Sarah Garry CEO PCA Sarah Garry CEO PCA

Trade body calls for a new approach to ventilation to protect householders

A national trade body is calling for more regulatory action to shield householders from the dangers of damp and mould in their homes.

The Property Care Association says more needs to be done to ensure that ventilation systems operate effectively in protecting properties and residents from the unsightly and unhealthy problems caused by excess moisture indoors.

Sarah Garry, Chief Executive of the PCA, said: “There’s a great deal of attention paid to factors such as vehicle emissions on air quality, but we want people to think about their homes too.

“We often hear of people’s lives being blighted by the presence of mould and poor indoor air quality in properties.

“Such conditions can exacerbate respiratory illness, affect mental health, diminish comfort and increase the cost of heating. Sadly, there can even be fatal consequences.

“That is the seriousness of damp and mould.

“Effective ventilation has a vital part to play in controlling the issue, but there are too many cases where installations are carried out by well-meaning contractors who simply do not have any understanding of ventilation, or the various regulations and guidance documents.

“This is coupled with few building control checks or enforcement action taken to ensure ventilation is installed that is fit for purpose.

“This has huge repercussions for residents. In 2020, research amongst PCA members revealed that they believed fewer than 30% of installations complied with Building Regulations.

“We hope the catalyst for change will be the new Building Safety Act, which should put greater emphasis on best practice, and require anyone carrying out design, construction and refurbishment work to be competent in their roles.

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“However, such is the seriousness of ventilation and indoor air quality that we need to see the issue covered at a national policy level, with an agreed framework and robust reporting structures in place to deliver healthier homes and buildings.

“This will give the public the confidence to know that measures are in place to ensure they have the right ventilation system installed, and ultimately significantly reduce the impact of damp and mould in homes.”

The PCA recently launched specialist training for installers and building control professionals to help provide a better understanding of compliant ventilation systems.

PCA members, including those in the trade body’s specialist Residential Ventilation Group, can also signpost homeowners to appropriate and reliable ventilation solutions, based on diagnostic investigations and best practice.

For help and support on home ventilation, visit: PCA’s Residential Ventilation Group – helping Homeowners & Professionals (property-care.org)

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