Mold from a Leaky Roof Made Me Really Sick
by Anne Hecker
A couple years ago, we had a really rainy spring. The roof of the mobile home I share with my boyfriend started to leak in three different places. We knew we needed to fix it as soon as possible, but you can’t get up on the roof and fix it when it’s raining. We ended up putting buckets under the leaky spots to catch the water, it was leaking so much. Finally the rain stopped (we were considering building an ark) and my boyfriend got up on the roof to fix it. He did fix two of the spots but unfortunately the third spot still leaked the next time it rained. He had to fix that area of roof again when the rain stopped.Reply
That summer I started getting sick. Every morning I woke up with a stuffy nose, a headache and a sore throat. I started sneezing and coughing all the time. After three weeks of this, I went to see my doctor, who said it was probably seasonal allergies. I’d never had allergies before, but she said sometimes people just develop them for no known reason. She prescribed an antihistamine and some cough syrup.
I didn’t get better, though. Instead, I got worse. My head hurt all the time, my eyes were red and itchy, and my boyfriend started sleeping on the couch because I wheezed so loudly at night that it kept him awake. I was tired all the time and coughed constantly. I went back to my doctor, who said I had a sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics. Unfortunately, they didn’t help.
The coughing got worse and I started running a fever, so I went back to the doctor yet again. She said I had developed bronchitis and prescribed a different antibiotic. The fever went away and the coughing and wheezing got better for a little while, but I still wasn’t well. My throat was so sore it hurt to eat, I was constantly rubbing my eyes because they itched so much, I was so stuffed up I could not breathe through my nose, and I was exhausted all the time.
I was sick all summer and was discouraged and depressed because my doctor didn’t seem to know what was wrong with me or what to do. She ordered some blood tests but they all came back normal. I’d tried several different medications but I still felt terrible. Then a friend came to visit and she told me that my house smelled musty. I hadn’t noticed it, but then I was so stuffed up I couldn’t really smell anything. My friend smelled it, though, and she asked if I had mold in my home.
It was like a light bulb went on in my head. The roof that leaked so much back in the spring… we’d fixed the roof and repainted the ceiling, but what was above those ceiling tiles? My boyfriend climbed on a stepstool and removed one of the ceiling tiles and the other side of it was absolutely covered in black mold. He removed another ceiling tile, and another, and another, and they were all coated with black mold.
I made another appointment with my doctor and she agreed that the mold in my ceiling could be what was making me so sick. I also made an appointment with a mold removal guy to come in and assess the problem. He was shocked at how much mold was in the ceiling and said it was not surprising at all to him that I had been so sick.
I ended up staying with my friend for a week while the mold was cleaned up because I needed to be in a mold-free environment. In just one week, my symptoms improved so much. Then I moved back home and in another week, I was feeling almost back to normal. I can’t believe how quickly I recovered when I’d been so sick for so long.
If you’re having symptoms and your doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong or what to do about it, think about the possibility of mold. It can make you a lot sicker than you’d think.
Thank you for submitting your story. If you have a leak mold can grow in as little as 24-48 hours. It is important to fix any leak as quickly as possible. To learn more about the symptoms of mold exposure
, or to get a free home inspection
by a mold removal specialist, just follow the links.