Larry Butler and his wife Judit Szaloki finally decided to take the leap and purchase their first home. After renting for 12 years, they decided that it was time to make a solid investment and settle down.
Not long after the couple began their search, they found a house that met their needs, made an offer, and got approved for a mortgage. After they went to closing, the couple thought that their dream of become homeowners had finally come true; however, their elation didn’t last long. Two days after closing, the couple visited their newly purchased home and made a harrowing discovery: it was infested with mold.
Two of the couple’s daughters suffer from asthma, and one of them wound up in the emergency room. The family is now in the middle of a spore war that will likely end with them in financial ruin. They are struggling to pay the rent on their old home and the $1,600 monthly mortgage payment for their new house. Add a mold remediation bill that’s estimated to cost upwards of $30,000 into the mix and it’s easy to see why they are so financially strapped.
“This is our first house, and it’s a nightmare,” Butler said.
Nothing but a “Dump”
The couple spent six years searching for a home that they could afford. In Charlottesville’s hot market, every house they found that they could afford was sold before they could even put in an offer. Then they found a property that they could afford, put in an offer, and thought that they were on their long journey was over.
The house, which was built in 1960, isn’t anything fancy, but, Butler says, it met their needs and they were happy. That is, until the family discovered that it was nothing more than “another over-priced dump here in Charlottesville,” Butler said.
The Mold War
As soon as the family stepped into their newly purchased house, they were greeted with the smell of mildew. They claim that they were told the scent was caused by polyurethane finish on the floors. When the smell didn’t subside, Larry suspected that the carpeting downstairs was the culprit and he started ripping it up.
It wasn’t until he opened up a kitchen cabinet that he found the source of the problem: a blanket of white, feathery mold that was about an inch thick. Initially, the family thought it was a spider web, but upon further inspection, the realized that they had a serious problem on their hands. Black and orange mold was also coating a board behind the cabinet.
Black mold was also found growing in the sheetrock of a closet and the rafters in the basement were coated with green mold. “It’s everywhere,” exclaimed Butler.
Now, the Butler’s are stuck in the midst of a terrible financial war that was sparked by mold spores.
Mold Inspection & Testing Charlottesville has extensive experience performing mold tests in homes throughout the region. We strongly urge anyone who is considering purchasing a house to have mold testing performed before committing. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 434.763.8732.