the future.

Mould Solutions

https://www.mouldsolutions.ie
Oct ‘17

Top 10 Simple Tips To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home

Top 10 Simple Tips To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home

Concerns about outdoor air quality have been the norm since the Industrial Revolution. We are all very familiar with the effects of smog and the depletion of the ozone layer on our environment, however poor quality air in your home also poses a serious threat. Here we will give you some practical tips to improve air quality in your home.

Everything from your central heating to the build-up of damp, mould & condensation, cigarette smoke and aerosols all have a detrimental effect on the indoor environment. As well as having negative health effects, these issues can also have a negative impact on your home itself. Smoke can stain walls, while damp can – if left to its own devices – rot and damage wood and plaster, leading to mould growth.

Unlike the outdoor environment there are no regulations controlling the air quality within our homes. To help you with this the Mould Solutions Team has compiled 10 simple tips to help you keep your home and family safe.

#1. Remove your shoes

mould solutions shoes remove

When entering your home, make sure you remove your shoes to avoid bringing pollen, dirt and dust indoors. If you have a porch it is a good idea to leave your outdoor footwear there or just inside the front door if you don’t have a porch.

#2. Eco-friendly cleaning products

Though rarely spoken about, the ‘fragrance’ from many household detergents and cleaning products is actually made up of a concoction of quite potent chemicals. Although you might think that you can prevent this problem by using non-scented cleaning products they actually still contain the same chemicals. The scent of a cleaning product is usually added after it has been manufactured to make it more appealing and ‘smell nice’ when using it in the home. Try to source cleaning products which are environmentally-friendly and work in exactly the same way as cleaning chemicals but without causing damage to your health, check for Organic on the label.

#3. Monitor humidity levels

With the right products, you can monitor the humidity of a given area and ensure mould should most likely not grow there. Ideally, a humidity of 30% to 50% will help to prevent the build-up of mould. Mould Solutions can provide a moisture test to check the humidity in a room.

 

#4. Ventilation

Mould Solutions Window
Indoor Air Quality Open Window

 

A quick, easy and free way to improve the air quality of a home and although it may sound simple, but it is highly effective, simply keep windows open wherever and whenever possible, ensuring that there is a healthy circulation of air at all times.

 

 

 

 

#5. Houseplants

Mould Solutions

Another easy, aesthetically pleasing and quick way to ensure good air quality is by having house plants in your home. They work to produce cleaner, fresher air for your home.

#6. Cutting out smoke

Although less & less people are taking up smoking, it remains a main cause of dangerous pollutants being breathed in the home. If you smoke, try to ensure that you do so outside, even if you don’t have children. This is not only damaging the property, it is damaging your own health and affecting those around you.

#7. Clean walls

Both for ensuring that mould is removed and avoided, and for removing invisible particles of dust & dirt, a quick clean of the walls – being careful not to damage the paintwork – can be very useful and effective.

#8. Fixing leaks

Although a major leak is likely to be repaired immediately, you may have areas that are not inhabited very frequently – utility rooms, attics etc – which may have small leaks. The water that can build from a leak may quickly create mould and damp if left undetected. Look up! Sometimes we miss the little things.

#9. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Though houses are required by law to have smoke detectors, their importance in air quality maintenance is underestimated. Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and checked regularly – they will detect smoke and harmful gases, as well as heat and fire.

#10. Clean bedding and upholstery

Carpets, bedding and upholstery hold on to odours, spores and other items that might impact negatively on the quality of the air you breathe. Ensure that these are washed regularly.

 

If you are experiencing mould, damp or condensation issues in your home

contact Mould Solutions today on (01) 8512480 or (083) 845 8090

Mould Solutions

February 2017

“BUILD TIGHT – VENTILATE RIGHT!”

Remember to VENTILATE! You might be tempted to block up the vents with the cold weather looming but it comes at a cost! Blocking up vents means that you don’t get the fresh air you need to get rid of the moisture in the air before it condenses on the walls and ceilings to cause major damp and mould problems. You do need to ventilate.

Ventilate-Mould-Solutions-Blocked-vent
Blocked Vent (Mould Solutions)

In years gone by, although we lived in draughty homes which proved very difficult to heat, they were usually well-ventilated. They were well-ventilated as a result of the draughts! Contrary to common belief this was actually healthier than living in a well-sealed, badly ventilated home which is commonplace nowadays. The old windows and doors and badly and often un-insulated walls allowed the heat and moisture to escape.

Nowadays people are of the belief that by opening a window or a door, all of the heat will escape as well as our hard-earned cash! People block up the air vents thinking that this will keep the heat in and prevent draughts and protect us from catching a cold or flu. However, the opposite is actually true – blocking up vents and not opening windows means that moist air cannot escape which causes condensation to form and ultimately mould to grow.

Another no-no is blocking an air vent by building a wardrobe in front of it. Damp manifests itself in wet patches, mould growth and a musty smell.

Good ventilation means keeping a constant flow of air within a house – fresh, clean air in and stale and moisture-laden air out.

Ventilate-Vent-blocked-mould-Solutions
Blocked Vent (Mould Solutions)

Good ventilation will remove the humid air before it has a chance to condense on cold surfaces which as we know, creates condensation and mould growth. If left untreated, damp and mould can lead to a host of problems such as corrosion of internal surfaces and even health problems, especially in vulnerable young children, elderly people and people with respiratory problems like asthma.

 

So remember “ Build Tight – Ventilate Right”

Mould Solutions – January 2017

Call Colm for advice today on 083 845 8090