‘It can happen to anyone’: Dangerous black mold hits temple homeowners

TEMPLE, TexasKWTX)- The 2021 freeze has affected many Central Texas residents, but the effects of the freeze still linger for two new Temple residents.

Experts say that when pipes burst in homes, there is a chance of dangerous mold growing. This is exactly what the Temple family, who moved to Central Texas from North Carolina about a year ago, is facing today.

“We have done due diligence. We have had a check. We worked with a realtor. We asked all the questions, but found nothing,” said Lindsey Star, who bought the house from Open-Door in Temple. “Now all this burden is on me and my family when we did nothing. I had nothing to do with it.”

After six months of living in what she called her dream home, Star’s daughter became seriously ill. The mother said that the local doctors could not explain the case until one of them recommended a dust test in the house.

Star said a dust test showed that extremely dangerous black mold had infested her home, essentially making it uninhabitable. Her family even had to leave all their belongings because toxins had seeped inside.

“Our daughter’s bedroom was very tall when we did the mold test, and she was obviously the sickest of them all,” Star said.

Star said they soon learned that the house was flooded during a February 2021 freeze and the previous owner left it untouched. She claims they missed the form because the construction companies covered it up.

“If you have a musty smell, chances are you might have mold. First, if something is still damp, if you haven’t dried it properly, the chances of mold growing are pretty high,” said Lance Neidigk, owner of Lone Star Mold Testing and Environmental.

“Often people think they are drying the outside of the wall and say, ‘Oh, it looks dry,’ but usually it’s the inside or the insulation that gets wet and we can’t dry it. If we do not open this wall and dry out its cavity, the chances of mold growing there are very high.”

Neidigk said that mold is likely to be found in every home, but the black mold that hit the star family’s home can form if wet things are not removed from the house.

Daughter Star feels much better in a rented house. The family, however, is now stuck with rent, mortgages and a clean list of possessions. They are waiting to hear from their insurance company and the Open Door company that provided the house.

If there’s anything they’ve learned from the experience, it’s that they now encourage Central Texans to check their homes for mold.

KWTX called Open Door their part of history. We did not receive an answer.

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