Is There A Mould Pandemic In The UK?

Monday 13th December 2021

Alice Redshaw

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CONTENTS

Take a look at any local news website in the UK today, and chances are high you’ll find a shocking story about mould in a family home.

Mould is a very common issue in the UK and has attracted the attention of the Housing Ombudsman, who has just released an eye-opening report into the issue.

It not only looks and smells unpleasant, but it also poses a health risk to your family, workers or tenants. So it’s essential that you tackle it quickly and thoroughly.

At ICE Cleaning, we’re mould experts! So read on to find out more about this (literally) growing problem, and how our mould cleaning service can rid your building of it for the long term.

What is mould?

Mould is a kind of fungus that spreads through airborne spores. There are thousands of different types, of which several can flourish on damp building materials.

Building mould is usually black, but can also be grey, white, or green. If you spot it in your property, there will also be invisible spores in the air. So even scrubbing it off thoroughly won’t solve the problem for good – you’ll need to contact a mould specialist.

Where do you find it in the UK?

So is there a mould pandemic? After the couple of years we’ve all had, that’s the last thing we need!

Mould tends to grow in damp and cold places, such as around bathtubs, on window frames, behind or on furniture - anywhere where moisture can build up.

That dampness could originate from condensation, perhaps caused by cooking or drying laundry; leaks or floods; or rising damp, among other sources.

Ventilating properties can help reduce moisture build-up in some areas, but many buildings have forgotten corners, a long-standing damp problem, or have suffered leaks in the past.

What’s the scale of the problem?

So, is there a mould pandemic? 

Mould is certainly a widespread problem. According to the government’s annual English Housing Survey 2019-20, some 2% of homes have a condensation or mould issue, defined as “extensive patches of mould growth on walls and ceilings and/or mildew on soft furnishings”.

Many more homes are classified as damp, which puts them at risk of developing mould: 7% of privately rented homes, 4% of social rented homes, as well as 2% of owner-occupied dwellings.

This situation prompted the Housing Ombudsman to launch an investigation into damp and mould in the rental housing sector in early 2021. The report, published in November 2021, called for a “zero tolerance” approach to the problem.

Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said: “There are many and varying root causes that lead to damp and mould in the cases we investigate; but the impact on the resident is a thread that runs between them.

“You can see the distress, disruption, even embarrassment, felt by the resident. You can see the evident concern about their health and well-being, especially mental health; the impact on any children.”

The health risks of mould

So what are those health risks, and how serious are they?

Under the government’s official Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), mould is classified as a Category A hazard. That puts it in the same bracket as asbestos, meaning that property owners should take prompt action.

The guidance lists the possible health effects as:

  1. Issues with breathing
  2. Fungal infections
  3. Anxiety and depression as a result of illnesses like asthma

The NHS notes that the people most at risk include: babies and children, elderly adults, and people with skin or respiratory conditions. That’s a huge proportion of the population.

A serious fungal condition, aspergillosis, is also caused by mould. It’s rare in healthy people, but can affect people with lung diseases; those with weakened immune systems; people who’ve previously been affected by tuberculosis (TB); and those who are on artificial ventilation, e.g. from Covid-19.

So if you spot mould, you should protect your health and that of your family, tenants, employees or customers by calling us at ICE Cleaning for our mould cleaning service.

We are mould specialists

If you spot mould in your home, you might be tempted to tackle it yourself, armed with nothing more than a scrubbing brush and a bottle of bleach.

However, bear in mind that you also need to target the source of the problem: the damp. Otherwise, those airborne spores will simply settle again, and your mould will be back.

Plus, breathing in mould spores or touching mould while you’re cleaning could be harmful for your health. It’s something that should only be undertaken with the correct products and equipment.

First, the good news: unlike other pandemics we won’t mention, there are already mould specialist treatments that are guaranteed to be 100% effective. Our new solution ICE SHIELD® can help keep your property mould-free for two years – we’ll explain what it is below.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer mould remediation services. We have teams nationwide who can be at your commercial or domestic property to tackle your mould issue, and a customer service team who are available to contact 24/7.

Our mould specialists will take samples from the air and surfaces for testing in a lab, to ensure that we identify the correct treatment. All the products we use in the process are also non-toxic and non-abrasive.

We also use our ICE SHIELD® solution to form a protective barrier across all touchpoints and surfaces. It uses fogging technology, and is scientifically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.

Get in touch

If you would like to book a mould remediation service with us, you can contact us on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

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