OAKLAND — Residents in Oakland have taken to calling the house at 18 W. Vick Ave. the “mold house,” and neighbors are keeping a close watch on all the recent activity taking place there.
The Oakland Town Commission held a work session March 10 to address the concerns and share an update about the home’s condition, including the drywall, furniture and other objects being removed from the house during renovations.
The 2,248-square-foot, two-story home, built in 1980s, went into foreclosure in 2013; Ron and Katherine Kalish bought it in December for $75,256 and are in the process of renovating it. They said they knew neighbors might have concerns, so they posted a sign outside the house and included their phone number so residents could call them.
They are affiliated with K&C Development of Central Florida and Katron Construction, which recently began offering restoration services, including mold remediation and assessment, indoor air-quality testing and remediation, air scrubbing and anti-microbial treatment.
Ron Kalish said even though his company is qualified and state-certified to do the mold removal, he hired an outside company, AdvantaClean, “so a future buyer wouldn’t think I cut corners as my own contractor and mold guy.”
When mold is involved in a cleanup, certain protocols have to be followed, and town officials are making frequent inspections of the work. Furniture and drywall must be disposed of properly.
A building official has reported the building is structurally sound and doesn’t think it needs to be demolished.
The home has a full basement floor that originally included an in-ground spa, sauna, fireplace, gym area, office and family room. Kalish said the builder installed a bathtub drain in the floor. The house experienced a plumbing leak years ago, and then it sat vacant for years. Kalish said the previous owners left behind all their belongings.
Several neighbors were at the meeting and shared their concerns.
Sue Prosser, who lives in the adjacent house, said: “That house has been a mold issue practically since the day it was built. I’m glad you’re addressing the water issues.”
Carl Bousfield lives behind the property and said his home sits lower and he has had to deal with drainage problems stemming from the house on Vick. He’s hoping the town will insist on a swale or berm to keep the water away from his home.
Mayor Kathy Stark said town officials will monitor that issue. Because this was an informational work session, no action was taken.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].