Asthma is a big concern where damp conditions and mould are present. Ireland has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world. If there is mould and damp in a home, the residents are more likely to have respiratory infections, asthma and allergies.
Who is effected by mould?
- Babies and young children
- The elderly
- Someone with a weak immune system
- Someone with allergies or asthma
- Someone with skin problems i.e. eczema or psoriasis
How Mould Can Affect Your health
Mould produces a substance that can cause an allergic reaction and sometimes even a toxic substance. Touching or inhaling mould spores can cause allergies like a skin rash, runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and asthma. Mould spores are often invisible to the naked eye making it hard to avoid them. Some people are lucky enough to not have sensitivities to mould, but those who do may have more severe reactions.
There are three specifics types of mould that have been found in the homes of babies and linked to the development of asthma. This has highlighted the importance of detecting and preventing water damage and mould in the home, especially those with babies and young children. The environment plays a huge role in childhood asthma and the three moulds found to be connected to asthma were: Penicillium variable, Aspergillus unguis and Aspergillus ochraceous.
Some facts on asthma in Ireland, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland:
- Children miss an average of 10 school days a year because of asthma
- Adults miss an average of 12 work days a year because of asthma
- 8% of asthma suffers had been omitted to hospital
What Causes Damp and Mould in a Home?
Excess moisture is what leads to damp in a property and the development of mould. The excess moisture could be caused by several different reasons like leaking pipes, condensation, rain penetrating through cracks or because of damage to the roof or windows and so on. This can happen in buildings of any age and it is important to correctly identify the cause and make sure the necessary steps are taken to eliminate or minimise moisture in the air.
Damp and mould can often lead to more serious issues in a property like Dry rot, Wet rot or Woodworm. These can cause serious structural damage if not fixed and can be quite costly.