Vinh Nguyen and his wife Minh Bui were in shock when they returned to their home in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from a three-week vacation in Vietnam on Sept. 23.
“One hundred per cent of the apartment was covered in mould,” Nguyen told Global News. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve seen mould like that.”
Ngyuen claims their clothes, shoes, furniture and appliances were also covered in mould. It’s so bad the couple says they haven’t been able to live there since their return.
“We moved out immediately with our luggage, coming from our vacation,” he explained.
Since they arrived in Montreal, they have been staying with friends.
Nguyen said he thinks he knows what happened to the apartment.
“Because the hot water (in the bathroom) has been leaking for three months,” he said.
The building is a co-op that is run by an organization that is a member of Fédération des Coopératives d’Habitation Intermunicipale du Montréal Métropolitain (FECHIMM).
Nguyen claims he contacted the organization several times weeks ago about the leak, but it wasn’t fixed.
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An expert in mould removal told Global News it’s not uncommon to see mould grow this quickly.
“Mould can grow within 24 to 48 hours, given the right conditions, and given the right building materials and the right elements that are working together,” Charles Leduc told Global News. He is the chief operations officer at Mold Busters, a company specializing in mould removal.
Leduc added that “it’s not uncommon for people to leave for one week vacation and come back to a completely different environment.”
He also said ventilation and proper insulation — especially in older buildings — are key to preventing mould.
Global News tried unsuccessfully to reach the co-op’s board of directors, but in an email to Global News FECHIMM spokesperson Richard Audet said they “informed the board of directors of the cooperative about the situation described by the tenant upon his return from vacation. Together with the co-op, we are starting the process now to relocate the tenant to another housing unit that is currently free, as soon as possible.”
Nguyen and his wife say they hope that happens soon.