Damp and mould indoors

If you have damp and mould in your home you’re more likely to have:

Damp and mould can also affect the immune system.

Who is most sensitive to damp and mould?

Some people are more sensitive to damp and mould, including:

These people should stay away from damp and mould as much as possible.

How damp and mould impacts health

Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction). They can also produce irritants and sometimes toxic substances.

Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction like:

  • sneezing
  • a runny nose
  • red eyes
  • skin rash

Moulds can also cause asthma attacks.

Causes of damp and mould

Mould and damp are caused by too much moisture. In buildings this can be caused by:

  • leaking pipes
  • rising damp in basements or ground floors
  • rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames
  • condensation

A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out. For example in the plaster on the walls.

How to remove damp or mould

If you have mould or damp it’s important to find out why you have too much moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air.

You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you. But, if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.

It’s important to wear gloves and a facemask if you’re removing mould. Always open a window if you’re using bleach products to remove it.

Support and advice

Support to help with the cost of living is available from the Scottish Government. This includes:

  • help with energy bills
  • advice on energy efficiency measures

Some people may be eligible for support from Care and Repair Scotland to repair or improve their homes.

Shelter Scotland have advice on dealing with damp and mould if you rent your home.

Last updated:
02 February 2024

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