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A blog about Mold, Water Damage, Disaster Preparedness and Awareness!  The professional source for cleaning experts with a commitment to environmental responsibility. 



CNN will be airing a segment on indoor air quality and schools that you will be very interested in, I think, this coming weekend (Jan 14-15th). I hope you will call and write the CNN directors with your comments, supporting healthy schools for America! We have been writing Dr. Gupta for some years about this topic and I am glad there will finally be a show on it.

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Q. My daughter lives in an apartment where the parking is underneath and is open. The building is stucco.  Around the baseboards in the house the carpets show black looking.  She has been coughing her head off and has asthma. The landlord doesn’t think anything is wrong.  What to do?? We don’t have a lot of money.

A. It sounds as though your daughter’s situation is very serious. I suggest she move to a cleaner dwelling ASAP. 


Q
. We recently bought a house built in 1949.  During some remodeling I became very sick and for 3 months. The doctors should find nothing; all kinds of tests, etc.  During the remodel I found brown mold like stuff in the closets and in wall that face the outside of the house.  I am wondering if this might have caused my illness - am better now, but still no energy and am tired a lot.  Hope you can help me.  Thank you so much.

A. Once walls are opened mold can be more prevalent.  I would find the assistance of a qualified mold inspector to further inspect the potential problem.  Qualified mold inspectors can be found in your area at www.iaqa.org.

 

Q. I have been exposed to toxic mold and living out of our home for 10 months. State Farm will not cover mold. I am very sick and now believe we have mold in this apartment. We have aspergillis flavus, niger , penicillium, chaetomium,  and more. I cannot be around our dog anymore.

A. Have you contacted an attorney?  If not, I suggest you contact your local bar association and ask for a referral in your area.  I wish you luck with your situation.

 

Note: This site is not intended to give medical, legal, or professional advice. The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect my peers or professional affiliates. The information here does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supersede the professional advice of others.

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As we previously discussed, mold is synonymous with dry rot.  Dry rot is like ambrosia to insects such as termites and silverfish.  This is especially true in crawl spaces.

Homes constructed primarily of wood are not the only structures threatened by termite activity (as these insects are capable of traversing through plaster, metal siding and more). Termites then feed on cabinets, floors, ceilings and wooden furniture within these homes.

Silverfish are more difficult to spot. Silverfish commonly eat glue and wallpaper paste. Finding damage to your wallpaper is a common trait of a silverfish infestation. They are also known to digest linens and cotton, which make the closets in your home and the clothes inside them wonderful targets for a silverfish infestation.  They are nocturnal and prefer a damp environment.

For these reasons it is wise to have a mold and/or inspect inspection if you suspect you are experiencing any of these problems.

Note: This site is not intended to give medical, legal, or professional advice. The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect my peers or professional affiliates. The information here does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supersede the professional advice of others.

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Q. I want to purchase a lot to build my home. The previous home was torn down due to mold.  Can there be a mold problem on the lot?

Martha T.

A. Mold can exist up to 6 meters down but only if a previous dwelling had mold in that area.  Generally the dirt should be replaced up to that level to be on the safe side.

Q. Hi Susan, I have been having a problem with mold and mildew in my home. Since Katrina I’ve had a tin roof put on my trailer, The problem started in the kid’s bathroom they have a couple pieces of ceramic tile that’s loose on their floor, but the mold was growing on the ceiling.  Our house feels wet all the time, and has a dull smell to it.

Tell me what we need to do.  I have been having awful headaches.  We have a 2 year old that has been sick also.

Lataisha S.

A. Hello Lataisha,

It sounds as though you and your family have had a severe mold experience.  The only way to recover is to vacate your trailer and due to your sensitivities, you must not take anything with you.  Perhaps you have friends or family to stay with.  Trailers are known for mold problems and with the addition of the tin roof you are at odds for an extreme mold problem.

Q. I live in an apartment. There had been water leaking from tenants upstairs onto our bathroom ceiling. This month I have been to the hospital and they found my right valve and ventricles are swollen. Our wall in shower caved in and there is a very irritating smell coming from black substance on everything behind the tiles. I had low white blood cells content in hospital and no one can figure it out. My wife and kids are constantly sick with everything respiratory and wife had headaches.

A. Unfortunately as a renter you have very few rights.  What others in your situation do is photograph the mold and your belongings.  Then, you should do a self mold test through Mould-Works Lab. (231-735-2937) for about $45.  This will help you in a small claims court against your landlord should you desire to proceed in recovering moving expenses and medical expenses.

Note: This site is not intended to give medical, legal, or professional advice. The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect my peers or professional affiliates. The information here does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supersede the professional advice of others.

 

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It’s the new year and time to get rid of that Christmas tree.  Live Christmas trees are known for mold.  I live in Oregon and know for a fact that Christmas tree farms do not use fungicides on their trees thus they are prone to grow mold.  Other tips include:

  • After removing your Christmas tree, vacuum carpet thoroughly preferably with a HEPA vacuum.  This would help rid you of any possible residual mold.
  • During cold weather, keep your cabinets under sinks open as much as possible to avoid possible pipe bursts.
  • In humid areas, avoid having aquariums and live plants in your dwelling.
  • After cleaning carpets during the winter ensure you dry them thoroughly with fans and heat.
  • Try to purchase new furniture as opposed to antiques or used items.  Used furniture is much more prone to have mycelium (mold spores).

If you follow the above tips especially during this season you will have a healthy new year!

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