A pilot scheme is to be carried out in a bid to deal more effectively with condensation in council houses in Moray.
Councillors are being asked to agree to a programme of works in specific house types to develop a model specification for dealing with condensation and damp.
The main control property will be a standard cavity-walled house with full gas heating, adequate levels of insulation, double glazed windows and mechanical ventilation, although other house types will also feature in the pilot.
The council’s communities committee will be told that staff from the housing and property section have been looking at how the impact of condensation and damp can be reduced in the council’s housing stock.
A report to the committee says that property design – in conjunction with improved doors, windows, heating and insulation – has resulted in homes being more energy efficient but also more airtight.
“While improving the overall condition of a property, these factors do however restrict natural ventilation and in turn can result in a build-up of condensation and/or dampness if the property is not properly ventilated.”
The report says a lack of natural ventilation can lead to a build-up of moisture and mould growth, with the problem most prevalent from October to March when householders use their heating more and are less likely to open windows to prevent heat escaping.
“It is essential that occupants open windows and ventilators or use mechanical ventilation – extractor fans – to mitigate the risk.
“The majority of tenants who contact the council with a dampness problem assume that it is the fabric of the building that is causing the issue. In many cases, however, the problem is really one of condensation.
“Officers do remind tenants about the need for adequate heating, ventilation and the importance of having air movement within the property.”
The report recognises, however, that some tenants live in properties which are hard to heat and that financial pressures in relation to heating costs are a significant issue for some that ultimately prevents them from adequately ventilating their home.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.