U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Western North Carolina
 [Register]
Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-12-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
756 posts, read 1,426,238 times
Reputation: 283

Advertisements

The Parkies posted the following in a thread about brightly colored houses... I thought it needed a good discussion, so here is another thread with their post and then my thoughts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by the Parkies View Post
Mold is one of the two biggest health concerns when you buy here. Basements are very commonly built into mountain hillsides as foundations for living space above. We strongly suggest you avoid below-grade levels. All of the below-grade levels we visited stunk with mold, including the lower level of the nice house we rented in Hendersonville. The rental company brought in dehumidifiers and we closed below-grade doors, but the smell still wafted up the staircase. That was all good prep for buying a house--no basement for us!

So the 20-year-old house we bought had no basement, yet we still had to deal with mold problems. The three-to-four-foot crawl space below the house harbored enough mold that the inspector had to highlight it. Sellers gave us $4,000 to install a French drain at the bottom of the slope behind our house to eliminate the source of the moisture causing the mold. That worked well. Today, no more mold. But we check now and then to make sure it's still dry down there.

Minor structural issues can allow moldy air, even in the crawl space, to be sucked up into the house by the heating and cooling system's air handlers. We had ALL the flooring, joists, vents, air handlers--everything--examined and corrected before we closed on the house. If a fairly well-ventilated crawl space can provide enough mold to cause health problems, imagine what a closed-in basement can do!

Radon gas needs to be your other major concern in WNC. Your inspection should definitely include reference to the level of radon, which I understand can be easy to eradicate but is a definite health hazard, so you need to deal with that, too. Our house was low in radon gas emissions.

These conditions, like the presence of poisonous snakes, pesky insects, and too-friendly bears, if your property happens to include those, you either live with or learn to deal with. We can easily overlook a few negatives when the positives are too many to count.
Gee Parkies, I don't think I like NC any more... all we have here in AZ is 100 degree heat for a few months, an occasional scorpion, city traffic, and occasionally high pollution/ozone levels in the air. Here, though, the water problem is that it might run out in a couple dozen years...

Radon: can cause cancer but the latency period for the cancer is 11 years. Not a problem if in the water, only when breathed in. Worth checking but not worrying too much about. Much more radon in parts of AZ although not where we are. Comes from decaying uranium, so it is not everywhere. (I was an environmental radiation lab assistant director for 5 years.)

Mold I am allergic to, so that is bad. Basement I wanted, but now you scare me. If there is mold in basements in Asheville where you get 30-35 inches of rain a year, what is there in Brevard where they get 65+? I have some reading to do... It also means that homes that have sat vacant a year are extremely likely to have mold. ugh.

Poisonous snakes? Yeah we have rattlesnakes in the wilderness out here, too. Leave them alone and they leave you alone. You don't get them in the house do you?

Insects? Ugh. I hate them. Mosquitoes, flies, horseflies, etc... none of that out here. Will have to get 1,000 zappers to put around the house. We did have ants a couple of times, but some killer powder around their hole and they were gone... poof!

Bears? Cover the garbage and in a bear-proof container. Carry some bear spray when hiking. Not a big deal to me.

So besides beautiful scenery and friendly people, what are those positives that are too many to count?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-12-2009, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Weaverville
765 posts, read 2,215,374 times
Reputation: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyFriendly View Post
The Parkies posted the following in a thread about brightly colored houses... I thought it needed a good discussion, so here is another thread with their post and then my thoughts:



Gee Parkies, I don't think I like NC any more... all we have here in AZ is 100 degree heat for a few months, an occasional scorpion, city traffic, and occasionally high pollution/ozone levels in the air. Here, though, the water problem is that it might run out in a couple dozen years...

Radon: can cause cancer but the latency period for the cancer is 11 years. Not a problem if in the water, only when breathed in. Worth checking but not worrying too much about. Much more radon in parts of AZ although not where we are. Comes from decaying uranium, so it is not everywhere. (I was an environmental radiation lab assistant director for 5 years.)

Radon gas can accumulate in crawl spaces and basements to dangerous levels. Also if in the water think about taking a long shower every day and breathing in large doses of it as it degasses. Fortunately remediation in basements and crawl spaces is easy and fairly cheap and most sales contracts require the seller to do it unless you are really desperate to buy--remember this is a buyers market. I'm not sure how you remediate in a shower setting except provide adequate ventilation fans in the ceiling. There definitely are radon hotspots in this area and one I do remember is Black Mtn. Our basement came in at <1 pC/L which is negligible but the inspector said he had seen 30 or more in other homes--the EPA MCL is 4. The other side of the issue is that you might hit 10 in one house and next door find none, its pretty dependent on construction and the proximity to uranium bearing rocks and fill

Mold I am allergic to, so that is bad. Basement I wanted, but now you scare me. If there is mold in basements in Asheville where you get 30-35 inches of rain a year, what is there in Brevard where they get 65+? I have some reading to do... It also means that homes that have sat vacant a year are extremely likely to have mold. ugh.

What Jan said is true and I am convinced one reason so many newer homes are built on crawl spaces is to avoid the problem. We wanted a basement but also wanted to avoid the mold issue so we kept looking. My wife and our agent both were very sensitive to mold odors so they gave them the sniff test. We were lucky to find the house we bought as it has a dry 1700 sq ft basement. The original owner installed drains to route rainwater away from the house on all downspouts and it seems to have worked. But do check out any crawlspaces and basements carefully especially if they have fans running or the smell of air fresheners permeates the houses.

Poisonous snakes? Yeah we have rattlesnakes in the wilderness out here, too. Leave them alone and they leave you alone. You don't get them in the house do you?

Insects? Ugh. I hate them. Mosquitoes, flies, horseflies, etc... none of that out here. Will have to get 1,000 zappers to put around the house. We did have ants a couple of times, but some killer powder around their hole and they were gone... poof!

My wife is the type that attracts mosquitoes etc. so a screened porch was high on her list and she got one. Stay away from water and that will lessen the issues.

Bears? Cover the garbage and in a bear-proof container. Carry some bear spray when hiking. Not a big deal to me.

So besides beautiful scenery and friendly people, what are those positives that are too many to count?
The climate here is pretty mild and changeable. A few days ago it was freezing then the next day it hit 65 and now we are expecting a winter mix--but Monday it will be back in the 60s. Snow melts off fast. It will be a change from the Az climate though. In spite of being so far south (compared to NoVa) and much higher in altitude the 2 climates are very similar--a couple degrees warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The festivals and farmers markets, crafts, and proximity to the Natl Forest and GSMNP add to the desirability. I'm a fisherman so I could fish a different stream every week the rest of my life and still not hit cover them adequately. I think you'll like it here--Larry

Last edited by Cofga; 12-12-2009 at 10:50 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2009, 10:18 AM
 
Location: FLORIDA
8,964 posts, read 5,670,289 times
Reputation: 3355
Good: beauty, friendly people, things to do, etc...
Bad: job market, winter months where it's cold and dreary, etc...
Ugly: parts of Patton Ave. LOL.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2009, 12:10 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 24,190,293 times
Reputation: 8260
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComSense View Post
Good: beauty, friendly people, things to do, etc...
Bad: job market, winter months where it's cold and dreary, etc...
Ugly: parts of Patton Ave. LOL.
Actually winter is not dreary. Sure there are some gray days, but we get a lot of sunshine in the winter. It's not like the north where you go weeks or months without ever seeing the sun, and you have 16 hours of darkness every day.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2013, 11:23 AM
 
55 posts, read 103,825 times
Reputation: 57
Good: It's beautiful, especially in the fall. Lots of places to hike. Good grocery stores (compared to where I'm from in central California, although I think any large city would have similar options). Fireflies (they don't exist where I'm from) and lots of cool wildlife.

Bad: Outside of the heart of Asheville, people tend to be very religious and right-wing (this might be good for some, but it's certainly not for me). No legal/medicinal marijuana. Recently closed a bunch of abortion clinics in the state (like I said, this might be good for some). BAD bug bite issues. Horrible rainy weather all summer/can be awful cold in winter. The state voted to not expand medicaid which means poor people like me won't be able to get health care under Obamacare.

The ugly: Mold. MOLD MOLD MOLD. And pollen in the Spring. This place has been absolute hell on my health and I know other people who are leaving the area because of these issues. I just mentioned this in another thread, but mold has completely destroyed my home. It's barely livable here and both my boyfriend and I are very ill because of it. We're only here because we are low income and have nowhere else to go. There is visible white fuzzy mold growing on everything. Cabinets. Windowsills. Furniture. Our luggage. All our artwork is warped and bent and moldy from the moisture in the air. Nice artwork that had sentimental value has been destroyed. All my clothing is covered in mold, even stuff that has been washed a few days ago.

I know a lot of people love this area, but I want to be honest about these issues because they have really messed up my health and had I known about some of the negatives I don't think I would have moved here in the first place. It's really, really bad, but a lot of this will only apply to low income people. If you can afford a NICE house with proper insulation/venting and thick walls, you probably won't have these issues. I have no choice but to rent low income apartments and trailers and they really are unlivable. At least, every one I've had has been.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2013, 02:35 PM
 
14,637 posts, read 29,627,661 times
Reputation: 17178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sickofhumidity View Post
Good: It's beautiful, especially in the fall. Lots of places to hike. Good grocery stores (compared to where I'm from in central California, although I think any large city would have similar options). Fireflies (they don't exist where I'm from) and lots of cool wildlife.

Bad: Outside of the heart of Asheville, people tend to be very religious and right-wing (this might be good for some, but it's certainly not for me). No legal/medicinal marijuana. Recently closed a bunch of abortion clinics in the state (like I said, this might be good for some). BAD bug bite issues. Horrible rainy weather all summer/can be awful cold in winter. The state voted to not expand medicaid which means poor people like me won't be able to get health care under Obamacare.

The ugly: Mold. MOLD MOLD MOLD. And pollen in the Spring. This place has been absolute hell on my health and I know other people who are leaving the area because of these issues. I just mentioned this in another thread, but mold has completely destroyed my home. It's barely livable here and both my boyfriend and I are very ill because of it. We're only here because we are low income and have nowhere else to go. There is visible white fuzzy mold growing on everything. Cabinets. Windowsills. Furniture. Our luggage. All our artwork is warped and bent and moldy from the moisture in the air. Nice artwork that had sentimental value has been destroyed. All my clothing is covered in mold, even stuff that has been washed a few days ago.

I know a lot of people love this area, but I want to be honest about these issues because they have really messed up my health and had I known about some of the negatives I don't think I would have moved here in the first place. It's really, really bad, but a lot of this will only apply to low income people. If you can afford a NICE house with proper insulation/venting and thick walls, you probably won't have these issues. I have no choice but to rent low income apartments and trailers and they really are unlivable. At least, every one I've had has been.
Mold can be a big problem in basements, especially (as well as radon). Allergies can be quite bad, the few times I was at our second home there in spring, I could not BELIEVE the thick yellow/green blanket of pollen that covered everything! Made me pretty sick. Also, Asheville is in a valley surrounded by mountains so the air is not quite as pristine as one would think. Something to think about for anyone with respiratory issues.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2013, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Sylva, NC...
426 posts, read 892,937 times
Reputation: 246
...is there a way to prevent the mold?? If you have it......treating it? DOnna
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
10,212 posts, read 14,032,582 times
Reputation: 8720
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Mold can be a big problem in basements, especially (as well as radon). Allergies can be quite bad, the few times I was at our second home there in spring, I could not BELIEVE the thick yellow/green blanket of pollen that covered everything! Made me pretty sick. Also, Asheville is in a valley surrounded by mountains so the air is not quite as pristine as one would think. Something to think about for anyone with respiratory issues.

So there is no mold in FL? So when the snowbirds leave from May to October they shut off their humidistats??? Au contraire. They leave their a/c systems on and set the humidistat to prevent mold. Mold is a huge problem in FL (inside the house and outside the house), as are bugs, critters, foul tasting drinking water. Bugs up the ying yang breeding wildly in the oppressive humidity. Snakes and gators love the brown lakes and your backyards. Well water? Wells are banned in many residential subdivisions in FL for a reason. You can't drive down any highway or secondary road in FL without spotting at least 3 or 4 pest control trucks. Plumbers and a/c specialists are a huge business in FL.

Pollen is everywhere that has real trees in the spring in this country. Every state I've been in anyhow, and that's about 40 out of 50. That goes for radon as well. You want to see mold? Live in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, the shores of TX and the FL panhandle; Charleston, Savannah.

(If the poster with the mold on clothing, living in a mold infested trailer, etc. has not called the County inspectors in there, and reported the landlord to the health department, they are most likely exaggerating. If they are not exaggerating, they should have vacated that place a long time ago.)

This spring and summer has not been normal, not even average for this area. Any local or native will tell you that there has not been this much rain in over 75 or even 100 years. I believe it was 2006 when we were in a serious drought; the counties even ordered car washes closed, no watering lawns unless you had a well, etc. That went on most of that summer and some landscapers actually went out of business. Lakes and rivers were shallow, fish were dying etc. etc.

We can't control Mother Nature ... not even here in God's country.

Last edited by QuilterChick; 08-19-2013 at 07:08 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2013, 08:38 AM
 
4,793 posts, read 5,417,296 times
Reputation: 7556
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
This spring and summer has not been normal, not even average for this area. Any local or native will tell you that there has not been this much rain in over 75 or even 100 years. I believe it was 2006 when we were in a serious drought; the counties even ordered car washes closed, no watering lawns unless you had a well, etc. That went on most of that summer and some landscapers actually went out of business. Lakes and rivers were shallow, fish were dying etc. etc.
Definitely not normal. Lake Chatuge where I live is the highest it's been in 60 years.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2013, 08:41 AM
 
4,793 posts, read 5,417,296 times
Reputation: 7556
I answered about the mold issue on a separate thread. The mold problem being described is not something I've run into in the mountains.

She described washing clothes only to find them covered in mold a few days later. I've never experienced anything like that, nor have my friends who live in the mountains. And they have finished basements too.

The poster is clearly living with a mold infestation that requires professional intervention. Super unhealthy and she could develop asthma if she hasn't already.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Western North Carolina
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top