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Protect your home, apartment, or rental house against toxic mold infestation, black mold contamination, and/or any type of mold growth by following the mold prevention methods found in Do-it-yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation Guide.
 
More Real People Mold Questions & Answers

Q.  Dec. 11, 2011. We put a new addition on with a basement in the winter of 2006.  One year later we had ground water all over our new finished basement addition.  Our sump pump could not keep up as we found out we have a spring under our house.  We have since spent a lot of money for the basement systems to come in and put drain tile inside the home and another sump pump.  We are starting to put new flooring down again and I am finding black mold.  What should we do?  It is behind the sheet rock in certain areas and not sure how far it has spread.  It is also on some of the studs.  Should we cut all the sheet rock up to a certain height?  I know that we did cut the sheet rock last spring before we put trim down and did not find black mold at that time, but this last summer we had more water trouble than usual, so I am thinking it started this last summer.  I see that cleaning the walls with bleach doesn't work.  What should we use?

      A. You need to remove drywall for at least 4 feet above where you find mold growth (really your entire wall as a result of that 4 ft safety margin).
Get the timbers free of visible mold using power and hand tools like wire brush (wire brush attachment to electric drill), sander, planer.   To help reduce future mold growth, spray all timbers with several spray coatings of anti-mold growth boric acid powder, available at http://www.moldmart.net.  Mix 2 pounds of boric per gallon of warm water. Use a hand pumped garden sprayer ($40) for the spraying.
The resulting white powdery coating helps prevent mold growth. Do not re-install drywall. Instead, use cement-based, non-wood panels so that the mold has no wall material to eat. While on Mold Mart, may I that you buy my in depth ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Inspection, Testing, Remediation, & Prevention. Continually check basement humidity with a hygrometer. Use a programmable dehumidifier  to keep basement humidity less than 60%. You are right that bleach does not work. It only discolors the mold, which begins growing again in about three weeks. Please email me any followup q's you may have.  Thanks, Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist 

 Q. We moved into our home 18 years ago.  There was an apartment in the basement.  Our basement is a raised ranch at the back but in ground at front of house.  At the back of the house downstairs is the recreation/family room now.  We reinsulated it and laid down a carpet.  There was a sub floor already there.  We also have 2 bedrooms closer to the front of the house.  The first one has not caused us any problems as neither has the recreation room.  The bedroom at the very front of the house which is your usual in ground basement has over the last 14 years smelt musty.  I always thought it was my daughters new box spring mattress, which we bought right after we renovated the room (was tiled and we put an inlay then carpet on the floor).  I even returned the mattress claiming it was the batting in the mattress that was smelling moldy/musty.  They replaced it with another one and I left the plastic on for fear it would smell again.  It was better for a long time but then the odor started to reappear again.  We decided to tear the wallboard off to see if the cement walls were leaking, but they were not.  We reinsulated the walls, then we tore up the carpet as it smelt musty too.  The carpet had some rings underneath it and when we tore up the under padding, the tile had black mold on it and the under padding was black. Could we clean the tile with something as it is going to be difficult to remove it??  Help !!! [May 8, 2003]  

            A. You will need to remove and discard all mold-contaminated building materials, including the tile, carpet, and padding. You will also need to find the source of water that has enable the mold to grow [e.g., humidity level about 60%, water seeping upward through concrete floor, water seeping through masonry walls of the basement, water pipe leaks, etc. Unless you stop the water problem, you will not stop the unhealthy mold problem. You also need to test the air of your various basement rooms, your main floor rooms, and hvac ducts on both levels for elevated levels of unhealthy mold spores. Use do it yourself mold test kits available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store, or hire a Certified Mold Inspector.  For detailed info, visit mold inspection, mold testing, and mold remediation and mold removal.

            Q. We moved into our home two years ago this month.  Since that time, we have had some water in the basement, and we have determined that the water is coming in about midway up on the front face of the house where the Stucco and Brick meet, also where the Stucco forms a seam around two of the front windows.  It is a very small seam and the water only penetrates it during severe rain storms.  Water has probably been evident about 7 or 8 times over the two years.  The water seems to travel along the outer plywood behind the brick, until it reaches the floor level of the upstairs, we have noticed some moisture under the baseboard, however the carpet and pad have always remained dry.  What is the likelihood that mold has begun growing?  We have not been able to physically see or smell any type of mold, and for the most part the plywood and floor board is dry quickly after the rainstorm subsides.  Is there a type of remediation that could be sprayed in the general area though not directly on the areas where the water has traveled, that would kill any type of mold? [April 16, 2003]

            A. First, you must stop the water seepage into your basement walls as soon as possible. Otherwise, why worry about mold remediation?  Second, you should test your basement rooms and the rooms above the basement for the presence of elevated levels of mold spores, a strong sign that you have a serious mold infestation problem somewhere in your house. Third, you need to open up all walls that have possibly gotten wet to do mold inspection and testing. You can either use do it yourself mold test kits, available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store to test for mold, or hire a Certified Mold Inspector. Fourth, if you open up the walls and find mold growth or testing reveals elevated levels of mold spores in those opened up areas, you need to mold remediate that area in accordance with the steps explained at mold remediation.

            Q. We have had a condensation problem over our den and about 2 years ago the ceiling started to turn black in a small area. We planned to have it fixed but now wonder if we should touch it without having it inspected. My husband has several of the symptoms or health related problems due to Black Mold. chronic fatigue, memory loss, and also a bad tremor. These problems have occurred since the black stain appeared. Please let me know who to contact to have our home tested.  [April 3, 2003]
           A.
One concern you should have is whether the visible mold is only the tip of the iceberg. Another concern is the type of mold infestation you are dealing with. You can use Scotch tape to collect a sample of the visible mold to send to a mold lab of your choice for mold lab analysis and mold species identification. You should also mold test the room air in the various rooms and areas of your home [such as hvac ducts, attic, basement, crawl space] for elevated levels of airborne mold spores. Use do it yourself mold test kits available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store. Click for Info on tape lift sampling. Have your home, apartment, condominium, office or commercial building mold inspected and mold tested by a Certified Mold Inspector. You should also stop the condensation problem by operating a dehumidifier that is set to keep room air at 30 to 40% humidity, a level that discourages mold growth.

          Q.
I live in Fairbanks Alaska. Some three years ago my wife worked in a local facility that had obvious mold problems. It was housed in a small, old, house with an earthen floor and a very very strong smell of mold that could be overpowering the minute you opened the front door. The employer was not willing to do anything about the situation and my wife continued to work there for the next eight months. Actually her employment was eight months, she was only able to actually work a little over half of that time. She kept getting sick, would stay home until better, then go back and get sick all over again. We knew nothing about mold and it's dangers at that time, but finally came to the conclusion that it was the mold that was making her sick. She quit, but it seems the damage had already been done. She took two more jobs after that, but because of recurring sickness, was never able to work more than half time. Eventually she had to quit working altogether. She has not worked for almost two years now and still the problems persist. The problems run the gamut of almost all of the symptoms that we see listed in toxic mold exposure on your website. Because we live in Alaska and health professionals are not numerous, there seems to be little help in identifying the cause of the problem and most doctors merely treat the symptoms and never get to the root problem. I see a lot of resources on your site for legal help and information, but I see no help in the form of information of a medical nature, other than symptoms. I am in need of resources for doctors that have experience in this field that have the ability to diagnose the problem. I am convinced in my own mind that mold is/was the problem, but it needs to be diagnosed before we can move on in any manner. [July 13, 2002]
         
A. The best physician to start with for diagnosing mold medical problems is a pulmonary physician [specializes in lung problems] because most serious mold health problems cause damage to one's lungs. A pulmonary doctor can use several important diagnostic tests such as taking laboratory biopsy samples of lung tissue, and mold antibody blood testing.. A neurologist can also be consulted with to do brain testing to identify brain damage from Stachybotrys mold [causes similar symptoms as Alzheimers Disease, such as extreme forgetfulness, problems in logical thinking, feeling disconnected from the world around you, etc.]. Read the top 100 mold health symptoms.

          Q.  I need advice on what to do.  Where Do our family members get tested?  Who do I contact to inspect our home?  The mold is here now and I don't know what to do with it. I have scrubbed the walls with pure bleach and the mold has returned. We moved into this house in 1991.  When  we were in escrow the dining room wallpaper was full of mold on the wall near the window.  When it rains the window did and still does leak water( I shouldn't say leaks it seems to  "runs" down the wall like a  small stream) into the house and the mold grows.  We were promised by the Real Estate Company that the problem would be fixed before escrow closed.  As soon as it started raining the new wallpaper was soaked and the mold began to grow again in the same place and the same way.  I don't think this water come through the window.  It's strange how it runs down the wall  at a diagonal, soaking the carpeting. Pipes have leaked in the wall a few months ago and the bathroom wall and the closet wall are full of mold.  Our plumber advise us that the reason our copper pipes were leaking was due to electrolysis. He said this was caused by the improper use of galvanized straps applied directly to the copper plumbing.  These straps were applied during escrow by the firm selected by either the previous owner or their real estate agent.  This was in response to our complaint that the pipes could be heard rattling against the wood.   Also on the advice of our Real Estate agent we had the house inspected by an inspected they recommend who assured us all repairs were properly completed . Our plumber  informed us that the use of galvanized straps over copper was extremely irresponsible and was a "cheap" temporary fix to the problem  and would certainly lead to leaky pipes over a period of time.  Subsequently we replaced all the horizontal pipes and the vertical pipes that were damage from the straps at a cost of $2000.00. Since moving into this house in 1991, I have had my thyroid removed due to Graves disease, my gallbladder removed due to gall stones,  I have had pneumonia three times in one year.  I started seeing a pulmonary doctor because I was having difficulty breathing.  I was diagnosed as Asthmatic ( which I did not have prior to moving in  this home.) and I take three medications when the condition flares up.  When a guest, who are also asthmatic come into this house they  have difficulty breathing. and they are usual sitting in the living room area where the moldy closet and bathroom are next to. Our dog has  died of cancer. She grew tumors after we moved into this house.  I don't know if this is a coincidence or if indeed its the mold growing here  that is affecting me.  Could you advise us on what we should do?  I had no idea this could be so very dangerous. [June 6, 2002]
          
A. Pets getting sick from mold and pets dying from mold are an early warning system that there is a serious mold infestation problem in your home. In addition, the very serious health problems you have been experiencing and the known water leak problems of your home make it a certainty that you have a massive mold problem. The questions are: (1) what types of mold---some are more dangerous than others, although all molds in elevated levels indoors can cause health problems; (2) WHERE precisely is mold growing inside your walls, ceilings, floors, hvac equipment/ducts, and elsewhere; and (3) how to get rid of the mold contamination effectively, completely, and safely. Your first step is to have your home thoroughly inspected and tested by a Certified Mold Inspector.

            Q. I purchased a home in October of 2001 (the home was built in October of 2000). The former owners had a child that was born without a brain stem. Three months after we moved in my 11 month old son became very ill. His blood was infected with meningitis. We caught it before it had reached his brain. Now, he is 2 years old and has been diagnosed with autism. I don't know if mold could have anything to do with these problems, but it is a strange coincidence.  Have you ever heard of medical problems like this as a result of mold? Any information you could give me would be appreciated. [May 21, 2002]
          
A. A pregnant woman living in a mold-infested home can experience birth defects in the baby because of mold infestation getting to and harming the fetus through the mother's blood. Hire a Certified Mold Inspector to thoroughly mold test your home and to remove completely any mold contamination.

            Q. We purchased a 34 year old home in Amarillo, Texas in June 2001.  I cleaned up mold under a bathroom vanity when we moved in to the home.  This was thirty days of after the home inspection was done.  I began to have a burning sensation in my lungs when we moved into the house.  I started to have a constant runny nose.  I also felt tired and nauseated when I was home.  I felt worse after taking a nap.  I also felt depressed and tired.  I felt better when we went on a four day trip.  I felt bad and all the symptoms return quickly after returning home.  I went to an allergy doctor that advised me to take allergy shots and told me there was no need to move.  A member of our Sunday school class asked if I had any mold.  She told me her family had the same symptoms due to mold.  They all improved after moving.  Our insurance company denied our claim in November because the water damage occurred before we owned the house.  We had a plumber do a pressure test and another company take samples and perform an air test.  The asked the seller to file a claim, she refused.  We hired an attorney, the seller hired an attorney.  Our attorney sent the discovery and filed the fraud suit.  The seller's attorney advised her to file a claim.  On March 30th I went to the emergency room gasping for air.  I went back to the emergency room on April 1st gasping for air.  I was advised by a friend to go to a doctor.  I arrived barley breathing and think I would have died if he had not had knowledge of how to treat me.  He is a chiropractor and has studied a technique that is like acupuncture without the needles.  He told me all my body systems were in shock and shutting down.  I also exhibited stroke like symptoms.  I went through about a week that I could not stop talking.  I had a very hard time saying what I was thinking.  I also had trouble walking and using my left side.  I reacted to mold, perfume, smoke by exhibiting these symptoms.  I have been out of the house for about five weeks now.  My health has improved but I am not 100% yet.  Only by the grace of God am I alive to tell my story.  Thank you for the opportunity to read stories from others;  I feel less alone in this nightmare called mold. Question:  Are there any medical tests that check for mold spores in your body?  If yes, how is this treated? [May 13, 2002]
          
A. Work hard to help your lawyer win. Lawsuits take a long time, money, and effort to win. Second piece of advice: If your family is still living in the home, move out immediately. The home mold problems and the adverse health effects are indicative of a very major health threat to your family. Third, if you want to find out [and thus document for your lawsuit] the presence of mold in your body, ask your doctor to order a Mold Antibody Blood Test to be performed at a major local hospital laboratory. If a person has mold growing in one's body, the body's natural defense to try to resist the mold is to create a specific antibody in the blood for each type of mold that has infested one's body.

           Q. After reading some of these stories I am feeling really scared. We live in an older home one block from the ocean. Our house is very musty and there is black mold several places through out the house. I never would have suspected this was the problem had quite a few people not brought it to our attention. We have lived here for seven years. I have been really sick for almost a year. I have swollen Lymph nodes through my body, sinus infections, stomach problems, joint pain, severe headaches and pain in my chest. I feel sometimes like I have a pneumonia but I don't. I have been tested for many things. They diagnosed me with Pernicious Anemia which would cause some of these problems, but not all. My son who is ten has frequent nose bleeds and constant allergies. My husband has battled major anxiety, depression and the inability to concentrate on the simplest of things. I know these are a multitude of symptoms but I would really like to know what you think. Any help would
be appreciated! [April 21, 2002]
          
A. Move your family out of this mold hell immediately to prevent any further damage to your family's health. After moving out, have one of our Certified Mold Inspectors thoroughly inspect and mold test your home to identify the types of molds present in your home and to locate their whereabouts.  Do not move back into the home until you have completed mold remediation and the home passes mold clearance tests after the mold removal. For more information, please visit: Mold Testing, Mold Inspection, and Mold Remediation.

           Q.
We built our home in 1989 and moved in Dec 1989. In the spring of 1990 we had a terrible flood with about 4 ft of water in the basement. We had the flood cleaned up professionally and dried out. The next 3 years we had a flood every year with water ranging from 1 ft to 2 ft.  Again had it cleaned up.  I noticed that some of the foundation blocks are cracked and water has been seeping in. I also noticed a white chalky substance on the walls and my 10 year old son has been not feeling his self lately. He has had three upper respiratory infections in 2 months, headaches and tired.  We went to Florida for 10 days and he was fine. Now this week he is sick again.  We also had a pipe break behind a shower wall in our bathroom and it leaked to a spare room. We didn't notice for about 4 months upon opening the closet I noticed the drywall was black and crumbling and the carpet was wet. We removed the drywall but I think that our house is got severe mold.  My husband has also developed a memory problem, he can't remember where he puts anything. We live in Canada and I hope that you can help. [April 8, 2002]
          
A. You need to leave the house immediately because of the severe damage that mold may be causing to your family's health. Your first job is to test the visible mold and the air in the basement and in the various upstairs rooms of your home to determine [through mold laboratory analysis and mold species identification of visible mold and air samples taken] what types of molds have infested your home. Follow the mold testing techniques at Mold Testing. You must find a way to stop the flooding of your basement or you will never solve your mold problem. Find the best foundation and basement wall waterproofing contractor in your area to get a bid on the changes necessary for waterproofing the exterior basement walls and for draining water away from the basement walls rather than through them!  You can deal with mold infestation in the bathroom leak area by the following the mold removal suggestions provided at: Mold Remediation.

Q. I moved into my new home on January 17, 2001. After only a few days I started having problems with the house. One of the biggest problems was having a lot of water standing under my house in the crawl space. I called my contractor and he pumped the water out on several occasions. I thought the problem had been taken care of. In or about Dec. I decided to refinance my house with the State Employees Credit Union. They sent someone to check for termites. He told me I might as well stop the process until I fixed the water problem. He said I had a pond under my house. I called in the county inspection dept. and my contractor. My question is: I have been exposed to this problem for over a year. I have been sick
but never thought of mold might be causing my problems. Is there any way my doctor can check to see if this is in fact my problems with breathing, headaches, coughing so hard I almost pass out, and symptoms such as I have. [April 8, 2002]

 A. Two tests that you might consider asking your doctor to perform on you and your family members: (1) blood test to detect levels of mold anti-bodies in your blood; and (2) biopsy of lung tissues to determine if there has been lung tissue damage from molds likes aspergillus. Learn all about mold health. You would also be wise to read the book Mold Health Guide.

           Q.
We have had to move out of our home in December, 2001, because of mold. We live in Valparaiso, Indiana. We are in the start of a law suit because we only lived in the house for 7 months and there is mold everywhere from a wet crawlspace, I have emailed several people but have gotten no response. It makes me wonder why some people get their stories on tv and newspapers. [April 5, 2002]
         
 A. To get the attention of local newspapers and TV stations, you need to make their job easy to report about your mold hell---deliver high quality photo's, videotapes, mold test results, and typed factual summaries of your bad experiences with your moldy home to your local media.  Besides waiting for some one to save you, you ought to learn how to do mold testing and mold remediation of your own home so that you can get this problem over with on an affordable and prompt basis.

          Q.
My family has lived in our house for about 7 years, the house is about 50-60 years old. During these seven years we have had about 5 episodes of some type of water damage. We had black mold in the bathrooms and in the kitchen. We have it in the basement. Recently we had the kitchen and the bathroom remodeled. Because this was done, does that mean that the mold in those areas is gone? Also the mold in our basement was painted over, does the mold grow over the paint if it still exists? We have 5 children and my oldest child got asthma about 2 years ago and three of my children get bloody noses pretty often out of nowhere. And they are always sick with cold like symptoms. I feel like no one believes me when I say this is going on. Recently I went to the doctor because I have been having problems breathing, but the doctor said it is not asthma but gave me an inhaler. Within a time frame of a month and a half I have had 4 breathing attacks, where you can hear how awful my breathing sounds. My house smells musty when no one has been home for hours and has not been aired out. My husband thinks that it is all in my head. Could you tell me what are some symptoms that the black mold can cause? And what can I do? [April 3, 2002]
         
A. Take your family out of this house immediately and live in a mold-free place for as long as it takes you to test the mold in your home and to remove it completely and safely. The health symptoms you describe are typical symptoms of living in a severely mold-contaminated residence. Painting over mold does nothing to get rid of mold---it just gives more food for the mold to eat [the paint itself]. To identify and quantify the types of mold that have infested your home, you need to do testing either on your own or with one of our Certified Mold Inspectors. Find a Certified Mold Inspector in your area. For do it yourself mold testing, please follow the suggestions at: Mold Testing. For detailed steps on how to remove mold from your mold contaminated home, please visit: Mold Remediation.

          Q.
My husband and I are renting a 50-60 year old house and have mold growing in almost every room.  I have to use bleach water at least 2 a month to keep it from being visible.  After visiting your web site, I noticed that the bleach water does not kill what could be growing behind the walls.  I have brought this to the attention of our landlord twice.  Each time I am told to clean it really well with the bleach water and repaint it with an enamel paint and it should be okay.  How do I know that this will work?  After reading your website, it seems like that would just be covering up the problem.  I want to stay on very good terms with my landlords ( I can't afford to move), but I also want my family to be safe.  My husband and I suffer from headaches almost daily, my husband and 3 children all suffer from nasal problems.  I am at a loss of what to do.  PLEASE HELP!!!! [March 3, 2002]
         
A. Chlorine bleach does not kill mold infestation because: (1) it is too weak from heavy dilution; (2) chlorine stays on the surface and does not soak INTO porous materials like drywall and wood where the mold has enzyme roots; and (3) weak chlorine bleach becomes even weaker when it sits for long times in warehouses and store shelves. Learn all about the failure of bleach to kill mold on porous surfaces like building materials at Bleach Mold. Your second problem is that you are just treating the symptoms of the problem. You need to do a thorough mold investigation through mold inspection and mold testing to find the water sources of your mold problem and to find mold contamination that may be hidden inside walls, ceilings, floors, hvac equipment and ducts, crawl space, basement, and attic. Follow the mold investigation techniques explained in the ebook Do it yourself Mold Inspection, Remediation, Prevention, & Testing Guide that you can purchase online at Product Catalog.  Ask your landlord to help you pay for mold testing because the landlord owes you a duty to provide you with a HABITABLE place to live. Living in a mold hell is not a habitable place to live!
 
          Q. My sister-in-laws' house has a strong musky odor. They have been living under these conditions for the past year. When they visit my house I notice that their clothes have this strong musky odor. I recently asked them about their home and was told that they had had water damage to one of their rooms a year or so ago. Do you think that the odor is from mold on the drywall? What should they do to remedy this possible mold problem? {March 1, 2002]
         
A. Their first step is to mold test the air inside the various rooms of their home, plus any crawl space, basement, attic, and several sample hvac ducts. The moldy smell of their clothes and the house is a very good indication that your relatives have a very serious mold contamination problem. They should follow the mold testing suggestions provided at: Mold Testing.

          Q. I live on South Padre Island, Texas. My question is can I leave my windows open or should I close them and run the air conditioner to help prevent mold infestation. I currently do not have a mold contamination problem and like fresh air but wonder if it going to cause a problem to the interior furniture and appliances. My building is 5 years old and outside is block-stucco inside is tile and 2 bedrooms carpeted. [Feb. 20, 2002]
         
A. Living along the ocean means that your main problem is not the fresh air you desire, but in removing excess humidity from the air inside your home. Buy a digital hygrometer [$30] to check daily the humidity level in the various rooms. Desired humidity to discourage mold growth is 30 to 40% or less. The more your humidity is above 50%, the more you encourage mold to grow in your home and possessions. Use one or more powerful dehumidifiers [with a humidity level control setting] to keep the humidity in the 30 to 40% range---and enjoy your fresh air! You should also carefully check your home and possessions for any signs of mold growth. Follow the mold prevention and mold detection tips contained in the ebook Do it yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide---see Mold Book.

          Q.
We made an offer on older home and the inspector found evidence of mold in the crawl space. He actually brought out a piece of dry rotted wood that had a grayish powdery looking substance on it.  It broke off when he pushed on it. Anyway it appears that there was once a water problem and it has been fixed.  Previous owners added more wood underneath - i.e. added new piers and joists to about 60% of the house - but did not remove the old ones. All of this wood is now discolored.  A vapor barrier is present and there is 3" of insulation underneath.  Based on what I have read it appears that we would have to clean and remove all of the wood, insulation, and sub-floor and replace it without the guarantee that we would get it all.  As an additional note, the dryer and Jen-Aire range are vented into the crawl space.  We really like the house, but after reading you website info - it is our opinion that we need to get out of the contract based on the presence of mold growth and the health/liability issues you raise.  Not to mention the costs associated with the repairs.  So with this little bit of info - do you suggest that we punt this house and look for another? [Feb. 17, 2002]
         
A. Look for another home with no mold growth problems. Crawl space mold can easily grow into the floor and walls above the crawl space. The dryer and Jen-Aire range venting into the crawl space means that there will be massive mold growth in the crawl space, from which the mold will have grown into the floors and walls above. Unless you are prepared to spend a considerable amount of money in mold testing and mold remediation, you should forget this house with its bad mold infestation history. When you get a contract to purchase your next home, get at least a 21 day environmental testing time period in your purchase contract, and then a hire a Certified Mold Inspector to check out your home---also visit mold inspection.

          Q. We have recently moved into a home and agreed to rent it until our other home sells, at which time we would purchase the house.  This was contingent on an inspection.  We had the home inspected and moved in while problems identified during the inspection process were being resolved.  One of the problems identified in the inspectors report was a spot of mold on the garage ceiling.  This "spot" was due to a leaking roof that was totally replaced in August of last year ( we did not move in until late December).  When tested by _______, the spot contained "Numerous Stachybotrys spores".  My home inspector had the area completely removed, however he suggested we could get an air test to "see if we had a problem".  I agreed and an air test was conducted outside as well as in the garage, in a room directly above the garage, and in the basement (smelled funny).  The air test results are back and Stachybotrys was present in the basement air sample.  Volume (L) was 150 and Detection Limits (Spores / M3) was 27.  Results in the basement showed Stachybotrys 27.  The owners insurance  seemed to be stalling.  My wife and 6 children (ages 3 months to 9 years) moved out on Saturday the 9th and I am still living in the home until I can get some indication of what we should do next (I have a job in town and cannot realistically move to where my family is staying - 3 hours away).  A "Mold Expert" was sent out on Monday the 11th and said that although he could not guarantee anything, he didn't think i would have a problem staying here for the next week.  The insurance company wants to send another person out this coming Monday and I am confused as to the significance of the homes health hazard.  I am also unsure as to what to do with all of our possessions.  Are they "contaminated"?  Can we take them to a new home or will that increase the risk of  taking this problem with us?  What should I expect from the owner / landlord and his insurance company? [Feb. 17, 2002]
         
A. You need to insist that the landlord do thorough mold testing through out the entire home as well as the hvac equipment and ducts. Follow the mold testing suggestions contained at: Mold TestingThen the house needs to have mold remediation using the guidelines contained at: Mold Removal. You should join your family in living somewhere else until the ENTIRE home has had mold testing and mold remediation and then mold tests free of Stachybotrys. Do NOT move anything from the mold-contaminated home without first disinfecting all personal property from mold infestation and mold spores. Learn  about landlord mold liability.

          Q. The house I'm buying has mold growth in the attic because there is no ventilation up there. What can I do to kill the mold infestation?  How do I know if mold contamination has spread through the whole house? [Feb. 13, 2001]
         
A. You need to get a contract extension to allow you at least 2 to 3 weeks for environ- mental testing of the home being purchased. Follow the mold test suggestions at Mold Testing to mold test the visible attic mold, the attic air, the home's hvac ducts, and all rooms of the house, plus the basement and any crawl space. Attic mold, basement mold, and crawl space mold are especially dangerous because they can easily spread into the ceilings, floors, and walls of the rest of your home.

           Q. I am helping a friend who has been exposed to toxic black mold spores. She and her son are extremely ill. I am very worried that she will die as a result of her exposure. She is in constant pain throughout her body, her hair if falling out, she sleeps most of the day, and she is constantly trying to remove a “sticky” substance from her skin and hair. All of her belongings are still in the apartment, and the landlord is threatening to sell her things and rent the contaminated apartment to someone else. She is so sick that she has problems doing very simple tasks such as making phone calls. I am one of her only voices to the outside world. I am currently looking for legal, medical, and technical help for her. [Feb. 11, 2002]
         
A. Get her to a pulmonary specialist [lung Medical Doctor] for mold testing and mold treatment immediately. If she cannot pay for medical help, get her enrolled in your state Medicaid program. As far as her legal rights against the landlord, contact the local legal aid society, or call the local bar association [attorney group] and ask for pro bono [free] help if she is unable to pay for legal assistance. Read the indepth ebook Mold Legal Guide. Learn all about mold health problems.

          Q.
Could you please tell me how I can get mold testing done on my mobile home which is a double wide and it is now 7 years old with 24 code violations on it and the company knew about all of this and my family has been staying so sick and between the headaches, can't breathe, rashes, dry coughs, sinus infections, and it seems to be getting worse and I was wondering it I could get this place tested. I haven't got a lot of money and it is so hard right now so if you could please tell me how I sure would be grateful. [Feb. 11, 2002]
         
A. To do mold testing and mold removal on a small budget, please do the following: (1) study our mold testing & mold removal pages; (2) buy the ebook Do it yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide; (3) use do-it-yourself mold test kits, available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store, to identify the types of molds that have infested your home; (4) purchase at least one or two of the top-rated electronic air cleaners such as the Friedrich brand recommended by Consumer Reports to continually remove airborne mold spores from your breathing air; and (5) seek a legal aid attorney to go after the seller if you can prove that the seller failed to disclosed known problems with the home when the seller sold it to you. Read the ebook Mold Legal Guide.

         Q. My daughter just informed me that they have a problem with mold growth coming out on the walls in their bedrooms on the north end of their house and some in the bathroom area. Having never had a problem with mold contamination, we are at a lose as to what can be done and where to start. The house is brick and sits very low to the ground with very little crawl space under it.  I'm sure the problem is coming from a wet crawl space. When the cover on the floor, to the crawl space , is opened, a very strong odor of mildew is present. Also there are 2 young children in the home, ages 6 and 4.  Are there health risks to them and the family? Please advise us on what to do with this problem. We don't even know where to start. Also is this something that homeowners insurance would cover? [Feb. 11, 2002]
         
A. Having crawl space mold can definitely cause serious health problems to the family. In addition, the problem can get much worse because crawl space mold often goes into the floor above and into the walls on top of the floor, causing a huge mold remediation problem and an extremely dangerous home in which to live. In addition, airborne mold spores can travel from the crawl space mold to mold cross contaminate the entire house and its heating/cooling system. Usually, there is no insurance coverage unless the mold arises from an insured water problem [such as a water line break on a specific date]. Your first step should be to move the family into a mold-free place to live while the home is tested and remediated. Your second step should be to thoroughly mold test the home to determine the types of molds involved and the extent of the mold invasion. Follow the mold testing suggestions contained at Mold Testing. Your third step is to follow the mold removal steps explained at: Mold Removal

          Q.
We have had mold health problems since moving into our apt. shortly thereafter, headaches, rashes, nosebleeds, memory problems, sleep and digestion problems, animals sick, and we are getting out finally as the landlord refuses to do anything except cover up what he can so you can't see the water stains on the ceiling and had the ducts "cleaned" even when he was told it would do no good to remove mold in fiberglass ductwork and needed replacing. We have had to stay in hotels which they wont reimburse us for. Lost rent, sick days, medical expense. one medicine alone for fungus infection which i have in my lungs is $450 for 1 month...I washed all items that were washable but we cant afford to buy anything now to clean furniture....should we not take it with us even if i vacuum it?...we wont have anything but that would be better than carrying mold...how about tv's..hard surfaces??..or just cloth furniture should we leave...We are planning to leave in a few days so any info you can give would be helpful...This landlord is terrible mean...I think they should have to live in the mold infestation and see how funny they think it is when they get sick and bleed everywhere and cant breath....it may cost to fix but we didn't cause the damage but we sure have suffered from it...Thanks for your site ..I hope an attorney will read what I have read hear as it seems people just don't get how dangerous mold is.......now not only do I have allergies to penicillin, mold, now just about everything bothers me.. perfume, smells, clothing....one thing.......since I can hardly work much less do anything (am praying for quick recovery for me and my family when we get out of here)...one thing I can do well now...detect mold anywhere it seems...my nose just freaks out!......well thanks again.....keep on informing the people. [Feb. 9, 2002]
         
A. To kill mold and to remove mold from clothes, wash them once or twice; [better] with Borax laundry detergent. You can also use Borax mixed in water to wash all of your possessions. You are very smart to move out quickly because most landlords will not spend money to test for or to remove mold----they just don't care if they ruin their tenants' health. You are also right that attorneys need to step in to correct this problem by filing lawsuits for compensatory and punitive damages against such bad landlords.

          Q.
  WE HAVE THE STACHYBOTRYS MOLD IN OUR HOME. WE  HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT  OUR FURNITURE. WE HAD THE SAMPLES TESTED AND KNOW THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE SOLID WOOD FURNITURE IN THE BEDROOM, IT DID NOT GET WET IT WAS CONTAMINATED BY THE SPORES IN THE AIR, AND WE NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CLEAN IT. WE ARE ALSO WONDERING ON HOW TO CLEAN OUR TWO COMPUTERS AND TV'S CONTAMINATED THE SAME WAY. WE NO LONGER ARE IN THIS HOUSE BUT WOULD LIKE TO CLEAN OUR THINGS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. ALSO WE HAVE SOME BOOKS THAT ALSO DID NOT GET WET BUT MAY BE CONTAMINATED BY THE SPORES IN THE AIR, IS THE SOMETHING TO CLEAN THESE THINGS WITH? [Feb. 4, 2002]
          A. Here are a few mold removal suggestions from Mold Inspector's helpful mold book Do It Best Yourself Mold Prevention, Remediation, Inspection, & Testing Guide. Mix Borax laundry detergent with water to make a mold-killing solution to wash hard surfaces such as wood furniture. You should also use Borax to wash your clothes at least twice to kill and remove mold contamination. Clothes that can be dry cleaned should be so treated because the dry cleaning process is a Mold Home Remedy Recipe.  Unplug electronic items and then spray a light spray of a home remedy on all interior surfaces of electronics to kill mold spores therein--be sure area is completely dry before plugging back into electricity.

          Q. There is a house I am looking in to moving in to. a house down the street from it had toxic mold and the whole family died. The house I am looking at had flooded, and was treated but the outside of it has mold on it. What do I look for? [Feb. 3, 2002]
         
A. Somewhere else to live that has no mold infestation! Knowing that the house has been flooded and that it has visible mold growing on the outside of the home are all you need to know to reject that house as a possible place to live. Most landlords or sellers are not willing to spend the substantial sums required to find and to remove mold infestation that may be hidden inside walls, above ceilings, below floors, inside heating and air conditioning equipment and ducts, attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Removing mold can be very difficult and very expensive. Read the 25 steps for safe and effective mold removal. Learn about Landlord Mold Liability.

          Q.
My boyfriend and I recently discovered extensive mold contamination in our kitchen which is currently being tested. Even without the results, our situation looks grim. The mold is black, leading us to believe it's toxic. There is also a lot of dry rot behind the portion of the wall that has fallen away. We suspect this type of damage in other areas of the house as well. Unfortunately, due to a sudden and severe change in income, we barely have enough to get the bills and mortgage paid. At this time, regardless of lab results, we cannot afford to make repairs or pay for decontamination. Can you offer us any advice? Our homeowner policy does not cover mold. We considered going after the man who sold us the house in February of 1999, as time has proved he hid several other problems. However, we are not able to prove any of it. Selling the house is not an option, as we can't afford to purchase another one, nor could we legally sell a mold-infested house. We are extremely frustrated and worried. Do we have any options or are we just screwed? [Jan. 25, 2002]
         
A. Your first step is to protect yourselves from breathing in harmful black mold spores, toxic mold spores, and elevated levels of mold spores. Do you have a friend or family members you can live with temporarily while you do your own mold remediation?  If so, move there, but don't take any personal possessions or clothing with you without first decontaminating them from mold. If you stay in the home, as soon as possible, buy one or more of the top-rated electronic air cleaners such as the Friedrich model recommended by Consumer Reports.   By running hepa filters 24 hours in several areas of your home, you can reduce airborne mold spores big-time. If you see any moldy areas, until you can afford to take remedial steps, cover those areas completely with 6 mil thick clear plastic sheeting [use duct tape to make tight fit on edges of sheeting]. Your first remediation step must be to find the source[s] of water intrusion that is causing your mold problem. Until you fix water and moisture problems, you will be unable to control your mold problems. One area at a time, as you can afford it, follow the do-it-yourself home mold remediation steps provided at: Mold Removal.

          Q.
What a relief to find a site that may have answers for me. Words can not explain how upset I am. My new house is not yet three years old. I notice the first year that I had some dark spots on my cathedral ceiling--I thought it was roof trusses drying out. I have recycle white pop bottle carpeting and when I scrubbed in I noticed it was black around the registers. Months later I went into the open loft and found black cobweb type things hanging from the ceiling as well as the fan and the carpet was black on the outside walls. As months progressed the walls started getting blacker but only in corners and walls that faced the outside. I have had two builders come out, three furnace men and each one has a different idea of what it is. What are you feelings and what is the cause, plus who would be responsible? [Jan. 24, 2002]
         
A. The most likely cause of the attic mold, loft mold, and ceiling mold is roof leaks. You should have your proof carefully inspected for any entry points for water by a qualified roofing contractor. Another possible mold source is if you have a dryer venting humid air into the attic area. To find the mold contamination sources by mold testing and careful physical inspection of your home [including the use of a hidden moisture meter and a fiber optics inspection device,  hire a Certified Mold Inspector.
       

          Q.
Purchased my home in 1998. In spring to Summer of 2000, Town put waterline in. I was concerned as the front of my home was constructed in mid 1800's and addition on back in 1947 after a fire.  After they completed the blasting and trenching in front of my home, I would not let them blast directly in front of my home as the trenching was done three to four feet from my house, I began to experience problems. that winter after the snow melted, I got a small area of water stains on my kitchen ceiling. Kitchen is in "newer" addition. Since then , I have had another leak this year in the same spot, cracking drywall along the exterior addition wall in my stairway, a sinking and cracking living room oak floor, water spots on my bedroom and the spare bedroom ceiling a a contaminated well that made me and my dog ill.  I am concerned as to mold growth behind the second floor wall that runs along the area where all of the problems are occurring. I spoke with an environmental testing lab that stated that since my home is so old, there is air circulating through the walls .True, because when we purchased the home that second story room was only studs, and we could feel the cold air blasting, that it why we dry walled it.  They told me that the water most lost likely dried (dissipated) as it traveled down the wall and settled in my kitchen ceiling tiles below that room. They did say however that there could be mold, although they do not think so. They said it is better to air on the side of caution and not to disturb anything until I get a lawyer.  I have having a MAJOR problem trying to find a lawyer to represent me.  I was diagnosed wit anxiety and panic disorder November 2000, as I became fearful after the illness I suffered after the contaminated well.  I remain emotionally scarred and continue to fear any germs and mold.  I have nightmares and my daily life has been altered as i fear for my 12 year old son who has allergies and asthma.  He had this before we bought the house. He is growing out of these illnesses and they have not been worse while we have been residing here. Sinus infections are now common, however, for both of us. [Jan. 21, 2002]
         
A. Your first step is to thoroughly mold test your home for mold contamination [such as the presence of black mold spores, toxic mold spores, and elevated levels of mold spores] using do it yourself mold test kits available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store, or hiring a Certified Mold Inspector. A Certified Mold Inspector can not only test for mold problems, but also do a thorough physical inspection of the home to document any water intrusion problems.  Two inspection tools that are used by our Certified Mold Inspectors will be of especially high value in your home mold inspection and mold evaluation: (1) hidden moisture detector; and  (2) fiber optics inspection system [to check INSIDE walls, ceilings, and floors for mold contamination].  Until you have a written report of thorough mold testing done on your home, you are not ready to hire an attorney to pursue whatever legal rights you may have---in mold contamination cases, the first thing an attorney wants to see is the written mold test results. 

          Q.
I have been working in a very bad mold infested bldg. I suffered ear infections, and breathing problems. After repeated requests for the results of the mold testing, I finally got to find out that Aspergillus species, Penicillium species and Chaetomium were found. Can anyone explain these species and the health effects they can cause. [Jan. 18, 2002]
         
A. No wonder you are so sick! Get a different job as soon as possible in a mold-free work environment if your boss won't immediately correct this very adverse work environment. Aspergillus causes severe health problems and is the only known mold to cause cancer in humans. Penicillium destroys lung tissue and cause severe respiratory problems. Chaetomium is also very destructive of your respiratory system. Mold health problems are extremely serious! Learn about workplace mold problems.

   
      Q. My car got sick when it was  not driven for a while. The interior was about 25% covered in black mold. Seats, carpet a/c vents and ducts too I suspect. We cleaned all we could see but what about what we can't see? I assume your product has to come in contact w/ the affected area. Can it be used successfully for my problem? What about a/c ducts and other hiding places? [Jan. 14, 2002]
         
A. Many people cause mold contamination of their cars by the spread of mold spores [from their home or work] that are on their hair, skins, clothing and shoes. Every time that a person goes from a mold-contaminated indoor environment into a car, there is a definite chance of increasing the cross- contamination of the car. Scrub your entire passenger comparent completely with Borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, in warm water. After washing with Borax, dry quickly with fan to get rid of extra moisture. You can use low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipes available at Mold Mart.

          Q. I am a contractor who is in charge of performing work on a mid size motel with 20 plus ground floor units that have been flooded three times with out major repairs other than drying out of the units.  Major mold growth and dry rot from mold has been spreading for some time in these units.  These units are built on pilling that supports a laminated beam system that supports a floor joist system that is very contaminated with fungi, mold and dry rot.  The under floor was insulated with two inch foam insulation screwed to the bottom of the floor joist's. This trapped moisture and dirt from the floods in this area.  Because no cleanup action were done after the floods, the partition walls between each room have major dry rot damage to the partition wall framing. It is my thinking that the foam insulation needs to be removed and the area needs to be pressure washed, repaired and then sprayed with a fungicide.  But after visiting your web page I am not so sure. please advise any help would be greatly appreciated. [Jan. 2, 2002]
         
A. All support timbers or other building materials that have dry rot need to be replaced or repaired [e.g., remove, fix, and reinforce sections having dry rot]. All timbers and building materials that have mold contamination need to be completely cleaned of mold or replaced with new materials. To stop mold spreading, it is usually more cost-effective and it makes better mold-free results if you replace damaged building materials, rather than go through all of the steps for effective mold removal. The precise methods you need to use to remove mold contamination and to control mold are explained in detail at Mold Removal.
         

         
Q. I am only 14, but I suspect something is wrong with our bathroom. The caulk around the bathtub files has gone from white to black, and it is pretty nasty, and not only that but our bathroom some times stinks, and on the upper wall there are these circular brown spots, like stains on the wall, there are a nasty brown color, and covers a good amount of the wall.  It has been there for over 6 months, and has only gotten bigger. I was thinking it might be mold. Also, there is this pretty large gap between the sink and the bathtub, and if you look into the gap, there is continously nasty black stuff. Can you help? What should we do? [Jan. 2, 2002]
         
A. Follow the do-it-yourself mold testing instructions at Mold Testing to collect mold test samples of the black caulking, the brown stains [cut out a sample of it from the wall], and nasty black stuff in the gap.  Because your hunch is probably right about the presence of mold, if you family can afford to do, buy 2 or more hepa filter air purifiers from Home Depot or Lowe's or elsewhere and run them 24 hours per day to remove airborne mold spores from the air you breathe in your home until the mold problems has been taken care of.

         Q.
My house is a ranch on a concrete slab, I think the mold is coming from the heat ducts in the slab. And only in the bedrooms farthest away from the furnace. There seems to be black mold every three or four months on the ceilings and in the corners of the walls. We wiped it down with bleach and it continues to come back. Also in the attic over the bedrooms there is mold up on the rafters and the plywood. The roof was replaced about three years ago and the mold is still coming back. What do you think the problem is?[Dec. 22, 2001]
         
A. Chlorine bleach is an ineffective mold killer because it doesn't totally kill all of the mold spores, especially the mold roots embedded into house building materials. Instead
you can use low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipes. Your first step is to use the lift tape method [1 inch wide clear Scotch tape, about 3 inches long] of mold sampling inside the floor heating ducts and on the roof rafters and roof plywood. You need to find and fix the roof leaks that caused the mold growth on the roof rafters and plywood. After fixing all water leaks, you can remove the mold deposits by following the 25 step mold removal suggestions at Mold Removal

          Q.
What kind of information could you give to me or lead me to get on the serious health risks of mold.  We have a home that just had 174,000 gallons go through a broken hot water heater pipe in the basement.  There is only a small crawl space to the area where we need to get, but was like a sauna, it went through the hollow walls (this is a 167 year old home which was a one-room school house), up into the walk-in attic.  The attic became like a sauna and the condensation gathered on the A-frame ceiling, turning the attic into a rain forest, you might say.  This all dripped onto the floor and has soaked through the ceilings of 3/4 of the house.  There is mold growing in some areas of the house and we're afraid it has gone down the walls, between the walls and paneling, etc.  My sister called from Iowa and said their town had a flood problem, which the government came in and purchased the houses and burned them all down.  Many people got very sick and we'd like to know if you have any thoughts on the matter, ideas for us, or info to suggest.  [Dec. 16, 2001]
          A. Your first step is to mold test the visible mold to identify it using the lift tape sampling method explained at Lift Tape Test.  Then, each room of the house should have its air tested using do it yourself mold test kits, available at a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store, with laboratory analysis and mold species identification of the collected mold samples.
Inside the walls and ceilings and floors need to be tested to identify and locate mold using mold culture plates or mold swabs. Besides using do-it-yourself mold test kits, you shuld read the ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide that is available at Mold Mart.  Learn the 25 steps to remove mold by reading the directions at Mold Removal.   

          Q.
I am a Tennessee realtor. I recently met a lady who had purchased a home in Knoxville which had dangerous levels of mold. She has become very sick because of the mold contamination. Tennessee laws do not yet require mold testing. I am not sure if this is because Tennessee has not experienced many mold problems, or if it is because we are behind the times. I would like to know more about mold testing and treatment. I feel it is my duty as a Realtor to know more about mold testing and treatment. I feel it is my duty as a Realtor to home buyers and sellers to know as much as possible. If you have any information for me, it would be greatly appreciated. [Nov. 27, 2001]
         
A. You have just won our award for your being the most caring realtor in America! If  Realtors and real estate sales agents were well-informed about the health dangers of mold contamination in homes, there would be a big decline in buyers buying mold contaminated homes. Learn the ten steps for avoiding mold problems and mold lawsuits in the selling and buying of real estate. Your first step as a mold-enlightened Realtor is to look for and smell for the danger signs of mold problems when you list properties for sale and when you inspect homes for sale listed by other Realtors. Learn how to visually check out homes and other buildings for mold problems by reading the ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide, available at Mold Mart. Second step: If you believe that a particular home or building might have a mold problem, you should encourage the property owner to test the property
using do it yourself mold test kits available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store, or by hiring a Certified Mold Inspector.. Your third step would be to encourage property owners to find and to correct all mold contamination locations prior to the sale of their properties. Property owners should follow our mold removal directions explained at: Mold Removal.
     

         
Q. We have a son aged 11- he appeared to be a healthy baby and at the age of five months old I took him to Holland (from where I come) for a month to visit family. We returned to Australia and within a month his health was not 100%. He was slow to gain weight, became a fussy eater and a poor sleeper. My son has been diagnosed as dyspraxic which means he has poor motor skills and speech. His motor skills have improved however his speech is a good measuring stick to tell if his general health is good or bad. This seems to fluctuate immensely. In March this year we returned to Holland for a month - during our time there his health seemed to improve drastically which in turn improved his speech and he was like a different child. On returning home to Australia he was back to the fluctuating speech and poor health within a period of ten days. That got us thinking about environmental allergy which might adversely affect his general health. Mould is a big problem in this house and recently we got someone to take some samples. The results have been returned as aspergillus niger but have yet to be confirmed. This mould is growing on our bedroom ceiling which used to be the bedroom of our son. Our bathroom is covered in huge colonies of this mould and it doesn't matter how often I clean it down with bleach, it returns within a matter of weeks. Our next task is to see whether the mould is actually growing in the wall cavity. At this stage we're still tracking down where the mould is and where it is coming from but my real question to you is whether you've ever heard of mould affecting a person like it seems to be affecting my son. The house we were in for a period of four weeks in Holland was a brick house which is constantly centrally heated at around 22 degrees during the day and around 15 degrees during the night. The air was so dry that our lips were cracked in the mornings. Now we are back to a humid sick house which I'm quite prepared to move out of should it be affecting my son. I have read a lot about mould and asthma, breathing problems and sneezing but can it actually cause general ill health? [Nov. 19, 2001]
         
A. Move out of your home immediately to temporary, mold-free quarters elsewhere. The massive visible mold contamination guarantees that the health of your family is at stake. Mold infestation problems affect strongest young children and the elderly.  The mold health symptoms your child is experiencing can well be mold-related. The fact that your child's health improves or worsens depending on the child's living in your home is strong evidence of the link between your home's mold contamination and your child's health problems.  Follow the suggestions in the ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide to guide your testing of your home and your mold removal efforts.
      
         
Q. I am writing to inquire if there is a test for black mold infection in a person. Forty years ago, I lived in a house that was infested with this mold, and ever since, I have been plagued with upper respiratory illnesses, including asthma. No one one seems to know much about this, and my primary care physician is no help. I can't find any information on whether it is possible to test a living person for mold. [Nov. 11, 2001]
         
A. Yes, medical doctors can test a human being for the presence of mold. For example, a lung specialist (pulmonary physician) can take a sample of one's lung tissue in the doctor's office (outpatient basis!) to do tests for lung damage (such as lung tissue destruction by the dangerous and common mold penicillium). Blood tests can reveal the presence in the blood of dangerous molds such as toxic Stachybotrys mold.  Allergists can do a number of tests for mold infection in one's sinus cavities and respiratory areas.  The most important task for you is to make sure the physician has experience treating persons exposed to mold contamination before you make an appointment [or risk wasting your money and time seeing a physician who is ignorant of the effects of mold on the body]. Also, you would be helped immensely by reading the in depth ebook Mold Health Guide.

         
Q. I recently began renting a house that was built in 1916, in September with 4 other girls. When I moved in, in my room there was a hole in the ceiling about 3x3, at that time I was unsure of the cause of the hole, that is until it rained one evening. Once, the water began pouring into my room, I knew the cause and wanted it fixed immediately. The hole did get fixed and also the hole in the roof was repaired. I am unsure of how long the ceiling and hole in the roof sat like that. Since, this happened I have begun to smell a strong weird unexplainable odor only present in my bedroom. I am not sure if this will help, but a friend of mine said it smells like an anesthesia that they give animals. I don't personally know how to explain it. I am concerned that this may be mold growth between the roof and my ceiling. I am on the second floor of three floors and there is only dead space (closed off by walls in the shape of a triangle) between my ceiling and the roof. I was wondering if you could tell me what the mold will smell like? Also, if this is to be mold what would be our legal rights? I know that also our basement has had flooding problems in the past and now has a musty smell...could this also be a problem? Could I find out by going to the doctor if I am sick from mold in my house? [Oct. 24, 2001]
         
A. Smell is one indication of mold problems. The former leaks in home are proof positive that there was available water for mold growth.
Use do it yourself mold test kits available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store.to discover whether your apartment has a mold problem. You will test the air for the presence of unhealthy mold spores. Because most landlords are unwilling to spend the thousands of dollars (or more) required to remove mold safely and completely, your best alternative is to find a mold-free place to live and move immediately. You can permanently harm your health big-time by living in a mold-contaminated apartment. To determine if you have already suffered health damage, have your lungs checked by a pulmonary specialist (lung doctor) and/or you respiratory system by an allergist with experience with mold problems.

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Mold Library Combination
Read the 5 mold advice ebooks in the Mold Library Combination, for a combined discount price of only $49.00 [$75.00 if bought separately]. Combo package includes: (a) Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation, $15; (b) Mold Health Guide, $15; (c) Mold Legal Guide, $15; (d) Mold Home Remedy Recipes, $15; and (e) Mold Monsters, $15.  All helpful ebooks are delivered to your designated email address by email attachments only within 12-24 hours of your order. Order Now!

Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.

Western USA Mold Websites
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Helpful Environmental Websites

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How To Order Mold and Enviro Products by Phone and Email
PHONE ORDER: You can place your order by phoning mold consultant Phillip Fry Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616
or Phillip's cell phone 1-480-310-7970 USA/Canada, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Saturday.
EMAIL ORDER:  You can also email your order by printing, completing, and emailing the Email Order Form.

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Use high ozone blasting to kill mold, viruses, bacteria, and odors .

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Copyright 2014 Environmental Hygienists Association   All Rights Reserved  Last Updated: Nov. 28, 2014
For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email phil@moldinspector.com or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970