Tag Archives: auto immune

Damp rooms drive Danielle to despair

Sometimes the wait for repairs and maintenance to social housing can be frustrating but for Danielle Ewart and her partner it became a matter of great concern.

Danielle lives with a chronic auto immune disease which puts her at greater risk of contracting illnesses which most other people’s immune systems would naturally protect against. It then follows that she needs to guard against some hazards that others take in their stride.

Danielle Ewart and partner Barry
Danielle Ewart and partner Barry

Danielle lives with her partner Barry and two children, a daughter age 5yrs and a son almost  one year old. The property, in Salt’s Close, Enderby, is managed by a housing association ‘The Waterloo Housing Group’ based in Birmingham.

A leak from a pipe in the bathroom in early summer 2017 was questionably repaired and a leak was still occurring. Danielle sought advice from the Housing Association representative in Leicester who said that a ‘minor repair’ was required (but in fact was never satisfactorily actioned).

The representative’s visit also revealed that Danielle’s Kitchen was missing an extractor fan and the extractor fan fitted in the bathroom was not appropriate and should have been fitted with a sensor and dehumidifier.

This is a contributory factor to what has been a build up of damp and mould in different parts of the home. It is of concern to Danielle because mould can trigger a number of ailments, including respiratory conditions, that her body’s immune system has difficulty in protecting against.

She tries regularly to keep on top of cleaning the mould away but it’s a dis-heartening chore.

Aware of the need for ventilation, Danielle regularly opens windows and doors to ensure a through flow of air.

To make matters worse, her children suffer from constant coughs and degrees of eczema which adds to the importance of keeping on top of the damp and mould.

Eczema flare up on Danielle's son
Picture shows eczema flare up on Danielle’s young son

The NHS Choices website says if you live with damp and mould you’re more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system. Singled out as being more sensitive to the effects of a damp and/or mouldy environment are:

  • those with existing skin problems, such as eczema
  • those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthmas
  • those with a weakened immune system

The home also suffers from inconsistent operation of the central heating boiler.

After the water system was drained by the housing association’s workers to effect a minor repair last year, there have been problems.

Danielle told Enderby EYE:

I’ve had no real boiler system as one day I can have heating and hot water other days just one or the other and some days none!

The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred last Sunday (18th February) when the leak from the bathroom became worse. So much so that the following day water began to cascade through the living room ceiling.

To Danielle, it didn’t appear that Waterloo Housing Group were taking her seriously when she was reporting problems so she took to social media to describe her issues. Danielle wrote on Facebook:

……I also had live wires without a junction box in my tank cupboard for three years (in Grace’s room!) that my gas technician that did my checks yearly signed to say were safe till I had ‘on call’ out to fix my boiler and realised that many things I’m living with were extremely dangerous in terms of gas!

She also rang the housing association to say that she had spoken to Enderby EYE and others regarding her issues and, within hours, a local contractor was on the premises repairing the latest leak.

Hopefully the remaining promised work on the ventilation will be undertaken as a matter of priority/urgency. Enderby EYE will be keeping an ‘eye’ on the situation!

Damp marks on ceiling
Constant damp on the ceiling was an ongoing issue

Mould appears in corners, despite regular cleaning….

Mold in corner of ceiling 1

Mould in corner of ceiling 2

Mould forming in bathroom
Mould forming in bathroom
Mould forming in bathroom
Mould accumulating on the window frame