Customer blasts Lowe's when he discovers moldy lumber

@inspector_preston/TikTok wolterke/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘It’s a health hazard’: Customer blasts Lowe’s when he discovers moldy lumber

‘They literally want to sell you wood with mold on it.’


Stacy Fernandez


Lowe’s tried to sell wood that was both a health and safety hazard and refused to pull it from the shelves when initially called out on it. Then this happened.

In a viral video with more than 7 million views, Preston Kincaid (@inspector_preston), a certified health inspector in New York (with an impressive 4.9 Google rating), called out Lowe’s for selling bad products.

Kincaid was already annoyed with the store because as he walked up and down the aisles comparing different products, almost nothing had a price label on it. That particular Lowe’s had a mix of regular price tags and digital ones, but even many of the digital ones weren’t working.

As a shopper, you know how important it is to be able to see prices. Customers need to know how much things cost beforehand to avoid sticker shock at the register. Prices also influence whether shoppers select brand A or brand B.

Plus, with bulk purchases like what you might get at Lowe’s, it would be incredibly annoying to stock your cart full of pounds and pounds of material just to be surprised by the price when you checkout.

Kincaid ended up having to get an employee to spend about five minutes with him individually scanning and telling him the price of each item he was looking at.

Now here’s where things get really bad.

Kincaid walked over to the lumber, thinking it would work great for his project, but he was disgusted to see that one particular pile for sale was all moldy.

As he got closer to it, you could see that the whole stack of wood was infested with black and green spores.

The stacks at the top of the shelf looked clean and uninfected, so Kincaid asked an employee if they could bring those down instead. While the workers tried to help him, the store supervisor refused to pull the moldy lumber from the floor.

“No, not until all this stuff is gone,” the supervisor allegedly said, referring to the moldy wood.

“They literally want to sell you wood with mold on it. They want you to build your projects with mold on it,” Kincaid claims. “…I just had to explain to the Lowe’s people that this isn’t just some discoloration. Like, they’re literally selling something that is a health hazard.”

He compares it to a grocery store putting out moldy food.

“Welcome to Lowe’s. You know, prices are high, service is low, fewer people trying to help. But at the end of the day, can you guys just not sell us crap that’s gonna harm our health?” Kincaid says.

As mold grows, it can release spores into the air that irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, according to the American Lung Foundation. It can cause inflamed airways and lead to symptoms like coughing, throat irritation, wheezing, and chest tightness. And if you already have asthma, it can worsen your symptoms.

On top of the potential health issues, mold can weaken wood—especially when allowed to grow unchecked and untreated—and spread to other planks. This could lead to dangerous and expensive structural issues in a home.

This doesn’t seem to be the first time Lowe’s has tried to sell moldy wood. There are multiple Reddit posts, like this one, accusing the home improvement retail giant of selling a subpar product despite the potential health and structural implications.

@inspector_preston At Lowe's. They told me I have to buy the health hazard first before they can pull down the good product. UPDATE! @Inspector Preston #lowes #homeinspection #homeinspector #inspectortok #bigbunchanope #bigbunchofnope #inspector_preston #homeinspectionhorrors #foryourpage #foryou #foryoupage #firyou #firyoupage   #fyp #fypシ #fy #fyp #fypシ゚viral #fypage ♬ original sound – Inspector Preston

Just a few hours after posting his original video, Kincaid had an update. TikTok did its thing, and Kincaidn’s viewers got the situation fixed.

In a follow-up video, it appears the moldy wood has been cleared out and replaced with fresh planks. Plus, Lowe’s employees were putting labels with prices on the merchandise that had none.

“We have a lot more power than we think we do. We just changed one whole store in three hours,” Kincaid says.

@inspector_preston Lowe's Update! 3 hours, you guys made a difference! Part 1: @Inspector Preston #lowes #homeinspection #homeinspector #inspectortok #bigbunchanope #bigbunchofnope #inspector_preston #homeinspectionhorrors #foryourpage #foryou #foryoupage #firyou #firyoupage   #fyp #fypシ #fy #fyp #fypシ゚viral #fypage ♬ original sound – Inspector Preston

The original video has nearly 30,000 comments.

“I’m not a ‘call corporate’ person, but I feel like that they need to be called,” the top comment with more than 60,000 likes read.

“That sounds like a manager made a bad judgement call and if lowes corporate gets wind of it I bet they’ll have something very different to say,” a person said.

“Call the health department and get them there,” another commented.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kincaid and Lowe’s for comment via email.

Update 10:19am CT May 23: “There’s a general boiling frustration in this country among most people where we are being charged more and more money and being forced to accept less for it. All the while we are watching the money we are being charged by these corporations being paid out as dividends to investors,” Kincaid said in an email.

He added that the fact that the company was able to correct the issue within three hours showed him they were being “willfull and intentional” in their initial decision to still sell moldy wood.

“It shouldn’t take being outed in viral social media content for these companies to do the right thing. But at least that’s one way for us to invoke change.”

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