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‘Real world’ survey to chart condensation in homes

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‘Real world’ survey to chart condensation in homes

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Published by Jo Foster for Property Care Association in Housing and also in Education, Environment, Health

Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Property Care Association Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Property Care Association

A national trade body is putting condensation under the spotlight with a comprehensive study of occupied homes in the UK - believed to be the largest of its type undertaken across the nation.

Later this year homes across the country are going to be monitored using state-of-the-art data loggers, to track atmospheric moisture conditions, under the research project, being run by the Property Care Association (PCA).

The information will then be analysed by academics and experts within the property field.

Their findings could provide a broader picture on why some homes are affected by mould and damp more than others, with the results likely to be of interest to a wide-range of specialists including those in social housing, surveying, construction, building preservation, environmental health and local authorities.

Homes of various types of construction and in different parts of the UK, will be monitored with data monitors.  These will read moisture, temperature and humidity levels in the properties over a specific time period.

The information gleaned will be used to support the PCA’s training programme, which includes courses on condensation and atmospheric moisture management in occupied houses.

The findings will be the basis of an academic paper, which will publish the survey’s analysed results.

Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Property Care Association, said: “Modern living and airtight homes are all helping to make condensation in the UK a problem on the rise.

“Dampness and mould growth in homes were problems once associated with poverty and poor housing.  However, recent strong anecdotal evidence would suggest that these issues are becoming of increasing concern in properties that are well maintained and cared for by their owners.

“Now we need more information to get to grips with the facts, and this survey will help us to achieve that.

“To our knowledge, no-one has done this type of study over the same period across such a wide number of properties.

“Previous studies have been completed with very limited data sets, with only a few properties, and are often reliant on supposition and computer modelling.

“We will be looking into the atmospheric conditions that prevail in occupied houses that are affected by damp, are poorly heated, fitted with retrofit insulation, affected by mould or are indeed performing well with no problems.

“The data can be fully analysed to understand better the issue of moisture in buildings.

“From this we will then be able to build a picture of information, such as what are normal levels, and what are the real triggers that can result, from two similar homes, that one can have a problem with condensation and the other not.

“Ultimately, the findings can help us to remove the myths surrounding atmospheric moisture and recommend the best control measures.”

To register interest in the survey results, please email anna@property-care.org for the latest updates and information.

www.property-care.org

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