Owning a home is a constant work in progress. Even if you feel well-settled and happy in your home environment, wear and tear can quickly give way to new issues for you to solve. Sometimes, issues can take years to develop – and sometimes, in the case of new home-buyers, these issues might be overlooked entirely. Two key examples lie in dampness and mould. These are common discoveries in domestic properties, but how can they affect you, and why should they be dealt with?
Damp Vs. Mould
Damp is, self-evidently, the presence of water in a home. This might be through a leak, or a structural issue, as explored shortly. Damping in the property can create structural risk by weakening parts of your home, or otherwise expediting the deterioration of parts of your home.
Mould, meanwhile, is biological growth that can be caused by the presence of water or dampness. Mould growth is attributed to a number of health conditions and can also speed up the deterioration of parts of your home – to say nothing of its initial aesthetic impacts.
The Roots of Damp and Mould
While dampness and mould do not have roots in quite the literal sense, there are numerous different causes that can bring about their presence in a home. The presence of dampness can occur in a couple of key ways, the first of which is ingress through a leak or weakness in the property. Failing or decrepit roofing might allow rainwater to track into the property, while insufficient damp-proof coursing in the external walls of a property can allow dampness to rise up the brickwork.
If damp is left unchecked, whether it tracks down walls from the attic or up from the floor, it – combined with the warmer temperatures of your home’s interior – can provide the perfect breeding ground for black mould. The same is also true for humidity and lingering condensation, as with unventilated bathrooms or households that air-dry clothes indoors.
Dealing with Damp and Mould
Black mould, in mild cases, is easy to rid a house of. A bleach solution can be used to safely kill and remove mould where it has begun to grow on walls or windows. For particularly egregious cases of black mould, where simple cleaning or bleaching will not do, a complete renovation – including the replacement of the plasterboard on the walls – can excise the mouldy surfaces altogether and give you a clean slate.
However, removing mould does not do much to remove the possibility of it growing again. The root causes must be addressed. Where condensation is responsible, ventilation is key. Where dampness is responsible, expensive renovations may be necessary.
Health Impacts of Damp and Mould
To hammer home the importance of dealing with dampness and mould in your house: it is important to remember the various health impacts that leaving dampness to spread and mould to fester can bring to you and other members of your household. Short-term symptoms can give way to long-term illnesses and even chronic conditions; black mould has been known to cause respiratory harm and has been demonstrated to contribute to some high-profile deaths in recent months.