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IoT sensors deployed in Devon to combat damp and mould

Mid Devon Housing launches a six month project to pepper environment sensing IoT devices in homes in order to help analyse the problem of damp and mould with data analytics.

January 22, 2024

3 Min Read

In an ongoing battle with the elements, housing provider Mid Devon Housing has been looking for new ways to solve the problem of mould and damp, and over the past few years has turned to technology for some answers. These include the introduction of in-home environmental monitoring and diagnostic tools.

During a new six-month project it will be deploying some more environmental sensing IoT technology in a portion of homes to understand their performance – by which it presumably means how much damp is about or soon to be about.

This is on top of an existing environmental monitoring project alongside with Aico HomeLINK, which provides the technology, and has seen 50 environmental sensors connected across 12 homes to date – providing insights into damp, mould and air quality risks. Aico HomeLINK is also working with other housing providers in the UK in this vein, including Poplar Harca, Stirling Council and Hull City Council.

Chris Jones, the firm’s CEO, said of the damp and mould initiative: “Mid Devon District Council’s efforts are an example of proactive social landlord that is embracing technology to improve the health and wellbeing of its tenants. In line with some of the Housing Ombudsman's examples of best practice, they have been using our new technology to identify and address the root cause of mould issues as well as ascertain the effectiveness of remedial works. 

“They are among a growing band of social housing pioneers that are looking to understand homes by measuring indicators such as moisture levels and temperatures which help them to understand and tackle issues like damp and mould before they become a crisis.” 

Rosie Wills, Technical Support & Repairs Manager at Mid Devon Housing added: “By actively involving tenants, and making best use of the expertise of our long-standing staff, we are confident in our ability to staying true to our mission of providing safe, comfortable homes for our residents. Recent reports have highlighted our proactive work to tackle the nationally important and prevalent issue of damp and mould. Another example of our continued drive to put tenant welfare at the heart of what we do.”

It might seem a somewhat pedestrian use of IoT compared to some of the mad ideas that get banded around CES –  like fridges that presumptuously order eggs for you and turn your kitchen into a rave, or two-legged facial expression reading house robots that take a look at the state of your face when you come through the door and play some content it thinks is appropriate –  but at least its trying to solve an actual problem.

And it’s a particularly front-of-mind problem at the moment, since we are in the middle of one of the UK’s characteristically long sub-optimal weather spells, during which time it feels like Britain is not so much an island made of land and more like a large damp sponge bobbing around in the North Atlantic, slapped around by unreasonable winds and kept damp and miserable beneath a wintery forever-rain. <what’s this story about again? – ed>

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