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It Heals Disease...And Destroys Houses
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, October 26, 2006

Practically everyone knows that penicillin, the first of the wonder drug antibiotics, came from an accidental discovery of how bread mold killed bacteria. But, as I am finding out, mold has a darker side.

Apparently, we've had a slab leak in our house for quite a while. Last week, we noticed a small pool of water on our kitchen floor, coming from underneath the cabinets. So, we called in the pros to take a look. Today, we learned that the entire wall between the kitchen and the family room is all wet, has been for some time, and is now all moldy.

So, starting next week, workmen will be tearing out my kitchen cabinets, sink, walls, and family room walls. Possibly my bathroom walls and tub will have to go, too. They'll also have to jackhammer through the slab to fix the leak. And we can't live in the house while all this is going on, so my insurance company is finding us temporary housing...somewhere, where we'll have to live for up to a month.

I am not happy. Not even with getting a new kitchen out of the deal.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I wonder how much of this mold thing is a scam. I mean 30 years ago, I don’t think anyone would have done anything about it to what you’re describing. They would have probably removed any rotted or deteriorated material, but otherwise they would have just let the rest dry and scrub it down.

Mold remediation has become big business. I wonder what’s changed? Concerns over health? New Molds? The approach to these situations just seems much more extreme than a few decades ago.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Dale, that really, really sucks. I usually try to be more witty, but there’s not much more to say than that.

I guess you could be thankful that it didn’t ruin all of your tech equipment?

Ugh ... I feel for you.
Written By: MichaelW
Dale, that absolutely stinks, but be thankfull your insurance carrier will cover you. Most insurance companies nowadays are specifically excluding water damage from internal leaks and most especially mold remediation. As I have always said, the the only life form lower than an attorney is an insurance agent.
Written By: S.
URL: http://
Mold has become a problem because a lot of homes are built ultra-tight now and there is no easy way for water to vaporize and migrate out of the house. That said, Dale’s problem sounds atypical because the slab itself has a leak that does not sound like the result of normal settling.

Anyway, sorry to hear it.
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Mold has become a problem because a lot of homes are built ultra-tight now and there is no easy way for water to vaporize and migrate out of the house
If you are thinking of buying a house, or any building for that matter, don’t do it until you have brought in a dog that is trained to sniff out mold. The dogs are out there, and well worth the price.
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The mold industry came about after an article (or was it a study) came out that blamed toxic mold for the deaths of scores of patients at a hospital. I can remember the picture of the building, but can’t place when or where. Some help? IIRC the mold was later cleared, but...

Then folks started cooking their houses in Texas. (Think hang wet blankets, turn up heat, get free remodel.)

People claim to be more sensitive, but I’ve notice about 60% of people are also sensitive to any situation that adds a little drama in their lives, so I’m not convinced.

Also, we try to raise children in a germ freeish bubble these days, which I do think makes them less tolerant of nature’s other creatures. Personally the kid gets sent out into the forest to play about twice a week. A little dirt never hurt.

And Dale, be careful when this is all done you don’t get canceled and stuck in high risk. Mold’s an annoying symptom of the main problem: Water. Water will royaly fubar a house.
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
My family renovated our home back in the 90s, and in the process the contractor crushed the drainage system around our house with his back hoe. Water built up and we had several large floods and many small leaks in the house, causing large amounts of "black mold" to grow. At first we thought nothing of it, until my grandfather, whom is a retired doctor, noticed the increasing amount of illness in my family. My father took us all in to our doctor for exams, and the doctor pulled a large chunk of the stuff out of my sister’s ear.

Basicaly, the mold and the symbiotic bacteria present in it caused numerous opportunistic infections in myself and my family. We had long term exposure (nearly 8 months) and several of us were left with perminant health problems. My mother is so sensitive to mold now that she has alergic attacks to extremely small amounts of mold, something that never happened before the incident. I’m in the same boat, my immune system goes into overdrive at the slightest taint.

I suggest you Ozone your house before you move your family back inside. Its the only way you can kill all the mold spores that have gotten into your AC system and carpets.
Written By: The Brain
URL: http://
Check you homeowners insurance policy. You may be able to get your insurance company to pick up most of the bill!
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Be glad you all aren’t sick.

Written By: rightwingprof
Mold is mostly a industry and a "disease”, which benefits those in the remediation business more than the "Victims."

That having been said, Dale, you have my profoundest sympathies. The fellow who said water will FUBAR a house is SO right. Look at the extent of the remodel and the INCONVENIENCE for you and your family. I am very very sorry…

Finally, I must say, “I BLAME BUSH and his environmental policies” This would NEVER have happened if Gore hadn’t been cheated out of the Presidency or if Kerry/Edwards hadn’t been screwed out of the Presidency by Diebold. Stem Cell Research, Kyoto, and the UN would have PREVENTED things like this from happening.

Again, my condolences…you live too far away for me to offer you a room or a meal, so words will have to suffice, or course they don’t….
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If you are going to be ripping your walls apart anyway you might want to reroute your water pipes through the walls and just close off those in the slab.
Written By: unaha-closp

A few things...

First you may want to consider using a plastic wrapped drywall. Less of a mold problem, or so I’m told. It seems a little excessive, given the area of the country you live in doesn’t exactly get the most rainfall , but your situation does seem to demonstrate a need for it, nonetheless.

Secondly, you have my sympathy on this point. When we bought this place where we’re currently living about fifteen years ago, we had recently had two weeks worth of power outage due to an ice storm. The result, of course, was that the sump pump wasn’t running for that period. Fill in the blanks. We found out a couple years after we started here, that we had some serious cleanup to do that we hadn’t realized.

Finally, my second point leaves me wondering just a little bit about the amount of mold in houses that have been more completely flooded. Say, for example, along river banks. Or, after a hurricane.
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://

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