The silent threat lurking in British homes

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Sudden cold and soaring energy bills have created the perfect conditions for mould.

Something menacing is lurking behind the doors of British homes, hiding at the back of the sofa and peeking around window frames.

The sudden cold winter and blistering energy prices have created the perfect conditions for the rise of a particular blight across the country. Surveyors have reported a tenfold increase in calls from worried landlords and homeowners who have discovered damp and mould hiding in their ­properties – and threatening to cause chaos.

Older houses, from Victorian and Edwardian homes all the way up to those built in the 1920s, are most at risk, but mid-20th century builds also prove fertile ground for a problem that can have terrible effects on our homes and our health.

Gary Petrie of Kenwood Damp Proofing says dampness has been a more noticeable problem this year as people look to save money on energy bills.

“The colder weather came on quite suddenly,” he says. “We had a long warm summer and then the weather got very cold very quickly at a time when people were reluctant to use the heating. People are holding off putting the heating on as long as possible at a time when the weather has got very cold, so there is a noticeable uptick in damp problems.”

If the air inside the home gets colder it can hold less moisture, which therefore condenses on cold surfaces and causes damp. When the moisture soaks into internal surfaces, mould can suddenly start to grow.

It is perhaps natural to want to keep all the windows closed to retain heat in the house instead of turning the radiators up, particularly when household budgets are squeezed. But a lack of ventilation can make the problem worse…

The silent threat lurking in British homes

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