damp and mould
VORTICE which has been based in the UK since 1977 and is part of the VORTICE Group, has seen a restructure of the UK division with newly appointed General Manager Stephen Smith. During this exciting time VORTICE has implemented a brand new management system and complete service solution aimed at the private landlord to help combat issues with mould and damp.
The founders of Cornerstone have a significant history dealing with fire and flood incidents and, our clear knowledge of structural and atmospheric moisture behaviour in affected buildings alongside a transparent reporting process was soon noticed by clients including NHBC, Private Surveyors and Social Housing landlords seeking to determine root causes for a reported damp, condensation and mould problem.
With these prevailing issues every winter period, Cornerstone are conscious of the need for a uniform approach that will serve to deliver credible diagnosis alongside specific guidance for building occupants and structural owners/landlords/managers with particular emphasis on the safety of those who use and occupy the buildings.
Today’s homes are built to a set of standards, but that wasn’t aways the case with older homes. And as the UK has one of the oldest housing stocks in Europe it means that many houses don’t perform at their best. This could be due to poor insulation leading to drafts. Or it could be that solid walls are cold, leading to damp and black spot mould. Another reason could be a build-up of moisture caused by poor ventilation. Moisture is always present in the air – typically from everyday activities such as cooking and breathing – and without suitable ventilation it is attracted to the colder walls, providing a perfect environment for mould spores to grow.
To many working in social housing - and those living in these properties - it will be evident that there is a problem with a lot of the current housing stock, which is one of the oldest in Europe. Many of these problems relate to damp, condensation and mould, with The English Housing Survey for Housing Quality and Condition1 claiming that 3.5 million occupied homes were not suitable and did not meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2020, with 4% having serious damp issues.
For many home owners and tenants, the increase in energy bills is causing real concern, with many facing the tough choice of heating their home or being able to afford to eat. And whilst we begin to look towards the spring and the upturn in weather the problem isn’t going away.
A national trade body is signposting social housing professionals to a range of services to find a trusted route to solve damp and mould issues in properties.
The Property Care Association, which has been in formation for ninety years, is the UK trade body for companies and professionals who specialise in the diagnosis, control and management of dampness in buildings.
Its members understand all the different variables which can affect moisture levels in properties, such as the building’s construction, style of occupation, heating, thermal performance of walls and floors, and the provision of air exchange.
Condensation and mould specialists, Airtech Solutions, is offering expert advice and help to social housing providers following the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, writing to council leaders and social housing providers regarding damp and mould. His letters highlight landlords’ responsibility to take action to protect residents from hazardous damp and mould following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak. As a result, the minister asks both council leaders and social housing providers to treat damp and mould more seriously.