site map

2 On Your Side: The Fungus Among Us

May 6, 2003

VANCOUVER - One of the wettest April's the Northwest has ever seen has created a major problem for many people.

The problem with mold, it hides in your walls where you can't see it.

But it can be so bad it makes your family sick.

KATU's Ed Teachout has a 2 On Your Side consumer alert about the growing mold problem in the Northwest.

Mold is a big problem because companies continue to build homes while it rains. It wasn't a problem when they used building materials that didn't soak moisture up.

But since contractors used oriented strand board, which is the stuff L.P. Siding is made of, the fungus is now among us.

From the outside the McMullen home looks like thousands of homes in the Portland Vancouver area but inside the walls is a whole different look.

"We made several cuts on the interior sheathing. We have the mold growing on the oriented strand board," said Stu McMullen.

McMullen said the black circles on his oriented strand board are penicillium, which is a common mold that grows when things get wet.

"I found a puddle of standing water - I pulled all the insulation out and that's how I discovered the mold," said Derek Osborne.

Derek's been dealing with mold and the heartache it's brought his family for more than a year.

Two-year old Ry-N suffers from lung problems.

Her parents said their house is making her sick.

"I'm sure it's the mold that's making her sick because whenever we leave the house we've taken two vacations and she's totally fine and when we come back within a day she's sick again," said Brittney Osborne.

"This is a huge problem throughout the Pacific Northwest," said McMullen.

McMullen said the builder and the materials builders used are to blame.

Remember L.P. Siding?

If it gets wet it can grow mushrooms, if it stays wet like in a wall - it grows mold.

Layer after layer the wood falls apart, even the layers behind the outside has mold.

McMullen said the fix is simple.

"If you're going to use oriented strand board on building a house do me a favor and dry it out before you close it up," said McMullen.

While the solution is simple, to dry out a house before you close in the walls - fixing a mold problem is not.

The Osbourne's are looking at nearly a $25 thousand repair to replace all their exterior walls.


Professional Mold Testing and Mold Remediation Classes

Call Southeastern Mold Institute Inc. at 1-850-276-3135 for a FREE PHONE CONSULATION on MOLD TRAINING AND MOLD CERTIFICATION