Many homeowners in Hogan’s community of Heatherwood Lakes, Florida are finding out that hidden within the walls of their Beazer built homes is a potentially dangerous and deadly organism known as toxic black mold or Stachybotrys.
A mold that releases very harmful mycotoxins then end up in the lungs and causing respiratory problems and other chronic symptoms. Trichothecene mycotoxins in the air can also enter your body through the eyes or be absorbed through the skin.
The most common symptoms include: sneezing, chronic coughing, irritation to the eyes, breathing problems, rashes, mucus membranes of the throat, bleeding disorders (hemorrhage) and many neurological problems such as headaches, chronic fatigue and problems in balance, concentration and memory (see Kilburn- Toxicology and Industrial Health Oct-Nov 2009;25(9-10):681-92).
NBC2 Investigators in Cape Coral, Florida reported this week that many Beazer built homes have a known defect, and they have have already fixed 279 homes in Florida at a cost of more than $30 million.
Unfortunately, under Florida law, homeowners have a time limit of 10 years to bring legal action against a home builder like Beazer, and for many homeowners such as in Hogan’s community, time has simply run out. The black mold inside the homes of people with a stucco defect issue they’re now stuck with.
The mold was discovered during a home inspection with Louis Korchick of Eagle Eye Home Inspection.
“Mold growing all over the back of the sheetrock,” Korchick said.
“The wood down here is totally rotted away.”
NBC2 caught it all on camera as Korchick peeled back the wall of homeowner Danny Hogan in Cape Coral.
“It’s actually dripping in my hands,” Hogan said while holding a piece of wood that once helped support the walls in his home.
Hogan and others spoke with NBC2 last week after they realized their homes were impacted by a significant defect that allows water to seep in through their windows and stucco. It even came through the weather-resistant barrier that is supposed to protect their interior wood.
“Now we have rotten wood with houses that are eventually going to fall down or second floor that’s going to fall down,” Hogan said.
Korchick performed mold tests in two separate homes and shared the results with NBC2. Both showed positive for Stachybotrys and other types of mold.
“Any type of mold that’s found in higher levels can affect everybody’s health differently,” Korchick said.
While Hogan wants to have the issue fixed, so far his claim to the home builder, Beazer Homes, has been denied.
“I’ve tried contacting them and they won’t even respond to or give me a call back. I’ve done it three times a day, the same times every day for three weeks,” Hogan said.
The problem for Hogan and other homeowners NBC2 spoke with is that under Florida law, they are no longer able to file legal action against Beazer Homes over the defect. Their claims to have the issue fixed have been denied.
“What ends up happening to the benefit of the builders many times is time runs out,” Tampa attorney Josh Burnett said.
Burnett has filed lawsuits across Florida against home builders stemming from the defect.