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Don’t ignore damp and mould this winter 

Don’t ignore damp and mould this winter 

The average Brit spends, on average, 22 hours a day indoors (that’s 90% of their lifetime!). Despite this, we are seeing increasing demand placed on support services (including the NHS) to treat those living in properties damp and mould problems.

There is a clear motivation to improve the conditions of the places we are spending most our time in, but what we often ignore is the lurking problem that returns every year during the winter months and this year it is set to worsen. 

With the current cost of living crisis, housing and living conditions have the potential to deteriorate. People are now choosing to limit their use of central heating during winter, which can have a negative impact on both the human and the home.  

Colder indoor temperatures have been associated with increased blood pressure, lowered immune system and poor mental health – amongst other illnesses. Unfortunately, the subsidiary effects on the property will only perpetuate these circumstances. 

Woman shocked by damp and mould growth on property wall.

Why is damp and mould so dangerous? 

The difference in temperature outside can potentially introduce the perfect environment for damp and mould to thrive. Excessive moisture within the property could then lead to damp, damp then could then trigger the growth of mould spores or ‘filamentous fungi’, which are then toxic if inhaled.  

Indoor air pollution has been cited to have caused as many as 2.3 million deaths worldwide in 2019 according to the World Health Organisation. With living in energy poverty being the main contributor to indoor air pollution. 

On the NHS mould guidance page, consistent exposure is known to have potential for hazardous effects on the respiratory system. This is especially concerning for those with pre-existing medical conditions and the young & elderly with compromised immune systems.

Some moulds can contain mycotoxins which has the potential to cause damage & harm neurones within the brain. This can lead to psychological and neurological effects which impact our psychological makeup and affect our mental capacity.  

It has even been known to cause pneumonia and create issues for the reproductive system.  

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (2000) has classed mould as a category one risk to health, placing it in the same category as asbestos. It is necessary to treat all mould problems with haste to avoid further aggravation of existing illnesses and subsequent serious health implications. 

Damp and mould on wall corner.

Can DIY treatments such as mould spray and dehumidifiers fix it? 

Well this would depend entirely on the cause and severity of the damp. It can generally be categorised in to four types; rising damp, penetrating damp, water leaks and condensation.

One cause could be lack of sufficient ventilation whilst drying clothes, however it could also be due to a much more serious reason, such as a leaking pipe or water rising from the ground.

For the solution to your problem to be viable and long-lasting, it needs to be tailored directly to the cause. At-home removal of damp and mould can also release the spores and toxins into the air, so it will often be safer to let the experts do the work. 

Rainbow International is the UK’s leading specialist restoration services, boasting a vast network of highly-qualified professionals across the country. Rainbow will be able to evaluate any damage, diagnose the root cause of the issue and determine the best solution. 

  • We will sanitise and clean the affected areas, ensuring the appropriate antimicrobial treatments are used 
  • Plaster or wood will be removed where damp and mould contamination is severe and an air sterilisation unit will be used to kill spores 
  • To help eradicate the cause and not just the problem, we will also install drying equipment and ventilation systems if appropriate to, and even redecorate where necessary 

If using your central heating sparingly to keep mould at bay isn’t an option, please take a look at our damp and mould prevention and removal tips. Alternatively, Money Saving Expert provides information on the energy grants currently available in the UK if you are struggling with your bills. 

Our technicians can help solve both damp and mould. If you would like more information about our Trace & Access, or Mould Remediation services, contact your local Rainbow branch, email enquiries@rainbowint.co.uk or call the Rainbow helpline on 01623 42248.

Published: 09 Dec 2022