How dangerous is Mould at home and what can be done?

How dangerous is Mould at home and what can be done?

Exposure to mould in the home can be damaging to your health.

An inquest found that two-year-old Awaab Ishak died as a result of a severe respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to mould in his home in Rochdale.

But what exactly is mould, when is it harmful, and what can be done about it in your house?

Mould is a microscopic fungus that grows in damp places. Mould spores are found everywhere, and are released in their thousands into the atmosphere.

Signs of mould at home include fuzzy black, white or green patches on the walls, and a damp and musty smell.

Mould and damp in houses is more dangerous when temperatures drop in the winter.

People living with mould are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses, infections, allergies or asthma.

Mould can emit spores, cells, fragments and “volatile organic compounds” into the air.

Inhaling or touching these spores can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash.

Moulds can also trigger asthma attacks and cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.

Those more at risk include the elderly, children and babies, people with existing respiratory illnesses and people with some skin problems.

Mould can also be more dangerous for people with a weakened immune system, either due to illness or because of medicines they are taking.

Condensation is the leading cause of mould in homes across the UK.

It most commonly occurs in parts of the home where there are high moisture levels – in bathrooms, kitchens, and around windows.

When the temperature falls to a level known as the dew point, water vapour in the air forms into water droplets.

If water vapour comes into contact with a surface in the home that’s below the dew point, such as an uninsulated external wall or a cold window, then water droplets will form.

If left untreated, the surface can become damp and create the conditions for mould to grow.

Private and social landlords have a responsibility to make sure homes are fit for habitation.

If you are living in a rented property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix a mould problem if it is caused by poor maintenance, according to the housing charity Shelter.

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