Over five million properties in the UK are estimated to be suffering from damp and condensation, the majority of which are social housing.
One of the main causes is poor or inadequate ventilation, and so it is therefore an issue that the ventilation industry needs to address. Our company has launched a new initiative, offering social landlords the opportunity to have a free review to discuss an appropriate ventilation strategy for their homes.
A proactive approach to dealing with this perennial headache, the review is designed to deal with the underlying factors that cause damp and condensation – such as occupancy levels, lifestyle, insulation of the property and tenant tampering. Furthermore, it helps ensure that ventilation actually delivers in every home and reduces and eliminates the rising costs associated with dealing with mould and condensation in social homes, as well as the effect on tenants’ health.
The first step when formulating a ventilation strategy is to conduct an audit. Look at the housing stock, occupancy levels, type of fan installations and understand where you are. Treat ventilation like you would boilers and windows – it’s not just a fan.
Think about the performance of installed solutions – make sure that whatever system you choose will work efficiently once it is installed in a home. With so many variables and ever-changing circumstances, it is unlikely that one size will fit all and you will require an adaptive and flexible solution to deliver the effective and condensation-reducing performance you will need.
Bring planned and responsive maintenance together to set out a plan. Different teams, budgets and operations can make this difficult, but this is the fundamental factor in tackling the root cause of the problem. If you get the planning of the ventilation right at the very beginning, you can reduce the time required to respond to any issues afterwards.
So, say, if you budget an additional £10 or £20 for each fan and spend time ensuring the system will work, and this in turn helps to reduce the ever-growing mould-washing bill, why wouldn’t you?
Adjustable ventilation products tackle the many variables that affect a fan’s installed performance. This simple and proactive solution allows extract airflow to be appropriately adapted to ensure that the correct performance is achieved, which suits the requirements of the home and the tenants.
It gives complete flexibility to landlords and installers to protect their homes from the damaging effects of mould and condensation and maintains the health and wellbeing of their tenants.
To help minimise the cost and health implications related with mould and condensation, it is necessary to seek the right solution for the tenants of tomorrow.
Michelle Sharp is group communications manager at Zehnder Group UK