With this in mind, Uswitch has created an in-depth study looking at the prevalence of mould around the UK along with the health implications of having it in one’s home. They also looked at the best ways of preventing it.
Some key stats
- 64% of those who’ve experienced mould were tenants in privately rented, council, or student accommodation
- Half of the people who’ve had mould in their home struggled to pay their heating bills
- Young adults (25-34) struggled the most, whereas those aged 55+ struggled least
- Two thirds of Brits believe mould is solely the landlord’s responsibility
- and the younger you are the more likely you are to have experienced blame for mould
Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com, comments on the financial struggles of paying for heating:
“It’s unacceptable that so many struggle to pay their heating bills. Those avoiding putting their heating on in fear of unaffordable costs, may inadvertently contribute to the growth of mould in their home”.
“With the findings that the majority of those who experience mould are tenants, it’s advisable that they contact their landlord to come to an agreement on how to tackle it. Tenants should also be aware that if they pay the heating bills themselves, they have the right to switch energy suppliers to find a cheaper deal.”
“Whether you’re a homeowner or tenant, if you find you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, there’s plenty of help out there — from government grants to supplier support.”
Shockingly, people had experienced the following health issues:
Uswitch spoke to Holly Shaw, Nurse Advisor at Allergy UK, who advised those who’ve experienced symptoms;
“Contrary to popular misperceptions it’s not mould itself that’s the problem for those with an allergy, but the spores it produces. So if you’re allergic to the spores you may have symptoms like a runny nose, coughing, wheezing, sneezing and/or watery eyes. If you also have other respiratory allergies like allergic rhinitis and asthma, spores may act as a trigger and exacerbate these conditions.”
“If you have these symptoms and find mould, avoidance is recommended in the first instance. It’s advised that you do not attempt to clean the mould yourself, but pass this task on to a willing relative or friend.”
“Using a non-sedating oral antihistamine can be an effective way of treating allergic symptoms and if the eyes or nose are also problematic then targeting these areas with medication in the form of eye drops or nasal sprays may also help.
Uswitch’s top tips for mould prevention
- Keep furniture directly off walls. Even keeping a small space between your household furniture and walls gives mould less of an opportunity to grow.
- Put lids on your cooking pans. This will lessen the amount of moisture in the air.
- Avoid drying clothes indoors.
- Keep the bathroom/kitchen ventilated. If there is no extractor fan, open windows. However, keep the door shut to prevent the moisture from entering another room.
- Wash those dishes! Having food left out around the home or on unwashed dishes can lead to spores releasing into the air.
- Declutter! Mould likes stagnancy, a lack of airflow and moisture. The more things you have laying around, the more habitats there are for mould to thrive.
- Crumpled clothes and bedsheets are dark, stagnant places where it can grow quickly under the right conditions.
- Regularly clean your carpet, and ensure it’s kept dry.
- Invest in a dehumidifier. Cleaning and removing mould is likely to be more expensive in the long run with 39.1% of people stating that they’ve been financially impacted by mould.
- Spillages and pools of water post-bath or shower should be mopped up immediately.
- Open windows to maintain a healthy airflow.
- Straighten out a wet shower curtain. Ensure anything damp is hanging and unfolded.
- Fix leaks immediately. If mould suddenly starts growing in a part of a room it hasn’t before, it’d be best to investigate and make sure you haven’t got a slow leak somewhere.
Article from Uswitch.
You can find out more about Havebury’s response to mould and condensation here.