Condensation and mould: Fighting back, even in the mouldiest homes
Condensation and mould can be a recurring problem for many landlords and their residents. During the pandemic this has been a bigger problem due to people spending more time at home and generating more moisture which can lead to condensation and mould. So, what can landlords do to tackle the issue and keep mould at bay? James Kane, from condensation and mould control specialist Airtech Solutions, explains how housing associations can avoid disrepair cases and provide healthy homes for their residents by working with specialist companies that offer surveying, mould treatment and ventilation.
Condensation and mould are a perennial problem in many homes with USwitch’s ‘Mouldy Nation’ report stating that 62% of people have had an issue with mould in their home at least once. But a mouldy home is not only a health risk for the residents, under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, landlords have a legal requirement to provide rental properties that are fit for human habitation, including the need for effective ventilation and freedom from damp.
One of the best ways to help avoid the formation of condensation and mould in the first place is by ensuring homes are effectively ventilated. However, if condensation and mould have already appeared the best course of action is to act fast. By working in partnership with mould and ventilation experts, like Airtech Solutions, landlords can effectively solve the problem. Even for properties that have severe mould problems, Airtech can rectify the problem and ensure that the mould doesn’t return as they have years of experience in dealing with mould.
First up is a comprehensive property survey to identify the location and cause of the mould within the dwelling. This is followed by thorough mould removal treatment to eradicate any mould, and installation of ventilation equipment to ensure condensation and mould won’t return. For extra peace of mind, landlords should use a company that offers a guarantee that the mould will not return within months. For example, Airtech provides a unique three-year guarantee.
Ventilation solutions include installing Positive Input Ventilation (PIV). PIV is proven to reduce both condensation and mould. With both loft and wall mounted options available, PIV gently operates in the background removing stale humid air and replacing it with fresh filtered air from outside. It draws fresh air in where it is filtered and warmed before being gently added into the habitable areas of the house. Some PIV units, such as Airtech’s Air+ PIV, offer high grade F7 filters to filter out harmful PM2.5 particles that cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as including in-built datalogging of usage, running costs and filter life.
Another ventilation solution that landlords can opt for is environment sensing and data gathering bathroom and kitchen extractor fans. Fans with datalogging enable detailed record keeping, a must since records are essential in defending disrepair cases. Fans with dataloggers record details of the home environment to allow a landlord to clearly track the effects changing lifestyle habits have on a home environment. For example, Airtech’s unique sophisticated ventilation products allow landlords to identify the relationship between temperature and relative humidity. They can also monitor all ‘on/off’ occurrences and map them in relation to the temperature and humidity readings, giving a clear indication of whether the fan has been running as intended.
With most people spending more time at home than ever during the pandemic, the need for a healthy home has never been more important. It’s crucial that landlords meet the requirement of the Homes Act and protect their residents from the unhealthy effects of condensation and mould. And with the latest ventilation combined with professional and knowledgeable surveys and mould treatment, these issues that have blighted both residents’ homes and health can become a thing of the past and social housing landlords can break the cycle of condensation and mould.