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Just a thought

Michael Gove to crack down on mould-infested homes after toddler’s death

In how many of these will it mean ripping the insulation out? And the implication for the Green New Deal is?

BTW, the housing with the mould that killed the kid:

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Not a capitalist in sight…….

22 thoughts on “Just a thought”

  1. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Er, it’s uninsulated houses that are prone to mould, no? Cold walls meeting warm moist air?

    At least, that’s how The Science™ works in the Reich.

  2. “Er, it’s uninsulated houses that are prone to mould, no? Cold walls meeting warm moist air?”

    Mould in older houses was traditionally down to damp – somehow moisture was getting into the property, either through leaking roofs, rising damp in walls, or no damp proof membranes under floors. You don’t get mould in an uninsulated but dry house. Mould in modern houses is down to them being sealed too tightly (ie insulated boxes) that are then heated far too hot by the inhabitants. Most modern cases of mould problems would be solved by a) opening a window and b) turning the heating down.

  3. Depends on what’s being insulated, BiFR. If it’s a recent, purpose built, insulated house it’s unlikely you’ll get mould. It’s retrofitted where the problem’s happen.
    Most legacy housing stock was not built for modern lifestyles. The room temperatures people now expect. Many were built with fireplaces in the majority of the rooms & heated at need. Those fireplaces supplied ventilation. As did the closing gaps in the old sash windows.
    The people come along, replace the windows with double glazing, insulate the roof, block all the drafts & heat to 30C. About half of what you drink gets exhaled or perspired. Cooking produces moisture. Burning gas produces an equivalent amount of water for every litre of LNG. Unless the entire outside of the house is insulation clad you’ll get condensation. Lot of the inside can’t be insulated. Bathrooms were built for the bathroom furniture in them. You can’t take 2 or 3 inches out of the bathroom & still have a bath in it. Same with kitchens. How do you insulate a threepenny bit bay window & not have it look like a WW2 gun emplacement?
    There are ways to solve the problem I’ve used some of them. Powered circulatory ventilation’s one of them. Take hot air from where it accumulates up near the ceilings & redistribute it to the cold areas. But that takes electricity & electricity’s expensive.

  4. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    “Mould in modern houses is down to them being sealed too tightly (ie insulated boxes) that are then heated far too hot by the inhabitants.”

    Yes, I lived in a house like this where we had intractable mould problems. Poorly insulated, and had new windows put in around 1990. Painted the inside of the exterior walls every year, used mould stripper, antifungal paint, nothing worked.

    I then bought and moved to an absolutely identical house on the same estate, just one still with its original (1960s double glazed) windows. That are not quite as hermetically sealed. No mould. Ever. In over 10 years now.

  5. Also, ignorance + modern habits.
    Air is a poor store of heat. Rich folk used to have tapestries, wall hangings, thick curtains, heavy furniture. The air can be exchanged several times an hour and you won’t feel cold.
    Except when it’s foggy or raining, open the windows every day and when you are cooking.
    No more mould.

  6. Condensation can be caused by poor construction; but it can also be caused by lifestyle. In the latter case, it’s difficult to impossible to solve the condensation by changing the structure.

    Since this story broke, I’ve been wondering whether the neighbouring flats have the same problem. If they do, the structure is probably the problem. If they don’t, maybe it’s not the structure.

    Is it significant that the media haven’t been presenting a parade of neighbours complaining of mould?

  7. Open the bloody windows.

    Breathing, cooking, washing, all puts pints of water into the air every day.
    That water is either vented to the atmosphere or condenses on the wall, causing a viable habitat for endemic mould spores.

    Mould is caused by living in a sealed box. Government insulation mandates are causing this, by cutting off the ventilation. You have to defeat it by opening a window, or using an electric extraction fan.

    There is no problem so bad it cannot be made worse by Government intervention.
    But to get commonsense into modern politicians … you’re gonna need a cold chisel. Or Steve’s lions.

  8. It took some digging, but I managed to find a picture of the property the child in question lived in, rather than just shocking pictures of the mould itself. It’s a flat in a medium-rise block. It’s not the top floor, so it’s not the roof falling in. It’s not the bottom floor, so it’s not rising damp. A box a couple of dozen metres above the ground, surrounded by other boxes on four sides, should be immune to damp attacks by the weather. Which leads me down the line to suspecting the internally-generated moist air wasn’t being vented by the occupants.

    As to the mould, it looks like the sort of stuff I would get behind the sofa in the bay window until I got into the habit of dragging the sofa out whenever vacuuming. Y’know, to ensure the air was circulated.

  9. Quite.
    It looks more likely that the poor boy was killed by his parents’ ignorance and not by sub standard accommodation.

  10. Modern windows are equipped with trickle-vents, for precisely this reason. People block them up because they’re draughty, then complain about the damp.

  11. Many damp problems in the UK are caused by modern solutions applied to older housing stock. Solid walled properties, built to ‘breathe’, being painted with impermeable Snowcem that seals all the moisture in, etc.

    I confidently predict (another) government funding round to ‘improve’ insulation in order to meet out ‘net zero’ targets. Just like the last one, this will lob £billions to be grabbed by every cowboy in the country, who will be ringing doorbells and offering to ‘insulate’ their homes by squirting foam into the cavity walls – now that’ll give you a ‘damp problem’!

  12. Dehumidifier. Or two, preferably the silica type. Run them when windows need to be closed, open the windows when you can, not in wet/damp weather. Clean any mould off before it takes over.

  13. Some bloke on't t'internet

    We have a rental flat, and had one couple that were “a problem”.
    The first we knew of any problem was when we got a letter from teh council to say that a complaint has been made about mould – and suggesting completely bogus reasons for it that I should fix (i.e. the tenants wanted me to do some work that wasn’t needed). I responded that no previous tenant had had such a problem, I’ll look into it, etc., etc. and heard nothing back from the council.
    As mentioned above, the tenants had turned off the heating and sealed up all the vents. The bathroom extractor was turned off, and it was clear (from the “rain” marks down the inside of the kitchen window) they didn’t use the extractor fan over the hob.
    So they were told in no uncertain terms that the mould was of their making by misusing the property. It wasn’t long before we gave them notice due to a number of issues – of which this was just one. There was not a single surface in the flat that didn’t have mould on it – and since then, we’ve had a number of tenants, and other than the usual minor bits you tend to get behind furniture on outside walls, had no mould problems at all.

  14. From the first moment I saw this story I was wondering what the tenants were doing to create the conditions for so much mould. My money’s on them using calor gas burners to heat the flat. If they were burning butane (the blue cylinders), that’s 5 moles of water vapour for every 1 mole of gas burnt.

  15. Thanx to jgh’s comment I went looking for the story.
    The ceiling photo in this:
    along with the “enrichment” of the kid show the likely cause. It’s obviously the kitchen. Note the cooking ware on the shelves. A lot of the reason will be cultural. They’ll have one of those on the cooker for a good part of the day. It’s the cuisine of the culture. Something or other stewed for a very long time. The vapour released rises to condense on the ceiling adjacent to the outside wall. It also condenses in the largely unheated bathroom/lavatory. Heaven knows what the bedrooms look like.
    And again enrichment. Poor cold tolerance. As mentioned above, they may well be using bottled gas supplementary heating. No doubt there’s been very little ventilation at all. The combination will have that entire flat wringing wet for a good part of the year without any actual problems with the building whatsoever.
    It’s a problem you’ll commonly see throughout the UK’s cities. Result of re-housing the third world’s poor. The UK doesn’t build to cope with this sort of inhabitant.

  16. Incidentally, nowhere did I see how many people were supposed to be living there. Not saying it’d prove anything. A three bed flat may have a permitted occupancy of 6. In practise it can easily be a fluctuating number double that. Again cultural. And again, the flats just aren’t built for that.

  17. Reason to believe you’re not being told everything here. Or the people supplying the story weren’t interested in investigating.
    Look at the cooking pans in the photos of the kitchen. You can judge the volume by the size of the handles. You could feed a dozen people out of one of those & there are two visible. According to the story the father came from Somalia & the wife joined him a year later. They’ve produced the one kid. So why’s a one bed flat got the cooking capability of a small restaurant? Those pans aren’t cheap. They’re not something you buy if you don’t have a use for them

  18. ‘There is no excuse for having people in the UK living in homes which are in this condition.’

    An obvious solution is to evict people who cannot handle such accommodation. Or refuse to rent to them in the first place.

  19. Indeed the article complains about ‘hiding behind procedure’. So presumably if the bureaucrats running things had had free rein, the family would have been evicted for poor maintenance of their accommodation as soon as they complained.

  20. Gove needs to be removed, he’s become a woke green twat

    The 2 yo child that died verdict stinks. Parents say they’d been complaing for Years about mould

    – Why didn’t they move
    – Why didn’t they use bleech, mould killer
    – Why did they have a child when flat so bad then put in mouldy bedroom

    It’s more emotion driven agenda of ‘not our fault’

    It’s like “Council’s fault my child fell out open window”. Some are not fit to be parents

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