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Family In Mold Dispute: 'Time Bombs Behind The Walls'

By Kelly Werthmann

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) - A family in Longmont says poor construction of their new home is making them sick and the builder is ignoring the problem.

"We've had problems since the day we moved in," said John Lilly, the homeowner.

CBS4's Kelly Werthmann interviews John and Edie Lilly. (credit: CBS)

John and his wife, Edie, bought the home of their dreams in Longmont, but they didn't expect when they moved in in March that it would all become a nightmare.

(credit: John Lilly)

"Two-and-a-half months into it we had another water leak upstairs that we noticed because water was dripping into our kitchen," John said.

With the home under a one-year warranty, John contacted the builders, Meritage Homes, who discovered shoddy plumbing upstairs near their daughter's bedroom. Contractors made repairs, but the problem was far from fixed as it was making Edie and her daughter sick.

(credit: John Lilly)
(credit: John Lilly)

"When I pulled up the carpet in her bedroom right next to where she sleeps I found mold on the floor," Edie said.

The Lilly's contacted Meritage Homes again and contractors came back to do some remediation work, but John and Edie said it wasn't enough. They hired an independent mold inspector who confirmed mold was still a problem.

Edie and her daughter went to a doctor who also confirmed mold was what was making them sick. John said Meritage Homes is ignoring the issue.

(credit: John Lilly)

"It's been months now and we've given them everything they've asked for and yet they never seem to admit that the mold is a problem," he said.

The problems aren't just inside. During construction, John said a bag of foam insulation was scattered all over the backyard during a wind storm. Instead of picking it up, John said the builders plowed the debris into the soil.

"We've even told them that Longmont has ordinances against burying construction debris, which is exactly what they did and they just seem to ignore the issue," John said.

(credit: John Lilly)

The health issues have forced the Lilly family to move into a temporary apartment. At times, Edie and her daughter were even sleeping outside in a tent. The defects and unresolved problems are costing them thousands of dollars, and they want future homeowners to be aware.

"I think the defects we've seen make us worry that there (are) time bombs behind the walls," John said.

Statement From Meritage Homes To CBS4

"Meritage takes pride in the homes we deliver and, as with any claim, we take indoor air quality seriously.  We have been working diligently with the Lilly's for several months, during which time at least two separate indoor air quality experts/Industrial Hygienists have investigated the home and concluded that there are no indoor air quality or mold issues, therefore, no remediation or (other) further action has been recommended.  Meritage has also been working with the Lilly's lawyer to exchange information from which to further evaluate their claims and to determine what, if any, next steps may be appropriate."

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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