Everyone deserves fresh, clean air in their home but condensation and mould reduces air quality and causes a barrage of health issues. For social housing landlords this can be a persistent and costly problem but it is possible to break the cycle. With expert advice, social housing landlords can avoid the blight of condensation and mould. Andrew Cowlin at mould and condensation control specialists, Airtech, explains more.
A growing body of evidence has identified the dangerous impact poor air quality is having on our health. A recent report in The Lancet has found that in the UK, about 8% or 50,000 deaths a year are estimated to be linked to pollution. Most of these deaths were caused by non-infectious diseases linked to pollution, such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
With many people spending the majority of their lives inside, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) should be priority. A major cause of poor IAQ is mould and condensation, something that many social housing landlords find a recurring problem. Resident lifestyle, such as drying wet clothes on radiators, can contribute to condensation by raising the moisture levels in the air. Add to this a lack of effective ventilation and this can result in high humidity levels. So what can be done?
There are three simple steps that can solve this problem; comprehensive property surveys, mould removal treatment and a full installation service for both responsive and planned maintenance. Planned maintenance and responsive maintenance have a slightly different emphasis although they both have the same outcome to eradicate condensation and mould for good for the landlords and tenants. Both responsive and planned maintenance can comprise of surveying; attending site meetings; property evaluation and treatment specification; as well as training seminars for technical officers and in-house surveyors. With responsive maintenance the process can also include installation of appropriate technology to remove condensation and mould; decorating where necessary; and resident aftercare support.
Landlords should look for companies, such as Airtech, that offer all of these services backed up by technical knowledge and experience. For extra peace of mind, landlords should use a company that offers a guarantee that the mould will not just return within months. For example, Airtech provide a unique three year guarantee.
Diagnostics, analysis and treatment techniques are available to control condensation and mould through a combination of humidity control and ventilation, thus improving IAQ and enhancing tenant comfort.
There are ventilation products that can record details of the home environment, such as humidity and temperature levels, to allow a landlord to clearly track the effects changing lifestyle habits have on a home environment. For example, Airtech’s ventilation products with unique control and sophisticated data logging allow landlords to identify the relationship between temperature and relative humidity in an individual home and provides up to 10 years’ worth of saved data. Hand-in-hand with the data logging, Airtech’s specialist control platform monitors the data as it is collected and modulates the fan accordingly to react automatically and proportionally to rising humidity levels, offering quick and effective humidity control. This ensures the resident keeps the optimum environment in the home to avoid condensation forming, thus helping maintain good IAQ.
Airtech offers landlords the correct solution for each individual property, ranging from environment sensing and data gathering bathroom and kitchen fans, such as the A25 SELV and the A60 Mains and SELV to Positive Input Ventilation (PIV), such as its Air+ PIV.
Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) gently operates in the background introducing drier air into the home, displacing stale humid air and replacing it with fresh filtered air from outside. PIV draws fresh air into the loft cavity where it is filtered and warmed before being slowly added into the habitable areas of the house. PIV is proven to reduce both condensation and mould.
Training courses help landlords understand the causes of condensation and mould and to find solutions, so resident education is also a vital part of Airtech’s service. Mould information leaflets for residents are also provided as well as a Freephone customer care helpline for residents to seek advice.
Mould and condensation has proven to be an enduring problem for social housing landlords and their residents. But with the latest ventilation technology coupled with a professional and knowledgeable maintenance programme, these issues that have blighted both residents’ homes and health can become a thing of the past.