An unfortunate Woodbridge family has had to vacate their home due to unliveable conditions that include a serious mold infestation. They are living at a local hotel while they wait to hear whether municipal officials will step in to help their situation as they wait for a knot of lawsuits to wind its way through the courts.
Sydney Walters lives at the home with his girlfriend and 13 year-old son, along with her sister and brother in-law. In 2004 when they bought the then 2-year old home for over $300,000, Sydney admits they were naïve rookies. They lived in the house for six years enduring suffocating heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.
The problem? There was little to no insulation in the attic, a fact they only discovered in 2011. The family had hired a series of contractors to try and get at the roots of the problem, but for whatever reason, the attic was only recently investigated.
He says they didn’t realize how high their utility bills were in comparison to anyone else’s. Most importantly, they didn’t hire an independent home inspector, reasoning that the home, being only 2 years old at the time, didn’t require it.
No Insulation = Moisture
In the winter, his roof has no snow on it – he turns up the heat and it passes right through the roof, melting the snow and causing leaks. In the summer, it’s uncomfortably hot even with the A/C on. The leaks and wild fluctuations in temperature have resulted in moisture build up and caused a significant mold infestation. He says his family doctor has told him the home is unsafe. In April 2011, the City ordered him to install the insulation to bring it up to code.
No one disputes the basic fact – but a number of parties are arguing who’s at fault, and it’s caused a cascade of legal actions. Mr. Walters is suing the city because an inspector in 2002 failed to catch the problem – in fact the report doesn’t say anything about the attic. So far, the city has responded only by saying their legal department is looking into the issue. He is also suing the builder. The city has subsequently sued the builder, and the builder is countersuing the city, along with suing the drywall subcontractor. The drywall subcontractor, in turn, has said that it hired yet another party to actually do the work.
Allegations in the lawsuits involve mention of health effects to the family, including asthma and serious allergies.
When it Comes to Your Home
The family’s nightmare underscores the importance of a thorough home inspection that includes a mold inspection and the kinds of issues like attic insulation which can lead to mold infestation. You don’t want to take chances or just keep your fingers crossed that your home is mold free.
Mold Inspections can help with Mold Detection Services. We can find the mold you can’t see with our cutting edge equipment and mold testing methods, combined with seasoned professionals who know how to get the job done right.
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