Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Think My House is Making Me Sick ...

Jimmy & I live in a little small backwoods country town in south eastern North Carolina in an older manufactured home or mobile home or trailer as some call it. It's a single wide 14 X 60 ish, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom with two room additions built on, a fully covered front porch and a small covered enclosed back porch. It sits at the end of a dirt driveway on a beautiful piece of land full of trees, azalea bushes and grass. I LOVE my little home. However, we have found some problems and I think they are making (or actually keeping) me sick.

We moved in April 1, 2011 and the first issue we had was a leak in the ceiling of one of the additions (think small 3rd bedroom that we use as the office) shortly after moving in. During the first thunderstorm we had after we moved in the water just poured in. I had to use the tall trash can from the kitchen to contain the water. The next day after it stopped raining I called the landlord, he came and looked at it and immediately got someone out to fix the roof. No more leaks from this area.

We also showed him where we thought there may be some leakage in the dining room area where the larger addition (think living room size) was attached to the main house. He told us no, those were old stains, the leak has been fixed and there shouldn't be any more problems. OK, I say... for now.

Fast forward to this past October 2012 through February 2013. First we begin having issues with our hot water heater, he sends a plumber over to fix it. They spend 4 hours and I'm without water for 3 days because they have shut off the pump to our well, and it takes that long for the well company to come prime the pump and get our water back on. We still have problems with the hot water heater. I've told him I think it's the heating coil and it will need to be replaced. By now it's also running NON STOP, 24/7, 7 days a week.

During this same time frame it's winter and we are having one of the wettest winters I've ever experienced. The roof begins leaking in various places, and I find dark places on my inside ceiling that are spreading. When these are brought to the landlords attention, he says no, those are just the dark stains from the previous leak that has been fixed. Mind you, I've got BLACK spots on my inside ceiling and brown tracks running down the inner walls in my dining room that I keep wiping up.

At Thanksgiving we have family and friends for a big dinner, I move one of the extra chairs out of the corner where I keep it when it's not being used around the table and I almost fall through the floor. It has rotted and come loose from the wall. This is right under one of the spots I've been told was repaired and is not leaking. OK.

Mylia and Cheyenne come down from Maryland for Yule/Christmas. During this time I do more cooking, which results in more dish washing. It also means more showers and laundry. So the hot water heater is working overtime. Keep in mind it has been running CONSTANTLY since the last visit from the plumbers BEFORE Thanksgiving.

Finally in February I have had enough. I call the landlord and tell him the hot water heater is not fixed, it is running 24/7 and my electric bill is now OVER $375.00 for ONE MONTH! (It has never been that high since we moved in here). He calls the plumber, they come out and decide the hot water heater now needs to be replaced (remember I asked for this to be done back in oh November?). And the landlord wants to put the new unit in the LAUNDRY room. I already have a washer and dryer in there and there is NO room for a new hot water heater to be added in too. Finally after much discussion between the plumbers and the landlord via phone, it is determined to just keep the location the same, put the new unit in the master bathroom where the broken one is and away they go. Tearing walls down, making a huge dusty mess and finally hooking up a new hot water heater. Off they go...they have finished.

OH NO THEY DIDN'T!! They didn't replace the wall they tore down. AND the new connections are LEAKING! We immediately call the landlord to let him know the connections are leaking and find they can't come back out until the next day. SERIOUSLY?? By the time they get here the next day I have had more than enough. Luckily Jimmy is home and deals with them so I don't go all wicked witch on their dumb asses. When they get the leaks fixed Jimmy asks about putting the wall/sheet rock up they tore down. He is told we have BLACK MOLD and the wall cannot be replaced until it has been treated. Then they advise us to spray it two or three times a day with pure straight bleach. This is supposed to stop the growth and in a few days all will be well and the wall can go back up. WTF???

Most of you know I have been sick with a cold or something since I got back from Arizona last November. This has been probably the worst winter I can remember having, and as a child with chronic bronchitis, I had some nasty winters. With all the rain we've had here in NC the roof has begun leaking again at the connection where the addition is in the dining room area. I also found black mold growing there on my ceiling. And there are once again brown streaks running down the walls which I wipe up 3 or 4 times a day.

I've repeatedly called the landlord about this and he repeatedly tells me there is NO leak, that was fixed a while ago. Finally Tanya has had enough and brings a sealant to paint on the ceiling which is supposed to inhibit the growth of black mold. She and Ed take care of this the weekend we go to Starrlight Meadery. The only thing that has changed is there are no more black spots on my ceiling. I have NO idea what is growing in my walls, and the floor has yet to be fixed. And the wall in the bathroom where the hot water heater goes hasn't been replaced.

Because I have been so sick and can't seem to get any better no matter what I do, (I have no health insurance and cannot afford to go to the doctor) I did some googling for Black Mold. This shit is serious! There is NO wonder I can't get better. Just the respiratory symptoms alone are enough to make me want to move. Add in the tiredness and discomfort symptoms and I am a perfect example of someone with Black mold toxicity.

So, I have a feeling I'll be looking for a place to move. And because finances are what they are, we'll be staying here in the Hope Mills area. At least Jimmy has a good job...

These are just a few of the things I've been experiencing, there are many more symptoms and you can find more information on Black Mold:

  • Difficulty breathing - breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation of the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Stuffy, blocked nose
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Shortened attention span
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle pain
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Malaise - general discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Cold or flu type symptoms or recurring colds
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea