‘Nightmare’ damp problem in home

Gloria De Piero and Darren Fitchett inspect the damp in his property
Gloria De Piero and Darren Fitchett inspect the damp in his property

A couple from Newthorpe are at the end of their tethers after suffering a ‘nightmare’ damp problem in their home for over ten years.

The Fitchetts from Newthorpe have spent a fortune of redecorating and still have the problem.

Darren Fitchett, of Metcalf Road, said the problem escalated after their boiler dripped through into their ceiling in 2013.

“We had to have the ceiling completely replaced and wall papper stripped.

“When the wallpaper came off you could see the tide marks which clearly showed there was a bad damp problem. We always had black mould but they (the council) had always said it was condensation until then.”

Mr Fitchett, who has five children, one of whom is diabetic, said the bare walls were proof of the problem, which just got worse and worse.

Last Autumn he stripped the house and replastered and redecorated at his own cost, only for the damp to come back through and the wallpaper to be taken off for tests again.

“I had used damp proof paint and decorated the room in two tones. It looked lovely,” he said.

“About a week later I sat down with a coffee and noticed the damp coming back through. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

The council came out and injected the walls with damp proof gel, but the problem has not gone away and the family are now left with tattly walls covered in holes from all the tests.

“The newly painted skirting boards all had to come off, which damaged a lot of the plaster.

“They (the council) said they would come back two weeks later to put them back on again and they didn’t come until June this year. One of the skirting boards had been leaning up against the wall and it had actually gone mouldy from the damp.

“You can actually squeeze the cement where the boards were and its like a sandcastle it’s that wet.

“Instead of saying ‘right we’ll get to the bottom of it’, they (the council) just keep masking the problem.”

43-year-old Mr Fitchett, who has this month fitted a new kitchen in the property, said his family were honest hard working people who took pride in their home.

“We keep our house lovely and we like being here and looking after it but they don’t want to seem to help us.

“It’s just getting me down to be honest.

“I’ve got to decorate again. The council have said in the past they would send me some B&Q vouchers and I’ve never received them.”

After the boiler broke down, Mr Fitchett was offered £250 for a ruined sofa, kitchen table and carpet.

But he said the sofa was a wedding present and the three things together were worth around £2,000, so considered the council’s ‘good will gesture’ an insult and refused to cash in the cheque.

The couple have now got Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero involved, who has written a firm letter to the council.

She said: “This situation has gone on far too long and as we approach winter, I feel that this problem needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I’m no expert but I only had to take one look to see that the issue hasn’t gone away and it’s hardly surprising Darren and Lisa have reached the end of their tether. No one would want to live with this for so long.”

On recieving Ms De Piero’s letter a council officer was due to visit the Fitchett’s yesterday as the Advertiser went to press.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of Mr and Mrs Fitchett’s situation and takes the wellbeing of all of its residents very seriously.

“Housing officers have been working with them to continually reassess the situation and alleviate any issues which arise.”