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Published: Friday, June 08, 2012, 6:30 PM
By Brad Devereaux | email@example.com
Brad Devereaux | The Saginaw NewsTanikya and Hurley Coleman.
SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI — While working to pay off a home they have lived in for nearly two years, a young couple was shocked to learn in April that they were sharing the space with black mold.
Hurley Coleman III, 28, and his wife, Tanyika Coleman, 32, found the mold when their old and corroded pipes burst early this spring. After inspections from mold experts and a visit from the health department identifying the mold as the toxic variety, stachybotrys, the couple and their three children were told to move out for their own safety.
“There are different types of black mold,” she said. “This kind releases toxin into the air that can cause neurological and respiratory damage.”
The Colemans lived in the home with their three children, ages 15 months to 8 years old.
Tanyika said the baby has been sick most of its life and the couple did not know why, but now they believe it is because of the black mold. She and her husband had flu-like symptoms after they moved into the basement for a period of three days, nearby where they later found the mold growing.
Tanyika, a medical assistant at a pediatric office, said she began researching stachybotrys and found it can be fatal in some cases involving infants.
“We can’t take that risk,” she said.
Much of the mold they found is inside the walls, Tanyika said, and experts told them there is no way of knowing how long it has been there. Neighbors told them the home flooded several times before the couple moved in and they wonder if that, along with corded pipes in the wall, could be to blame.
View full sizeThe Colemans put on masks to protect them from breathing in toxins released from the black mold before entering their home Friday. They were there to meet a mold expert.
Tanyika said one of the exterior doors lets water into the house and the sump pump doesn’t work right. They had the home insected before they moved in, but they didn’t have it checked for mold.
The insurance company said they would pay $4,000 to replace carpet and drywall, but they don’t cover other costs related to mold. That amount is just a small portion of the estimated $30,000 the family will have to pay, with up to $10,000 for mold cleanup and about $20,000 to rebuild the basement. (A Public Adjuster may be able to help these people, we have contacted them)
The family still owes about $40,000 on the $60,000 home they moved into in September 2010, Tanyika said.
The couple said they don’t know where they are going to get the money fix the home, and they are considering moving out even though they like the neighborhood and the home.
The couple is consulting with a lawyer to see if they can take action because the previous flooding that neighbors told them about was not disclosed by the previous owners during the sale, Tanyika said.
Hurley, a minister at World Outreach on Bay Road, said he doesn’t want to ask the church for help because he knows there are many other families who need the support.
They are hoping to find an organization that can help them with the financial burden of the problem, but haven’t had luck so far. Anyone who would like to contact the family can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, the Colemans are living with Hurley’s mother, about 10 minutes away from their previous home, and burning a lot of gas bringing kids back and forth to summer school and to other appointments around the neighborhood.
They said the mold problem is a big setback in their plans of home ownership, though they are happy to have discovered it before it caused them serious health problems.
“We had been talking about doing some renovations,” Tanyika said. “We were thinking of what we wanted to do and saving up to get to that point.”
article by Brad Devereaux 989-372-2442
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