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Mold and the CLUE Report  
Posted by  
Sunday, 03 July 2005

I personally have no energy left for the issue of mold. We had an HVAC system infested with inches of mold discovered after seeing small amounts in a closet and having a young daughter who would stop breathing momentarily each and every night. It was literally a nightmare.

After replacing our system with a new one with filters and ultraviolet lights, her bouts stopped. Her 2 doctors at
Duke University did not seem that interested in hearing the mold story- not many people do. They were more interested in giving her endoscopies (the first showed abnormal cells, the second after the HVAC replacement showed normal ones) and treating her with various drugs...steroids and Singular, which she is still on, mainly for asthma.

A month or so later we found the cause of the mold, a sliced bathtub drain pipe that was cut into during the electrical work during the building of our home 10 years ago. It was patched with a square of PVC and glue. Sheetrock had also been hammered into this pipe. It had been leaking all those years and the floor board beside it looked like it was smeared with black peanut butter- I carried it out myself. We had contractors come in and replace the pipe, the sheetrock, the floor boards and even rip a 7 foot by 12 foot section of outside siding off (all was clear there) to make sure we got it all.

We were advised that litigation would never work- that even if we won (which was unlikely), he, the builder, would never pay. So we went after his builder's license backing up our certified claim with photos and 2 house inspection reports, including mold testing. We were sure he would have to come to some agreement with us before he could renew his license. Bottom line? The licensing board says "case dismissed", "trivial" and "final".

Did I happen to mention that we have been dropped by our home owners insurance? We went without any insurance for months until finally we were able to secure VERY limited coverage under The North Carolina Joint Underwriters. (This was partly due to the mold but also to two other water related claims. I learned a hard lesson! Report only extreme catastrophic things to the insurance company and deal with everything else on your own!)

The important thing is the health of my children and my daughter is doing so much better. She has asthma and allergies, my son and I have rashes that have developed in the last few years. I can only guess what is causing this, but on the whole, we are well.

So we can't sell...the new owners would not be able to get insurance, even though we have corrected all these problems and had a new bathroom and kitchen put in to boot. Even if we could buy, no one would insure us on a new home. We are stuck here and I feel it is a battle- us versus the spores. I do have to say though, with all I have learned, unless the house was all concrete, I will never trust what is behind any wall, in any home, no matter how old or new.

I wish everyone the stamina and luck that these situations call for because it truly seems like no one wants to hear about it. Even my husband said it is like the silicone breast implant saga... people get upset and make claims but it goes nowhere and eventually just dies down and you just don't hear about it anymore.

North Carolina

Gabby's mold story  
Posted by  
Friday, 03 December 2004

In the early 1990?s I moved in to xxxxx, Apt. B, San Diego, 92129. When I moved in, it was myself, my husband, and my three children, Julio, Jacqueline and Frankie. Shortly thereafter, my husband was required to return to his native country of Mexico. In 1996, the lease for the apartment was placed solely under my name.

There are approximately 500 units within this apartment complex. Throughout the entire period of my family?s residence here, there were always necessary repairs that went unaddressed. During these years, upon HUD inspections, only specific apartments were chosen to be shown to the afore mentioned inspectors. Our home was not one of these chosen apartments.

In 2001, our upstairs neighbors had a leak in their bathroom. The maintenance crew came in and addressed the actual leak itself, but even though they saw the damage done to our apartment, did not address the hole left in the ceiling from the leak or dry out the residual water damage from the leak. Within no less than two months, I began to notice on my bathroom ceiling, the entire ceiling, would become discolored with dark stains. I would attempt to remove these dark stains by cleaning with bleach. However, the stains kept returning. As time went on, a damp, musty smell would become more and more prevalent.

In late 2002, I became pregnant with my husband and my forth child. I became ill almost immediately with nausea, headaches and dizziness. Because my husband did not reside with us at the time, we would go and visit him in Mexico. I began to notice that these symptoms of ill health only occurred upon entering our residence in San Diego. Also, my daughter, Jacqueline, at this time started running in school activities. She exhibited breathing difficulties and required an inhaler on a regular basis.

Over the years, we had requested, verbally, on a regular basis certain things that need to be fixed, please be fixed. In the early 2000?s it became required to make requests in writing. Although not fully documented in the property manager?s paper work, it is clearly documented that as of early June 2003, my family was complaining of leaks within the apartment. These requests for repairs, including the hole in the ceiling and the residual mold in the ceiling were never addressed.

By this point, two of my four children had developed asthma. My son, Frankie, began to have consistent recurrent nose bleeds. Our forth child, Sebastan, was born in August of 2003. Since his birth, he has had intermittent, pulmonary and digestive problems. He has been hospitalized and required intestinal surgery at one month of age. Since his birth, it has been almost constantly necessary to visit a vast array of physicians on a regular basis.

In, August of 2003, I was told we needed to vacate the premises within thirty days because I was not keeping a close eye on my eldest son, who, had run into a bit of trouble. He was not bad enough to be evicted for. I think we were evicted because I complained of the mold. It made me ill. The news of being evicted after calling this home for over ten years and the fact that I had not been able to live in my home for quite sometime, was very distressing. I was already eight and half months pregnant and not well. I went into labor on the same day as the news of eviction. The next day, while I was still in the hospital with the birth of Sebastan, I received a call from Ben, the leasing agent for the apartment complex. He informed me during this phone conversation that they had finally investigated the mold in my apartment and I would not be evicted, simply moved to a new unit within the complex. Even though I continued to pay rent from the end of August, 2003, until late Sept, 2003, the new apartment was not available to us. I believe HUD was also charged for rent during this time.

In late Sept, 2003, my family moved into the new unit, 10752.(Unit #2) The property owners began to eradicate the mold in the old apartment, replace cabinets, etc. and remove any evidence that mold had ever been a problem in unit 10756.(Unit #1) In addition, they informed me that none of my deposit would be withheld for the repairs required to the first unit.(Unit #1) The deposit would be applied in full to unit 10752.(Unit #2) My sister, who is also a property manager, found it to be odd in the manner of which they were addressing the situation. She advised me to take pictures of the mold that I and my children had been living in for quite some time in Unit #1 prior to our move. I did.

In October, 2003, after the mold had been fully eradicated from Unit #1, not even one month after moving into the new apartment, I received an eviction notice of 30 days to vacate, supposedly for a bounced check. Even though I have bank documentation to validate their reason for eviction is not correct, they choose to proceed anyway. The message is? complain of mold within your apartment and you will be used as an example to other tenants to keep their mouths shut.

In November of 2003, I, and three of my children, including a constantly ill newborn were homeless. My brother, along with his family of five, graciously took my family of four in to live in his three bedroom house. Space is tight. Tension sometimes runs high. But I and my children are thankful to have a roof over our heads. And thankful for help of our family. Everything we own, personally, is in storage. My children?s clothes, toys, etc. all things familiar of children?s childhood.

In April of 2004, after having my world turned upside down from this fiasco, I went to buy something at the store on my debit card. It would not work. I called my bank. To my surprise, the apartment managers had levied my bank account in the amount of $688.00. It was falsely for three months rent from Oct 2003 to Dec 2003. And for damages to unit #2, which we had lived in for less than one month. We did no damages to this apartment. In addition to the $688.00, they also refused to release my deposit amount of $350.00. I have a copy to verify payment for the month of October. I have documentation to show we did not reside in the apartment complex in Nov and December of 2003. Again, I believe HUD was also being charged for these additional months rent while the apartment sat vacant.

My home, my children?s health, my health, my credit and ability to rent another apartment has all been taken from us. I have difficulty obtaining work. I can?t remember anything and I am constantly running my children to the doctor. Because of the eviction, even if I did have money, no one would rent to me. I worry about Frankie. He is thirteen now and starting to run with the wrong crowd. I am too tired to help him. I don?t know how much longer we can survive under this stress.

Gabby L.

Mold Stories
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 Date Item Title Author
3 Jul  Mold and the CLUE Report -
3 Dec  Gabby's mold story -
5 Nov  Toxic mold; In a child's words -
3 Nov  Mold and the church -
3 Oct  Our Beloved Lost Home -
3 Oct  Habitat For Humanity? -
3 Oct  How mold ruined this life -
3 Oct  Contact us -
3 Oct  Art's Mishap -
3 Oct  Toxic Mold And Cushing's Disease; Coincidence? -
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