'Too quick' repairs give Westquarter flood victims more heartache

Westquarter residents whose houses were devastated by flooding last August say they are unhappy with work that was done to get them back into their homes.

The terrible flooding - when the Westquarter burn burst its banks - left people in the village’s Langton Road knee-high in water and several residents had to leave their homes while the clear-up took place.

But, council tenant Joanne Ure says that while they were back home within a few weeks, she and her neighbours are still having huge problems.

She believes the work was done far too quickly and that the walls were still wet when they were plastered and then painted.

The impact of last August's floods in Langton Road, Westquarter (Pic: Michael Gillen)

She said: "They told us that we'd be out our houses for six months and yet we were back in them after six weeks.

"The house has not dried out properly - they plastered on top of wet brick and then skimmed wet walls.

“I really think that the house will never dry out because of that.

Joanne Ure, 45 and Brian Ure, 49 had to live in a caravan after floods devastated their home living in caravan (Pic:Michael Gillen)

"There is a terrible smell of damp now and it just isn't going away."

This has led to mould and rising damp on facings and skirting in every room - something that was never a problem before the flood, she says.

Joanne has put flooring down in the living room to make it habitable but says she still can't put flooring down or paper the rest of the house as the damp will ruin it.

Mould is starting to appear the windows - which she says now have "extreme condensation, with water running down them" every day.

The aftermaths of the floods (Pic: Michael Gillen)

She has also noticed many other problems, such as hairline cracks in several walls and doorframes splitting - all caused by damp, she says.

She is also unhappy about the workmanship in other parts of the house, including the kitchen and the bathroom.

The council has provided dehumidifiers but Joanne says she is footing the bill to run them and they are expensive.

Her neighbour Pat Parsons, who recently recovered from lung cancer, has been given flooring throughout the house but has also noticed that keeping the mould from the windows is a constant battle.

The neighbours are also concerned that they have not seen any work being done to the burn since last year.

"I am terrified now when it starts raining that this will happen again," said Joanne.

Many Langton Road residents either cannot get insurance or find it too expensive because of the flood risk.

"If I had to redecorate and replace everything again, I honestly don't know what I would do," she said.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: "We have carried out extensive work on a number of properties following a flooding incident last year.

“A specialist contractor has been engaged to investigate further any issues of dampness and identify appropriate remedial work.

“Dehumidifiers have also been provided to help with the drying process.

“Work is also being carried out in relation to the clearance of the burn and to ensure the road drainage is functional.”

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