Mould takes over Swiss houses as tenants try to slash heating bills
As many people in Switzerland try to cut back on their utility bills, a number of tenant associations have raised concerns that mould is taking over many apartments in Switzerland. Not only can the fungus cause visual and structural damage to apartments and houses in Switzerland, but breathing in its spores can also leave residents in the hospital.
Mould cases rising in Switzerland
According to an investigation done by SRF’s 10 vor 10 programme, the number of households with a mould infestation has increased over the winter period, as people have turned their heating off to save money. Tenant and housing associations as well as landlords have been inundated with reports of mouldy properties and requests for renovations.
Roger Frei, head of building renovations at Rolf Schlagenhauf AG, told the show that "less heating and high humidity increase the risk of mould forming, especially on the outside walls." Since the start of the winter season, the Swiss government has been urging people to turn their heating down or off as rising prices and supply shortages put pressure on the Swiss energy sector, although this crisis has now been largely abated.
Criticism over Swiss government energy-saving plan
Frei criticised the Swiss government’s energy-saving plan for failing to encourage people to ventilate their homes better when they turn the heating down. "Unfortunately, it does not say that those who heat less should ventilate more specifically at the same time", Frei told 10 vor 10.
In order to protect yourself from the damage that mould can do, experts advise that you don’t try to remove it yourself, as you could breathe the spores in. Instead, it’s recommended to report a mould infestation to your landlord via a registered letter, or hire a specialist who has the proper protective equipment to remove the mould safely.