It's a moldy mess in Joanne Johnson's Burlington apartment. "I don't like it being like that. I've never lived in an apartment like that before -- never in my life," Johnson said.
Burlington City Code Enforcement officials visited her Grove Street home again Monday, checking up on her landlord's progress getting rid of mold. City officials say they've been battling with her landlord for nearly two years over mold in various parts of the home.
But what they found in Johnson's bedroom indicates water coming through the wall from the outside. And the rainy weather this summer may have fueled its growth.
"We've had a pretty extraordinary season," said Bill Ward, a Code Enforcement Officer.
Ward says the Grove Street apartment is not the only one with a mold problem. He doesn't have an exact number, but says mold complaints in Burlington are up -- significantly.
And mold is a problem. The Vermont Health Department warns to watch out for its growth. It can cause allergic reactions like itchy eyes and a runny nose, but it effects people differently.
"It's important that it gets eliminated from housing, whether it's rental housing or anyone's house and that people get checked out healthwise -- that they don't have any adverse effects," Ward said.
Johnson's landlord, Michael Cassidy, ripped out and replaced wallboard and a window. He says the mold will be gone in time to meet Code Enforcement's end-of-the-month deadline. "We own about 70 units in the area. This is our only problem that we've had, ok -- with mold -- and you deal with it and unfortunately the person who built this place didn't do it the right way," Cassidy said.
Ward says anywhere you have moisture, you're at risk for mold growth.
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