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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mould in your SFA?

There are two underlying reasons why mould might appear in a house - structural reasons and condensation.

Structural issues are related to the fabric of the building which means water or moisture is getting into the property. 

So, how do you tell whether the mould in your home is caused by a structural issue or from excessive condensation?

Mould due to structural issues tends to appear in the following places:

In the house
·         Walls under the bottom corners of windows
·         Floors around toilets and under dishwashers
·         Walls around un-insulated cold-water pipes
·         Around the chimney in the attic
·         Near damaged or blocked downspouts
·         Basement - Bottom of walls, corners and floors
·         Bottoms of walls - bridged or earth covered damp proof courses
Mould from condensation tends to be seen in the following areas
In bathrooms
·         On ceilings over the bath or shower
·         Window glass, sills and frames
·         Under or behind the toilet and cistern
·         Exterior walls and tiled surfaces

In bedrooms
·         Windows, in the bottom corners, sides or on the glass
·         Behind dressers and wardrobes on exterior walls
·         Particularly on the top corners of the bedroom walls which are the furthest from any heating source
In Britain, condensation is mainly a winter problem when warm moist air is generated in areas like kitchens and bathrooms and then travels to colder parts of the house.
Condensation issues can often be effectively dealt with by the family. DIO/MHS have produced a very good fact sheet, Combating Condensation, which shows what you can do to reduce condensation and tackle mould in the home.
However, in cases where mould is caused by structural or ventilation issues (such as insufficient extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens), families should contact the MHS Customer Helpdesk as these causes will need to be dealt with by MHS.
Whatever the cause of the mould, the first time you notice it call the MHS Customer Helpdesk (0800 707 6000) and ask for someone to come and look at it. This is a new initiative from MHS where a Technical Officer (TO) will attend with a damp meter to assess whether the mould is caused by structural or general condensation issues.
There is a lot that you can do as a family to reduce condensation and mould however, if you have an on-going situation with mould and you feel that it has not been addressed properly up until now (e.g. the area has been treated and painted over but it keeps coming back), please call the MHS Customer Helpdesk and ask for a TO visit to reassess the situation for you. You should also call the Helpdesk whenever you see the mould re-appearing so they can build up a record of the incidence of mould in your home. It would also really help MHS to know if this is a common problem on the street/estate as this could indicate a wider issue.
The Welfare Department would like to know of your situation too - please contact your respective UWO to inform them (101 Engr Reg 01223 203691 or  33 Engr Reg 01223 203698)

Thank you

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