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I've recently been working on a project with a local council to detect certain/prolonged levels of temperature and humidity in order to deliver an alert of potential mould or damp problems. Mould and moisture damage is an expensive problem they face regularly, mainly because they don't have the same access to their properties/manpower to check as private landlords might. We are also trying to measure occupancy levels to determine if a property is being misused.
So I have some questions for you nice landlords...
Do mould and damp usually create significant problems for private landlords? If so, how do you deal with it?Is there any sort of system/technology that can alert you to take action in order to prevent damage from occurring?
If a system was available that would report things like temperature, humidity, air quality, and rough occupancy, would you find it interesting?
It's a project I'm keen to develop further, but if it already exists or doesn't have a place then it's a bit of a waste! Would love to hear people's thoughts, good or bad.
Most damp and mould problems are caused by tenant lifestyles
They refuse to ventilate or heat the property properly.
So any sensor would be going off continually!
But it would be useful from a black box perspective to enable a LL to prove that the tenant had not been complying with tenancy conditions nor have been behaving in a tenant like manner.
That's where the magic of data analysis comes in!
You obviously wouldn't want something as rudimentary as a high humidity alert every time a threshold was exceeded, but you would be interested in prolonged high humidity environments and other trends.
But if you are getting constant alerts still, then installing some active ventilation system could end up being more cost effective in the long run.
What sort of tenancy conditions do you think you might be able to prove? I'm not all that familiar with standard tenancy agreements.
Usually it is blocking up ventilation fans or bricks.
Plus keeping windows closed and not having heating on
Then hanging up wet clothes and cooking along with showers etc.
It states in most tenancy agreements that heating is be used when temperatures drop below 10°C
But there is definitely a place for digital type NEST equipment which LL might be able to access remotely.
This is about as close as you can get from what I've seen at an affordable figure.
This seems like a good idea. But for the cost of the one that Adam_B is talking about you may as well get a dehumidifier which includes a display that shows the humidity level anyway. This one costs less than £200 https://www.mouldremoving.com/products/ecoair-dc12/
Note, the display showing 55.
Just rediscovered this thread and the NuAire devices you mention seem very interesting and price-wise they're fine.
I like the idea of being able to set it for say 4hrs a day when the tenant has got up.
Have you used one yourself?
I've had the EcoAir DC12 for a few months now and while I think it's doing brilliantly.. I suspect it hasn't really had a great enough chance to flex it's muscle. I know a couple of other people who recommended it to me though, one of whom had left it with the tenants of his property last year and they're really pleased with it (or at least they've stopped moaning).
Yes mould is a problem caused mainly by tenants lifestyles.
So I deal mainly by education and then intensive education if they ignore
If they don`t learn then the cost of rectification may be passed on to them
Sometimes though its the inherent building design and then its more of a joint effort between us
The council use sensors when the EHO are called in but i dont know their cost
Would i buy one for every property if a £20 unit was designed - answer no I`m afraid
You may need several for a property in the moisture producing areas
Its not really comparable to smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in terms of immediacy and necessity to save life
So nice to have but not need to have in my view.
The human eye and our sense of smell are sufficient detectors in the majority of cases
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
There is a lot of information here:Solution for mould and condensation You could also contact byemould.com as they would surely have additional insights and information.