What is mould?
Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp places. If you’ve got mould at home, you’ll probably notice fuzzy black, white or green patches on the walls, ceilings or tiles. It might smell damp and musty.
Mould is more common in homes which need repairs like window frames fixed, or leaks sorted out. You might notice it’s more damp and mouldy in bathrooms or kitchens because of condensation from washing and cooking.
Why damp and mould are a problem for asthma
Living in a damp, mouldy home is not good for asthma. Babies, small children, older people, and people with allergies are more likely to be affected.
Mould produces spores which can be breathed in. If you’re allergic to mould spores you might have symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sneezing or watery eyes. And it could trigger your asthma symptoms.
Damp and mouldy housing can put you more at risk of other things that can make asthma worse like chest infections, colds and flu, and rhinitis.
What to do if you’ve got damp and mould at home
If you think your home is damp, or you’ve noticed mould, it’s best to act quickly to sort out the problem before it gets worse.
You need to:
- Deal with the damp – find out what’s causing the damp, such as leaks, or condensation from cooking, showering or drying clothes indoors.
- Deal with the mould – don’t try and get rid of any mould by yourself if it triggers asthma – ask a friend to help. And always get a mould removal specialist or builder in if the mould covers more than a square metre, or if it’s caused by problems with the building itself, or sewage.
- Report any repairs or leaks, or problems with mould to your landlord
5 Top tips to prevent damp and mould at home
1. Open windows and doors so air can move around.
2. Try to avoid drying clothes indoors. If you have nowhere else to dry them, open a window if you can.
3. Use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom or open a window when cooking or after a shower.
4. Close the door of the room you’re in if you’re cooking or showering – to prevent condensation in other rooms
5. Try to keep your home at a good background temperature so it never gets too cold – at least 15 degrees in all rooms.