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I think our house is making us sick!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
As many of you know. Our basement flooded last year with sewage 2 times.

We did a lot of deoderizing and sanitizing, but I think that there is mold and mildew in the walls.

Shortly after the first flood dd and I got Strep Throat. It kept comming back over and over. I even had a Strep B rash on my legs and stomac - it was so extremely painfull.

This year, since the heat has been on dd and I have developed a cough. We cough constantly. She's just had signs of a cold. I have had phnumonia 2x! I still have the cough and extream fatigue. I've been recently diagnosed with Rhumatoid Arthritus and I have an immune disorder - I'm linking them to this house that we bought 13 yrs. ago. I'm so fatigued lately I can barely get the basics done.

Ds and my husband have also developed a cough. I strongly feel it's related, but don't know where to begin! I want out of this old house! It's full of chemicals and dangerous toxins, but for now we're stuck.

Anyone have experience with this kind of thing? Know of any organizations that can help? Money is VERY tight and moving is not an option untill spring. I'm getting desperate and I need to protect my family.
post #2 of 9
The cheapest and easiest thing I can think of, is for you to go get alot of house plants. That will help remove alot of the toxins from your air. I have a book called How to Grow Fresh Air by B C Wolverton, and it lists the best houseplants for removing different kinds of toxins and how much light each one needs and all kinds of useful information.

Beyond that maybe you could get your heating ductwork cleaned? I don't know how much that costs, but if both your dh and ds got sick when the heat was turned on, I'd look there. You can buy filters that fit in your air vents from www.gaiam.com

post #3 of 9
Try calling OSHA and see if they can help you - I think they only investigate business or schools, but they might be able to point you in the right direction for testing!

If it is a matter of your health, you should try to find a way to stay elsewhere - a friends, a relatives... You can't afford to be sick!
post #4 of 9
I have to agree, that it isn't worth your health to stay there, but an option I would consider is renting a power washer and powerwashing the basement....possibly even using diluted anit-bacterial cleaner. Also, make sure you have good ventilation so air circulates. Consider purchashing an air purifier, and getting houseplants is a great idea!

Molds can make you very, very sick. Please be careful!
post #5 of 9
Ms. Mom I can sort of empathize. We are on the basement floor of an apartment complex and we have mold everywhere. Everytime I go to clean something, I find more. We are also all sick. My son already has life-threatening food allergies, and now he seems to be developing asthma. My husband is getting his Masters degree and so we can't move until the end of March. I feel so trapped. But at least I know when exactly I am shipping out. If it gets much worse, then my son and I will move in with my parents or in-laws while my hubby finishes school. Not the best solution, but about the best one we have come up with. Since you have a house, I would recommend checking this out: http://www.startremodeling.com/toxic...inspectors.htm
They have a service to find contractors who will do a free test for toxic mold. If it is toxic, you really have to get out. Some of the health problems from toxic molds cannot be cured. I wish you the best of luck. And health!
post #6 of 9
I'm kinda in the same boar as you. I live in a 50 year old house that is in really bad shape!!!! We have had some "mystery" sicknesses as well! More headaches, sinus problems etc that we didn't have before! Our biggest concern is the leaky ceiling that REALLY leaks when it rains and the dirt and germs in the 50 year old carpert! We don't have the money to fix it or anything else that's wrong with it. We plan on moving in about 2 years and are just trying to hang in there until then!

So you are not alone!
post #7 of 9
Wow, some wonderful idesa here!

When our house flooded, we rented the power sprayer and spent many days spraying EVERYTHING like mad!
It was a lot of work, and we did it in the summer so everything stayed open to air out. I don't think it got rid of all the junk, though, so I dont' know if that would work for you or not?

Let us know wha tyou find out if you get it tested for toxic mold
post #8 of 9
About the leaky roofs- if the roof leaks, then the whole structure of the house is quickly ruined. We put a new roof and gutter system on our credit card this year and are still paying it off. However, the alternative is to lose the investment in our home, which is much greater than the interest that we're paying on the credit card.
Once that water gets into the wood and walls, mold starts, and there is no good way to fix it other than a complete rebuild.

MsMom, I hope you find out what exactly is causing your problems in the house. It doesn't sound like there are any really good cheap remedies for you. I hope that houseplants and a good duct cleaning really help.

Can you get any cash settlement from your city because of the sewage backups? Maybe the threat of a lawsuit for health problems will prod them a little bit.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I've been reading them late at night when I'm too tired to reply

Well, the basement backed up again today! Raw sewage, thankfully only a few inches, but if we don't have it snaked it will be everywhere in a day or too - another $200 literally down the drain....

The only solution is to dig up all the drain pipes around the house - the cheepest estimate we've gotten is $3,000. It's so depressing. What I think has hapened in the past, is when the sewage went up to the walls it seaped in and caused damage and bacteria to grow.

Dh and I are working on a solution, but if we call the EPA they have the right to condem our home and all it's contents. We'd have nothing. We're trying to figure it all out.

Thank you all again for your caring and concern.
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