If left untreated, mould and dampness in homes can cause potentially life-threatening respiratory conditions. While this is a problem that can potentially affect any house, it has become prevalent in social and private housing sectors, where mould has all too frequently been ignored, treated inadequately or without sufficient urgency.
As is often the case, it took a tragic death to bring change to this situation.
In December 2020, two-year-old Awaab Ishak died from a respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to mould in the social housing flat he called home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. The coroner called this “a defining moment”.
With a fast-tracked review of the present guidance surrounding the health impacts of damp and mould already underway, the Government has now tabled amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill. Dubbed “Awaab’s Law”, these will require landlords to investigate claims of damp and mould and fix serious problems within strict time limits.
The Housing Ombudsman will also be given new powers to ensure compliance with the new regulations, placing pressure on the housing sector to carry out urgent remedial works. This has understandably raised concerns in the sector, but with the right approach to mould and damp removal and treatment, landlords and tenants have nothing to fear.
The first step in eradicating mould from a property is to identify the cause of the mould. This will often be due to excess moisture, lack of ventilation or a combination of the two.
Any material or surfaces that are porous – wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpets – will retain moisture and can encourage mould growth. If these cannot be effectively cleaned and the mould neutralised, they should be removed from the property.
Once the sources of moisture and damp have been identified and rectified it’s important to remove and neutralise any remaining mould. This isn’t just because it looks unsightly; untreated mould spores will continue to be a health hazard and will encourage the return of further growth.
When removing mould from a property, care needs to be taken to protect the operatives carrying out the work and the residents, and to minimise legal disrepair claims.
This is where Pura+ from Maxam comes into its own. This two-part mould treatment and protection system carries no risks of harm to human health but creates an effective barrier against the return of mould growth. It is also safe and easy to apply and with little to no damage to existing décor.
Pura+ is a two-step process that first encapsulates and removes the mould and then creates an invisible antimicrobial barrier that inhibits future growth.
You can also watch our video here to see how easy and effective Pura+ is on mould.
More than 100 UK housing groups have successfully used Pura+ to treat mould in homes. Here’s what a few of them have said about it.
Solihull Community Housing.
Health & Safety Section, Walsall Housing Group
Places For People
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