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Subject: Health Issue- What do I do?
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FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/06/2019 7:21 PM  
I am a board member. We have mold in our common areas in each building. Some are worse than others. We found what was causing the mold in some of the buildings and corrected that. But no action has been taken on the mold. My concern has been since day one is the health issue. People sensitive to mold and how they might be sickly and not know why. Don't we have an obligation to let them know? The President (the pain in my bu...) said no do not tell them. I said What! and why not? Me keeping quiet about this makes me feel sick. The feel the homeowners should know. They can take steps to run a de-humidifier or something to clean their air. Now winter is here and things get worst as for mold spores getting sucked up into the rooms. What would you do? Are we suppose to keep things from homeowners that can be a health risk for them?
PestY


Posts:0


10/07/2019 6:18 AM  
? have y'all not heard the term: criminal negligence ?

should someone become sick, or even die, y'all WOULD be guilty

albeit not yet convicted by a jury
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2701


10/07/2019 7:27 AM  
If the president is concerned about liability, the REST OF YOU on the board should overrule him - why haven't you?

Before you do anything, consult with the association attorney and master insurance company and work with them on crafting what you will say to the homeowners. You can couple the message with tips on what to look for and what they can do to reduce the risk.

After that's done, replace the president (I'm assuming your documents state the board members choose officers from among themselves and the homeowners pick the board members.) This time, pick someone with some backbone - if you're up to the job, speak up.
AugustinD


Posts:1934


10/07/2019 7:57 AM  
Because people's and property's safety is at issue, I would write the Board the following:
---
Dear Directors,

The mold the board is on record as knowing about is a threat to people's health and their property's safety. Mold remediation is extremely expensive. Liability issues have arisen. I believe the Board has a fiduciary duty to inform the HOA insurer and the HOA attorney immediately. Can we please do so before the close of business today?

Sincerely,

Jane Smith
Director, Black Mold HOA
---

Give them to the end of the day. Tomorrow first thing, ask the manager if the communications have been made. If they have not, resign. Then send your own letter to the insurer and HOA attorney, asking for a response. Back up the letter with phone calls to each. If one day goes by without a satisfactory response, inform the membership as best you can, and contact your state health department.

Failure of the HOA to disclose this issue to potential buyers may also hold the HOA out to liability.

From the Washington Post yesterday, whistleblowers say the cost is enormous and they regret the position they are in. But they also say that, if they had it to do over, they would whistle blow again.
PestY


Posts:0


10/07/2019 9:13 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 10/07/2019 7:57 AM
Because people's and property's safety is at issue, I would write the Board the following:
---
Dear Directors,

The mold the board is on record as knowing about is a threat to people's health and their property's safety. Mold remediation is extremely expensive. Liability issues have arisen. I believe the Board has a fiduciary duty to inform the HOA insurer and the HOA attorney immediately. Can we please do so before the close of business today?

Sincerely,

Jane Smith
Director, Black Mold HOA
---

Give them to the end of the day. Tomorrow first thing, ask the manager if the communications have been made. If they have not, resign. Then send your own letter to the insurer and HOA attorney, asking for a response. Back up the letter with phone calls to each. If one day goes by without a satisfactory response, inform the membership as best you can, and contact your state health department.

Failure of the HOA to disclose this issue to potential buyers may also hold the HOA out to liability.

From the Washington Post yesterday, whistleblowers say the cost is enormous and they regret the position they are in. But they also say that, if they had it to do over, they would whistle blow again.




? You actually expect FayeE to take action instead of merely belly-aching ?

? Would you like to purchase a bridge to Brooklyn ?

! Cheap !


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16481


10/07/2019 6:09 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 10/07/2019 7:57 AM

I believe the Board has a fiduciary duty to inform the HOA insurer and the HOA attorney immediately.




No claims have been filed and no legal action has been taken.

What would be the purpose of informing the insurer and attorney other then to cost the Association money for the attorney to spend 15 min. reading and filing the info (or more if they reply to the notice) and the potential loss of insurance (worst case) if the insurer concludes the HOA is too high of a risk?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8601


10/07/2019 6:27 PM  
Not all mold is dangerous or harmful. It's pretty natural occurring. Don't think there is a house or building that doesn't have it. Plus it's most likely behind walls which is pretty sealed space. It's when it grows on the OUTSIDE that it becomes a bigger issue.

Most remediation of mold is just spraying the area with bleach/water and then paint. Even in areas that have been flooding they just remove the sheetrock on the height water and then just spray the top leftover.

Do not think need to reveal the mold issue as it's been addressed. The inside of the unit the owner can treat themselves if they are so concerned. That would be an individual thing.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1934


10/07/2019 6:44 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 10/07/2019 6:09 PM
Posted By AugustinD on 10/07/2019 7:57 AM

I believe the Board has a fiduciary duty to inform the HOA insurer and the HOA attorney immediately.


No claims have been filed and no legal action has been taken.

What would be the purpose of informing the insurer and attorney other then to cost the Association money for the attorney to spend 15 min. reading and filing the info (or more if they reply to the notice) and the potential loss of insurance (worst case) if the insurer concludes the HOA is too high of a risk?
If an insurer is not informed from the get-go of an issue that may pose a liability risk to the HOA, then the insurer is off the hook for paying for any subsequent liability claims.

The attorney should be brought in to discuss what to tell owners and so the insurer is satisfied that the HOA is doing everything possible to minimize liability costs.

Melissa, for liability reasons, mold getting into walls or other common areas of a condominium requires a licensed, professional mold remediation team. The insurer would expect no less. Several thousand dollars is typical to remediate mold in a small room.

Maybe this is not a big deal where you all live. Where I live, it can be a huge problem. It's yet another reason I sold my condo: I knew of too many cases where owners had to pay a lot of money for mold remediation. Where I live, any mold remediation that had been performed has to be disclosed to potential buyers.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8601


10/07/2019 6:55 PM  
If a house has been involved with the cooking of Meth has to be revealed upon sale. However, that is NOT the HOA's responsibility but the seller. My house was built in the 70's. It's got a musty smell once and awhile. I just open the doors/windows to air it out.

I don't trust the whole "mold remediation" business. Just don't buy into it. More of a pseudo-science to me convincing people mold is the cause of your illnesses. Mold exist everywhere including a sandbox at the park.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16481


10/07/2019 7:09 PM  
Thanks for the info Augustin
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/07/2019 9:06 PM  
The mold has not been tested as of yet. The Mold person we had come out said it was pretty nasty in some of the common areas. We addressed the issue of water coming the buildings foundations from the top. There was a lot of moisture. The Mold person said we do not need someone come in and do all the drastic measures of closing it off and then clean. He recommend that we just use the mold resistant paint and just paint the areas. Where it is on the dry wall it is under the 6 sq feet rule so we can get someone to cut it and replace the dry wall. The areas with mold are in the areas where the buildings have sump pumps. We have to get covers made for sump pumps too. My building is one of the worst ones. We cleaned our basement door with Bleach and it did come off but 2 months later it is back again. The mold looks black in the sump pump areas but my door looked green. I even found snails crawling around by the sump pump

My concern is still that the homeowners do not know and if they need too they would be able to take precautions until we get this done so it is gone. This Board and Management company work very slow.
I have one year under my belt and we have been talking about that for the year. When I get in a heated discussion with the President he threatens me with kicking me off the Board. He yells that I am disruptive and I make the meeting last long.

I have read all your comments and solutions. The Bylaws state that we are not to discuss anything that went on in the HOA meetings with the Homeowners. I will be damned if I do. By telling the homeowners I do not rid myself from liability but I do for some of the bigger lawsuits.

I do plan to bring it up this Wednesday at the Monthly HOA Meeting.

I do appreciate all the input and you know you all are right. The Homeowners must be told. Calling them would be the best. Never put anything written is always better. Thank you ALL!
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:459


10/08/2019 5:38 AM  
Some facts:

All toxic mold is black, but not all black mold is toxic. However, individuals can be susceptible to even the less nasty stuff (allergies, compromised immune systems, etc.). "Not toxic" does not imply "not harmful".

Mold is everywhere. If you test your indoor air, you will find mold. Certified mold inspectors can tell you if your levels are normal or if they indicate a problem somewhere. If you can see mold growing indoors, you have a problem.

Ignored problems rarely resolve themselves.

The Board president can't "kick you off the board". Only the homeowners can do that. If they find out that the Board has been knowingly concealing information about a situation that is potentially harmful, not to mention expensive to fix, they may well do so. The crankier ones may well call their lawyers.

(Two-time veteran of the mold wars, me.)


SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2701


10/08/2019 9:02 AM  
Wait, what??!? Your Bylaws actually say the board members can’t discuss anything that goes on with the homeowners????

You might want to read that section again – I would think the language actually says certain information like disciplinary action against individual homeowners isn’t for public consumption. If it really says that, the community may want to consider amending that section.

As for the yelling between you and the president – I understand your concern and passion, but screaming at each other IS unprofessional and solves nothing. The president shouldn’t act like a jackass, but if he does, that’s all the more reason you need to remain calm. Remember, everyone else is watching and it’s better for them to go to your side because you stick to the issues and keep it classy, as opposed to thinking both of you are nuts and nothing gets done.

Try Augustine D’s approach with the letter – in fact, I think I’d bring it up at a regular board meeting to make sure it goes into the minutes and if everyone still votes against you, you can prepare a one page statement summarizing your objections and asking that be attached to the minutes as well. This way other homeowners will see it and understand where you were coming from – and the rest of the board (especially the president) will have to explain themselves because this will all come out sooner or later.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:162


10/08/2019 9:57 AM  
You said the common areas have mold. Have you had the area tested? What do you know about the mold? Most people are not mold experts and do not know much about it. Before I said something I would make sure I had it tested and make sure I knew what issues it would cause. If you have done that I would let the owners know about it.
AugustinD


Posts:1934


10/08/2019 9:59 AM  
I concur with Shelia's recommendation to try to get this in the Minutes.

I fear that FayeE's HOA has a bully for a president. He wins arguments by escalating the volume to levels which lead to submission by anyone at whom he is screaming? He does whatever is needed, without regard to fiduciary duty, to humiliate his opponents. FayeE, I am saying that I think I get your situation. Many here have been in your shoes. It's awful. Worse, being brave at the Wednesday meeting may not resolve the mold problem. You may come out shaking from, say, some large man screaming at you in front of others.

For what it is worth: I would try to anticipate the worst this guy will do to you. I would rehearse my response. Reflect on what response by you (1) is most likely to get the desired outcome and (2) will keep you the most calm in the coming days.

Do not expect to win. Make your case. If you lose, let it go for the rest of the meeting. Then come back here and vent?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6632


10/08/2019 1:03 PM  
What wise ideas & suggestions here.

The topic of owners knowing about this, if indeed toxic mold, is I believe that NY is a closed meeting state. That night be what Faye's referring to in her reference to her HOA's bylaws.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8730


10/08/2019 2:35 PM  
Kerry

I believe NY is like SC. Our BOD meetings are not closed to our members. Any member can attend a BOD Meeting. That said, we do not have to notify them when they are. You might say it is same thing. No, it is not. If a member called us and asked us when our next meeting was we would gladly tell them. Granted we do not know as we do not schedule them that far in advance as we conduct all business via Email, phone, and personal meetings. Typically we only schedule a BOD Meeting two weeks ahead and only when we want to vote on something which is rarely as in 2-3 times per year. This has happened twice in 4 years. 3 of the 4 wanted us to reconsider an issue when we had told them it is not a BOD issue. The other wanted to be considered for a open BOD position.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6632


10/08/2019 4:44 PM  
I'm trying to see how your reply, John, helps Faye....
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/08/2019 7:46 PM  
TO EVERYONE- Thank you for you input One update I did talk to one Homeowner this evening (10/8). I informed him of the mold situation in all the buildings. He was surprised by that information. I told him about the covers that are needed for the sump pumps, the paint and how I felt about the homeowners not knowing about this situation. He said the homeowners should know. I told him he is free to tell anyone he wants but leave my name out of it. I was elected because the people trusted me to stand up and stop the needless spending on things not important. When I do that the President shuts me down by threats. But since that day I know he can not get rid of me. Only the homeowners can. He can demote me to just a Board member and not be the VP anymore. Which is worth it if it benefits the homeowners.

What I would like to ask is how would you approach bringing up the mold issue at our HOA meeting on 10.9 in the evening? We have to make decisions on the covers and most important is the testing. The professional will only charge us $300 to random test the 3 worst ones. Of course the President wanted the ceiling of his deck stained and it only benefits people on the first floor at the tune of $5,300 and that was taken care of in a wink of an eye. Mold?? Health? no let's wait

Thank you
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16481


10/08/2019 8:06 PM  
Faye,

You bring it up by saying you are worried about the liability to the Association if the covers and mold are not addressed, as the Association could be found negligent in legal actions because they knew but failed to act on the situation.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8601


10/08/2019 9:23 PM  
So are you and your neighbors prepared to take on this expense? Your essentially putting the expense of the mold remediation (if needed) and testing onto ALL the neighbors to pay. Let's say Neighbor A has no mold issue. Neighbor B wants entire drywall ripped out and remediated. Neighbor C wants a new paint job. How is Neighbor a going to feel about having to pay for B and C's work?

If it were me, I would open it up to more individual allowances. Like less restrictions on taking care of the issue. It may be quite noisy or needed on off-hours. Letting some compensations for the owners to follow up on their own.

We have Radon issues here. My neighbor moved in and had his home tested for Radon. He lives on a hill. I live at the bottom. He remediated the Radon gas in his home and put a sign up advertising as such. This means the rest of the neighbors now may have to do Radon testing BEFORE selling our homes. If tests positive, we now have to remediate the issue. An extra expense. Considering to get rid of Radon gas you just need to open a window. Plus my house has a crawlspace and sits higher above the ground. Which means less likelihood of Radon gas issues. Crawlspace is vented.

So are you ready for this additional demands on the budget and/or now on seller. Your opening a bag of worms here you may not be able to wrangle back in.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16481


10/09/2019 2:04 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/08/2019 9:23 PM
So are you and your neighbors prepared to take on this expense? Your essentially putting the expense of the mold remediation (if needed) and testing onto ALL the neighbors to pay. Let's say Neighbor A has no mold issue. Neighbor B wants entire drywall ripped out and remediated. Neighbor C wants a new paint job. How is Neighbor a going to feel about having to pay for B and C's work?




Melissa,

Regardless of what Neighbor A, B or C think, if the covenants specify it's the Associations responsibility then it is a shared cost to the entire membership unless stated otherwise within the covenants.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8601


10/09/2019 4:59 AM  
IF that is the case, then the HOA should develop an agreeable plan BEFORE revealing the mold issue. Get ducks in a row first. Like is the HOA willing to remedy the situation by spraying bleach/paint? Find a few estimates. That way when need a special assessment it is for a DEFINED resolution. Otherwise, your going to get various levels of request of repairs. Especially by some people who may fall for a "mold scammer" or wants excessive remediation.

Not saying the mold shouldn't be revealed or not fixed. Just saying form an unified plan on what willing to do to address it. Get an expert opinion that says "Just paint or spay" will resolve the issue. That is the approved HOA resolution and option. I am afraid your going to bust people's pockets letting there not be a plan of remediation. It's like screaming "Fire" in a room but then not calling a fire department or using an extinguisher. It may be a trash can on fire or the whole room...

Former HOA President
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:493


10/09/2019 5:55 AM  
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the EPA, and many (or most) experts recommend against testing the mold. No matter what type of mold, they do recommend fixing the moisture problem and removing the mold.
AugustinD


Posts:1934


10/09/2019 6:10 AM  
Posted By FayeE on 10/08/2019 7:46 PM
[The Board President] can demote me to just a Board member and not be the VP anymore. Which is worth it if it benefits the homeowners.

What I would like to ask is how would you approach bringing up the mold issue at our HOA meeting on 10.9 in the evening?


-- Do your Bylaws or covenants say the President can remove an officer? (An officer is not the same as a director. The officers typically are the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. Per the Bylaws, the officers usually, but not always, are elected by the board of directors.)

-- I would motion first to ask for the HOA attorney's advice. Next I would motion to inform the insurer. As for the testing, Jeff's post is interesting. For mold testing, I would just cast my vote and let the chips fall where they may.
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/09/2019 9:52 AM  
Melissa P1
The plan is in place. The issue is the Board and Management company are dragging their feet. This is not the only issue. We run into a problem when we want 2 or more estimates for the job. Management refuses or does not want to get those 2sd and 3rd estimates. We have to keep pushing it. They want to use only the contractors they work with already. That is when I think kick backs. Anyways we did look at all the sump pump areas and mold is present at everyone. We did bring in a specialist to look at it and he wants to test just the real bad ones. We are dragging our feet about that. The only alternative is to paint and that is very expensive. We can wash the areas down but it will return. We do have to pull down installation in some of them. A couple have mold on drywall which has to be replaced and we also do not know if the mold has gone past the dry wall. Now if I can get them to finally go ahead and get this taken care of. Thank you
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8601


10/09/2019 3:44 PM  
I don't think it's a "kick-back" thing. It's what you all hire that MC to do. Which they don't do a 3 bid process the HOA should. That is way we worked it. It wasn't the MC because we know they have a "bag" of vendors. We would gather the bids ourselves and then present the MC with the approved vendor. The MC isn't about that. They use their own vendors as it's their company not the HOA's.

Make sure to establish what is common area and personal responsibility. Don't see an issue with the HOA addressing the common area. Do see the issue if it comes across as enforcing everyone to participate.

Former HOA President
RobertaS2
(Michigan)

Posts:60


10/12/2019 2:43 PM  
We had water in our basement when our board left a common area drain fail from lack of inspection and maintenance. My husband is a contractor. It was a mess, but he and I (and two of our neighbors) all had it cleaned up or (in our case), we did it ourselves. At that time a different board paid for the cleanups. Ours was the least expensive.

The board did not locate the problem. Thought it was a one-time hydrostatic pressure issue due to heavy heavy rains.

Years later, a different and "difficult" board (and different, difficult property manager) was up. Again, we had water, but in our basement only.

We were warned not to address it ourselves. But we had to to save $40,000 of possessions, with the reasonable belief that we had a basement that was and would stay dry. We got dryers in immediately, possessions up. Carpets pulled up.

Again, my husband knows what to do. And it has to be pretty much immediate.If you wait, it becomes a MUCH bigger problem. In our part of the country, clean up of a basement of our size averages 5,000- 7,800. if done by a company within two weeks. After two weeks, those company's cha-ching, cha-ching into fear-and-scare-tactics, not all of which are real.

We cleaned up the house ourselves and my husband, further, dug out the drain in the outside common area, and replaced it. It was totally clogged and broken. It was completed before another round of heavy rains would have reflooded our basement several times over again. Our costs: $17,000! (Not a drop in the house since,.but we also had to run a dehumidifier for ten months.

along with reairs to the basement and walls.)

Our by-laws and documents state that our homes here are to be built to withstand any hydrostatic pressure. And the drains in the commons are a board and property manager maintenance requirement and expectation.They also state that in such an emergency, "immediate" action is required.

This board refused, so far, to pay our bills. Two lawyers we have consulted with say that we would win in court. Waiting MONTHS to get on top of this problem is totally unreasonable and the problem escalated. And, if we had not acted, it would have been compounded.

The HOA lawyer has responded by making it cost us at least $30,000+

I feel your pain.
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/12/2019 6:56 PM  
MOLD UPDATE

We had our HOA Board meeting and I asked about the mold and what will we be doing. I said we have an bid to test the mold in the real bad condos and we should do that much. Nooooo The President said we will leave it go and see IF it dries out. I said well the sump pumps are still uncovered and the dampness is still there. With the sump pumps adding moisture into the air and more when they are running all the time I do not think the mold will dry up during the winter. These areas have no ventilation. He said we will wait and see and over in the corner the Management company is agreeing with him like they talked about this already. Again I said the people might get sick with tightening everything up for the colder weather. President seemed not to care and so did the rest of the Board. Not one said anything for or against what to do. Since the President already decided that is what is going to happen. He moved on. Oh did I mention these condos that are the worst their sill plates are soaked and seem mushy. I even know what that means. With winter then spring I doubt they will dry out and be wood again. I mention this because in my condo I have floors rising in the center. All my tiles are breaking and even the wood floor is rising in a certain section. All this happened after we flooded here because the sump pump broke. The Board (at the time) informed me that they will never pay for my lost items!

Back to this President, this man walks around like he owns these condos. He makes decisions without the Board's knowledge. Lately he meet with our trees service and he decided what we wanted done. Not once did he inform the Board so other board members could be there when he meet with the tree service. We might have had questions for him. I know I did. But we the Board had no input or knowledge. I told him you should have told us about the tree service coming out. He never answers me when I put him on the spot. Yes the rest of the Board sat there and did nothing.

We both come up for re-election next year. He announced to the Board that he has another 20 years as President. That is very scary. I can run again but can I quit at the last minute after being elected? That would leave us short one member and that means we have to hire someone to take over the Board and make the decisions. To me that would be better than having him as President again for the sake of the homeowners.

Is there anyone here that is a mold expert? I know I have to take hard core proof that he is wrong or right.

Thank you
Faye VP of an HOA Board
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3758


10/13/2019 5:42 AM  
What to do: Convince your BOD to get a Reserve Study done.

If you already have a reserve study, then convince the BOD to fund your reserves adequately.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:459


10/13/2019 6:36 AM  
Not a mold expert, but I have dealt with mold in two different homes. Mold doesn't "dry up and go away" unless you remove the source of moisture that allows it to grow. If you do remove the source, then in theory it should dry up. However, you will be living with the mold until it does so, and the spores can travel until they find another source of water and start growing there as well. In addition, if you do clean up the mold but don't address the source of moisture, you'll continue to have mold problems.

Dealing properly with current issues will save you future trouble and expense (Rules to Live By for Board Members #3).

Fun mold facts:

* The musty smell comes from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by the mold. Many people are sensitive to VOCs, which is why so-called non-toxic molds can also cause health problems.

* Humans have evolved to be very good at detecting that distinctive mold smell. In fact, human noses can be better at detecting the presence of mold than the equipment used by mold inspectors.

* Mold can be useful (bleu cheese, "noble rot" on wine grapes, penicillin) but anything growing in your home should be terminated with extreme prejudice.
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/13/2019 7:31 AM  
CATHY A3

Thank you for the reply. I never dealt with mold in any of my homes, so all this is new. We had the Mold expert here, but they refuse to let him test the mold and give us anymore advice. I never thought to ask him that question about it drying up because I thought we were going to fix this situation.

I do not see the mold drying up when the sump pumps are not covered . I know that the covers will not stop all the moisture, but some is worth it. The All-seeing President does not want to cover all the sump pumps just the ones with the worst mold conditions and let the ones with, so mold go on making mold. His logic is lacking, and he does not ask the rest of us what we think. He speaks like he knows everything, and he does not.

We did stop the main reason for the massive reason for mold growth. But is it enough meanwhile the mold still grows and spreads through the condos.

I appreciate your take on this issue. I agree with it. I wish we went through the plan to get rid of the mold and paint the walls with mold resistant paint. My main concerns lie with the health of our owners. A couple did complain of a musty smell and even in my condo I placed a plug-in scent to get rid of that musty smell in the hallway. Never realized that it is the mold and that was from day one when I moved in

Faye
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:493


10/13/2019 8:54 AM  
I suggest you call your insurance agent or adjuster for some free advice. An adjuster told me that we risk getting sued (liability) if we don't remove mold. Ask if mold (fungi) is covered in your policy. It is usually excluded. Ask what the insurance would pay for (if it was covered). Also ask if the liability portion of you insurance covers liability for fungi.

Tell the president that you plan to call an all-members meeting if the mold is not removed. Check your bylaws for how to do that, and be prepared to gather the signatures from members.

Why do you want to spend all this money to remove the mold? You should be able to answer that with real proven answers, not internet scares. The president and others are not believing that there is a problem.

You can buy a humidity meter for about $10.

If needed, you buy a dehumidifier for about $150 +.

Air purifiers and many furnace filters remove mold spores.

Can you temporarily cover the sump pumps with plastic?

Mold fog is an alternative to painting and removal. You can buy the product ("Mold Control" or Concrobium) and rent a fogger machine at homedepot. This method is not as good as removing the sheetrock (etc.), but if you are faced with doing this or doing nothing, then it can be very effective for a fraction of the cost. It kills mold and encapsulates it. You might also use the fog now, and stretch out the other repairs over time as your budget allows.

Have you looked at your finances? How are you going to pay for everything?

As noted previously, testing is a waste of time. It only tells you what you already know, that there is mold, and does not alter any procedures to remove the mold. This is why the real experts recommend against testing. Testing might be good if you are not sure if there is mold, but you already know you have visible mold. However, if you think it will convince your President or others, then go for it. Will it make any difference to the Pres? You can also buy your own test kits for a lot less, and send them off to labs for analysis.

You should get more bids on the mold removal. Mold specialists are expert in getting a lot of extra charges, so shop around. You recommended getting 3 bids for other jobs, yes? Many regular contractors now have training in mold and can do an excellent job without the extras.
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/13/2019 1:02 PM  
JeffT2

The point of mold testing to make sure it is or not Black Mold. That is real scary stuff health wise. The original plan was to paint right over it with the best paint to do that with. I am not talking off the shelf paint. This was a commercial grade product. Yes, it is costly. We do have the money, but I am sure the President would call for a special assessment. They would have all these special assessments instead of saving up the money so it is there for the future when needed.

The President is not going to go for anything you suggested. I have asked if we can do the minimal and get a test off the shelf. Nope he does not want that either. I must express harder our liability if someone gets sick.

We had a Mold expert here and charged us nothing to look at the worst buildings and tell us what he thought and what we can do. He said we do not need a Mold removal company because the worst mold on drywall was under the 6 ft rule. So, we can cut that out and fix it ourselves and all the mold on the concrete can be washed with Clorox or just painted over. He was very good at answering all our questions. His bid was $300 to test the worst buildings and give us the report. I thought that was reasonable. No extra charges. But the President said no with no vote from the other members (this is wrong) .

I have gone outside the Board and told one owner about the mold. They were surprised there was mold.
I hope he has told other owners. We are not supposed to discuss anything said in the Board room to anyone else especially the homeowners. I know I need to get the word out to all the owners. I am trying to protect myself and I cannot leave anything in writing

In my opinion I feel the homeowners should know so they can take precautions if they are sensitive to mold until we can do something about it. President said do not tell anyone.

Thank you very much for all your input. I found it helpful

Faye
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:10


10/13/2019 1:23 PM  
AugustinD

Thank you for this idea of writing them or giving them that speech. I actually found it very useful and not a bad idea. I would like to know what Liability has risen? Is it just the fact of knowing about it? To suggest that the Board would do anything is laughable but is it not a laughable matter.
My Lawyer has suggested I go door to door and talk with each homeowner. That is what I did with the first homeowner.

What I am waiting for now is for the Board President get together the list of the homes that are the worst. He has that list. When I get that list I will hit the pavement and get to them first that is a promise. Going to the homes of people with hardly any mold they will just shrug it off and not really care. But to upset the worst of them then maybe we can get a members meeting. Plus I will have all their names and I can call them personally.

Thank you so much. I do not mean to belly ache as someone respond to you.
Faye

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:459


10/13/2019 2:29 PM  
Faye,

Please also consider what you should do to protect yourself if the board chooses not to go ahead with cleaning up the mold. Board members are generally protected by Directors and Officers insurance if they get sued. However, D&O protects you for errors in judgement or mistakes made in good faith. It doesn't protect against deliberate malfeasance. In your case, the board can't claim ignorance of the mold problem.

This country tends to be lawsuit happy, and when I was elected to my board I beefed up my personal liability insurance just in case. I've also resigned from a board where I was a minority of one against the rest who seemed determined to get themselves sued. Board members owe their communities their best efforts, but they should never put their personal assets at risk.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:493


10/13/2019 2:45 PM  
Was there an insurance claim when you flooded? Have you put in an insurance claim about your tiles? If so, ask the adjuster about mold. If not, ask the association's insurance agent.

"Black mold" is not a scientific term and not defined, so any statements about it are unreliable and possibly exaggerated, including the scary stuff. I suggest getting real information.

The CDC says:
"It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal."
"Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds...If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal."

Testing is usually a waste of money, unless it convinces people to remove the mold, which is the same thing that you should do without testing.

At the risk of repeating, get more opinions/bids.

Many of my suggestions were for you personally for "your" basement, such as getting a moisture meter, dehumidifier, and air purifier, and putting plastic over the sump pumps.
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