Help- how harmful is living in a moldy house? - Mothering Forums

Help- how harmful is living in a moldy house?

grisandole's Avatar grisandole (TS)
08:22 PM Liked: 2882
#1 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 5,060
Joined: Jan 2002
I've never had to deal with this problem before, I'm pretty ignorant about mold and I need help! We live in teacher housing, and last week discovered that our house is full of mold....not just mold like you get in a bathroom or on windows that you can spray and wipe off...there is mold in the drywall....in almost every room.

Here's the background:
We moved in to this house in the summer of 2005. A few months after moving in, I started having awful allergies (never had them before), this coincided with getting our dog, Bailey, so I thought it could be him (though I'd never been allergic to dogs before, either). Anyway, time goes on, my alleriges frustrate me, they come and go, etc. I assume it's the dog or the area, or something. Then, a few months ago, we notice that there is black mold growing on all of our windows....it was bad, and grew in a short time because I look at the windows every day and it was pretty sudden, kwim? We got rid of it, and I've been checking the windows since then....a few days ago they were all covered with mold, so we cleaned them again.

Then, I noticed by our back door, the door frame and bottom part of the door were covered with mold. DH went to clean it, and he took off a part of the wood trim at the bottom (alontg the floor), and the whole thing- the trim piece- was moldy! The mold was also inside and on/in the drywall!

The place where this happened had been water damaged before we moved in, so we are assuming that is why there is mold....well, there are lots of spots in the house that are water damaged, so we are assuming there is mold in that drywall as well. We also found a water stain in ds1's room that is starting to grow mold....so there must also be a ton in the drywall as well. Gross!

IMO, I think the mold is definitley the cause or contribuiting factor to my allergies, and I can't see how it is healthy to live with. Of course, we called the district housing, and they really don't care : They will certainly not do any proper mold remediation. They did tell us that we can move into the brand new townhomes that are being built- they will be ready next month. In the meantime, we have to live with the mold. They *might* come out and paint over the exposed mold, but that's about the extent of it. Would that help?

We are planning on moving in June (we are leaving the area)- so if painting over the mold will fix it enough to get us through until then, we could stay here....otherwise, we will have to move into the new townhouse, and then move again in a few months.

I'm just at a loss. I am soooo frustrated with the housing department and their lack of empathy and concern (for anything, really- we also need our hot water heater repaired and we've been waiting a month), and I don't have faith that they will even come out and deal with the mold problem.

Advice?
kosheng's Avatar kosheng
10:56 PM Liked: 11
#2 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 1,261
Joined: Oct 2005
oh, mama... couldn't read and not post. i'm so sorry that this is happening to you and your family.

yes, mold can cause a host of problems. it spreads rapidly (as you have seen) and what you can't see is the spore release that spreads everywhere. i don't want to upset you any more than you are, but the spores get on everything. everything. have you tried searching the web for information on this? i seem to think there was a similar thread on here not too long ago... can't find it right now, but maybe you'll have better luck.

hang in there. i wish there was something i could do to help.
bri276's Avatar bri276
11:00 PM Liked: 27
#3 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 5,848
Joined: Mar 2005
you should move next month. I know moving twice is a PITA but not knowing exactly what strain it is (unless you have it tested), it could be anything from mild allergy-causing to much worse; there are toxic, poisonous molds. I would definitely move. We have some in our basement and some developed on our bathroom ceiling and I panicked over just that-if it were in the walls, I'd be out of here. It's not good for children's immune systems to be constantly fighting against that crap. I hate slumlords.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu
11:06 PM Liked: 176
#4 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 7,801
Joined: May 2004
Well, long story short- we had mold growing under our linoleum in our back bathroom and I (and dh, and kids) were having terrible symptoms. Rental company took a lon gtime to even get to the real problem, which meant ripping up linoleum. Dh has bleached the heck out of the wood underneath, we got an industrial strength ozone generator, and are feelign a bit better. But we haven't been able to use our back bedroom/bath in months. As soon as we get linoleum replaced we wil move back in.

I would wake up in the middle of the night, world spinning, couldn't stand up straight, almost banged my head on the bathroom counter-and had dry heaves.This happened twice. Dh fainted in our shower.

being constantly exposed to mold can lead to a range of serious symptoms. And every time after you can become more sensitive to it. I was coughing blood at one point.

I would either get the problem fixed or leave.
CarolynnMarilynn's Avatar CarolynnMarilynn
11:11 PM Liked: 11
#5 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 2,206
Joined: Jun 2004
Mould is such big, bad stuff. You need an asbestos-quality removal firm to get rid of it and the employees have to wear respirators and the whole get up. It is that bad.

For surface removal, people are recommending NOT to use bleach as it is very harmful as well, and very hard on the lungs. It is thought to be not much better for you than the mould. Apparently, a strong detergent is what the mould companies use. This is pretty much my sum total of mould knowledge. Good luck and I hope you can get out of there soon.
mothragirl's Avatar mothragirl
11:14 PM Liked: 11
#6 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 3,254
Joined: Sep 2005
i'd get out asap! i grew up in a moldy house and my twin sister has had no end of chronic problems because of it, allergies/asthma mostly. it costs her $200 a month to breathe!
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu
11:19 PM Liked: 176
#7 of 13
01-11-2007 | Posts: 7,801
Joined: May 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynnMarilynn View Post
Mould is such big, bad stuff. You need an asbestos-quality removal firm to get rid of it and the employees have to wear respirators and the whole get up. It is that bad.

For surface removal, people are recommending NOT to use bleach as it is very harmful as well, and very hard on the lungs. It is thought to be not much better for you than the mould. Apparently, a strong detergent is what the mould companies use. This is pretty much my sum total of mould knowledge. Good luck and I hope you can get out of there soon.
They were so unconcerned when they ripped up our linoleum that the guys doing it were not even wearing masks and were back there for hours breathing it. :
grisandole's Avatar grisandole (TS)
12:30 AM Liked: 2882
#8 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 5,060
Joined: Jan 2002
Thanks for all the replies, I am going to search the net for more info....but we will probably move next month. The lovely part about moving is that they will not let us take our dog with us, even though we are literally moving next door! The district has instituted a "no pet" policy, and Bailey was grandfathered in, but if we move to a new unit we cannot bring him. I want to bang my head against the wall.

So, I will have to send him to stay with my friend in Tuscon or Cali for a few months, which is another ordeal (4 hour one way drive to Tuscon or 8 hours one way to CA),

I am eagar to move.

Thanks so much,
Kristi
ladybugchild77's Avatar ladybugchild77
10:29 AM Liked: 0
#9 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 2,420
Joined: Jun 2004
ZNot too much time to type - hungry babe. We are living in a "student housing" apartment with mold in IL. The maintenance guy told me that it is "common" and basically there is nothing we can do about it. They had to replace a HUGE chunk of dry wall in our spare room but did not do any kind of clenaing of the wall behind it. It is in our bathrooms (got it off with bleach from the cieling but is is on our toilets too) and in our windowsills; like I said it is also in thebedroom and appeared without warning. My little one has RSV and has had problems with asthma-like symptoms since being born a few months ago. My older dd has allergies as do all of us. We can't stop coughing. We are actually contemplating getting the health department ivolved. I know there are several health risks associated with the mold and since we are miving in June too we have been debating moving agai as well - we are probably here for the duration since we can only afford to move once...HTH and good luck...
herbanmama's Avatar herbanmama
10:43 AM Liked: 0
#10 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 543
Joined: Jun 2005
Oh yuck. I'm so sorry, mold is nasty.

I lived in an apartment with dd before I met dh, and black mold grew everywhere. Dd had respiratory problems throughout our stay. I was so glad when we moved out. I literally had a condensation puddle under my couch. My shoes molded in my closet, and every windowsill was black. I don't know how I lived live that, and feel guilty for exposing dd to it as long as I did (was single mom in really small town with absolutely no other rental possibilities).

Sorry your pup has to go on holiday for a bit, but you'll be glad you got out of there!
mamakay's Avatar mamakay
01:12 PM Liked: 2348
#11 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 8,332
Joined: Apr 2005
Just an FYI:
Mold spreads from house to house, too...so there are "moldy neighborhoods".
Cleaning stuff with vinegar can kill it to a certain extent, but probably not if it's saturating the drywall.
The science behind how dangerous mold can be is really conflicting. The extreme "toxic mold" stories aren't actually documented (yet?) as definitely true, but certainly some people are allergic.
momto l&a's Avatar momto l&a
02:29 PM Liked: 89
#12 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 13,100
Joined: Jul 2002
Mold can cause all sorts of respiratory problems.

My mw believes the nail fungus and yeast problems we are dealing with are from having lived in a couple of homes that had mold issues.
Danelle78's Avatar Danelle78
06:51 PM Liked: 6
#13 of 13
01-12-2007 | Posts: 3,766
Joined: Dec 2005
I know this site is busy but: http://www.moldinspector.com/kilz.htm

DH and I were out of our house for 2.5 months while our contractor corrected the conditions causing mold to grow in our house. Everything in two closets were moldy. Ceilings, walls, it was bad. My asthma, eczema, and allergies were out of control. DH, who has no allergies, ended up with shingles. (he has a home office.)

Even if you try and clean the mold, you have to make sure that the building envelope is sufficiently sealed, and that the HVAC is efficient to remove humidity from the interior.

I do not believe that it is a safe environment for anyone, I do consider it a health risk. Check into the the laws in your area regarding rentals. I do not understand why if your dog is already grandfathered into this rental, then he wouldn't be allowed in other housing.
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