Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Social Housing Damp and Mould Problem

There seems to be a recurring issue of problems with damp and mould growth in homes that are provided by a large organisation such as councils and housing associations in the UK. The problems are often poor design, poor installation of modifications such as insulation, poor maintenance, slow response to requests for repair and lack of prioritising mould as a cause of a severe health problem (read a recent example here).

The education of the occupants of a building is important too as their normal living activities can generate large amounts of moisture and they need to understand that ventilation is important  - open windows when taking a shower, don't dry clothes on radiators inside a house is mould is a problem in that house are just two examples of steps that an occupier can take to help reduce damp. There is not generally a single cause of damp in a home.

There is another important large group of people who are dependent on a 'remote' authority to repair their homes. The military house large numbers of individuals and families in homes that are provided on bases and close by and there again we tend to see problems with damp and moulds. In the US we have recently found out that part of the problem was that of large companies being paid to provide new homes but no-one having  responsibility to monitor the state of those homes as they were used. The result was that occupants faced with moulds could complain but no-one was monitoring the backlog of repairs needed and they would build up.

The US government has taken steps to resolve this problem by adding into a new law (National Defense Authorization Act) that has just come into force the requirement for the military to monitor the health status & repair of all of its homes.

Hopefully we are seeing the gradual improvement of all social housing so as to avoid damp and mould

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