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Build a Dark Modern Farmhouse Down Leah's Lane

Why we built a Modern Farmhouse – Part 2

Filed in Exteriors, House Tours and Ideas, Interiors, Our House, This is Us — April 29, 2019

part 2 of why we built a modern farmhouse

Here’s a quick recap for you: we suddenly became ill with strange symptoms. (click here for Part 1)

After some investigation, we discovered our 100 year farmhouse (that I grew up in) was growing mold in the attic.

Below is a picture of the mold (black stuff) growing on the underside of our roof.

mold growing under roof of attic in our old house

After the first mold inspector left, I looked at my husband in dismay.

Could this really be why we were sick? I mean seriously, we live on a farm and we’re outside everyday being exposed to mold in the hay, grass, straw, etc.

We were truly dumbfounded and honestly in denial. Unfortunately, denial often leads to paralyzation.

We did nothing for weeks, mostly because we didn’t know what to. 

So my research into mold illness began

I am a research junkie so I started reading, listening and asking questions about anything related to mold.

After months of research, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The mold was likely playing a part in our declining health.

Down Leah's Lane old farmhouse with mold inside
This was our 100 yr old farmhouse...the house I grew up in, the house Mark & I moved into after being married and the house we brought our baby girl home to. I had lived in this house for over 30 years of my life, and it looked just fine from the outside.

what happened next? More Mold inspectors.

Now it was late August 2017 and Fall was fast approaching. If you’re in the agricultural world, you know that your life revolves around the fall harvesting of crops and everything else takes a back seat.  

I felt a huge sense of urgency, because I knew that once we started harvesting crops, we would get preoccupied with that and the “house issue” (as it was now referred to) would be on hold. 

So I made more phone calls, and had mold inspector number two, three and four come look at the house.

They all agreed, the mold was extensive.

Their recommendation was all the same, we should move out. 

Call it stupidity, but it’s emotionally harder to move out of your home than you think. I grew up in this house, spent my honeymoon years there, brought my baby girl home to it. I had lived in that house for all but 5 years of my life. 

One inspector said, “Well, we could try remediation to get you through the Fall Harvest. It could buy you some time.”

So we fogged the house from attic to basement and bought two expensive, double filter HEPA and charcoal air purifiers. We wiped down every inch of that house and all our furniture.

By december i was sicker than I've ever been in my life.

My body was slowly shutting down. I had new symptoms almost daily and was seeing doctors at Mayo Clinic weekly.  

The worst symptom was the vertigo. It was so bad I literally laid on the floor all day. (The bed felt too wiggly and would send my head spinning).

The second worse symptom was my esophagus muscles quit working properly. It literally hurt to swallow anything. I quit eating, it hurt to much. I was losing weight and sanity

I remember times when the only thing that got me through the day was singing worship songs in my head from our church. Anytime the vertigo sensation would begin, over and over I would hum the songs, clingy to the words, clinging to my faith.

Finally my thyroid gave up and actually went Hyperthyroid. The anxiety and panic attacks set in and for the first time in over a decade, I saw fear on my husband’s face.

the final straw

Harvest was done and I was so sick I could barely take care of our toddler daughter when Mark was working outside on the farm. 

Then one day I was steading myself by the furnace in the basement and looked up. The picture below is what I saw.

mold growing on outside of our furnace ductwork

I stared at the duct work coming off the furnace in disbelief. Was that what I thought it was? Seriously?! How could mold be growing when we had fumigated the entire house after finding it in the attic?

I reached up and touched the ducts which were hot from the furnace pumping hot air to the house. Mold likes moisture and warmth, so how could it be growing on the outside of a dry, hot, metal duct? 

I reluctantly looked around the rest of the ceiling. It was everywhere; it was literally growing on every duct coming out of the furnace. 

This mold was new and it was spreading, fast.

the conclusion of why we built a modern farmhouse is coming soon...

Feel free to Pin these below to refer back to this post if you want more information on mold.

is mold making you sick learn more at Down Leah's Lane
Could your house be making you sick? Mold was lurking in our home, causing strange symptoms, leading us to build a new home.
Build a Dark Modern Farmhouse Down Leah's Lane

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Hey there! I'm Finley Austen, a lifestyle blogger who's passionate about capturing the beauty of the world through photography, discovering new culinary delights, and exploring exciting travel destinations. With my camera in one hand and a fork in the other, I'm always on the lookout for my next adventure.

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