12 OYS: Hephzibah home mold infestation 60 times over acceptable levels

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / August 8, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- It seemed like the perfect home.

"Fresh paint. Clean carpet. No smell at all," said Lashunda Martin.

In November, Martin signed a lease moving her small children into the home on Saddlebrook Drive.

"It was okay when I first moved in," Martin said.

By March, she started using her air conditioning and said she noticed some problems.

"A smell and, I thought maybe it was coming from my refrigerator, because my refrigerator went out," said Martin. Then she said her kids got sick. "My daughter started getting sinus infections," Martin said.

After the paint on her walls and ceilings started turning black, Martin said she tried to reach the property's owner. She said he never returned her calls. At the advice of the county code enforcement office, Martin had the home tested.

"He (inspector) took my cellphone and put the flash on, and actually showed me how you can see mold," said Martin. Pictures that show blue specs on her furniture. Test results determined mold in the home. According to CSRA Bio-Care, LLC., mold in the home is sixty-two times greater than what is generally acceptable indoors. We went inside, only after gearing up with safety masks.

"All this stuff pretty much has to be cleaned," said Martin pointing to clothes and furniture.

Code enforcement found the home "unfit for human habitation" and that it poses a "danger to life and health." But for Martin this is everything. This is home. Code enforcement is giving the landlord thirty days to fix the problems or demolish the home.

"I may be a single mother. I may be out here on my own, but when it comes to business, I'm very serious. When it comes to my kids I'm very serious," Martin said.

After we left a messages for the landlord, Martin said he contacted her and agreed to let her out of that lease, So whether you rent or own, if you suspect you have mold in your home, you should have it tested. Richmond County Code Enforcement recommends the following companies for mold testing.

Aces Incorporated
2247 Wrightsboro Rd, Augusta, GA 30904
(706) 262-2000

Bowles Construction
1012 Tindon St, Augusta, GA 30909
(706) 738-9446

CSRA Bio-Care, LLC
1003 Grindstone Creek Rd, Hephzibah, GA 30815
(706) 751-4428

Unlimited Residential of Augusta
4810 Technology Drive Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 364-3693

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