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Can mould and damp affect my health?

It can be tempting to think of damp or mouldy patches inside a house as just what we have to expect from living in some types of older buildings. We might be surprised when even a new-build develops damp walls and floors because of excess moisture from the construction process.

So, before you attempt to deal with this yourself, using a hair-dryer and a new coat of paint; read on.

As well as bacteria, trapped moisture can provide a perfect environment for mould to grow. This can cause respiratory irritation through air-borne spores or from the dead mould remains inhaled as dust. Some people are can have an allergenic response to the presence of mould. These might manifest themselves as sneezing, a runny nose, skin rashes or blood-shot eyes. There is also a possibility that the spores could induce an asthma attack. Thus, it is imperative that trapped moisture is located and dealt with quickly and professionally. However, finding it can be a challenge as it may have been hidden behind wallpaper or plasterboard. Moreover, premature drying of materials containing mould can cause a sudden heavy release of mould spores.

For these reasons, the safest option is to engage specialists to locate trapped moisture, plan a drying regime, and finally decontaminate and sanitise the site. They will ascertain the structure and materials within the affected part of a building and where a leak or moisture is trapped. Sometimes, this may mean removing parts of the floor, wall or ceiling. Once the location and severity are known, then a drying plan can be put into place involving air moving fans, dehumidifiers, and pipework fed into walls and floors to create a flow of very dry warm air.

It may be necessary to remove air-borne spores by filtering the air using a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration System (HEPA). Carpets may need to be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed too. In some situations, a chemical fog is introduced into the building to denature the remaining spores.

Richfords technicians are qualified to deal with these situations and to put your building back to a dry and healthy state. However, they are not trained, doctors. Thus, it is essential that anyone who is concerned about their health seek appropriate medical advice.