Military Families Dealing With Mold Inside Housing
Molds are living organizations that grow in damp places inside homes, businesses, and structures all across the globe. Mold smells musty, stains surfaces, and can even cause some serious health concerns. Additionally, mold grows quickly, only taking 48 hours to set in and can grow almost anywhere: on walls, ceilings, furniture, and carpets. Even carpet that looks clean can hold up to one pound of dirt and bacteria in a single square yard.
According to NBC News, families living in Fort Bragg, an iconic military base and largest military installation in the world, have noticed lead, mold, and other serious issues throughout.
Rachael Kilpatrick, a specialist in the U.S. Army, took a job repairing medical equipment at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Along with her husband Calvin, they moved into a neighborhood of military homes and noticed problems right away.
“When you turned on our shower head, green sludge came out of it into the shower,” she said.
In addition to the shower mess, water was leaking from their ceiling and their AC unit, there was visible termite damage, and mold was spread out throughout their home’s carpeting and walls.
After reaching out to local companies that run military housing, they finally got a response.
“We kept being told to stay in our lane, that we didn’t know what we were talking about.”
These housing issues aren’t just minor annoyances, either. After a while, both Rachael and Calvin started battling health problems, including breathing and other issues brought on by mold.
“I’ve had to go to the ER four or five times,” added Calvin, who has also been diagnosed with permanent asthma.
Despite their horrific housing situation, the Kilpatricks were not alone. Last October, Rachael posted a petition online and six other military families reached out stating they were in similar situations.
“We realized that we’re not alone,” she said. “And we also realized that it wasn’t just here at Fort Bragg. It’s bigger than we thought.”
According to a Military Family Advisory Network survey of 16,000 respondents, 55% had either a “negative” or “very negative” experience with military housing.
Respondents across the U.S. reported positive tests for lead in water and paint, asbestos in their homes, and water quality so low they considered it unsafe to drink. About one out of every eight people in the world don’t have access to clean water, but no one would suspect these issues taking place in military institutions.
“We heard from multiple families that their concerns were downplayed,” the Military Family Advisory Network report said. “Many were told that mold was dirt or that nothing could be done about visibly growing mold on windowsills, walls, and ceilings.”
For the Kilpatricks, a couple serving their country, they deserve to live in a safe home that is mold-free.
“Because military families move so frequently, sometimes on very short notice, we often don’t have the time to check out housing before we go and move to a place,” said Shannon Razsadin, executive director of the Military Family Advisory Network. “Families rely on military housing as a safe option with very little commute and the community that is inherent with living on a base.”