Industrial Hygienist Phillip Fry of EnviroFry reports that a California home seller, realtor, home inspector, and mortgage lender are going to be sued by the home’s Texas buyers for failing to disclose the presence of elevated levels of toxic mold growth in both the crawl space and in the heating/cooling equipment and ducts.
Montrose, MI, February 04, 2014 -- On January 31, 2014, a couple, newly-arrived from Texas and now very ill from living in high levels of toxic mold, learned in reading mold lab test results of mold tests taken by Professional Industrial Hygienist and Certified Mold Inspector Phillip Fry of EnviroFry that their recently-purchased home in San Diego, California, is severely infested with seller-undisclosed, advanced toxic mold growth throughout the home’s large crawl space and in the heating/cooling equipment and ducts.
Through six indoor tests on Jan. 30th, Fry tested the crawl space mold, room air, and the outward air flow from the heating/cooling air supply ducts. Lab results reported high and dangerous mold levels (compared to the outdoor mold control test) of several toxic mold species including cancer-causing Aspergillus mold and Penicillium mold, both of which cause severe respiratory and other mold health problems in mold victims exposed to elevated levels of those mold species.
“Almost all of the wood timbers in the crawl space were encrusted with mold growth that was likely to have been years in the making. The crawl space masonry walls and the adjacent basement walls and floors were very wet, as determined by widespread spot checking with my moisture meter,” reported Mr. Fry, who is also a Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Remediator, webmaster since 1999 of the mold information website www.moldinspector.com, and author of five mold advice ebooks available at www.moldmart.net.
“A major building defect was the lack of adequate waterproofing of the crawl space and basement walls and floors that enabled water runoff from neighboring, higher-elevation home lots and the roadway to enter into the crawl space and basement to drive mold growth,” added Mr. Fry who spent six hours carefully investigating and testing the house and its surroundings.
“Many hundreds of thousands of California and other USA and Canadian homes that are built on the sides or bottoms of hills have similar water intrusion and advanced toxic mold growth, which often grows upward into the insides of the floors and walls above,” warned Mr. Fry.
The home’s toxic mold problems have caused severe health problems for the couple, such as memory loss, headaches, chronic tiredness, sinus problems, and respiratory problems such as difficulty in breathing and frequent coughing and sneezing. Five days ago the couple’s doctor recommend that the couple move out, which they promptly did by moving into a nearby hotel.
“The couple told me that they will never return to the mold-contaminated home and that they have hired an attorney to sue the home seller, realtor, home inspector, and mortgage lender for the rescission of the home’s $500,000 purchase price, as well as for medical damages, loss of mold-contaminated furniture and possessions, and other compensatory and punitive damages,” stated Mr. Fry.
“The couple told me that the real estate agent used air fresheners and a burning candle to mask the home’s big mold smell during the couple’s visit to the home for sale. In addition, the home seller had recently installed new carpeting and laminate flooring to help conceal the house mold problems,” reported Mr. Fry.
Mr. Fry recommends that prospective home buyers and rental tenants pay for an independent and thorough mold inspection and testing of a home, condo, or apartment for sale or rent before finalizing any purchase or lease commitment.
“Especially important is to mold test the air of the attic, living area, basement, crawl space, and the outward air flow from heating/cooling duct registers, as well as to look for evidence of water intrusion and both visible and hidden mold growth,” recommended Fry whose nationwide firm EnviroFry provides mold inspection, testing, remediation and prevention services.
Phillip Fry, Co-Manager
10104 Sheridan Rd.,
Montrose, Michigan 48457
Phone Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616
Cell Phone 1-480-310-7970