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Remodeling and Illness

Posted by mike1975 ( on
Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 9:17

I apologize in advance for the long post but here it goes. My landlords have been aware of a leak in my living room bay window and finally after 8 years decided to get it fixed. That's a story for another time...So they had a contractor and SERVPRO come out to assess the damage. There was alot of water damage from years of rain in the walls so they stripped part of the bay down to the studs, part of the ceiling, and floor. They set up industrial dehumidifiers and blowers and had them running for 3 days to dry everything out. Their initial report said that there was no mold. The house is 100 years old and the carpeting is about 20. This was 2 weeks ago. The Thursday before last I woke up with a left sided headache and nausea. Once I got to work I was ok. Friday I woke up with the same thing and had 2 dizzy spells while I was laying down. This week I also experienced some muscle aches and alot of fatigue that is interfering with my job, chores, etc. I took a few days out of work to get better but no avail. I went to the doctor 2 times this week and discussed everything with him. He stated that he's seen a few cases lately of patients that had the same symptoms and had me do some bloodwork to rule out Lyme and check my blood counts. Everything was normal so he put in a referral to my insurance company to get a cat scan of my head which I haven't had yet due to the holiday weekend. I told him about the construction and he said that this may be the cause of everything due to the age of the house and carpeting. He sent me for more bloodwork to check and see if I've been exposed to lead. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I try not to read online about houses making people sick because it just scares the hell out of me! I'm just at a loss if I just have some kind of virus or is the house really making me sick?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Remodeling and Illness

You could have a virus. That's one possibility.

I don't think lead would be a factor, unless you have been somehow ingesting lead paint chips over the course of the 8 years you have lived there. You might have breathed in some lead paint dust during the current construction, but probably not enough to cause the symptoms you are having. Lead poisoning usually takes place over a long period of time. There's a simple test they can do to test your lead levels.

If it's the house, I'd suspect mold. I'm suspicious of their mold test that revealed no mold--the interior of the walls has been damp/moist/wet for years, and there's no mold? There are inexpensive kits you can buy to test for mold yourself. Even if the walls are dry now, I think you can still do the test.

There's also the possibility that you are having an allergic reaction to the dust and stuff that the construction spread into the air. Can you move out for a few days and live someplace else? If your symptoms clear up, then you know better where to look.

RE: Remodeling and Illness

Pose your concerns to the management in such a manner as to imply that should they be reluctant to have an air analysis done, as a part insuring the habitability of the dwelling, you have asked for some referrals from the city.

In many areas the type of remediation you are undergoing
requires permits, which should also trigger asbestos inspections.

You have a working phone, right?

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