The damp in a mother’s flat is so bad it caused mould to grow on her children’s teddy bears.
Kelly Loxam, of Theobold Street, Borehamwood, has been living with “hazardous and filthy” mould on the walls of her flat for the last eight years.
Miss Loxam said the last straw was when she was clearing out her daughter’s room and noticed the bed-frame and sentimental teddy bears were covered in spools of mould.
Her housing association, Affinity Sutton, cleaned the walls in January – but the 29-year-old said it returned thick and fast just six-weeks-later.
Despite suffering from painful auto-immune condition Lupus, she constantly scrubs the walls with mould killer and bleach, but nothing keeps the fungi at bay.
She said: “It is devastating – just last week I had to throw some of children’s teddy bears out because they were so mouldy.
“It smells absolutely disgusting when you walk in to the flat. I am embarrassed to have my friends over because I do not know what they will think.
“I rarely go out now because it makes me so miserable and depressed. I have tried everything. It is not normal for a person to have to bleach the walls from top to bottom."
The mould covers the walls in the Miss Loxam’s bedroom, the children’s room and the bathroom.
She added: “I am too scared to even let the kids have a bath at home because there is so much mould in the bathroom, so we go to wash at my auntie’s house now.
“My Lupus is deteriorating, my joints hurt and I am prone to infections - the stress of living in a mouldy flat does not help. I am at a loss for what to do.”
In a desperate bid to find a way to clear the problem, she asked Affinity Sutton to install a vent in one of the rooms – but she fears it is too small to make a difference.
Her two daughters, Hallie, eight, and Tess, two, are also constantly plagued by breathing troubles, which Miss Loxam believes are caused by the mould.
She was once forced to phone paramedics when Tess went blue in the face after a coughing fit and the children are constantly in and out of hospital.
Miss Loxam added: “Hallie is missing so much time from school because she is always ill so I am worried about her education.
“I am now obsessed with everything the kids do, making sure they do not go anywhere near the mould but I cannot wrap them up in cotton wool. It is crazy.”
A statement from Affinity Sutton said: “We are sorry that Kelly is still experiencing problems with her home. Following the works we have already undertaken we will be visiting her again to see what else we can do and what further advice we can give.”