I have been writing my column for 10 years and I have received many emails from readers. Here are a few interesting comments, the edited substance of which I would like to share with all of you.
One reader writes that he noticed black spots on his parent's roof. A contractor opined that the spots are mold and the question is whether mold can cause harm if untreated.
My answer: If you have a mold problem, you will want to eliminate it. Often this means tearing out the wall board or other impacted host material.
While a little mold doesn't tend to cause a problem for most people, a lot of mold is problematic and might render necessary the destruction of the host material. In other words, you may have to remove the roofing material or other host material in order to eliminate the mold problem.
While a small amount of mold may only require a brief application of diluted bleach, a mold infestation problem requires expert care. Keep in mind that mold restoration specialists may not always be licensed, which means that you need to be very careful in the selection of the company that will abate your mold problem.
Finally, mold often means there is an excess moisture problem. If the root moisture problem is left uncured, the mold may resurface even after the affected material has been removed.
The second letter concerns the issue of "neighbor flooding neighbor" -- which is hardly a neighborly thing to do.
The reader advises that her neighbors changed the grade of their property so as to allow all of the neighbor's runoff to drain onto the reader's property. The reader installed a drainage system, but it was overwhelmed by the quantity of runoff.
Now, the reader is considering litigation.
My answer: Good for you, reader! Nobody should use a downgradient property as their own stormwater catch basin. Unless, that is, they have purchased an easement that expressly allows for this to occur.
These cases can be difficult and may require the use of expert engineers who can explain to the court how this problem unfolded -- as well as what the cure might be. But if you are being flooded out by your neighbor and your neighbor will not help in resolving the problem, you may have no choice but to seek out a local lawyer.
The final letter concerns neighborhood noise. This reader complains that a local, very young, resident has an annoying habit of driving around with his radio blasting. In the readers opinion, the police should do their job and take care of this local nuisance.
My answer: I agree 100 percent. If a local teenager is violating a noise ordinance or a disorderly person ordinance, clearly the first recourse should be to try to get the police involved.
However, a lot of times the police refuse to become involved. This can drive people crazy and sometimes there is nothing else they can do but go to court.
Court should be the very last resort. But if the police will not or cannot help, sometimes, there is simply nothing else that is legal that can be done to resolve the festering problem.
Thank you for your letters and please keep on writing.