Feb 4, 2013 9:28 PM by Eric Ross
A Colorado Springs family living at the Vista Peak Apartments called News 5 for help after claiming maintenance staff did nothing to fix a leaking roof above their kitchen.
One week after airing the story, we went back for an update.
"My husband has been coughing a lot," Cathy Hammond told News 5 last week. "He's been getting sick. He coughs so much he's been throwing up."
For nearly two weeks, the Hammond family says their repair claim to fix a leaking roof above their ceiling fell on deaf ears. With a 7-week old baby, they were concerned for their health---believing mold was growing in the ceiling.
"From the ceiling it looked like there had been a significant amount of mold growth or at least there was a mold like substance there," Stan Crane with Clean Environment Pro said.
Crane is a certified mold professional who contacted News 5 following our initial story. He offered to examine the Hammond's apartment for free. While he could not get accurate samples for testing from the kitchen ceiling where one leak was because crews had already begun repairs, he did conduct other tests throughout the area and found traces of mold spores in the kitchen---likely caused from another water leak.
"We did a swab sample and the lab validated that there were 3 different dominant types of mold," Crane said.
Each person can react differently to mold samples depending upon if they have certain medical conditions. In Hammond's case, she says her husband has asthma.
Crane did point out elevated levels of mold were not found in the complex after repairs to the ceiling were made.
The Vista Peak Apartment Complex denies any wrongdoing in this case and sent us an emailed statement stating there were no traces of mold to be found anywhere.
News 5 contacted the complex Monday afternoon for further comment.
A property manager is standing by their statement, and adds that the Hammond's did not file a formal maintenance request in writing about their roof. He claims they only called the office to report the leak.
In any maintenance case, tenants are strongly encouraged to fill out a repair claim in writing rather than over the phone. This way, you have documented evidence when you filed a claim if repairs aren't made within a timely manner. The Vista Peak Apartments property manager also adds they have changed management within the last 15 months and are working to build a better relationship with their tenants.
As of Monday, Feb. 4, the complex says all repairs to the Hammond's apartment are complete.
If you have a story idea you'd like us to investigate, contact Eric Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.