Troubleshooter: House concerns

November 11, 2008 4:21:06 AM PST
A Cary mom who says she was scared to let her children go back in their own home.

When she says she couldn't get her health concerns addressed, she called Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

Laura Rhodes tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "I want to be back in our home and I want it to be safe." Laura says she's not convinced her home is safe after she noticed water coming through her kitchen ceiling. She adds, "There was a decent amount coming through fixture once they cut away dry wall realized how sever it was coming in and traced it back to a hole in the attic."

Laura rents her home through Wilson Property Management, Inc. They did have crews take care of the water damage. But in the attic, when Laura noticed black stuff on the installation, she says she thought it was mold. She adds, "The pungent smell, the fact that water had been leaking for quite a while for it to be leaking two floors down and also the actual sight of it." But Laura says Wilson Properties told her there was no mold and her home was safe to move back into. The company who did the repairs to Laura's home, noted in their report they did not find any active mold growth, except in a small area which was treated. Still not convinced Laura hired her own home inspector. He took samples. An independent lab did the testing and the results were enough for Laura to not want to move her family back in the home. She says, "They found there was black mold growth in the couple areas of the attic that they pulled test samples from." Laura says she faxed the lab results to Wilson Properties. She adds, "They said we don't see a problem. We're sorry." Laura says they continued to pay rent, even they weren't living in the home. So she called Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. Laura says, "I wanted to make sure it was safe for my children."

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with Wilson Properties. A rep said they never got the lab results from Laura as she refused to give the results to them. Once I got them the results, they hired a company to do a mold inspection and air quality test in the home. The test results, did show there were low levels of mold, but not at toxic levels. It's also noted in the report; the mold found in the attic is very typical and common for a house in this age range and it's usually not considered harmful.

The inspector did make several suggestions to improve the air quality and prevent more mold growth. Wilson Properties addressed the concerns which included a new air filter, cleaned the coils on the air conditioning unit, a new water heater, they fixed the access door to the attic, also repainted some of the walls where there was water damaged and hired a cleaning lady. Fixes Laura was happy with and she finally moved her family back in their home.

Besides all the fixes, Wilson Properties also credited Laura's rent payment for November for the 26 days they did not stay in the home, which was $970.00 worth of rent. They also apologized for the inconvenience.

Homeowners should know it's not uncommon to find certain type of mold in your home, especially areas like your attic. Smalls levels of it typically aren't toxic. If you are concerned, you might wants to consider an air quality test.


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