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Homeowner Refurbish Project

A community comes together to refurbish a pensioner’s mould riddled home

Case Study


When the friend of a lady pensioner - who has limited means and is registered blind - stepped through the door of her home in Swindon, Wiltshire, having not been inside since the pandemic started, she was horrified by the site that met her. The home was covered in mould, floorboards had rotted through in places and it had become rat infested. The home only had electricity in two rooms and no central heating after it stopped working two years before. Furthermore, pipes had burst inside due to major water surges in the area, and the homeowner had been unable to fix them.

Her friend had been a regular visitor before the pandemic and continued to support her through it and after by doing her shopping, but had stopped entering the property. The homeowner had become increasingly ill from the damp and mould blanketing her walls and furniture and reached out to her friend, asking for her help to clean her bedroom. Her friend immediately realised the serious – and extensive - nature of the problem and put a call out for help on social media and set up a GoFundMe page to pay for local tradespeople to make the home habitable once more. Little did either of them expect the incredibly generous response received: £120,000.00 was raised and local tradespeople offered their services.

Bathroom Home


Emerald Damp Specialists, based in Swindon, stepped up to help and took on the management of the project. With the homeowner moving in with her friend temporarily, Emerald assessed the damage to the property which they estimated to be around £121,000.00 worth of work.

The first step in the process was to fumigate the property and bring in a pest controller to rid the place of the rats. Then all the furniture and wet items were removed, followed by ripping out all the damaged parts of the property, including floorboards, the entire kitchen, and the heating system.

With the homeowner having an underlying health condition exacerbated by living in damp, mouldy conditions, it was essential that part of the work being done to the property include adequate ventilation to prevent damp and mould forming again. A long standing Nuaire customer, Emerald approached us to help.


Nuaire donated a Drimaster-Eco Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) system and two Faith-Plus continuous running mixed flow axial fans to Emerald, for installation into the newly repaired and refurbished home.

Drimaster-Eco eliminates condensation dampness, whilst filtering any harmful outdoor air pollutants. It works by gently introducing fresh, filtered air into a dwelling. Installed in the loft, external air is drawn into the unit then passed through the filters before being pushed around the home through a diffuser. As the air moves, it creates pressure as it dilutes, displaces, and eventually replaces the stale air in the home.

The Faith-Plus fans have been installed in each bathroom. These new fans have been designed and built by Nuaire to achieve the ventilation rates as set out in Part F and L Building Regulations, which was revised in 2021 with higher rates than previously required. They are suitable for wall, ceiling and window installation in kitchens, bathrooms and other wet rooms.

As a damp specialist, Emerald is experienced in installing PIV and extract fans, and finds them extremely easy to fit. More importantly, they also find them to be extremely effective in elevating condensation and preventing damp and mould.

At the Swindon home, there has been no return of condensation and mould in the property. “It’s eradicated” states Emerald Team Manager Brendan O'Neill “and the homeowner is over the moon. We often install PIVs, but people frequently don’t realise that despite it being one unit, it’s a whole house ventilation solution and far more effective than a single fan in a bathroom.”

This is the first time Emerald has ever managed a project of this scale, which took eight weeks to complete, with Emerald working every evening, including a visit on Christmas Day! The homeowner is full of praise and thanks towards Emerald and all that they have done for her and her transformed home.

Despite the estimated £121,000.00 the project was expected to reach, the generosity of the public and local companies – including Howdens whose provided a new kitchen, and Roberts and Prowse who supplied and installed a new heating system – mean that Emerald managed to complete all the work to the property for just £16,500.00.

Bathroom Refurb
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