Mould is an area of great concern for social housing providers. Our changeable British climate makes properties increasingly vulnerable to damp and mould, with social housing residents facing the bulk of mould-related problems.
With the presence of mould comes the risk of adverse health effects; from skin rashes to respiratory issues, damp and mould can be detrimental to the health of vulnerable tenants such as the elderly or those living with disabilities. Mould also has long-term effects on the property itself, which can lead to expensive and lengthy repair process if the root cause is not properly addressed. There are also the risk of costly disrepair claims which have been on the rise since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. These factors have left providers desperately searching for an effective solution to the issue of mould, one that could reduce the risk of health concerns and financial burdens. This is where technology may be of use.
But how can technology help combat the presence of mould?
Technologies like the kind offered here at Switchee gives providers valuable insight into the internal conditions of their properties. This data driven approach allows housing providers to identify the properties most at-risk for damp and mould, giving them the opportunity to implement effective solutions before the problem takes root.
What technologies are available?
The main technologies that are helping providers mitigate the risk of mould are actually upgraded versions of existing tech. The Smart Thermostat and the Smart Ventilation system are the most common examples of technology that are being used to fight against the onset of damp and mould within properties.
Smart Thermostats, like the kind on offer here at Switchee, monitor the internal conditions of a property, and adapt to fit the resident’s routine. The Smart Thermostat is able to identify many of the factors that contribute to damp and mould by learning from a property’s temperature and humidity data. Switchee’s Smart Thermostat keeps track of the average temperature, humidity, and air flow of a home and uploads the data to a secure server which providers can access at their convenience. This allows providers to address problem areas across a wide range of properties. Smart Thermostats optimise the energy usage of a home, reducing waste and lowering energy bills which benefits both residents and providers alike.
Smart Ventilation systems work in a similar way. These systems learn from the residents and adapt to fit individual habits and routines, reacting to the environment within a property. Insufficient ventilation can cause a range of problems within a home. The most common issue is that poor airflow can lead to damp and mould issues, which can be costly to fix and have a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of a resident. The installation of Smart Ventilation systems can help prevent this by regulating airflow and by venting extra water vapour out of a property, thereby reducing the overall humidity.
These technologies provide a data driven experience giving providers more control over their properties by allowing them to monitor and analyse the inner conditions of a property on a remote basis. By installing these innovative technologies across their stock, providers can easily identify and monitor their most vulnerable properties, giving them the ability to pinpoint patterns and behaviours that could be to blame for the onset of problems (such as damp or mould) before these issues can spiral out of control.