by: Aaron Diamant Updated:NORCROSS, Ga. —
Marcus Bridges showed Channel 2 Action News the mold infestation in the Las Palmas apartment he just evacuated.
"It's a health hazard,” he said. “Can't breath."
Bridges said he lived there for months while management tried to clean it up.
"They tried, but they didn't go through the right procedures during it,” he said. “We were still in here while the mold was growing.”
The complex found them a new place, but Bridges doesn’t think he can salvage his stuff.
"Damage everywhere,” he said. “Everything is damaged…clothes, shoes furniture. Can't take any of it out."
An attorney for Las Palmas released a statement that said managers take mold seriously and make repairs as quickly as possible.
Microbiologists working in the Air Allergen and Mold Testing Inc. lab said they are stunned by mold levels in recent samples they received.
"I've been here in Atlanta doing this type of work for 12 years now, and by far this is the worst year we've ever seen," said microbiologist Richard Billups.
Mold spore counts are usually measured in hundreds. But Billups said the numbers are increasing.
"Now we're getting up into the tens of thousands and it's not unusual even into the hundreds of thousands," he said.
The summer’s heavy rain and high humidity provided the perfect breeding ground for mold, making cleanup more difficult for property owners and cleaning crews.
"They're finding that their normal way of doing things is just not cleaning it up," said Billups.
Richard Johnson, owner of Air Allergen and Mold Testing Inc. said prevention starts with dehumidifiers, thorough vacuuming and a high quality furnace filter.
"It is absolutely important that they take this seriously,” he said.
Paramount, Johnson added, is using a fungicide to clean mold instead of bleach.
"If you don't do it the right way then those spores are just going to start to grow again just as soon as the conditions are right," he said.