Six years ago (June 2005), we purchased a new construction Town & Country (T&C) home (now K. Hovnanian Town and Country Homes) in Oswego, Illinois in the Churchill Club community. We were sold the house with the promise of quality workmanship, energy efficiency and customer service that came with a 10-year warranty. Since our purchase these representations have not been our reality. My family's reality is: mold (Pennicillum/Aspergillus, Altrnaria, Curvularia, Epicoccum, Perconia, Nigrospora, and Smuts); structural defects (including roofing, ventilation system and windows); air quality problems; high moisture levels; insufficient insulation around windows, doors, and attic (in some places, not to code); and a faulty ventilation/HVAC system all affecting the health and safety of our family.
We had two independent contractors inspect our home; both concluded:
1. Mold covers the basement, main floor and upstairs floor (floors/carpets, walls, windows) and is being distributed into the house through the ventilation. HVAC/ventilation system is ineffective
and insufficient for the size of the house. The connector used to bring fresh air into the home should not be used for this homes fresh air intake since it allows for moisture, mold, bacteria and debris to be brought in and distributed into the home.
a. "due to the excessive moisture, the HVAC Air conditioners Compressor will lead to failure trying
to remove the moisture and heat load.
b. an outside air intake which is unfiltered from particulate matter and doesnt limit humidity control into the home. This causes unwanted particulate matter into the atmosphere and excessive humidity both which are unwanted in the home from outdoors. The particulate matter causes unwanted microbial growth indoors and in the ductwork, the moisture can expedite the growth and cause excessive strain on the mechanical systems ability to remove moisture in the home.
c. the basement, first floor and the second floor exhibit different types of plant pathogens and smuts the are not normally indoors and are coming from and outside source and we believe it is from the outside air intake from the HVAC system which is not designed to deliver filtered and treated air so that moisture, dust and plant pathogens do not enter in to the home via the air duct system. Upon our inspection we noted that on the first and second floor air return openings there was dust and debris equivalent to what you would find on a home the is at least 20 to 25 years old
or with no filter system. The sampling and amounts of the types of mold and pathogens found are as the following, Pennicillum/Aspergillus, Alternaria, Curvularia, Epicoccum, Perconia, Nigrospora, and Smuts.
2. The windows and doors are not installed correctly. The windows are literally falling away from the framing of the house. The casement around every window is cracking and molding. Mold is present around the windows and is possibly in the drywall.
a. Several windows were noted to have leaked at one time or another causing some infiltration of moisture. Siding would have to be removed to check for proper installation. The cleaning of the screens and windows will not repair this type of leak.
3. The windows and doors are not insulated properly. Due to improper installation of the windows and doors, air and moisture is being brought into the house.
4. Improper installation of the roofing and roofing joists.
a. shifting of the roof sheathing primarily on the North side, due to improper fastening, which will lead to premature roof failure and interior damage.
5. The attic is not properly insulated causing the roof to warp. The inspectors believe that it is due to improper insulation of the attic and windows and the ventilation system bringing in high
levels of humidity and moisture.
6. Nicor could not provide their energy efficiency services due to the structural defects.
The builder is aware of these issues but does not respond to my calls, emails, or their website service requests. Because of their inaction, they are putting me and my family with additional serious health and safety risks and causing additional damage to the house structure. With the current medical diagnosis (due to the mold in the home) and constant medical bills it is impossible to repair these costly defects ourselves.