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This House is Finally Killing Us!

A mold test kit from Home Depot

A mold test kit from Home Depot

Black mold in a test kit petri dish

Black mold in a test kit petri dish

The effect of mold on ceiling paint

The effect of mold on ceiling paint

Attic mold seeping through

Attic mold seeping through

Black mold getting through the treated ceiling

Black mold getting through the treated ceiling

Black mold as it seeps through, the beginning stages

Black mold as it seeps through, the beginning stages

Deadly Black Mold

In 2008, my wife and I moved in to an older farmhouse. It was a sweet deal, a fixer upper. We were not buying it, but rather renting and maintaining the structure of the house and the surrounding property. We discovered in early 2009 that there was a slight mold problem within the walls due to a leaky roof. We painted the walls and ceiling with some “Kilz” paint that was provided by the landlord which was supposed to keep the mold and mildew at bay (she informed us of a "slight mold problem"). We scraped down and refinished the window sills and we were pretty well confident that we had the mold issue under control.

Then about 2 years ago, we began seeing a lot of small black and yellow dots on the ceilings and upper walls of the living room. We scraped and painted again. Not long after that, the kitchen floor began to get soft and weak, so I crawled under the house with my dog Wyatt (famous for killing copperheads) and what I found was startling, yet amazing. The underside of the floor looked like one giant mushroom. The wood was consumed by the fungus causing it to become soft and unstable. I had to eventually recover the floors with plywood to keep from falling through. The landlord was not willing to put any more money into this 70 year old house, and would probably burn it down if we ever moved. We couldn’t afford to move either, so we stayed and fought the mold.

It was a losing battle.

Soon my wife and I were experiencing some serious health issues. She had 2 strokes in the last 3 years, and 2 TIA’s. I had one stroke in 2010, and have had at least 2 TIA’s. My osteoarthritis has blossomed into Rheumatoid Arthritis; my wife has developed serious digestive problems, severe esophageal erosion, erosion of her stomach lining and throat, and Celiac Disease. Our skin was always itching, and athlete’s foot was incurable. We would both wake up choking in our sleep and what sleep we did get was not restful. I would experience flu-like symptoms for no reason and her sinuses were always infected. We noticed that when we were away from the house for a long day trip, we felt better.

Recently my wife was hospitalized for her digestive issues. She was in the hospital for 5 days, and I never left her side, staying with her night and day except when I went home to feed the dogs. When I spent more than 15 or 20 minutes in the house, I began to itch, my eyes would burn and I had dryness in my throat that caused me to cough for an hour after I left. When I got back to the hospital, I began to research mold infestation on my laptop. It was incredibly amazing what I had discovered, more information than what I had previously found out.

All of the problems that we were having, the strokes, the itching, and the gastric upsets…they were all a direct result of long-term mold poisoning. I had the doctors check my wife for high Mycotoxin levels. They were resistant at first (they tried to say it was “anxiety”), but after complaining to the administrator, the tests were done and they proved conclusively that her problems were a direct result of mold poisoning.

We had to move out ASAP, but where to? When she was discharged after 5 days, we went straight to another hospital and stayed for another two days in the waiting room while our daughter in law was in labor. As it turned out, due to an infection, my new 8 ½ pound grandson had to stay another week in the hospital, so we were asked to house sit for my son and his wife. I was still going back daily to feed the dogs, but the both of us were feeling much better after the extended absence from the old farmhouse.

Then one day my wife decided to go with me to help pack things up. We stopped by Home Depot and she bought herself a respirator mask so she
wouldn’t have to breathe in the Mycotoxins while we worked. After about an hour or so, she was feeling very sick, her sinuses were clogging up and her skin and scalp was itching. We had to leave immediately. She never went back inside. According to research and the doctors, we were in the final stages of mold infestation before it actually began killing us from the inside out. Mold spores are microscopic. 20,000,000 can fit on a postage stamp.

So now with our finances in shambles and our savings completely depleted because of the medical madness caused by the mold in this house, we’re forced to either live in my truck or find some other way to live. My father in law offered us a small piece of land if we could find a small travel trailer to put on it. He would supply the water, power and sewage lines, we just had to do the rest. With God’s help, we found an older trailer in good condition. Because of the mold, we are forced to sell our 1 year old soft living room furniture, bedroom furniture and dining furniture at garage sale prices because we can no longer use them (with a warning to the buyer, of course!). In two days we will have the trailer in place and will begin settling into our new “home”.

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Sadly, we have to find homes for many of our dogs, as my father in law has limited kennel space. It is tough to find new homes for older dogs, and sad because they have been our family (our kids!) for the last 9 years.

If you suspect mold in your home, you can buy a test kit from Home Depot for about ten dollars. If your home tests positive for mold and you are experiencing some mysterious health issues, have your doctor test you for Mycotoxin levels. It is a simple test, much like a TB test. Mold restoration in your home is an expensive and extensive task. Many times walls and rooftops have to be removed and replaced to eradicate the mold problems, and sad to say, a lot of homeowner’s insurance (or even renter’s insurance) does not cover mold damage.

So with all of that being said, my friends, stay healthy! Always do a good deed for a stranger, always give thanks to the Good Lord above for everything, the good and the not so good, and be safe!

I bid you peace.

©2013 by Del Banks

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Del Banks (author) from Southern Blue Ridge Mountains on May 05, 2013:

Thanks, Kathi! It's an uphill struggle, but we are conquering it!

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on May 05, 2013:

Wow . . . I'm glad you're out of there. So sorry for you two and the dogs. Best of luck and I hope that many new blessings come your way soon. Take care, Kathi

Angela Blair from Central Texas on April 30, 2013:

What a horrible experience. My significant other and I are planning to renovate a house built in 1904 which he owns and I know for a fact the black mold is present. Your story certainly makes me have lots of second thoughts about that project! Blessings to you both -- Best/Sis

Del Banks (author) from Southern Blue Ridge Mountains on April 30, 2013:

Any time, ShyAnne. Thanks for reading and your kind wishes!

ShyeAnne from Qualicum Bay, British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2013:

I wish you great good fortune in your new little trailer, mold is a toxic and deadly substance. Good Hub. Thank you for sharing and for your great attitude.

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