Following the launch of the Awaab’s Law consultation, Klober is urging social housing providers to collaborate with contractors to address mould and damp issues in the roof space.
The legal proposal outlines timescales for repairs on social housing. Under the new requirements, landlords must investigate reports of damp and mould within 14 days. Nick King, portfolio manager at Klober, is reminding housing providers of the importance of whole house health and is encouraging them to ensure all areas of the home are ventilated.
Nick said: “It’s extremely important to resolve damp and mould in the main living areas of homes, as we’ve seen the severe and sad reality of the health implications that these issues pose. But landlords must also consider spaces that present hidden hazards.
“Ceiling voids and lofts can become susceptible to condensation if appropriate ventilation isn’t factored in during specification. And since most of us don’t spend time in this space, issues often go unnoticed.”
Inadequate ventilation, humidity and insufficient insulation are frequently cited as factors contributing to condensation in roofs and lofts. As a result, top floor living rooms could become hazardous from a health perspective, as well as there being increased risk of structural damage.
Signs of mould include a musty odour, and black, green or brown discolouration on walls or ceilings. Damp can be identified by wet patches on internal walls, peeling wallpaper or blistering paint.
There are a wide range of breathable membranes available, but when specified correctly, breathable membranes that are also air permeable can be an excellent choice as they allow air to pass through freely while controlling movement of water and moisture, without the need for additional ventilation. However, roof ventilation can be retrofitted in existing properties.
Nick said: “Regardless of Awaab’s Law and the outcome of the consultation, social housing providers have a responsibility to safeguard residents. This includes implementing preventative measures against condensation and associated damp or mould. Therefore, collaborating with skilled roofers to select either tile vents or eaves ventilation is recommended. By the same token, roofing contractors who may have questions around roof space ventilation can always speak to us for help.”
Eaves ventilation includes fascia vents and roll out rafter trays as well as a loft vent tray which is ideal for retrofit applications, and often used when loft insulation is upgraded. Meanwhile, tile vents are installed on the exterior of the roof, fitting within the tiles.
To help housing providers and roofing contractors understand the ventilation requirements for pitched roofs, Klober has developed a guide covering British Standards, installation tips and how to find the right tile vent for each application.