Mould! That's the answer according to research conducted by CensusWide which revealed that mould is comfortably the most unappealing thing for house viewers.
Nearly 50% of people indicated that that they would be put off choosing a property if they spotted mould during a viewing. The next two biggest factors, animal smells (32%) and garish decoration (13%) paled in comparison to mould problems. Compounding this issue is the fact that a third of those surveyed said that they had suffered mould problems but did not know how to permanently solve them.
This is a genuinely horrifying statistic and reinforces my belief that the biggest problem isn’t mould, but it’s the lack of understanding by homeowners and landlords of who to turn to for help with finding the cause – and the right fix. Unfortunately in my experience, many then turn to their plumber or builder for help, who do what they can to fix it, but as they aren’t fully qualified surveyors who are experts in causes of mould and condensation, they don’t necessarily diagnose the problem properly.
Peter Haynes, Product Manager at EnviroVent, said: “This is enlightening reading for anyone who is looking to sell or rent out a property and it highlights a problem that many people still do not understand the link between damp and poor indoor air quality or realise how important it is to have effective ventilation in the home. Although sellers may wipe away the mould, there is no hiding the fusty smell as soon as a prospective buyers walk through the door – and with conventional treatments the mould will soon be back! What’s also interesting is that people are less prepared to put up with condensation and mould than ever before.”
Somewhat shockingly, the research also revealed that just under 15% of people in the UK would prefer to move out of their property than sort out their mould issues. This statistic rises to over 20% in the 16-24 demographic, a group who are largely renters but falls to under 10% in over 55s.
The good news is this really doesn’t have to be a major problem – or a major fix. Landlords and homeowners can find simple and cost effective solutions as long as the cause has been diagnosed properly. For example, some solutions such purely improving ventilation in the property through specialist systems such as EnviroVent's aptly named “Mr Venty” will draw in fresh, filtered, clean air from outside and ventilate the house from a central position. This can help to dilute and displace moisture in the air which may be the cause of the condensation which in turn is one of the key reasons mould appears in a property in the first place.
For more advice on identifying solving mould and other common home maintenance issues read our checklist from EviroVent:-
Identifying and Solving Condensation, Damp and Mould Checklist