Last year the lab investigated the issue of damp and condensation at great length. Our findings triggered a number of separate mini-projects across our repairs and contact center teams - each intending to resolve disputed cases faster and in a way that's ultimately helpful for the customer.
Training was rolled out across the board, helping colleagues to distinguish between cases of damp (rising or penetrating water) and condensation (vapour in the air cooling into water droplets on a cold surface - i.e. a steamy bathroom mirror after a hot shower). Both can typically lead to black mould, usually this is when customers get in touch with us. However, the former is much more likely to cause property damage if left for long, so it was always in our interests to get in quickly and fix it. Spotting it earlier is good for everyone - and the training program enables this, but what if mould is caused by condensation?
Alas, the spine of the problem. Aside from attributing mould growth to customer 'lifestyle' choices (i.e. cooking without pan lids, drying clothes on radiators or turning off extractor fans) and showing customers how better to ventilate their homes, nothing. Bromford had no larger response to condensation. That was the case wrapped up - at least until it was reported again in a couple of weeks, every year, forever.
The Ventive pilot has had mixed reviews, with (from what I gather) generally favorable outcomes for customers but super disruptive to install. The tech is also really quite expensive and will of course only improve the ventilation of the property, not the insulation or type and affordability of heating - the trifecta of condensation causes.
This is why 'condensation' is back int' Lab. Could we construct a graduated repairs response to condensation? One that targets the specific underlying causes for each property and encourages us to really act on behalf of our customers?
Yes. Here it is in it's untested, prototype, as-yet-unapproved form. I have absolutely no idea how much it could cost (that's for our repairs boffins to figure out), but there's the potential to recoup costs if we cut down recurring calls and surveyor visits. Maybe.