Damp is a very common structural problem amongst people’s homes, especially older ones that aren’t quite as well sealed against the elements.
However, the problems associated with moisture build up aren’t restricted to the building itself or your property, although that can certainly be bad enough on its own. There are also a number of health conditions that can be caused by damp if left to accumulate over time.
So it can be very essential that in the event of damp appearing on the walls or ceiling that you deal with the problem immediately, either by securing the source of the leak yourself or by hiring a professional to do it for you.
However, it is also important to understand what moisture build up can do to you as well.
What Causes Damp?
Damp is typically caused by moisture seeping into the building through the walls and ceilings. The most common causes include leaking pipes, improperly sealed windows, and rising damp in basements or ground floors.
Sometimes newly built homes may also suffer temporarily from damp as any moisture that collected in the walls and floors as they were being built dries out.
If a house is sealed too tightly, moisture can also build up over time from the breath of people living in the house. All human breath contains at least a little water vapour, and this will slowly accumulate on the walls and ceilings.
Determining the source of the damp can help you work out how long it is likely to be a problem, and what steps may be necessary to contain the damage it may cause.
After all, if the damp is only a temporary problem, there’s no sense in calling somebody to fix it for you. Likewise, if the damp is being caused by a problem that may get worse over time, it’d be the height of irresponsibility to leave it unattended.
Who are Most Vulnerable?
Typically, there are certain people who are more susceptible to the damages caused by damp than others, typically due to age, poor immune systems, or simply a lack of vitality. These people can include:
- Infants and young children
- The elderly
- People with pre-existing skin conditions
- People with pre-existing breathing conditions
- People with weakened immune systems
As such, you should express additional caution if you encounter damp in a home shared by anyone included in these groups. Calling someone round to repair any damages and leak sources would not be a rash decision.
It is no exaggeration to say that the lives and livelihood of these people are at stake.
What Are the Associated Health Conditions of Damp?
Principally, the main problem caused by damp is asthma. As moisture build-up worsens, it will eventually cause mold to form within the walls and floors.
These will release spores to help them populate and grow, and these spores will irritate the airways of people within the room, causing asthma. The heightened humidity will also aggravate any existing to developing asthma, making the symptoms of it worse.
Beyond asthma, other health conditions that have been associated with moisture build up includes infection, allergic reactions, irritation of the skin, sore eyes, running noses, and even pneumonia in extreme cases.
Increased humidity in the air increases the degradation of materials, including open wounds, which make them slower to heal and more prone to infection by airborne microbes.
Wet, warm conditions also allow bacterial life to thrive, and these will only further the spread of air-borne and water-borne diseases throughout your home. Removal of any and all moisture from the room and the surrounding area will immediately reduce the level of humidity and bacteria within the room within a couple of days.
To prevent this from happening in the first place, I strongly recommend homeowners contract Raleigh Waterproofing to keep their home dry and healthy.