There are certain obvious benefits to having your property undergo a course of damp proofing – such as the fact that the treatment will prevent further possible damage to your walls and building structure. But there are also other benefits that may not be quite so obvious from the outset, particularly in regards to heading off potential dangers to the health of the people using the building.
So what exactly are the health dangers of having damp in your property?
Dampness within your property means your walls will be colder as a result, and this can lead to condensation which can in turn lead to the development of mould. This is problematic as moulds are known to produce allergens and irritants, as well as potentially toxic substances that can be ingested by humans through the air and the skin.
If you touch this mould or breathe it in, you may suffer an allergic reaction similar to that experienced by people with hay fever (eg runny nose, streaming eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing), but also potentially causing a rash on your skin or even in some cases leading to the onset of an asthma attack.
There are certain types of people who are more sensitive to the effects of damp and mould within a building, including:
- children (especially babies)
- older people
- people with existing skin conditions (eg eczema, psoriasis)
- people with respiratory conditions (eg asthma)
Some studies have also suggested a link between a damp environment and the development of asthma in children – ie the damp and mould can be the cause of the problem in the first place, rather than simply exacerbating it.
The problem is considered serious enough that the World Health Organization has issued its own guidelines for indoor air quality that specifically focus on dampness and mould. (Should you be in the mood to read through this 240+ page document, you can download it here – WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould).
You can find out more about our recommended methods for dealing with damp in your property in our Damp Proofing pages.