John Moss, Head of Social Housing Sales at EnviroVent, looks at long term solutions to dealing with condensation and mould.
Condensation and mould growth are a major burden for social housing maintenance teams during the colder months. This often happens when homes have been subject to energy efficiency upgrades, without adequate ventilation systems being installed. This increases humidity levels and lowers the quality of indoor air, resulting in occupants facing a whole host of different problems. As well as causing condensation and mould growth, another major issue with improving airtightness is that it traps pollutants in the home, resulting in a much higher concentration of harmful substances such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Radon gas.
A study by Professor Awbi at the University of Reading has revealed a predicted 80% increase in asthma cases as a direct result of poor indoor air quality. The report states that “Poor indoor air quality is associated with a range of undesirable health effects, such as allergic and asthmatic symptoms, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, airborne respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease.”
It is therefore no surprise that many social housing providers are looking for permanent solutions to the issue of poor ventilation. They are weary of mould treatments that don’t work and under increasing pressure from frustrated tenants, so are looking for longer term, effective solutions. The options are outlined in our new Social Housing brochure which covers the comprehensive range of ventilation solutions for housing associations. This includes what to do when complaints are received from tenants relating to poor indoor air quality, plus a focus on our Rapid Response service, which guarantees to find and install a fully working ventilation solution within 10 days.
One of the main retrofit solutions covered in the brochure is Positive Input Ventilation. Increasingly social housing providers are recognising the benefits of retrofitting Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) systems into homes that are most at risk of issues with condensation and mould. These systems are helping to improve the indoor air quality for tenants across the country, whilst reducing the risk of mould and damage to the fabric of a building.
To further reinforce our commitment to social housing providers, we are running a number of free condensation workshops over the coming months for anyone looking to improve the indoor air quality of their housing stock. This is part of supporting social housing providers in ensuring they receive long term ventilation solutions that enhance the health of occupants and protect the fabric of the building.