Could the damp in your home be affecting your health?
The answer is a resounding yes! Damp homes can lead to a myriad of health problems, and those most susceptible are usually the elderly and the young, as well as individuals with weakened immune systems. Having humidity above 60% in your home is like issuing an open invitation to dust mites and their equally undesirable friends.
These little critters are too small to see with the naked eye, and let’s face it that’s probably a blessing. Dust mites are the number one cause of allergies within your home. They exacerbate asthma symptoms, cause itchy eyes and runny noses, and just all round try to torture us. They thrive in warm, moist environments, feasting on our shed skin cells and organic detritus. They aren’t parasites, it is their fecal pellets and body fragments which trigger allergic reactions. They produce a potent digestive enzyme, which is present in their feces, and when we breathe this in, allergy symptoms arise. Needless to say, it is rather revolting. At any given point there can be hundreds of thousands of dust mites in our homes, and at only 0.03 millimeters in length, we are none the wiser.
Dust mites are incredibly sensitive to humidity levels. This is because they absorb moisture from the air in order to survive. The fact that they are unable to crack open a frosty beverage to quench their thirst, gives us the upper hand. Depriving them of moisture, eradicates them quite effectively. The quickest way to lower damp levels in your home is through the use of a dehumidifier. Some of these dehumidifiers also contain air purifying filters which will greatly help allergy sufferers. When your home has reached a humidity level below 50%, be sure to wash all linen and upholstery in hot water (above 54 degrees Celsius) to remove the remaining dust mite matter from your surroundings.
One of the other bugbears of a damp home is mould growth. We’ve all experienced the collection of these spores in those hard to reach places in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Whilst a good scrub with bleach will alleviate the unsightly scourge, sadly those spores will return time and again until the excess humidity in those areas is alleviated. These spores are ripe with allergens, irritants, and in some cases, even toxins.
Whilst not as nightmare-worthy as the dust mite, mould can seriously endanger your health and is responsible for a large percentage of childhood asthma sufferers. By breathing in the minute spores over prolonged periods, lung function is reduced. Coughing, wheezing and throat irritation are but a few symptoms of this microscopic monster.
Mould requires a relative humidity of 50% and higher to thrive, so reducing this will prevent mould growth. A dehumidifier will quickly and efficiently reduce the damp in your home and curb allergies associated with dust and mould. Keep target areas, like your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room well ventilated to avoid creating a breeding ground for allergens and bacteria.
Maintaining a damp-free home is now achievable at the push of a button, so don’t delay, visit www.dampcontrol.co.za.