Indoor mold and fungi! The dangerous truth every home owner and resident needs to know!
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Indoor mold and fungi growth, although still being researched as to how sevearly it effects human health and which species are linked to certain diseases or mental impairments, is widely recognized in many county's and states as a dangerous and substandard condition when it's pretense is found in excess and in areas where it is uncommon for moisture to accumulate. There are specific conditions required that promote bacterial and mold or fungi related growth as well as very crucial and specific procedures to clean and prevent future regrowth that require professional inspection and possibly remediation. If an unqualified person attempts to clean, cover up, or improperly assess anot indoor mold infestation, it can not only put their health and safety in danger, they are risking the well being of the occupants and can disturb a potentially toxic colony, allowing the spores to spread which will result in more damage to health and compromise the sanitation and structure of the building.
My boyfriend, Jacob Adler, and I, Kandice Cammiso, have personally been living this nightmare. After the recent heavy rains we discovered severe mold growth on our window sill which had also spread to the wooden blinds that came with the house. We notified our landlord of the issue and began our own research wich lead to our knowledge of the dangers this infestation possesses and how unsafe, uneducated attempts to fix this could be unfortunately our landlord not only denied the presence that began to grow on every surface of our home, he tried to force us to vacate by means of theft of our property, nonstop harrassment, false accusations attempting to intimidate us, stalking and deframation of our character in past and present work places, and breaking and entering.
We reached out to every County authority would could and either no one returned our calls or they told us they don't handle mold situations. We felt helpless and to be honest a little insane. When we finally got an inspection from code enforcement, it seemed as if we knew more about codes and building standards as well as the conditions California lists thate that deem a home substandard or uninhabitable. He overlooked anything related to the word mold and refused to acknowledge the severend water damage, faulty plumbing and un-permitted roofing, which lead to the growth of mold in every room which in turn dilapidated the flooring, as well as every wall inside and outside, and our ceiling. Our entry doors have gaps beneath that allow weather intrusion and other uninvited guest. We have an insects such as spiders, beatles, cockroaches, mosquitos, and flying ants entering as they please. There mold and fungal spore chains growing in our carpets and our walls have holes appearing out of no where. The ceiling in our bedroom is sagging and crumbling, and the attic insulation is severely water damaged and there is major mold growth everywhere. Our heater is a fire hazard and we were without heat all winter and there are no working smoke alarms and have not been for years. We also suspect the precense of lead and asbestos as there was a wall built over original walls and our landlord performed un-permitted, under qualified re-roofing and remodeling of the flooring, electrical and cabinet, counter, and sink in the kitchen, after the place was unoccupied for two years and dramatically reduced in price before the current owner purchased it. A house this old should be tested for lead and asbestos before doing any repair work and it is clear that didn't happen. We are illegally being forced out of our home and we denied the proper documentation needed to prove our conditions to the judge.
We have been sick with chronic coughing, sinus infections, skin and eye infection, headaches, nausea, muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue, memory loss, confusion, blurred vision, hearing impairment, depression, anxiety and hair loss. My hair has shortened itself 3 inches and is thinning rapidly with bald spots even.
Our clothes, furniture, and cherished belongings are destroyed by stains and mold growth that returns on just about every porus surface twice as bad when we attempt to clean it ourselves. This has caused such a disruption in our quality of life and faithe in trusting people appointed to keep us safe and healthy. We have lost friends, jobs, and so much money attempting to save our property and sanity by staying somewhat sanitary and comfortable in our own home.
There needs to be a program with code enforcement in place in every County of San bernardino that requires officials to be trained in the identification of mold, which by the way can effect you just as bad even when there are no visible signs of growth. Mold reservoirs can be hidden in wall cavities, under baseboards, or in the attic. They should also be made aware of the conditions that promote mold growth such as neglected or improperly remediate roof or plumbing leaks, lack of or poor ventilation. Lack of or poorly weather proofed windows and doors, as well as unmaintained HVAC systems. They need to be refreshed on housing laws that are in place to afford residents a safe, decent, and might I add, healthy place to live.
There should also be an awareness newsletter sent out to all homeowners and renters alike, informing them of how to handle repair requests or notifications from tenants and what the laws are regarding this process to protect them and the tenants both, as well as how to prevent mold growth in the changing seasons and what to do if it's presence is found. This is including but not limited to: Mildew in a bathroom caused by not turning on the fan or opening the window is normal and can be cleaned with bleach. Mold growth in your window sills due to lack of weather proofing which can be easily sealed and cleaned without compromising your health or causing it to regrow and spread. Signs of the precense of allergenic or toxic molds and how to recognize symptoms that are abnormal and consistent, as well as foreign musty, chemical, or vomit like smells. Discoloration of walls and evidence of water intrusion and damage.
This is an issue that many are unaware could be the cause of numerous health and mental issues, and especially affects children, elderly, those with asthma or respitory issues, low immune systems, or who recently had surgery. If you don't know how to identify it, its easy to over look growth and stop it before it becomes a serious and expensive issue. Remediation can cost thousands of dollars which is why a lot of landlordstuff would rather force you out then properly clean and fix the issues that lead to this in the first place.
I would like San Bernardino county to make sure a proper pre-rental inspection of the inside and outside of the house is done annually as well as requirement for code enforcement and health department, or building and safety officials to be educated in indoor mold and fungi growth and how to enforce the codes in place that protect renters from being forced to tolerate substandard conditions and negligent landlords. Your hard earned money should not be spent on a dwelling unit unfit for occupancy.
If the county officials are paid to ensure that standards and requirements are met there should be no reason these conditions should go unacknowledged, according to law. They should be prevented or abated in a timely manner. I care about my community and the safety and well being of humans, animals, and our environment alike.
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or punsuit of happiness, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the EQUAL protection of the laws."
My goal is to at least get San Bernardino County, especially the city of Hesperia, since they are their own municipal and their own ordinance that is not fully enforced, revise any rental housing program and way of answering complaints, especially for a non-registered dwelling units, to match the ones in place in counties like Sacramento, contract Costa, San Diego and so on. These county's have an in depth code enforcement program that includes a more thurough inspection checklist of interior and exterior and random inspections that promote prevention of substandard dwelling units. They also have strict timelines in place for abating any violations, which they follow up on and pursue action when owners neglect to properly abate the things they were sited for. Also a requirement of documentation and permits must be present at time of scheduled inspecton. This program provides education for owners, landlords, property mamagers amd tenants on what is required of them by law. This holds owners and send tenants accountable for doing what is required to maintain the sanitation, safety, and condition of the premises, and prevent hazardous situations. Please join my cause of action to afford everyone the right to quality, enjoyable, safe and healthy residency in every town or city.
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