The Health Risks of Damp Homes

The Health Risks of Damp Homes

12 Sep 2023
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Living in a damp home is more than just an inconvenience; it can pose serious health risks that are often overlooked. While the musty smell and unsightly patches of mould may be the most visible signs, the invisible impact on your health can be far more concerning. In this post, we delve into the potential health issues that can arise from living in a damp environment, emphasising why damp proofing is not just a home improvement measure but a health necessity. Read on to learn more.

  • Respiratory Issues

One of the most immediate health risks associated with damp homes is the impact on respiratory health. Damp environments are breeding grounds for mould spores, dust mites, and bacteria. When inhaled, these allergens can trigger asthma attacks, worsen existing respiratory conditions, and even lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) over time. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, as their respiratory systems are more sensitive to such irritants.

  • Allergic Reactions

Mould and mildew, common by-products of dampness, can cause allergic reactions ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may include sneezing, skin rashes, and eye irritation. In extreme cases, exposure to mould can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. If you or your family members are experiencing unexplained allergic symptoms, it’s worth investigating whether dampness could be the culprit.

  • Weakened Immune System

Constant exposure to a damp environment can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. The body’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria diminishes, leading to frequent illnesses. This is especially concerning for households with young children, who may experience recurrent respiratory infections and other health issues as a result of a weakened immune system.

  • Mental Health Impact

The health risks of damp homes aren’t limited to physical health; they can also take a toll on mental well-being. Living in a damp, uncomfortable environment can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Moreover, the financial burden of treating health issues and repairing a damp home can exacerbate mental health problems, creating a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

  • Skin Conditions

Dampness creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of skin irritants. Conditions like eczema and dermatitis can be aggravated by the increased humidity and mould exposure. Even individuals without pre-existing skin conditions may experience itchiness, rashes, or other forms of skin irritation when living in a damp home.

  • Gastrointestinal Problems

While less common, damp homes can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. These bacteria can contaminate food and water, leading to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and even more severe conditions like food poisoning.

The Importance of Damp Proofing

Given the multitude of health risks associated with damp homes, damp proofing is a critical health intervention, not just a structural improvement. Modern damp proofing methods are both effective and long-lasting, providing a barrier that prevents moisture from entering your living spaces.

By investing in professional damp proofing services, you’re not just enhancing the longevity of your property; you’re also taking a vital step in safeguarding the health of its inhabitants.

Searching for Leading Damp Proofers in London?

Here at Kenwood PLC, we offer specialised damp proofing services to tackle rising damp, a common issue in buildings lacking effective damp proof courses. Rising damp can be detected through building surveys, tests, or visible signs like damp patches and hygroscopic salts on walls. 

Our treatment involves removing existing wall plaster up to a certain height and installing a new damp proof course to prevent moisture from rising. We use low-odour siliconate injection fluids or DPC creams that cure within the masonry, forming an impervious barrier.

In addition, we also offer a Waterproof Rendering System for a smooth plaster finish. We provide a comprehensive range of services and have extensive experience, serving over 20,000 properties each year. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please call us on 01923 242441 or email us at We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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