Some people are more sensitive than others, including:
- babies and children
- older people
- those with existing skin problems, such as atopic eczema
- those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma
- those with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy
These people should stay away from damp and mould.
How does it affect your health?
Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances.
Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks.
Causes of damp and mould
Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out – for example, in the plaster on the walls. Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation.
If you have mould or damp it's important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what's causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it's only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
There are also home improvement grants and services available which may help with the cost of getting rid of damp and mould. Find local home energy grants on the Simple Energy Advice website.
Page last reviewed: 7 July 2022
Next review due: 7 July 2025