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 endoscopes (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.
Mold From a Leaky Drain Pipe
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”.
Dropped from Homeowner’s Insurance – Mold and the CLUE* Report
Did I happen to mention that we have been dropped by our homeowners 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.
*Note: CLUE is a claims-information report generated by LexisNexis®, a consumer-reporting agency. The report generally contains up to seven years of personal-auto and personal-property claims history.