In case you didn’t know – I am now a certified professional mold inspector and moisture intrusion specialist. As such, I have created a second website (Mold Help For You) dedicated to all things mold! Trust me – you will want to visit it. While I am leaving this toxic mold resources page in tact, it is not nearly as comprehensive as my new website.
After my journey with toxic mold, I realized just how important it was to share what I had learned throughout the process. There are so many of us out there, struggling to make sense of what to do and how to do it.
In recent years, mold has become the subject of mounting health concerns as well as numerous lawsuits. As such, there is a lot of misinformation (as well as good information) about mold, specifically toxic mold. This page is a resource page designed to provide you with accurate information about mold. As such, I will be continually updating it so please check back often!
Every great resource pages starts with a foundation. So before you dive into all my other nuggets of information, let’s take a brief look at a couple of important topics.
What Is Mold?
You probably already know that mold is a form of fungus that grows both indoors and outdoors and thrives in warm, damp, and humid environments. There are over a thousand different varieties of indoor mold.
Mold spreads by generating spores which are able to survive for long periods even in harsh, dry environments in which mold itself could not grow. This is what makes mold so hard to eliminate.
Mold spores are invisible to the eye and can become airborne. Mold travels in all sorts of ways, including through open doors and windows and through air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems. It can be carried indoors on shoes and clothing or brought inside by pets. Since mold lives everywhere outdoors, it doesn’t take much for those spores to find their way in.
Most health problems related to mold exposure arise when there is a build-up of high concentrations of mold (and their offspring, mycotoxins). Reactions vary from mild and annoying to death.
For more mold basics and mold facts, visit my What is Mold page over on Mold Help For You.
What Creates Toxic Mold
The phrase “toxic mold” is a bit misleading as all molds are toxic and can create health problems in high enough concentrations or if your genetics allow for extreme reactions to it.
A few forms of mold are called “toxigenic,” meaning that under certain conditions they can produce small molecular toxins, called mycotoxins. These mycotoxins are usually spread by way of the mold’s spores and may be the cause of potentially serious health problems if ingested in sufficient quantities over time. You can learn more about what makes mold toxic here.
In contrast with mold in general, which is found virtually everywhere, toxigenic molds are less common. Two of the best-known examples of toxic mold include Stachybotrys Chartarum and Aspergillis.
Are you ready to check out some or all of the toxic mold resources I am including on this page? Here are my offerings, broken down into the following categories (click on the category name to jump to that content):
Mold Testing Options
Mold Prevention Products
Mold Removal Products
What To Wear When Removing Mold
Books About Toxic Mold
Please note that links to products may be an affiliate link from which I might earn a small commission. I also invite you to check out a much larger selection of mold related products I love over at Mold Help For You.
Mold Testing Options
If you suspect you have mold issues in your home, it is important to conduct the right tests to get to the root of the issue so that you can decide where to go from there. I have a huge resource page on Mold Testing over at Mold Help For You.
Go out and get yourself a moisture meter like this one or this one. Test EVERYTHING! Test your floors. Test every wall in your home. Test base boards. Test under windows. Test around doors. Literally test every wall in your home.
Each meter will come with a guide. If any of your walls or floor spaces show elevated levels of moisture, you can bet you have the right conditions for toxic mold to grow in.
Check out The Top 7 Moisture Meters For Drywall, Concrete and Wood here.
If your moisture levels come back high, you probably want to get a sense of just how extensive the affected area is. Thermo Imaging is a great way to see inside walls and floors without tearing into them and releasing millions of mold spores. You don’t absolutely need to take this step just yet. But eventually, you will need to see just how much of your home is affected.
If you want to take a look yourself, there is a really cool thermos imaging phone app. You can learn more about it here. The other option is a handheld thermos imaging device like this one. You can also hire people to come do this for you.
Check out The Best Thermal Imaging Camera post on Mold Help For You.
The ERMI or HERTSMI Test
I cannot stress this enough. You MUST run an ERMI or a HERTSMI test. These tests will tell you exactly what species of mold are present and at what level. You will receive a breakdown of the individual spores and spore counts as well an overall ERMI or HERTSMI score. The higher the score, the more quickly you need to get out of your home.
The ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) test is a dust sampling analysis offered by several labs to evaluate the health of a building. ERMI uses a DNA-based method for identifying 36 different species of mold.
Labs currently offering this test include:
- Real Time Labs EMMA test (see below)
- EMSL Analytical ($172-$350 plus shipping)
- EMLab P&K (call the lab for pricing)
- EnviroBiomics ($200-$380)
- Mycometrics ($290)
A smaller version of this test, the HERTSMI (also called the HERTSMI-2), uses similar technology to identify and quantify five of the more common and toxic species of mold. This test is offered by EnviroBiomics ($105-$212) and Mycometrics ($155)
All four labs offer vacuum canisters to collect the dust samples, while Mycometrics and EnviroBiomics also offer the option of using a Swiffer-type cloth to obtain the settled dust.
For more information on the ERMI and HERTSMI tests, please visit my post on What Is An ERMI Test. It covers a LOT more information.
The Mycotoxin Test
While mold can wreak havoc on your health, the mycotoxins they produce are the real killers. I used Real Time Labs to test for Mycotoxins. Their EMMA test is the best on the market when it comes to testing your home for mycotoxins AND mold in an ERMI style test.
Affordable DIY Mold Tests
Not everyone can afford the more expensive testing options. You might also not be 100% sure that you have a mold problem. If you are looking for a simple, inexpensive test that helps you determine your next course of action, there are many options. I suggest you check out my Mold Testing page on Mold Help For You but below are a few of the DIY tests I recommend.
I might go a little overboard with air purification but keeping mold OUT is a full time job. The products below are what I am currently using in my home. You can also read my review post on The 7 Best Air Purifiers For Mold here for some additional options.
Mold Prevention Products
Mold Removal Products
What To Wear When Removing Mold
The following articles (shown with images) are available on Hybrid Rasta Mama. Scroll down for an alphabetical list of articles that are now available on Mold Help For You. Many of these articles of super enhanced versions of what is offered on Hybrid Rasta Mama.
Articles Currently Published On Mold Help For You in alphabetical order
- 10 Ways To Prevent Crawl Space Mold + Crawlspace Mold Removal
- 7 Best Air Purifiers For Mold
- 7 Best Water Leak Detectors
- 7 Things You Don’t Know About Mold (But Probably Should)
- Benefect Review
- Best Dehumidifiers For Mold Prevention In Every Room
- Biofilm and Mold
- Black Mold In The Shower? Here’s How To Remove It!
- Common Places Water Leaks In Your Home (And How To Prevent Water Damage)
- Common Types Of Mold (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Concrobium Mold Control Review
- Do You Know Where You Are Exposed To Mold?
- Does A Mold Air Test Really Work?
- Does Alcohol Kill Mold?
- Does Ammonia Kill Mold?
- Does Bleach Kill Mold
- Does Borax Kill Mold?
- Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Mold?
- Does Ozone Kill Mold and Is It Safe?
- Does Soda Blasting Or Dry Ice Blasting For Mold Removal Work?
- Does Vinegar Kill Mold?
- EC3 Mold Solution & Other EC3 Products – Do They Really Work and How?
- Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner Prep and Endurance BioBarrier Review
- Essential Oils For Mold
- How Do You Get Rid Of Mold In A Car?
- How To Avoid Mattress Mold + The Best Mold Resistant Mattress
- How To Clean Mold On Dishes
- How To Get Mold Out Of Carpet
- How To Get Mold Out Of Clothes and Fabrics
- How To Prevent and Remove Mold In Houseplant Soil
- How To Prevent Attic Mold + Attic Mold Tips
- How To Prevent Mold In The Basement + 13 Basement Mold Tips
- How To Prevent Mold In The Bathroom
- How To Remove Mold From Leather The Easy Way
- How To Winterize A House For Mold Prevention
- Mold Inspection and Mold Inspector Basics – What You Need To Know and Why
- Mold Monster Review
- Mold Prevention – 27 Tips To Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Home
- Mold Remediation – What Every Homeowner Needs To Know Before Hiring A Remediation Company
- Mold Vs. Mildew
- Moldex Review
- Outdoor Mold Prevention and Removal
- PureBiotics Mist and Chrisal Review
- RMR-86 Review
- The 7 Best HEPA Vacuums For Mold
- The 7 Best Mold and Mildew Resistant Towels + How To Remove The Mildew Smell
- The 7 Best Mold Test Kits
- The Best Mold and Mildew Resistant Bath Mats For Any Budget
- The Best Mold Control Fogger + Mold Fogging Tips
- The Best Mold Removal Spray + DIY Mold Spray
- The Best Mold Resistant Building Materials To Mold Proof A Home
- The Best Mold Resistant Caulk For Your Home
- The Best Mold Resistant Paint
- The Best Thermal Imaging Camera For Moisture and Mold Detection
- The Best Way To Clean Mold In A Washing Machine
- The Top 7 Humidity Meters For Any Size Home
- The Top 7 Moisture Meters For Drywall, Concrete, and Wood
- The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins and What Makes Mold Toxic
- Toilet Mold – What It Is, How To Remove It, and How To Prevent It
- Total Solutions Lemocide Review
- Vital Oxide Review
- Wet and Forget Review
- What Color Is Mold?
- What Does Mold Smell Like?
- What Is An ERMI Mold Test?
- What You Need To Know About Christmas Tree Mold and Christmas Tree Syndrome
- Your Guide To HVAC Mold & Mold In Air Ducts
Books About Mold
Mold Help For You (this is my other website and it is dedicated to all things mold from discovery to recovery. My articles are in depth, researched to the point of exhaustion, and digestible. You will get answers on everything from mold testing, to mold prevention, to mold removal, to leak prevention, to mold proofing, and even suggestions on mold resistant household items.
Dr. Jack Thrasher’s site (he is the toxicologist that we worked with. There is a TON of information on this site! In some ways, I like it better than the Surviving Mold site.)
Microbalance Health Products is a wealth of information! If you want to get your home and body healthy, start here!
International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness has a ton of great information with a lot of amazing professionals on their board. I am currently a member.
Surviving Mold (This is Dr. Shoemaker’s site. Spend a lot of time here and if you feel compelled, grab the one month membership and gain access to all of his documents.)