05/06/2013 05:15 pm ET Updated May 07, 2013

Jenny And Os Guinness Forced To Complete A $500,000 Home Renovation Because Of Black Mold (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

It was a nightmare-turned-reality when homeowners Jenny and Os Guinness discovered black mold throughout their McLean, V.A. townhouse in 2008. It is only recently that the couple have been able to occupy their home again.

It all began a year after Ms. Guinness was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent a successful surgery, but still had a hard time breathing in the house. This prompted her to have the home tested for stachybotrys. She discovered the silent killer was all over. "You could scrape it off with a spoon," she told the Wall Street Journal.

The couple had to completely renovate the house and throw out nearly everything including mattresses, couches and some of Mr. Guinness' books. But not being able to live in their own home was the most troubling. "[It] was that sense of dislocation and losing our roots, that was the worst thing. We stayed in 15 different homes in the first year," Mr. Guinness told the newspaper.

Five years -- and $500,000 from their retirement fund -- later, the couple's home is gorgeous and more spacious than before. But there is still a great deal that needs to be done, including ordering furniture and hanging artwork to personalize the space.

Their story is nothing new, especially after Superstorm Sandy, which has been the cause of many severe mold outbreaks.

Watch the video above for more information about the couple's home, and be sure to head over to the Wall Street Journal. You can also read more about mold on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

Click through our slideshow for great cleaning tips.

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