A family buys their dream home in Idaho, but say they have left it behind to protect their health. Bloody noses, sinus infections, and even strep throat – The Zorn family says they have seen it all and toxic molds as well as mold allergies are to blame. Since June, the family’s lived in an apartment rather than their new home after discovering the culprit.
The Zorn family is not alone. One company that specializes in getting rid of mold has 15 of air filtration systems in homes throughout the Treasure Valley. They help suck out mold spores and dry out crawlspaces. Even though the filtration system is working, the swings out back stand still and the home sits quiet. The only life inside – two cats and what is in this crawlspace. Those black spots, Stacey Zorn says are mold.
Stacey Zorn, homeowner: “We want people to be aware than mold does exist here in Boise and it is very devastating. If left untapped, it can wipe out a dream.”
Now, Zorn says his dream home is unlivable. He and his wife put on protective gear before ever going inside. Zorn thinks the problem started in the shower. Zorn: “What we know is a water leak, basically in the shower, that’s what I discovered. When I went under the house, there was mold in the general vicinity of the leak. We did talk to the builder of this home who said that he’d never had a mold problem in any of his homes before. In fact, he says this home was inspected before move in.”
Chuck Miller, Building Contractors Association Mold Task Force: “I just want to emphasize that this builder did not do anything wrong. This builder built this home according to building codes.” Chuck Miller also builds homes and says mold spores can be found everywhere. Some people are allergic and more susceptible. But toxic mold is not as common. All molds though will grow if you have the right conditions: water, food and warm temperatures.
Miller: “If you have standing water in your crawlspace, it’s probably a pretty good indicator that if you don’t’ already have mold, you have a serious potential.” Other things to look for: condensation on the windows and a moldy smell. At the Zorn house, a mold clean-up specialist estimates it could take months and cost $50,000 to $80,000.
Written by Elizabeth Homan, Idaho’s NewsChannel 7