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Damp and Mould: help is at hand

Nuaire has been working with social housing providers to deliver effective ventilation solutions for over 50 years and invented the PIV system
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In September 2023, the government published ‘Understanding and addressing the health risks of damp and mould in the home’1.  This extensive guidance has been introduced in to ensure social and private sector landlords understand the serious health risks that damp and mould pose, and their legal responsibilities in light of Awaab’s Law, which has been introduced as part of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act.

The revised Act requires social housing landlords to remedy damp and mould to set deadlines (to be determined), or rehouse tenants in safe accommodation.  Introducing stringent inspections by the Regulator of Social Housing and new powers to issue unlimited fines to landlords who fail to meet standards, failure to comply with the Act will have serious financial and reputational repercussions.

However, for many landlords understanding the causes of condensation and mould and how to effectively deal with them is a learning curve.

The new Guidance is therefore a welcome source of information which covers a wide range of topics relating to damp and mould, such as the health risks, how to treat mould, and how to prevent it forming, in one easy to access place.  It’s been written by experts, but in a way that is easy to grasp.  If you haven’t already read it, I’d urge you to do so.

Prevention is better than cure

Whilst treating surface mould is necessary, and relatively easy with an appropriate cleaning product, it’s likely to reappear if the underlying causes are not addressed.  Prevention is undoubtedly better than a temporary cure, yet preventing condensation and damp within old housing stock is not always straightforward.

The new government guidance places emphasis on identifying and tackling damp and mould, to deliver a long term solution.  This includes addressing building deficiencies, including leaks; improving energy efficiency and addressing inadequate heating systems; working with tenants to make small, reasonable adjustments to their behaviour, if appropriate; and improving ventilation.

Deliver ventilation that works

The new Act will place demands on already strained budgets for sure.  But many landlords over estimate the cost of fitting suitable ventilation and aren’t aware of the relatively ROI when compared to having to regularly treat mould in a property.

Even in properties where condensation and mould are a major issue, fitting a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) system, such as the Nuaire Drimaster-Eco, is inexpensive and not disruptive.  Furthermore, they can beinstalled in a loft in less than an hour.  They introduce fresh, filtered air into the dwelling at a continuous rate, encouraging movement of air from inside to outside. This is effective at preventing condensation dampness.  It’s a long lasting solution, with many Nuaire PIVs being in operation for over 20 years.

An alternative to the PIV system is fitting more powerful bathroom and kitchen extractor fans.  This is best done as part of your planned maintenance schedule.  Many existing fans in place are not powerful enough; they are certainly unlikely to meet the increased minimum air flow rates stipulated in the latest Building Regulations Part F.  Our Cyfan fan is powerful enough to ensure cost-effectively compliance with these revised regulations, whilst also being aesthetically pleasing, compact and quiet.  This could be used in conjunction with Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (dMEV) fans, such as our new Nuaire Faith-Plus, for an efficient yet cost-effective solution.

Time to act

Nobody should have to live in damp, mouldy homes, and no social housing landlord wants that for their tenants.  But blaming tenants for their lifestyle, or just ignoring the problem as yet another drain on your budget, is no longer an option.  It’s time to understand the issues and take action.

Nuaire has been working with social housing providers to deliver effective ventilation solutions for over 50 years and invented the PIV system.
www.nuaire.co.uk

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/damp-and-mould-understanding-and-addressing-the-health-risks-for-rented-housing-providers/understanding-and-addressing-the-health-risks-of-damp-and-mould-in-the-home–2#identifying-and-addressing-damp-and-mould-in-your-property

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