Can Cleaning Mould Yourself Make You Sick?

Friday 29th December 2023

Ellen Warren

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A doctor prescribing an inhaler


The detection of a damp, musty smell in a room suggests the presence of mould, which can negatively impact your health. However, before proceeding with a DIY cleaning operation, you must consider the potential hazards.

Our mould remediation services at ICE Cleaning are paving the way for mould removal across the UK. Our experts are Dewpoint-accredited and specialise in testing, removing, and identifying the root cause of mould infestations. We can help you prevent its growth from returning in the future.

Read on to learn how to mitigate the risks associated with mould cleaning and keep your home safe from potential harm.

Understanding mould and its implications for health

Mould thrives in damp corners and spreads quickly, taking over your home and eventually affecting your health. Mature mould produces microscopic spores that could give you ailments like a cold. While some may not feel a change, others may experience allergies or breathing troubles. 

Therefore, it is crucial to understand how DIY cleaning may lead to adverse outcomes and how you can safely avoid mould growth on your property.

The hidden dangers of DIY mould remediation

Taking matters into your hands and dealing with mould might seem like the most convenient and budget-friendly option, but the hazards are not worth it. When you disturb mould without proper techniques, you could aggravate the growth.

For instance, scrubbing away at walls could push these spores deep into your carpet or behind furniture, where they can return. Whilst chemicals like bleach can whiten surfaces, they worsen air quality. 

Besides health risks, DIY efforts often overlook hidden moisture sources, which are often the cause of mould growth. Without addressing these damp hideouts thoroughly, that patch job on visible areas will only continue to spread.

Preventative measures against mould infestation

Implementing safety is crucial when protecting your home from potential hazards like mould. Utilising mould prevention strategies ensures a cleaner environment and contributes to the health of those residing within. Some steps to follow include:

  • Ensuring proper ventilation by opening doors and windows often
  • Repairing water leaks or eliminating excess moisture
  • Utilising dehumidifiers in humid areas
  • Creating a regular cleaning routine
  • Ensuring good insulation
  • Using mould-resistant products in building and cleaning

Recognising symptoms of mould sickness

Mould sickness can manifest itself with symptoms similar to the common cold. But, mould exposure can lead to health issues ranging from a runny nose to more severe reactions.

A persistent cough, wheezing or experiencing breathing difficulties could mean your body is fighting mould sickness.

Sneezing fits, itchy eyes, and skin rashes are also common signs of a reaction to mould growth. Asthmatics should take extra precautions as mould spores can aggravate sensitive airways.

How Awaab's Law has impacted rental housing

The enactment of Awaab's Law will bring significant transformations for social housing, reshaping rights and obligations of landlords and tenants by 2024.

This legislative milestone, named after Awaab Ishak, has introduced new changes to social housing laws that aim to protect vulnerable families from mould sickness.

This new law means that social housing landlords must ensure their properties meet the Decent Homes Standard and they do not treat mould and damp as 'lifestyle issues'. Some key changes include:

  • Social housing landlords must investigate and fix damp and mould-related issues within a specified timeframe
  • Tenants living in unsafe homes must be rehoused 
  • Harsher penalties and fines for landlords that fail to comply with the new laws
  • Landlords must actively monitor their compliance

When to call the professionals for mould issues

Sometimes, a mould problem may seem small, but underneath could be a large colony. If you have mildew growing on a surface, you may be able to rectify this issue simply by cleaning it. However, if mould has started to grow in your home, you must call in the experts.

Cleaning the mould yourself could trigger allergies or lead to sickness - and chemical exposure can be harmful. Professional cleaners offering mould cleaning services can take control of the situation, discovering the root cause and preventing its return.

Frequently asked questions

How do you treat mould sickness?

Treatment involves avoiding exposure, taking antihistamines for mild symptoms, and consulting a doctor if things get serious.

How do you know if mould is making you sick?

If you are coughing, wheezing, or your eyes are watering when indoors, it might be mould sickness.

What does mould toxicity feel like?

Mould toxicity can make you feel constantly tired, give you headaches and cause memory troubles. It feels like never-ending flu symptoms.

How long does it take to get sick from mould exposure?

Sickness timing varies; some react immediately, while others develop symptoms after prolonged contact with the spores.

Get in touch

For help in tackling mould, our experts at ICE Cleaning can help. Our mould cleaning services cover all aspects of mould remediation, where we can help you eliminate it, improve your air quality, and prevent its return in the future.

Our team of mould removal experts can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year at 0208 066 0360 or By getting in touch today, we can provide a free, no-obligation quote and site survey, working with you nationwide wherever you are.

Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison

Sales Representative

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