RUSKIN - A family of five lost their home and everything in it because of what inspectors call defective construction. After paying nearly 15 years of the mortgage, they were forced to walk away from the house and all the equity they put into it.
Natalia Castillo thought she had the perfect home for her family but there was always something that didn't seem right: water constantly intruding into the home from the ground.
After years of the builder patching up small fixes she brought in an engineer and a mold expert, who told her to get her family out of the home as soon as possible because of mold contamination.
'Her home wasn't properly built,” said Brett DeMartino of Rainbow International Restoration. "With something like a vapor barrier missing, that's just something that should not have happened. In Florida that's an essential component or you're almost certainly going to have mold."
Castillo said insurance wouldn’t cover the damage because it's seen as a contractor defect. And as it turns out, she isn't alone, DeMartino says many of the homes built around the same time as the Castillo's have similar issues.
"They were turning them out as quickly as possible and then we had a lot of issues,” said DeMartino. “Inspectors weren't looking closely at what they were doing so we have a lot of issues where a lot of things were slipping through the cracks.
"Now a lot of these good people and homeowners are paying for this."
"I'm not the only one here that has problems,” added Castillo. “There's other families here that have problems but they're afraid to come forward whether it's because they don't speak any English, they're elderly, they're afraid of losing their home."
© 2017 WTSP-TV