Burnley pensioner in damp 'hell house'

Eileeen Patefield in her damp infested home.

Eileeen Patefield in her damp infested home.

First published in Burnley Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

A PENSIONER is living an 'absolute nightmare' after a scheme to make her house warmer left black mould and mushrooms seeping out of the walls.

Eileen Patefield, 62, has suffered serious health problems after the cavity wall insulation she had installed at her Burnley home went badly wrong.

Mrs Patefield, of Marsden Road, had the work done through the Government’s Warm Front scheme, but it has left her house in an 'appalling' state.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle described the property as like 'living in hell' and has taken up her battle for compensation to restore the house.

The work was carried out in 2004, but the problem only became obvious in the last two or three years.

Since then the company that carried out the work on behalf of Warm Front have returned to take the cavity wall insulation out, but Mrs Patefield is no closer to being compensated for the problems.

She said: “It is an absolute nightmare living in conditions like this. For a start it is a complete health hazard.

“I regularly get bronchitis because I have been breathing in the damp spores, in the last year I have had it at least three times.

“Last January when I stripped the walls and saw the extent of the problem I was absolutely horrified. All my furniture, in every room of my house, is situated in the middle of the room so that it doesn’t get damaged.

“I only have a small home so I have to weave my way through the furniture.”

Mr Birtwistle is now fighting on Mrs Patefield’s behalf to get her £10,000 compensation, so her home can be put right.

He said: “It is a complete and utter disaster of a job. She had cavity wall insulation done, which didn’t need doing anyway as the house wasn’t suitable, but it has left unbelievable damp inside the house.

“Lots of the walls are covered in black, there are mushrooms coming out of the ceiling in the bedroom.

“I have spent hours and hours on this case. We are trying to get compensation so Mrs Patefield can have it put back to how it was.

“It needs a lot of the plastering taken out and redoing and a lot of redecorating.

“They have been and sucked the insulation out, but it needs putting back to a good condition. We have it quoted at £10,000 and a loss adjustor says that is reasonable. I think it very reasonable, it could be a lot more.

“We have had problems with the insurance company for the people that did the work though, but it needs to be sorted out.

“Since it started going wrong she has lived there for two years in hell, which has caused health problems as well.

“I don’t know how she manages it, I couldn’t live there, you can’t believe how bad it is until you have been in.

“It is so appalling, something has to be done to sort it out.”

Since 2005 Warm Front has carried out work on more than 300,000 houses in the North West, and since the scheme launched in 2000 it has helped more than 2.2million households.

Retired sales representative Mrs Patefield said: “All I want is the job putting right so I can live my life. I never have visitors round and I don’t blame them, they don’t even want to step inside.”

A spokesman for Warm Front said: “Warm Front is committed to providing the highest level of customer service and we are investigating this as a matter of urgency. It is worth noting that all accredited cavity wall insulation installs are covered by a 25-year guarantee by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency.

“Naturally we will contact Mrs Patefield to discuss this and to address her concerns in full.

“Since 2000 Warm Front has assisted more than 2.2million households. The overwhelming majority of customers are satisfied with the level of service and are now living in homes which are warmer and more affordable to heat as a result of the help provided.”

Comments (11)

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11:38am Mon 12 Mar 12

Heretical says...

Mrs Patefield....you are not the only one living in a cavity wall failure induced damp hell.
It won't help you but I just wanted to let you know that I know exactly how it is and how it erodes your home and your life...perhaps we should start a Facebook support group.
Mrs Patefield....you are not the only one living in a cavity wall failure induced damp hell. It won't help you but I just wanted to let you know that I know exactly how it is and how it erodes your home and your life...perhaps we should start a Facebook support group. Heretical
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Mon 12 Mar 12

thealien2000uk says...

My calico house has been infested with damp for over 15 years but the so called expert from calico says its condensation and I should wipe it down with bleach, I used to be a joiner and have encountered Damp in all of its guises and what we have is penetrating damp from outside to inside, my familt and I suffer from constant coughs, colds and respritary problems, but calico deny that Damp is the problem.
My calico house has been infested with damp for over 15 years but the so called expert from calico says its condensation and I should wipe it down with bleach, I used to be a joiner and have encountered Damp in all of its guises and what we have is penetrating damp from outside to inside, my familt and I suffer from constant coughs, colds and respritary problems, but calico deny that Damp is the problem. thealien2000uk
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Mon 12 Mar 12

Burnleyboy38 says...

not TRYNA COMPETE but the council house i grew up in was 10 times worse than that the walla were literally BLACK and the good ol council said "its condensation" such a joke n i had to grow up n now i wonder y my chest is so naffed up.n this was a gable end house
i FEEL FOR THE WOMAN COS I KNOW WOT ITS LIKE
not TRYNA COMPETE but the council house i grew up in was 10 times worse than that the walla were literally BLACK and the good ol council said "its condensation" such a joke n i had to grow up n now i wonder y my chest is so naffed up.n this was a gable end house i FEEL FOR THE WOMAN COS I KNOW WOT ITS LIKE Burnleyboy38
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Mon 12 Mar 12

disenchantedratepayer says...

Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad
Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad disenchantedratepayer
  • Score: -1

3:17pm Mon 12 Mar 12

disenchantedratepayer says...

Wants tax payers to put it right, check her bank accounts
Wants tax payers to put it right, check her bank accounts disenchantedratepayer
  • Score: -2

3:55pm Mon 12 Mar 12

Blurta says...

It's condensation due to lack of proper ventilation. If you're cooking, showering or taking a bath turn on the the extractor fan. Stop drying clothes on the radiators unless you have the windows open. If possible sleep with a window slightly open. End of problem.
The material used for cavity wall insulation is like silicone coated feathers and does not soak water up. If there's damp coming through the walls, you've got a problem with the structure of your house.
It's condensation due to lack of proper ventilation. If you're cooking, showering or taking a bath turn on the the extractor fan. Stop drying clothes on the radiators unless you have the windows open. If possible sleep with a window slightly open. End of problem. The material used for cavity wall insulation is like silicone coated feathers and does not soak water up. If there's damp coming through the walls, you've got a problem with the structure of your house. Blurta
  • Score: -3

4:34pm Mon 12 Mar 12

happycyclist says...

Houses were built with a cavity wall for a reason -to let air circulate. I've never understood why anyone would want to fill that space with something when it was never intended to be filled.
Houses were built with a cavity wall for a reason -to let air circulate. I've never understood why anyone would want to fill that space with something when it was never intended to be filled. happycyclist
  • Score: 1

5:20pm Mon 12 Mar 12

Burnleyboy38 says...

disenchantedratepaye
r
wrote:
Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad
n that is aimed at who??????? n wots it got to do wiv u if she goes on hoiliday,.shes ina calico house n it shudnt b like that in this day n age !!
[quote][p][bold]disenchantedratepaye r[/bold] wrote: Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad[/p][/quote]n that is aimed at who??????? n wots it got to do wiv u if she goes on hoiliday,.shes ina calico house n it shudnt b like that in this day n age !! Burnleyboy38
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Mon 12 Mar 12

BurnleyBorn&Bred says...

Burnleyboy38 wrote:
disenchantedratepaye

r
wrote:
Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad
n that is aimed at who??????? n wots it got to do wiv u if she goes on hoiliday,.shes ina calico house n it shudnt b like that in this day n age !!
Where does it say in this report that the lady lives in a Calico House ? do not think there are any Calico Houses on Marsden rd,unless you count the flats on Newground Court, also the work was done by Warmfront who do not do work on Calico homes just privately owned properties as far as i am aware.
[quote][p][bold]Burnleyboy38[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]disenchantedratepaye r[/bold] wrote: Try spending money on putting the heating on instead of holidays abroad[/p][/quote]n that is aimed at who??????? n wots it got to do wiv u if she goes on hoiliday,.shes ina calico house n it shudnt b like that in this day n age !![/p][/quote]Where does it say in this report that the lady lives in a Calico House ? do not think there are any Calico Houses on Marsden rd,unless you count the flats on Newground Court, also the work was done by Warmfront who do not do work on Calico homes just privately owned properties as far as i am aware. BurnleyBorn&Bred
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Mon 12 Mar 12

disenchantedratepayer says...

Its a privatly owned semi detatched
Its a privatly owned semi detatched disenchantedratepayer
  • Score: 0

2:45am Wed 14 Mar 12

Burnleyboy38 says...

n yes there is someone marsden road,believe it or not
n yes there is someone marsden road,believe it or not Burnleyboy38
  • Score: 0

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