Revamped estate plagued by outbreak of fungus
Susanna Wilkey DOZENS of residents estate are complaining about potentially hazardous black fungus growing on their newly-installed windows. The windows are being fitted in all five skyscrapers at Chalcots in a �66million refurbishment w
DOZENS of residents on a Belsize Park estate are complaining about potentially hazardous black fungus growing on their newly-installed windows.
The windows are being fitted in all five skyscrapers at Chalcots in a �66million refurbishment which started in 2006.
Residents are concerned that the mould has grown so rapidly and so soon after the windows were put in and worry it could create health problems.
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Burnham block resident Beverley Platt said: "I have tried cleaning it but it grows on the glue and you cannot get it off.
"Now it has started appearing on all the windows and I have only had them for four months.
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"It shouldn't be happening with new windows. I didn't have this problem with the old windows.
"The builders know about the condensation but they think it is down to us to have the window open. But it has been far too cold to do that.
"Obviously I am very worried about it getting worse because it can create health problems.
"It is a major problem over all the blocks and they need to address it before it gets out of hand."
Bray resident Bridget Higgins added: "I have had the windows about a year but I thought the black was because I could not clean it off.
"I didn't realise it was mould until other people started telling me they were having the same problem.
"It makes you nervous complaining to the builders in case you get picked on. It is better doing it with solidarity."
PFI contractor Rydon is carrying out the renovations.
All tenants will get new bathrooms, kitchens and double glazing and there will also be new roofs and cladding.
Representative for Bray residents and leaseholders across the estate, Nigel Rumble, said: "The new window systems seem to be defective. They are providing very poor insulation and creating lots of condensation for residents during the cold winter.
"Money has clearly been spent very unwisely. The windows seem badly chosen for these kinds of skyscrapers.
"We all feel very angry about this and they seem to be getting away with it.
"After the winter, the mould releases spores into the atmosphere which can cause respiratory illness."
A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "The council is aware that some residents at Chalcots have experienced minor problems with mould around some of the windows during the very cold weather.
"We are working with residents and our contractors to understand the causes and resolve this problem.
"In the meantime, residents are advised to keep their air vents open to ensure proper air circulation."