Damp is ruining my daughter's health: Family sleep in living room to escape rising mould

A PREGNANT mother claims rising damp is ruining her children's health and forcing the family to sleep in the living room.

Adele Dempsey, 23, has lived at the Pennine Housing-owned property in Dodd Naze, Hebden Bridge, for three years. During this time, she says she has seen mould climb the walls of her children's bedroom.

She and her partner, Pepe Salamino, 28, have recorded the progress of the fungus by marking the date on the patch as it creeps up the walls.

Miss Dempsey said: "When I moved in, it wasn't as bad, just in one corner. But over the past three years the damp has taken over."

Her two daughters, Lexie, two, and Maisie, four, no longer sleep in the room. The elder daughter now stays with her grandparents at night and the rest of the family sleep on the living room floor.

Miss Dempsey said Lexie has been prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection, which she believed has been caused by the mould.

"She has had three lots of tablets in the past five weeks. It won't go", said Miss Dempsey.

The frustrated mum contacted Pennine Housing, which prescribed a course of fungal washes and suggested the family alter their living arrangements.

Mr Salamino said: "They said it was our 'lifestyle'. They said we spent too much time in the house and blamed it on the tumble dryer."

A "great deal of damp and mould" was recorded in the property when a Calderdale Council environmental health officer visited.

Ground level outside is only two inches below the damp-proof course in places, there is no extractor fan in the kitchen or bathroom and drainage problems.

The council wrote to Pennine last week asking what they were going to do about it.

Pennine said it plans to install air-bricks to help ventilation.

A spokesman said: "We will be undertaking work over the next few weeks to improve ventilation and insulation, complete minor repairs and provide advice."

In the meantime, it has given the family a dehumidifier as a stop-gap measure.

Miss Dempsey said it did take moisture from the air, but it needed to be on all day to keep the mould at bay.

She added: "We expect a huge electricity bill."


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