Monday July 18 2011
VPS, the vacant property specialists have been appointed to eradicate mould, restore affected areas and mitigate the risks caused by the problem in Ysgol Estyn Community School, Wrexham.
Every year local authority buildings face serious problems with mould growth. The winter months can cause havoc inside properties. An increase in natural materials being used in the home and a decrease in ventilation effectively helps create ideal mould growth conditions and turn properties into giant ‘grow-bags’.
All homes and buildings contain mould spores, which can thrive when the conditions are right. Damp and moist areas resulting from water leaks, penetrating moisture, rising damp and unheated areas in a house, such as a basement, provide the ideal environment for mould to grow. The most common cause of mould is condensation which is made worse by a lack of heating and inadequate ventilation.
Mould doesn’t just damage material objects; it can rot away wood, plaster, drywall and building material which,
if left untreated, may weaken the building’s structure. As well as affecting the health of the property, it can also cause problems to those inhabiting the building. The allergens, irritants and toxins produced by mould can cause reactions in humans. With such severe risks to health, local authorities need to ensure their tenants are properly protected.
In 2004, mould was classified as Category One and Two risks to health under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) causing the same threat to human health as asbestos. A Category One case of mould can cause severe respiratory problems, cancer and could even be fatal. Category Two mould incidences can cause lung problems, instigate asthma and exaggerate symptoms for asthma sufferers.
Local authorities have a duty of care for those occupying the building, whether these are staff and pupils in schools, the general public or civil servants.In order to protect them, local authorities, housing associations and letting agents are legally required to ensure their properties are free from damp and mould and clear any mould outbreak within a 28 day time frame, making it essential to resolve the issue.
Ysgol Estyn Community School, Wrexham, was built in 1905. After more than 100 years of use, areas of the school began to develop substantial mould growth, caused by ineffective insulation and damp, which badly affected the fabric of the building. Due to the negative health effects of mould on occupants in the building, and the public liability to pupils, staff and visitors to the school, the local authority decided that immediate and professional action was needed. VPS were appointed to eradicate the mould, restore affected areas and mitigate the risks caused by the problem.