Just a forward to the incoming rant: I don't consider myself to be the most fortunate person in the world, and often times It's as if there's this cloud of cosmic irony that just follow me, and occasionally likes to open a torrential downpour of unfortunate events. I don't get overly offended or upset by these events, because they just happen so often. Usually my response is, "Yeah, that makes sense."
Exactly two months ago I moved into a small efficiency in the back of an old duplex. It was essentially a small room that was sealed off from the rest of one of the duplexes (which was apparent by the mysterious door that I was unable to open in the corner of my room) and then had a small section added on that contained a kitchenette and a bathroom. It was only 400 square feet together and then rent was only 275 dollars a month. My boyfriend lived in the same neighborhood, and it was in a very central location in town. It was absolutely perfect. The only downside I noticed was how humid it was. I live in North Florida and it had been raining every single day for the entire summer, so this was not entirely unusual. I collect vinyl records, so to protect them I left my air conditioner at a constant 76 degrees. The small room was humid, but nothing too severe, and I was able to live there quite comfortably for an entire month and a half. August 28th I was about to take a shower when I noticed a bundle of mushrooms growing out of my wall. Hmm, I thought. This can't be good. I immediately sent in a work request to my landlord, but since it was 9 pm, I knew I would just have to call them in the morning. To play things safe, I sprayed the wall with mold killer that contained bleach, mostly because it was all I had readily available, then I decided to sleep at my boyfriend's house. On August 29th I called my landlord the minute they opened and informed them about the mysterious fungi growing out of my wall.
The man I spoke to informed me had just arrived to work and would call me back. I called him back at 11 am, two hours after they had opened. He told me he would put in a work order for me and have the maintenance man give me a call. I waited for three more hours and called back. I spoke to the same man again, and he told me he would call me back with information within the hour. After not receiving a call again, I called back at 3:45 pm. A very annoyed young woman answered and put me on hold to find out more information about the issue. After about 10 minutes of waiting in silence, she informed me someone would stop by my apartment the following day to look at the wall. I explained how I would like to be present and I would be there at noon to meet with him. Before I left to meet the maintenance man, I did some research. I sent the pictures of the fungus to a friend of mine who studies mycology and he informed me the fungus was "Armillaria tabescence. Which would mean the entirety of that wall is probably rotting from the inside. Tell your landlord ASAP and let him know it's severe. Armillaria is a wood rotting genus. Like a bad one." I drove to my house on my lunch break and the maintenance man was very kind and very reassuring. He told me he would come by the next day with a dehumidifier and he would bring their wood rot specialist to inspect the wall, and of course he would call me with any and every update. The next day I waited until 1 pm for a call, which never happened. I called the landlord company again and once again, they told me they would call me back. I called back before they closed at 4, and they told me they would have their maintenance worker call me, but he has the work order ready. The next day I waited until 2 pm to call. They once again, told me they would call me back. I called at 4, and they told me their maintenance man would come by the next week with the wood rot specialist and with roofer to check for any holes. This was Friday and they would be closed for the weekend, so my communication stopped in it's tracks for a few days.
I stopped by my house every day to check on the wall. Every day the wall opened up a little bit more and the house was more humid than ever.
It was hard to breath the air was so thick. It was like being in a small damp cave. I started trying to move my things out of the apartment because mold and mildew started growing on my clothes and furniture, despite my efforts at keeping the air condition on a low temperature. I had washed some clothes on Thursday 8/29, and by Saturday 8/31, they smelled as though they had sat in a dark attic for years. When the week started again, I called begging for a dehumidifier and begging for something to be done. Over the course of a week, the entire small room had become entirely unlivable. IMGUR flipped my image for whatever reason, but here's how the wall should look.
They finally dropped off a dehumidifier on Wednesday and claimed to have patched a small hole in the roof. They considered this to mean, voila! Problem solved. They also claimed I wasn't utilizing my air conditioner which would help with the humidity problem. This was a straight up lie unless they expect me to keep my AC at a frigid temperature.
I stopped by after work to check out the progress, hoping to see progress. The kitchen was covered in water everywhere, and the roof was bowing in. The dehumidifier made the room feel about as humid as outside, which was progress, but it could not keep up. I was emptying it every 2 hours. Keep in mind, the area is still only 400 square feet. I called them back on Thursday to ask about replacing the wall and about how the roof looks as though it could cave in. They told me the roof was bowing in because a support beam had absorbed water, but it would go back to normal soon and was definitely not a permanent problem. I recorded a video that day of my pressing the area with a broom handle. The roof was as soft as cardboard and there was NO beam present.
On Friday they informed me, since I was unhappy and the owner was unhappy, I had permission to leave IMMEDIATELY. I had to be out by Sunday. My other option would be to fight these people for another month and still have to pay rent while being unable to inhabit the building. I left work to start moving and when I entered the apartment, there was smoke everywhere. Turns out someone had bumped the small oven and the burner was on, for who knows how long. This also revealed that the smoke alarm did not work. I turned it off and e-mailed the landlord immediately so I wouldn't be to blame for this. I moved all of my things as fast as possible, but almost all of my possessions were covered in mildew and mold. Clothes in my closet were stuck together, and all of my shoes and items were covered in a fine layer of grey, which I assume is some sort of mold. My mom is not the most intelligent person in the world, and to help me out, she decided to wash my clothes, but not before spraying them all with bleach. Also, while moving my dishes, she dropped the box and they all shattered. Then, while we were moving a few items from my apartment to my boyfriends house, my phone was completely destroyed. This happened because the back window of my car was rolled down to fit a large broom and my phone had been placed in a box in the back seat. A cat ran in front of my car which caused me to slightly swerve to miss it which then caused the box containing my cell phone to empty out of the window. A car then drove over the phone. There was a large patch of dirt in the walkway to my house, and a cat used it as it's own personal litter box. It was pretty gross and always smelled bad. I can't help but wonder if this is the same damn cat. That aside, this is the final picture I took today.
They never even removed the mushrooms, and it is very apparent that something in the wall was still growing and forcing the boards apart. I had to throw away my mattress because it smelled badly of mildew,and several of my clothes had been bleached to death. Now I have to wait and see if they will actually give me my deposit back and eventually find another place to stay. I'm incredibly frustrated.
I've never seen mushrooms growing out of a wall like that before. It would certainly be a troubling site and I don't blame you for wanting it resolved quickly. That said, there really is no quick fix for something like that, is there? It sounds like you've had a bad situation made worse by some bad luck -cat/phone but keep your chin up, something good is bound to come your way.
I wonder, are the Hubski stickers I sent going to go to your old address? Let me know if you don't receive them and I'll be sure to get more out to you.
Good luck Jana!