Homeowner’s Tell All: Mold Damage Nightmares

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • April 01, 2019

4 Startling, Yet True Stories Of Mold Damage

Everyone grows up hearing scary stories.

Tales about ghosts, supernatural creatures and spooky mysteries used to be the things that kept us up at night. But now as adults, those things don’t scare us like they used to!

Now, we have different things to fear. Things like mold.

If you’ve experienced mold before, you know how truly scary it can be. However, if you aren’t aware of the damage mold can cause, then buckle up! Because these four mold damage nightmares are sure to change your mind about mold.

By sharing the stories of our own mold remediation clients, we hope to help homeowners like you stay aware of the damage mold can cause to your home and health.

1. The Reckless Renter

In 2015, Nick M. bought a house in hopes of turning it into a rental property. After weeks of repairs, the home was finally ready to rent. A few prospective renters were considered, but Nick finally picked the one he thought would work best for his property.

For the first few weeks, everything was fine. Rent was being paid on time, no complaints were being made, and Nick felt confident he had made the right decision. However, things were just about to take a turn for the worst.

Realizing the extent of the damage

Little did he know, the inside of the home was slowly being destroyed by the renter. Trash was piling up inside of the home, faucets were being left to drip, the tub wasn’t draining properly, and indoor air humidity levels were not being adequately maintained. Excess moisture began building in the home, and mold was starting to grow.

By the time Nick became aware of the damages, it was pretty bad. All of his previous home renovations were decimated, and Nick knew the home was in an unlivable state. Once the renter was evicted from the home, Nick brought in a team to assess the extent of the damages. Unfortunately, they didn’t have good news for Nick. Mold had begun to grow all around the home—in the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas.

Removing the mold

Nick knew he needed mold remediation immediately, so he called the mold remediation team at Killingsworth. Once we were on site, we began to uncover just how much mold Nick’s property actually had. Mold had begun to grow in the corners of the room, on the walls and even underneath the carpet. We were able to determine the source as excess moisture and high humidity levels in the home. We knew that in order to salvage the home and protect the health of future renters, we had to gut the home from top to bottom.

Restoring the home

Once the mold had been treated, we came back to the house to re-check and to make sure there was no mold remaining in the home. By the end of the process, we were so thankful to report a healthy, mold-free home to Nick!

Nick restored the home once again and filled it with new renters. Now he’s more proactive and continues to have the home inspected periodically for any unknown damages. No mold this time around!

2. The Hopeful Homebuyers

Last year, Sara and Andrew finally tied the knot after eight years of being together. They were so excited to begin their life as a married couple and were anxious to move into their first home together. Months of searching led to no real results, and they were starting to get ancy. Then, as if out of nowhere, the perfect home appeared—or so they thought.

New home, no worries—right?

The home was brand new construction and seemed to check every box on their list. After a few weeks of being in their new home, however, Sara began to feel sick with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat. While she didn’t normally have allergies, Sara dismissed the symptoms as a common cold and continued on with life as normal.

However, over time her symptoms worsened and Andrew started to feel ill, too. For months they lived with these symptoms, unaware that their new home was the cause of their illness.

A number of doctor’s visits later, Sara and Andrew found out they had been exposed to mold and were on the brink of a mold poisoning diagnosis. Fearing for their home, and for their health, they decided to give their neighbors at Killingsworth a call.

A new homeowner’s worst fear… Black mold

Upon arrival, we immediately began testing to locate areas of the home affected by mold. In each room, we used thermal imagery cameras, moisture meters and heat chambers to see where mold was present, and how severe the damage was. While we did detect excess levels of moisture around the home, we knew it wasn’t enough to cause the symptoms Sara and Andrew were experiencing.

Once we made our way into the crawl space, we found the root of the problem—black mold. Black mold had started growing throughout the crawl space. We later determined the foundation had been improperly poured when the home was initially built and cracks that had formed over time were allowing moisture to get in. Spores from the mold had seeped upstairs, contributing to Sara and Andrew’s sickness. We knew it wasn’t safe for them to remain in the home, so we advised them to find a place to stay while the mold was remediated.

A happy ending for everyone (except the mold)

After the home was vacated, we got to work! Once the crawl space was quarantined from the rest of the home so the spores couldn’t continue to spread, we began repairing the areas affected by black mold. With lots of work and dedication, we were able to restore Sara and Andrew’s home to its former glory. The newlyweds were so happy to move back into their new home—without having to worry about mold.

3. The Negligent Neighbor

A few years ago, Amy G. and her son moved into the perfect townhome in the Charlotte area. With no issues whatsoever, they were free to live life however they pleased in their new home. That is, until one day when everything changed.

The burst that started it all

While her son was at school, Amy was home taking care of her spring to-do list. Suddenly, she heard a loud noise coming from her neighbor’s townhome. Their pipes had burst and water was spewing everywhere, including all over the side of Amy’s home.

Within a few hours, the water was turned off but the damage had already been done. Water had begun to make its way into Amy’s townhome and had soaked through her carpets. In order to fix the problem, her landlord brought in a carpet cleaning team to clean the carpets and soak up any moisture. Amy wasn’t certain this did the trick, but nothing else was said about the burst so she let it go.

Amy’s unexplained symptoms

As the months passed, Amy began to feel ill. Worried about her condition, and the health of her son, she scheduled doctor’s appointments to see why she was experiencing these odd symptoms.

Shortly after, Amy’s landlord reached out to her and informed her that black mold had begun to grow and spread in her neighbor’s townhome. For the safety of herself and her son, the landlord advised them to leave the property. After receiving this news, Amy knew there had to be mold in her home, too. Could this be why she was feeling so sick?

The unseen enemy: mold

Knowing that black mold was potentially present, our team geared up and prepared for the worst. Our initial inspection revealed that black mold was indeed growing underneath Amy’s carpet. The moisture from the pipe burst had not been properly dried, allowing the mold to grow without being seen.

Just like Sara and Andrew, Amy had begun to suffer from toxic mold poisoning due to the black mold present in her home. Thankfully, we were able to remediate the mold in time and Amy’s son was not affected by the spores.

Staying prepared against mold

Now, Amy and her son are both happy and healthy, living mold-free in their home thanks to Killingsworth and our mold remediation team. Now that she understands the devastation mold can cause not only to her home but also to her life, Amy continues to be vigilant in protecting herself and her family from potential mold damage.

4. The Off Guard Owner

Scott and Angela had been living in their home for years with no moisture or mold issues at all. Eventually, they decided to expand their home by adding a master bedroom and bathroom, allowing their daughters to have a bathroom of their own.

One small leak leads to lots of mold

Unbeknownst to their daughters, the pipe under the sink in their bathroom had begun to leak. This leak continued to go unnoticed for a while, until one day when they realized everything under the sink was wet. After telling their parents, Scott called us down at Killingsworth to check for moisture damage.

Once in the bathroom, we could tell the moisture damage was severe. To see just how bad the damage was, we knew we had to remove the sink. To Scott and Angela’s surprise, black mold had begun to grow behind the sink, covering the bathroom wall.

An unexpected bathroom remodel

Worried about the safety of their daughters, Scott and Angela decided to gut the entire bathroom. The sink, tub and floors were all removed, and black mold remediation began.

Fortunately, we were able to remove the black mold before it was able to impact the health of their family. According to Scott and Angela, the bathroom was “outdated” and needed to be “completely renovated” anyway—which is definitely one way to look at it!

The victory over black mold

Their daughters were thrilled with their new bathroom, and Scott and Angela were able to finally have peace of mind knowing they didn’t have to worry about black mold harming the health of their family. They also learned a valuable lesson about always checking (and double-checking) for leaky pipes!

Protect Your Home From Mold Nightmares With Killingsworth

Scary stuff, right? Here at Killingsworth, we’ve seen firsthand the damage mold can do. When left untreated, mold can destroy your home, and seriously threaten your health.

But we don’t want these stories to become your reality! By staying aware of the areas of your home that are prone to excess moisture, you’ll be able to catch mold before it starts. To protect your home, be mindful of these three things:

  1. The humidity levels in your home. High levels of humidity can result in excess moisture. When moisture levels are high, mold is more likely to grow.
  2. Areas in your home that are more likely to experience water damage. Check corners of rooms, underneath cabinets and even your attic.
  3. Your current mold prevention methods. Is your attic properly ventilated? Is your crawl space encapsulated? Consider areas of your home that can hold moisture without your knowledge and arm them against potential mold damage.

Keeping a close eye on these areas of your home can be a full-time job. So when the going gets tough, call Killingsworth! We are experts in mold remediation so we can help protect your home and your family against mold damage.

Curious about more ways to protect your home from mold nightmares? Download our Mold & Mil-Dews & Don’ts guide to learn more tips and tricks!

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