In our last blog post we talked about avoiding dampness and keeping the home dry and warm. But why should you worry about keeping moisture away from your house?
Damp rooms and corners are the perfect places for fungus and parasites to grow; mould and dust mites are the most common issues. Mould can be identified by its strong damp smell and the appearance of stains on walls, floors and ceilings. They can vary in colour (brown, green, black, grey, red or white), starting normally with a few speckled patches or streaks that become larger if not cleaned and treated. And beyond the unpleasant smell and aesthetics, mould can cause a range of allergies, eczema, inflammations and respiratory discomfort.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health identifies mould and dust mite as two of the most common causes of allergies, and both tend to show up in damp places. Dust mites are tiny parasites found in all homes and they love humidity – damp surfaces are the perfect habitat for them to grow –, so the damper the house, the more dust mites. They feed on the dead skin cells we lose daily and produce tiny dust particles that trigger asthma and other respiratory allergies.
So be aware of humidity in your home: avoid having too many pot plants together, keep an eye out for mouldy stains and musty smells, ventilate your house well and follow our previous suggestions for a dry and warm house, particularly putting a lid on your shower to start protecting your bathroom from these threats. And if you notice your home is excessively damp, take actions to revert it, such as improving heating and ventilation (we highly recommend Unovent), removing mould stains, and finding the source of humidity as soon as possible to stop it from spreading before getting too difficult to fix.