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can't cope with a this stress anymore(9 Posts)
I have been living in a council house for 4 years. I have mould problems since living here. Its everywhere!! on wooden furniture, on curtains, windows, ceilings and walls. I cant cope anymore, its causing me major stress and anxiety (I already have OCD as it is). I clean off with bleach but it comes back. I have contacted landlord (housing association) and they have said for the past 4 years its condensation and its my fault but the recent surveyor that came out after I complained again said it actually the roof that's not helping the situation as the design of it means they cant insulate parts of it which makes condensation settle on those parts and they said they wont help because they don't see it as a need to repair as its the design of the property that they don't have to change. So i am left cleaning it every week with bleach. The thing is the mould is mostly on the parts where they said they cant insulate. I cant have curtains as ive had to throw them away due to mould. Everything is ruined and I cant afford to replace it. This is all worse when its rained heavily and ive noticed trickle marks down the ceiling and wall which to me seems like rain is getting in. I cant call environmental health because its owned by the council so they cant take action against themselves basically. So im stuck and its causing to have massive anxiety. Since moving here ive had health problems and im starting to think its this mould. Im worried for my kids. I am also nearly 22 weeks pregnant.
I have read online that the only way to get rid of the mould entirely is to throw away every piece of furnite like beds, wardrobes, draws, shelves and cupboards and start again but I cant afford to do this. My kids have wooden bunk beds and I cant afford to replace everything. I am worried for my kids health too. I am not entitled to be re housed as they don't see me as a priority or in need. I cant move to a private rent because I have a poor credit score and cant afford deposits and removal costs. I am just stuck and I feel like I will have some sort of breakdown over this. I am depressed every day because of it. The depression makes my OCD worse so its a vicious cycle.
Just wanted to rant really as I have no one else to talk to
Have you called Environmental Health or spoken to a housing officer? Take photos with you. I don't think you need throw all the furniture but you do need to ventilate and avoid condensation in kitchen , bathroom and drying clothes indoors.
sammy i used to own a house that sounds similar to yours- roof with a gully down the middle which meant a big mouldy stripe down the middle in the winter! I owned the house for 10 years…had loads of work done to ensure damp wasn't getting in, which just left the condensation. I now rent a really 'nice' house which also has condensation so I'm well versed in it. Condensation causes trickle marks down the walls…warm moist air rises, hits cold air on the walls/ceiling and then turns in water and runs down. You can tell if the roof etc is leaking as it will leave a brown stain on the ceiling etc rather than condensation/black mould being the first thing you notice (I had to get the roof replaced as it was actually leaking…then afterwards I found that the condensation could actually form on the ceiling and drip off…which made me panic that the roof was leaking again until I learnt how to tell the difference).
Do you have a decent dehumidifier? If not, do whatever you need to to obtain one. My landlord provides one here that we run on low overnight…maybe the housing association can be persuaded? I was told by a damp company (who confirmed I'd got rid of all the damp) that I needed to make sure that the heating was fairly steady and to try to get the windows open to change the air daily, and not to dry clothes on the radiators, and to get a dehumidifier. The condensation did improve a lot after we bought a dehumidifier, even more when we got the tumble drier- but again, that's expense unless you can get one on free cycle.
Unfortunately bleach is completely necessary over the winter…that dettol mould remover/astonish mould remover rather than just plain old bleach. I go around the problem areas every couple of weeks at least Curtains need to be washed really regularly in the winter there is just no other way round it. Also it helps if you can ensure that furniture is away from the walls.
Do you have wallpaper? As that seems to hold the mould (it grows behind it, as I discovered). Apparently paint is better. Sometimes, if it has got really bad, you will need to get the old stuff off…paint/wallpaper/whatever and redecorate.
Also, has your housing association ensured that you have a properly functioning extractor fan in both the bathroom and the kitchen/extractor hood? As they are essential.
I wouldn't worry too much about chucking away stuff. I had mould that kept growing on my sofa 8-10 years ago. I've still got the sofa, and it hasn't come back, sofas don't smell etc, and we still have the wooden furniture that had mould on it before we got it under control, still have loads of my old clothes. My 3 kids all lived in that house, and none of them have health problems/asthma despite all my fears, and us living in the middle of a city.
You might have tried all of the above already, but it is funny how little changes can make a massive differences. I leant my house to a friend before it was sold, and she clearly didn't open the windows or use the dehumidifier and I was shocked by the amount of mould that I had to clear off the walls when I went back to the house!
I lived in an area where lots of us had 'mouldy' Victorian teeny houses and we used to have a right moan all the way throughout winter. It helps to have other people who are in the same boat as it gives you that reassurance that actually it'll be ok in the end.
It's just causing me major anxiety
I can't settle
I am thinking of investing in a dehumidifier but I need to save some money up to be able to buy one. I use them small plastic ones you but they are useless!
I keep worrying what if mould spires are all over me and my children's beds and mattresses and we breathe at night whilst we are sleeping although I've not yet seen any visable mould on our mistresses as of yet only on the wooden part... Their bunk beds have been waxed/ varnished type thinks when purchased so can't understand how mould actually stays on their?
Can mould actually eat right down into the wood because I was told wiping it off doesn't work coz it's only clearing the surface and not what's underneath. I seriously can't call this place a home anymore and I can't settle. I'm constantly worrying and checking furniture and rooms. It's becoming an obsession and I already have OCD as it is. Not sure whether i should see a doctor because I now think I'm developing some sort of health anxiety because I'm worried this is affecting me and my children's health.
I gave my room a through clean yesterday and washed my curtains in the washing machine as there was some area of mould in them. They look clean now but I'm worried whether mould is still lurking! Google makes mould sound really bad like it's eating away at the insides of my furniture and it's making me and my children seriously ill...!
Hiya sammy. You sound like I used to! I was so worried, oh the tears that were shed over the mildew. Probably caused some more. I think proper proper mould like dry rot or or other fungus is different to mildew. Like, if you get a satsuma at the bottom of the fruit bowl that has gone green, if you pick it up it showers spores everywhere. Mildewy mould is just seems more static, and surface orientated…it just occurs where the wet parts are and wipes off rather than sending tentacles/roots down like fungus mould does. My waxed pine tables that I had to regularly wipe mould off of haven't had a reoccurance for years. I don't think it penetrates if you keep on top of things. Even my curtains stopped getting smelly/mildewy after a while.
Those plastic dehumidifiers are only good for cupboards etc. Honestly, a proper dehumidifier would make a massive difference. If I don't use the one in the 'naice' house that I am in for a few days it starts to get that mouldy smell. I seriously would ask you LA to provide one if possible…if you don't ask, you don't get etc!
I used to be paranoid that my kids lungs were going to be destroyed by the mould. This was completely unfounded- they are all very healthy (despite DS2 getting bronchiolitis when he was 7 days old from a could virus). My kids were in the 'mouldiest' bedroom and they were always the ones in school who had the least time off sick. Seriously, if you're OCD about it, that mould is not going to have time to create any health problems! It sounds like you're pretty on top of it!
We're more than halfway through the winter- you've got most of the mildew out the way, going forwards the weather will get warmer, there will be less condensation and your life should be a bit easier.
Thanks again danger mouse
You have been really helpful
I've managed to get a dehumidifier today so I'm gonna see what this does
Also, bleach doesn't actually kill the mould / mildew. I used vinegar mixed with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. Hope that helps
I have been cleaning it with bleach so the bleach is still there?
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