woman opening a window

Look out for damp and mould this winter

Damp and mould can harm our health. Here’s what we can do to keep it at bay

Damp and mould in our homes could pose a risk to our health.

If we have a lot of damp and mould it can lead to allergies, asthma, breathing problems and infections.

Babies, children and the elderly are most at risk. So are people who already suffer from these issues or those who have a weaker immune system.

Mould spores can get into our lungs and cause coughing, sneezing or even leave us fighting for breath.

There are lots of reasons why damp and mould can build up, but there are things we can do to keep it at bay.

When steam hits a cold surface the moisture can settle and lead to mould on walls or around windows.

We can let more moisture out by opening windows when we create steam. For example, if we’re cooking or in the shower.

It’s a good idea to open a window too if we’re drying clothes inside.

Other tips to keep damp and mould at bay include using an extractor fan in the bathroom and kitchen. We can also keep the door closed when we’re cooking or showering to stop the steam spreading. And rooms in our home should be heated to 15 degrees or more.

If we have damp or mould in our home, it’s important to remember it’s not our fault. Small patches can sometimes be cleaned off. (But if we have breathing or other health problems it may not be a good idea to do this ourselves).

But some homes are just more prone to damp and mould than others.

We should report the mould to our landlord straight away, and we can also contact the environmental health department of our local council.

If in doubt though, ventilate whenever possible. This can be as simple as opening a window or air vent – anything that lets fresh air move through our home.

Image: Thirdman / Pexels

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