By EnviroVent Feb 26, 2019
Bryony Perry, Specialist Ventilation Advisor at UK ventilation manufacturer EnviroVent, gives her advice on preventing mould and condensation in landlords’ properties.
Condensation and mould growth is a constant battle in properties, particularly in the colder months. A recent survey found that 20 per cent of householders reported that they experienced condensation and mould growth, causing a burden for the maintenance teams of many social landlords.
Condensation is formed when excess moisture in the air causes water droplets to form, which then leads to mould growth, on walls and around windows and doors. An average family of four living in a three bedroom property would create 112 pints of moisture per week, just from breathing, cooking, showering and boiling the kettle.
Landlords will usually be responsible for correcting any issues with condensation and mould growth, especially if it starts causing damage to the fabric of the building. However, in some circumstances tenants are also required to help deal with the problem, especially if the mould is as a result of condensation from bathing, cooking and drying clothes.
Ensure there is adequate ventilation
The cause of condensation and mould growth is a lack of fresh air circulating around a property. As many properties have had their energy efficiency upgraded with new windows and doors and cavity wall and loft insulation, this makes the house so airtight that it cannot breathe. This leads to poor indoor air quality, which can only be remedied by an effective ventilation system.
Positive Input Ventilation is a great choice for fitting into existing homes as it gently draws fresh air in from outside and circulates it around the home, reducing humidity and preventing condensation and mould growth.
Don’t overfill wardrobes and cupboards
Leaving a bit of space between the sides of a wardrobe or cupboard and its contents can allow air to circulate, reducing the potential for mould. For the same reason, residents should also try to leave a gap between any free-standing furniture and the wall.
Dry clothes outside
While not always possible, drying clothes outside can help to reduce this excess moisture. Tenants should also ensure that any tumble dryers are well vented. Self-condensing dryers that collect water in a tray or container do not need to be vented.
Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed
An extractor fan or open vents should be used when cooking in the kitchen and in the bathroom when showering or bathing. It can also help to keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed, so that moist air does not spread to colder areas, where it can turn to condensation and make windows and walls damp.
EnviroVent has over 20 years experience in working with social landlords to help alleviate issues with poor indoor air quality. We provide surveying, system design and installation services in-house through our own highly skilled and fully trained teams.