Child’s mould death: Call for tougher enforcement of Building Regs

Child’s mould death
Image: Graham Corney |

Trade body the Property Care Association (PCA) has called for more stringent enforcement of Building Regulations to tackle the problem of damp and mould in homes.

The PCA said its members were seeing a “significant rise” in problems with excess moisture in UK properties.

It warns the current system is failing to tackle problems emerging in a new generation of humid homes. And it highlighted the “critical importance” of adequate ventilation.

The renewed call comes following a ruling by a coroner yesterday (15 November) that a toddler died from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould in his home. Two-year-old Awaab Ishak’s father had raised the problem of mould in the family’s flat with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), but no action was taken, according to the BBC.

Residential Ventilation Group

The PCA had already set up the Residential Ventilation Group prior to the news, to promote greater compliance with Building Regulations when installing ventilation systems.

The group has been pressing for more robust Building Regulations to tackle the issue.

Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA said that increased levels of occupation, rising fuel costs, a drive to make homes more energy efficient and warmer, wetter weather driven by climate change were all contributing to the problem.

He said: “Key to addressing the issue is the installation of appropriate and efficient ventilation.

“However, despite the impact that good ventilation can have on a property’s moisture levels, the current regulation and guidance setting out minimum requirements in homes is mixed and usually ignored or misunderstood.

“This needs addressing as a priority, as a great many of the problems faced could be improved through the correct use of appropriate ventilation strategies.”

The PCA said it was also “concerned” about current format of Approved Document F, the Building Regulation which addresses ventilation in homes.

James Berry, the PCA’s technical manager, added: “Approved Document F does not get the attention it deserves and is not enforced to the same extent as other areas of the Building Regulations. But the effects of failing to provide adequate ventilation should be taken much more seriously.”

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