Mouldy House

Reporter: Mark Gibson

This could be Australia's mouldiest house. Claire and Alister Freemantle and their children, Elijah and Guya, have been forced out of their home, they're sleeping on the floor at a relative's place. Over at the rental property they moved into in June, the problem started when they had their first inspection.

"We didn't notice it was there until I was cleaning for our 6 week house inspection and I cleaned a lot of the mould off and it showed it to the agent and from there it just got worse and worse and worse."

You can see the mould on the ceiling, in the wardrobe, on their clothes. In the kids' bedroom it even covers a pillow. Both children have become sick. The youngest has bronchitis.

Professional testing of the house revealed that in the kids' bedroom, mould covered 40% of the walls, 30% of the ceiling and 80% of the wardrobe.

In the main bedroom, it's 20% of the ceiling and 100% of the wardrobe ceiling. Humidity levels were recorded at 76%, way above the 60% needed for mould to grow. Then, there's the smell. Too much for our cameraman after just a few minutes.

It was a bit easier to film outside where the problem seems to have started. After a pergola was added on, the rain poured into the ceiling and walls.

As well as what you can see, the house and everything in it are also covered in invisible mould spores, So what possessions the family have left are trapped inside and can't be moved.

Kerry Lewis is suffering from non-tuberculous myco-bacteria.. a rare, debilitating lung disease, she blames on household mould. "So they've advised me not to come back to the house at all I'm not even supposed to really come in here now."

"I would get a call a day from a property manager to deal with mould in a house or apartment or a flat or a living dwelling." Mould outbreaks are threatening healthy households, says Leicester Chatfield from Germ Solutions. "I think we see mould and we think it is just a bit of dirt but it is not it is a living organism and those organisms can infect us and infect our lungs and it makes it a very dangerous place to live if we do not get rid of the mould in our houses."

As this shocking, hidden camera vision reveals, mould isn't restricted to the home. This is the frozen food section of a Queensland IGA store.

The only good news for the Freemantle family is they've been let out of their 12 month lease. But they're still waiting for the house and their possessions to be cleaned, so they can move on with their lives.