Jason & Stuart feature image
Jason Stretton and Stuart McNeal joined Grand Union in September 2022 in specialist roles that deal with damp, mould and condensation issues. Jason explained the kind of work they’ve been doing.

“In our role we tend to be the first visit for damp and mould treatment. When I arrive at a customer’s home, I always try to go around all the rooms to check for any other signs of damp or mould. If we find anything, we always try to take pictures first. 

After that, we get sheets down and use a specialist product called fungi blitz which is specifically designed to eliminate deep lying mould spores."

“We wash the areas down with this and then talk the customer through how long it takes to dry and what the next stages are.”

Part of Grand Union’s approach has been to use technology to help solve damp, mould and condensation issues. Stuart explained that they use damp meters during visits.

“These measure the levels of moisture in walls which allow us to identify where an issue could be coming from.

“There are certain signs we can recognise too by eye. Sometimes you can see signs of damp in a corner of a room, so I’d have a look outside to see if there’s anything that could be causing it, such as a blocked gutter. We’re always looking for reasons.” 

While Grand Union never treat damp, mould and condensation as a lifestyle issue, the team know that it can often be really useful for them to pass on valuable advice and guidance that will help reduce or even remove the issues. 

Stuart explained: “I visited a customer recently who was drying her washing inside, which we all do during the winter. If you put your washing outside in November, you’ll be bringing it in in March! However, she said she didn’t open the trickle vents because it’s too cold.

“So that’s where I explained that the moisture needs to go somewhere, so you should open the trickle vents or ideally open the window in the room for a bit.

“We suggest lots of little things and even if customers don’t do everything, doing one or two can really make a difference.”

Jason added: “We understand it’s tricky though with the cost-of-living crisis at the moment. People are dubious about having the windows open and letting heat out if it’s cold outside. That’s fine, but we often find people with radiators crammed with things drying and sofas pushed in front of it. Houses are like us; they need to breathe. 

I’ve also visited a few homes where people don’t open the curtains to try to keep the heat in. All that does though is contain moisture in the home – from cooking, showering and even breathing. 

We obviously aren’t trying to tell people how to live, but we can advise them on how to make a difference.”

Both Jason and Stuart know that they’re playing their part in making a difference to customers, helping to ensure they are safe in their homes. And it’s knowing this that makes the job so rewarding, as Stuart says.

“It’s not the most glamourous of jobs, but if we can make customers’ lives better by giving them a safe environment to live in, then that’s all that matters.”

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Grand Union Housing Group Limited Registered office: K2, Timbold Drive, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ Grand Union Housing Group Limited is a Charitable Community Benefit Society registered in England & Wales No. 7853, regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing No. 5060, and is a member of the National Housing Federation.