Cardiff mum 'terrified' for her children's health as mouldy home leaves daughter, 4, in hospital
A mother has said she now feels "terrified" for her family's health, claiming the amount of mould in her home left her daughter in hospital.
Danielle Smith, 27, and her children have lived in her two-bedroom flat in Honeysuckle Close in Pentrebane, Cardiff, for eight years.
She said mould had covered the walls, furniture, and even bedding in the property, weeks after she moved in.
Cardiff Council said it has "been working with her to resolve the problems at her home" and work has taken place at the property.
The local authority added it sent an independent contractor that "found black spot mould on walls and furniture caused by condensation but no evidence of damp".
It suggested more cleaning was needed as well as improved ventilation measures to help.
However, Ms Smith has branded this a "joke".
Ms Smith said the mould had been cleaned away and painted over but no further preventative action had been taken causing it to reappear within a matter of weeks.
Her four-year-old daughter was admitted to hospital after struggling with her breathing.
It is claimed doctors told Ms Smith that her breathing problems were due to the conditions she was living in.
They allegedly told her they were "absolutely horrified" by their living conditions.
The day after she was discharged the youngster was readmitted after her health deteriorated again.
"They didn't want her to go home to the flat because they knew it would cause more problems but I had to take her home – I had no option," said Ms Smith.
"So the next day she was admitted again and I was given letters that stated that the mould is what has been causing her breathing problems, which I have shown the council."
She said her kids' bedding was constantly wet so she put it by the radiators in an attempt to dry it out.
"There was mould all over their blankets and pillows, my mattress is covered in mould, our sofas are covered in mould," she added.
Since then work has been carried out but Ms Smith said her property still smells of damp.
She said: "I keep getting chest infections and my son and daughter have been coughing for six weeks.
"Their attendance at school is low because they've constantly got a bad cough and the school are also disgusted at how my kids are living."
In response to Ms Smith's claims, Cardiff Council said it takes reports of damp and mould in their homes "very seriously".
It added that the council was "very concerned" about Ms Smith's daughter's recent poor health.
“A damp survey carried out by an independent contractor at the flat found black spot mould on walls and furniture caused by condensation but no evidence of damp," the council said.
"Work recommended to tackle the issues, such as disinfectant cleaning and improved ventilation measures, has been completed this week. In the meantime we are supporting Ms Smith to access funding to replace furniture and bedding damaged by the black mould."
The council also confirmed it recently completed a "full review" of how it deals with damp and mould issues to "ensure cases are dealt with appropriately and effectively".
A new approach aims to see officers respond to reports more quickly.
There'll also be focus on works including installing external wall insulation and replacing windows, roofs, and boilers.
“To improve the thermal qualities of our homes we are also investing in a major programme of works including the installation of external wall insulation on our low-rise blocks, window and roof replacement, and boiler replacements as required," a spokesman said.
“Very often occurrences of mould can be resolved by tenants cleaning the affected area without the need for an operative to attend.. We provide tenants with information and advice on ways they can help prevent and alleviate the problem."