Apparently I hit a nerve with a lot of you. A big one. Seems as though walking away from toxic mold and leaving everything behind isn’t seen as a necessity but rather a luxury. Ahem. Yes, leaving all our possessions behind is a luxury. Come on! There is nothing at all luxurious about walking away from your entire life!
Based on the questions, confusion, and accusations, I decided it was time to write a quick and dirty post on WHY we decided to take the advice of a respected toxicologist as well as a microbiologist and leave everything behind when we walked away from our toxic mold contaminated home. For more resources related to toxic mold, be sure to check out my toxic mold resources page.
First, this is the decision that was right for us. We didn’t walk away because we had some secret stash of money and could easily and quickly rebuild our lives. Quite the contrary. We walked away because we didn’t want mold to chase us for the rest of our lives. And that is what would have happened. Read on…
I don’t know if you have really studied mold spores. They are tiny. Really tiny. However the toxins they release (mycotoxins) are nanoparticle tiny. You can’t see a mold spore or their mycotoxins with the naked eye. The mold you see is made up of lots and lots of spores. The mycotoxins…they are actually free radicals so you can’t see them even if you tried.
Miniscule mold spores and mycotoxins can permeate porous surfaces (like fabric and paper) with ease.
They can hide there, waiting for the right time to release their bad-ass selves. Even if you have remediated your home and possessions, these little particles will still be lingering.
Toxicologist Dr. Jack Thrasher clarifies this:
The toxins produced by mold are basically free radicals, i.e. they have reactive oxygen radicals that bind to fabrics and can be released with time. Also, not only Stachybotrys, but other dangerous molds release fine particles as well as larger particles, e.g. spores. The fine particles (less than 1 micron) permeate fabrics and are not readily removed. In addition, the mold spores bind to fabrics and can lead to cross-contamination of the new environment. Also, do not forget the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria. They can be aerosolized and also contaminate furnishings and clothing.
Ok, so it is a bad idea to bring porous items. That makes sense right? The risk of contamination is too great. But what about non-porous items? Can’t they be cleaned and saved?
This is not a cut and dry answer. Honestly, I think it depends on a lot. If ANY stachybotrys is involved then I would err on the side of safety and improved health and NOT save a thing. However, I think it all depends on how contaminated your home is. If the mold is truly contained to one area and has NOT made its way into your air ducts, then possibly you could clean and save non-porous items. If the mold infestation is very recent and was caught early, then yes, you might be able to safely clean and save non-porous items. But again, this all depends on your health. If you have any mold-related illness symptoms, then I personally would NOT risk my life to bring things with me.
This is the trouble with mold. It forces you to leave your belongings behind.
You have to make the conscious decision to walk away. A fire that makes that decision for you (which while still painful) is almost easier. You grieve and eventually move on. But looking around at your life and all the things you worked hard for and then just throwing it all out? That causes a lot of mental anguish. Deciding to leave your grandmother’s cookbook behind isn’t fun. Throwing away your daughter’s playdough handprints hurts. Bad. You know what would hurt worse? Rebuilding your life only to find out that you brought those mold spores and mycotoxins with you and now your life is on the line.
Stuff can be replaced. Memories can be written down. But human lives? Those are worth treating with the utmost care and that might mean leaving everything from your mold infested home behind.
Could I have bagged up sentimental items and saved them “just in case?” Of course I could have. A lot of people encouraged me to. But the toxicologist said don’t do it. Make a decision with your head and not your heart. Is anything worth eroding your health just when you get it back? The answer is obvious.
Also, if you try to save things, it becomes difficult to decide what is important enough to save. You start a mental cycle of second guessing. You begin to convince yourself that if it is ok to pack up this item then it most assuredly is fine to pack up that item. And pretty soon you haven’t thrown away anything and you are packing up every mold contaminated item.
As hard as it is to just throw it all out, it actually is easier than deciding what few precious items to save.
As of December 2017, it has been three years since we kissed our moldy home goodbye. And even though I have been in and out of it, disposing of our lives, I honestly don’t miss anything. Sure, I am still angry and working through emotions about the entire situation but I really don’t miss our stuff. Even the sentimental stuff. I’m moving away from that. Our health and the improvements we are already seeing is worth so much more than our stuff.
I’m sure some of you are still wondering what is technically safe to clean and take or even clean and sell to someone who doesn’t react to mold. I will tell you but please, think twice before keeping or selling anything.
Walking Away From Toxic Mold – Items that MAY possibly be cleaned and saved
- Non-porous items include items made 100% of glass, porcelain, plastic, or metal.
- Pots and Pans
- Serving bowls and dishes
- Kitchen gadgets (without a motor)
- Jewelry (metal and gemstones only – no fabric or leathers)
- Cables, cords and chargers
- DVDs/CDs (discs only, not covers)
- New, unopened food items, personal care products, supplements, and medications (if they are not in a container that can be cleaned – like a box – transfer them to a new glass container)
- Cell phone
- Car keys
- Important paperwork (seal in large plastic bags placed in a plastic or metal storage tote. Store in a garage or storage shed)
Items that MAY possibly be cleaned and sold
- Anything made 100% of glass, porcelain, ceramic, plastic, or metal
- Wood furniture so long as it is real wood and not particle board
- Leather furniture
- Office chairs
- Picture frames
- Kitchen appliances with motor
- Washing Machine
- Anything from the list above
Items that need to be properly disposed of include
- Televisions, stereos, sound systems, receivers, DVD players, computers, laptops, etc… Anything with a FAN will have sucked up the spores and will constantly release them when in use.
- Refrigerator (mold gets into the coils)
- Blow dryers and other electric hair tools
- Particle board furniture
- Non leather couches/chairs
- Towels and linens
- Opened food
- Opened supplements, medications, tinctures, etc…
- Opened personal hygiene products
- Any paper or fiber product
- Plants – silk and real
- Pretty much anything else not on either of the above lists
I know that the decision about “stuff” is tough one. Trust me. I lived it. But trying to save you possessions is risky. If you try to bring any items into your new environment you WILL most likely cross contaminate the new home and it will be like you NEVER left the old moldy environment. You’ll be chasing mold your whole life.
This 100% makes sense to me. When you’re fermenting something and it gets mold, you can’t just scrape the mold off and eat it anyway because the mold spores contaminate the whole thing. Why would items be any different?
You and your family are in my thoughts.
I’m so sorry to hear of all the uprooting and loss this experience has cost you but so happy to hear that you are resolving the health issues caused by the toxic mold.
I have a question. After reading these posts I’m concerned about a home we have visited (weeks at a time) that smells very musty. When we return home our belongings smell for a while. I wonder if there is toxic mold in that home and if we are bringing those spores into ours, putting our home and all it’s contents (including us!) at risk. Same question goes for a piano I bought on Craigslist; when I got it into our new house I realized it had “that smell”. I notice it every once in a while when I walk past but I have a very sensitive nose-especially to that smell-and it isn’t too bad. Again, only every once in a while do I smell it. But could that piano, if it was contaminated with toxic mold, be contaminating our whole house? I like buying antiques, and I like the person (family) with whom we visit who probably has some mold issues in their home. But should I be more cautious? I worry about the pervasiveness of those awful spores! To what extent does one need to take precautions?
This is a GREAT question and one that I am getting a lot. I will turn this into a full blog post soon but in short, you do need to be careful about second hand and antique items. They most certainly can be carrying mold spores. However, they cannot grow unless there is a water source for them. So as long as your home does not have a water source, the mold itself will not grow. This does NOT mean that you won’t react to the dormant spores on the piano though. If you have the genetic mutations which make you susceptible to mold allergies or illness, then these spores can indeed be causing you issues. Mold is everywhere. We are around it whether we realize it or not. Just be aware of how something smells, looks, but more importantly how it makes you feel.
As for the clothing – the toxicologist cautioned us about visiting places that we know have mold. For a short visit, you can wash your clothing with some tea tree oil. It won’t kill spores but it will make them inactive. For longer visits, spores have the chance to really dig in and nest in your clothing. That can be problematic.
Since you don’t know what kind of mold was in that home, I would be more cautious moving forward. Bring air filters with you to help suck up spores while you visit. Keep items in plastic bags and take out only when actively using them. And then clean your clothing with LOTS of tea tree oil!
We can’t all live in a bubble. But we can be aware and just do the best we can. Just make sure you don’t feed the mold. 😉
Thank you so much Jessica!
Gail West says
I am currently going through losing everything I owed because the storage unit I placed my belongings in was not claimit controlled. I requested this and because I had never rented a unit before did not know the difference. I knew it needed to be. Mold is on everything. I don’t understand why the storage ower is not responsible. The reason for renting was to sucure my belongings. I could have put my things outside I did not need them for this. What did I pay for everything is gone. I had no idea this could happen nor did anyone bother to tell me. They knew what I had stored I bought a coutch cover from them. Please let me know if you have any ideas on who’s responsible for damage.
Thanks so much
I am so sorry to hear this Gail. Honestly, this sounds like the storage owner is responsible however, you would need to have a contract showing that you were paying for a climate controlled unit. This should be a really cut and dry case in small claims court or for an attorney. So long as you can prove you were paying for a climate controlled space and they did not give you that, then they are responsible.
I got some items and throw others and my clothes even if I washed 3 times still giving me allergies
Really great article! I completely agree with your advice, kudos for putting it out there.
I am still in the process of battling mold from an apartment I was living in ( I have been sick for over a year and haven’t found any relief). I was very healthy before I moved in and had to break my lease, because I was so sick and couldn’t afford rent due to the astronomical medical bills. I moved to another state and didn’t find a doctor to help me until almost a year later. I was put on Cholestyramine for 4 months and it didn’t help much.
My question for you is —my doctor had me test my new apartment to see if it’s safe before he gave me treatment. I didn’t know my illness was officially related to mold until the blood tests came back – so all my stuff from the moldy apartment was already moved into my new apartment. 🙁 The results from my new apartment came back in safe levels. However, my symptoms are so bad and not getting any better (ie: haven’t been able to breathe through my nose over a year). I am wondering if I should ditch all my stuff before I move into the next apartment with my boyfriend (my lease is ending soon). What do you think? My boyfriend doesn’t want to ditch all our stuff, because the tests came back at safe levels —but the fact that I’m not any better at all and knowing I brought every piece of paper and fabric item with me from the infested place makes me wonder if “I should walk away” like you did.
I know it’s a matter of opinion, but I could use another opinion. The unfortunate part is my bed is only a year old, along with a lot of my other furniture I bought when I lived in the mold infested place lol – talk about bad luck. Another idea, I could put everything in a garage for several months and buy essentials and see if I get any better in the next place and see if it makes a difference in my recovery process. What do you think?
Thanks again for writing this article!
Hi Jackie! How I missed this comment I will never know. I am so so so sorry!
Short answer is yes – you need to get rid of everything if you are reacting to it. I lost a lot of items that were new or of value. But then I realized that nothing was worth compromising my health further. I refuse to be chased by mold my whole life. The dangerous part about keeping stuff is that the mycotoxins cannot be cleaned off or removed. While some mold spores might be able to be cleaned, mycotoxins remain. Those are what make you sick. You have to weigh the value of your stuff and the value of your health. Most of us do struggle with this decision but in the end, health wins. Let me know if I can help further! You are always welcome to email me as well.
How did you find a doctor and was is a toxicologist? My doc has been useless for FOUR YEARS I’ve been battling this.
Contact Dr. Janette Hope!
Address: 304 W Los Olivos St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone: (805) 698-7483
Although she works out of Santa Barbara, she will treat remotely. She is amazing!
Malissa Clancy says
What do you mea by remotely and does she. Accept insurance?
She will work with people over the phone and Skype. I’m not sure about insurance. I didn’t have any… but I know she asked if I wanted labs billed to insurance so my guess is she does.
I read your post and I am experiencing the same symptoms even worse swollen lymph notes. However, I went to the local doctor and they said they didn’t know what kind of blood test to administer to me and my daughters. They recommended we try an allergy specialist in Atlanta Ga. When I called them they also said they didn’t know what test were to be administered to see the amount of exposure in the bloodstream and the damage incurred. Could you please let me know what kind and what the name of the blood test you had administered so we can move forward.
Thanks in advance,
What you need is a mycotoxin Uribe test from Realtime labs. Your body will release more as you cleaner so future tests may be higher. (972) 492-0419
Mold Drs are Dr. Janette Hope In Santa Barbara, Dr. Bernhoft in Santa Monixa both in CA. Dr. Rick Sponaugle in Florida and Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker (although he doesn’t treat he can communicate w your regular MD for lab recommendations and a treatment plan and Dr. Jack Thrasher. Please see the Sponaugle web site and Shoemaker also for lots of good info.
My daughter, Samantha is currently a patient at the clinic of Dr Rick Sponaugle in Florida, being treated for Mold Toxicity, along with other infections, and I can tell you first hand how having the gene mutation that doesn’t allow your body to detoxify this toxin is absolutely devastating. People here along with ourselves, are having to make drastic life changing decisions, and most of them difficult ones at that.
I get this 100%! My daughter and I have that gene and it has made life and healing a very complex thing.
Kim Gomez says
My question is…what if, when you replace your things, you unknowingly buy them from a water damaged building, since 60% of buildings are water damaged? So what if your “new” American Eagle jeans have black mold mycotoxins on them? Or what if your “new” college book came from a water damaged building? I struggled with these questions as we decided what to throw away and what to keep. Personally, I didn’t want to spend good money, possibly buying moldy “new” things. We found that the gaps diet has helped a lot, although has not taken away all symptoms of lyme/mold yet. We have only been on the diet 8 months, though. Detoxing is much better and overall inflammation has been reduced. Chronic fatigue went away, as did many pain symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. My kids can tolerate stronger detox protocols with less reactions. Healing the gut is essential after mold, since mold can destroy the gut and deplete B12.
I feel your pain on this decision Kim and the fact of the matter is you don’t know if the new items you are purchasing are contaminated. In general, the garment industry has a pretty fast turnaround on materials. So they are not being stored for years or even months. While this doesn’t prevent mold spores and mycotoxins from settling on the clothing, it does reduce the chance. Furniture is a bigger issue. So are all the decorative and craft type items. Basically, I am not replacing much. I am buying and living on the bare bones. Right now I am so sensitive that I react the second I get near mold. So I will know if something I am purchasing is contaminated. But that might not be the case forever. There is no perfect solution in this situation sadly.
I lived in West LA in 2006. Had 2 grown sons that visited me often and was actively looking for work in nonprofits. Just had moved into a pristine vintage one bedroom apartment for $1250 a month. Started smelling “dust” that wouldn’t go away near my computer desk in living room. I cleaned the entire place to perfection over and over. Yet it got worse, eyes burning, headaches, nausea and worse and worse. Awful in my beautiful bedroom. Moved into living room to sleep at night with ski goggles on and bandana over nose and mouth. Had 13 people come in and each had horrible physical symptoms. A girlfriend who “knew” said it was Mold. My ex paid for testing, and came up with Stachybotrys and Aspergillis – the worst. EVERYTHING goes! 50 years of life with children and computer, music, books, linens, vintage dresses, jewelry, all my cooking tools, beautiful furniture from my marriage, journals from years past, THINGS MY CHILDREN HAD MADE ME WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE. $214,000 worth of “stuff”.
I was so sick from it and the SMELL – I now had “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” (MCS) and could not be within 100 feet of the locked closed-up apartment. Nobody would go in and rescue anything at all for me, so every last stitch went into the garbage. I went into Target wearing pants a shirt and carrying a purse. I bought a new set of clothes and a new bag and my life was about as low as it could get. That time is so traumatic, very hard to remember. But I thought I would get the major stuff down here – as it might enlighten someone. I have “things” now, but lost all desire to cook and bake and all my treasures from my wonderful life. Different, way simpler now. Healing from MCS……but will never use anything scented, toxic, and on Disability from PTSD.
Angela Burch says
Thank you for writing this. I agree with you. Cross contamination is very real and not worth the risk. I have seen people suffer relapses because they weren’t careful with contaminated possessions. It’s been 3.5 years for our family, and I can see how a person could get to a better place in their health and become too overconfident. We did the safe thing and only took a few things that could be cleaned. The rest was thrown away. We do have some photos that are double bagged in a plastic tub, still waiting to be dealt with (away from our home) at some point in the future.
I hope you and your family are healing well. It’s a process, a journey. All the best to you.
Thank you Angela for the support! No matter how long it has been, it is still such a tough thing to go through.
What about heat pasteurization? After several unsuccessful remediation attempts to rid my bedroom of aspergillus which started with just a few strips of unfinished wood my carpenter put around 2 windows and spread to all my wood furniture, I had the whole house heated to 150 or 160 degrees. Had to remove anything that could melt, all medicines and supplements, thermal blankets were put over TV’s, computers, etc. and we had to move out for 24 hours.
Seems to have worked. I have a very sensitive nose and lots of allergies. I’m like a bloodhound when it comes to mold. I even smell it in my doctor’s office. I don’t have air heat, I have hot water heat so I guess that helped. Can’t smell anything now, my sinuses have cleared up, etc. I washed all my clothes from the wood furniture in borax and white vinegar before this and moved most of them out (except for what was in the closets) too. I did have to throw out all the wood furniture anyway, some clothes and shoes, but everything else that was left seems to be mold free. I still use dehumidifiers and air filters.
If you have a fire, insurance pays for that. But what about people that can’t afford to leave everything, especially if they own their house? I’ve done the best I was able to and that cost thousands of dollars. I tried cholestyramine twice but just can’t tolerate it. I do take Bentonite/Montmorillonite clay every day for the last 2 months. I replaced some of the wood furniture and threw out a lot that I couldn’t afford to replace. I already had CFIDS (chronic fatigue) before the mold and just dealing with the mold and the different companies and having to do it over and over has left me in a constant state of anxiety.
But I could never afford to walk away from absolutely everything and as ideal as that might be, I think most people are in the same situation. Maybe if you are very young it’s doable. But I’m in my 60’s and have no idea where I’d get the energy or the money to do it.
No one has the energy or money to do it all. We didn’t. But since I have a young child I just made it work. We don’t have much – clothing, a few toys, homeschool supplies. We don’t have furniture yet. But its ok. Its hard but we had to go to that extreme. Everyone is in a different situation and has to make the best choice. Interesting about the heat treatment. I know heat can kill mold spores but the mycotoxins are the tough ones to get rid of fully. They require 900 degrees which is impossible. I hope that you have seen some healing since you went through the heat treatment process. I know how hard this process is. Blessings!
I dont understand about the mycotoxins. They are not alive i am assuming. So i am having a difficult time understanding why its impossible i get rid of them
Mycotoxins aren’t actually alive like mold spores. So when I talk about “killing mycotoxins” it really means breaking down mycotoxins and their toxicity so they are no longer AS dangerous. Mycotoxins can take YEARS to break down to levels that no longer pose a threat to MOST individuals. Hence why I say you cannot get rid of them.
Sheila Furr says
thanks for putting that out there too, I am so much in debt because of all my illness, now, son starting college and I am 58. What do you do to “pasteurize”?
Christine Standing says
Leviticus 13:47-59New International Version (NIV)
“Regulations About Defiling Molds
47 “As for any fabric that is spoiled with a defiling mold—any woolen or linen clothing, 48 any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather— 49 if the affected area in the fabric, the leather, the woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a defiling mold and must be shown to the priest. 50 The priest is to examine the affected area and isolate the article for seven days. 51 On the seventh day he is to examine it, and if the mold has spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather, whatever its use, it is a persistent defiling mold; the article is unclean. 52 He must burn the fabric, the woven or knitted material of wool or linen, or any leather article that has been spoiled; because the defiling mold is persistent, the article must be burned.
53 “But if, when the priest examines it, the mold has not spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather article, 54 he shall order that the spoiled article be washed. Then he is to isolate it for another seven days. 55 After the article has been washed, the priest is to examine it again, and if the mold has not changed its appearance, even though it has not spread, it is unclean. Burn it, no matter which side of the fabric has been spoiled. 56 If, when the priest examines it, the mold has faded after the article has been washed, he is to tear the spoiled part out of the fabric, the leather, or the woven or knitted material. 57 But if it reappears in the fabric, in the woven or knitted material, or in the leather article, it is a spreading mold; whatever has the mold must be burned. 58 Any fabric, woven or knitted material, or any leather article that has been washed and is rid of the mold, must be washed again. Then it will be clean.”
59 These are the regulations concerning defiling molds in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean.”
Kara Bell says
This is all so overwhelming! We were only in our home a little over 3 months before I got deathly sick. Our stuff is still there but we are living with my parents. We had it all? Stachybytros, Chaetomium, Aspergillus/Penicillium and extremely high levels of Mycotoxins in the HVAC. What if Christmas Decorations are in a plastic bin where the Stachy is that’s in the garage? The Stachy is active with growth structures. Can I take my Christmas ornaments out of the plastic bin and clean them safely? Also could a couch be cleaned and given away to someone without sensitivities? I just bought a new flame retardent free couch and I’d hate to get someone sick but maybe it could be cleaned? It’s so depressing but we are alive??
Hi Kara! I am so sorry you are going through this and know your pain well. First, the couch might be safe to clean and sell if you had it in the home for a VERY short time. Short as in a week or two. It really does not take long for porous items to get contaminated. The items in plastic totes might be salvageable. Mold and mycotoxin spores do get through plastic however. My advice would be to clean the ornaments and pack them away in a new tote. Give it a year and then take them out and see how you feel around them. Better to be safe with this. Don’t mess around with mycotoxins. When it doubt, throw it out as hard as that is. Good luck to you. I know how awful this is, especially this time of year.
How did you ensure your new home didn’t have a mold issue since it seems very impossible to avoid anywhere!?
It is dang near impossible to avoid mold completely since it lives in soil and you track it in. However, you can make sure that you do not give it food which allows it to grow. This post should help you a bit more: http://hybridrastamama.com/12-ways-to-prevent-mold/ as should this one: http://hybridrastamama.com/12-ways-to-prevent-mold/.
Hi i would like to know if i should get rid if my matress it wad exposed to mold in my house
The mattress is one of the worst items you could keep. I would absolutely get rid of it.
So a little over a month ago my apartment complex was getting new shingles put on and I think some patch work. They didn’t complete the area above my bedroom before a major snow storm blew in. There must have been a foot of snow on the roof. It melted, and the water got in between the walls of my bedroom. I was unaware of this happening. I began to notice my bedroom being very damp, and I live in Colorado, so it seemed odd. Shortly after the snow storm, when the snow was melting, I became fairly ill and had respiratory issues. I then discovered a lot of black colored mold in my bedroom closet. I can see rotting from the outside of my building all along my bedroom wall. It has been over a week since I notified my landlord, he never responded to my calls or messages. I went to his office and he told me it is the roofers fault, so they will be tearing out one little part of the wall to fix it. I still haven’t heard from the roofers… Luckily I have a spare room, but it is very frustrating. Could it be dangerous mold? Do I have grounds to leave and get my deposit back??!! Thanks for any insight.
Hi Justin! I totally dropped the ball on replying to your comment. Would you still like some insight?
Interestingly, God gave the Israelites instructions for dealing with mold about 3500 years ago in Leviticus 13 and 14 in the Bible.
Mold has been around a very long time!
My business is full of mold ! Insurance companies fighting ! Now i am very sick !
Offices are notorious for mold. I sure hope that you are able to find a resolution. Have you sought any medical treatment?
But how do you do it? Because to me it seems impossible no to bring any mold to a new home.
How about our hair, our skin, the clothes we are wearing the moment we leave the moldy house?
Then our cars. I mean we were in our vehicles wearing clothes that were exposed to mycotoxins. I might be freaking out, but I just though I should ask.
When we left our home we had a new pair of clothes waiting for us and we showered at my parents. It was the best we could do and I felt confident that we removed most of the mold spores on our body this way. As for the car – I had it remediated. While it is impossible not to have a wee bit of cross-contamination, you would be surprised that it is possible to get a “clean” break.
How do we remediate a car?
Hi Rachel! In short, you can’t completely remediate a car. There are way too many nooks and crannies. The best you can do is HEPA vac the entire vehicle, wipe it all down with whatever cleaning agent you prefer (I used the mold spray from this post: http://hybridrastamama.com/natural-ways-to-clean-and-remove-mold/). I also put a HEPA filter in my car and left it running for 10 days straight. And of course, I steamed cleaned all upholstery.
Hi thank you for your blog.
I am confused as what to throw out from my specific situation.
I recently left a leaky condo- sick building (10years ). Particle board under the siding was rotten.
I’m sure there was mold in the bedroom carpets , but none visible inside my home, just symptoms.
Do I have to leave everything? I’m getting rid of all porous – new beds, couches, and have cleaned the rest.
Please help 😉
Hi Jen! This really all depends on so much. Did you have the condo tested at all to see what specific types of mold were present? Were you experiencing a lot of health issues? Definitely get rid of all porous items. With regards to the other items, you can bring a few things into your new space after they are cleaned and see how you react. I personally react immediately when I have to get into the little bit of paperwork we saved from the moldy house. If you do keep things, keep a close watch on anything unusual that may hit you health wise.
Hello I have been living in a mold ridden apt for about 28 years now and finally getting the courage to leave my comfort zone and move out since I was practically homebound for many years not knowing why..My question is over the years I was a chronic hoarder and have hoarded about 150 bags of brand new clothing that I have never worn in heavy garbage bags and skin and hair products never used stored in plastic bins in my closet and stacked up in piles with sheets covering the plastic garbage bags and plastic bins in the livingroom.I also have photo albums that have been stored in plastic bins and new collectables that have been stored in plastic bins in a musty closet.Can I take these garbage bags filled with all new clothing and can I take the plastic bins filled with never used skin and hair products and photo albums? If so must I empty the clothes out into new garbage bags and new plastic bins and throw away the old plastic bins or just wipe the plastic bins with vinegar or ammonia and everything will be fine?
Hi Betsy! Unfortunately, plastic is permeable. I tested this personally. I had brand new pots and pans that were sealed in a plastic tote. I cleaned the pots and put them in a new tote. I left them alone for 6 months. When I opened the tote I had an immediate and severe reaction. I would advise you to tread carefully. I did keep a couple of photo albums and sealed them in a tote but they live in the garage now.
Hello Again Jen!! I forgot to ask you if you can refer me to any toxic mold illness support group here in the NYC area to help me possibly to make this big leap , help me to get out of my comfort zone and help me get my life back again.I have searched the web to find a support group in my area and have not gotten anywhere.I am all alone doing this and it seems very scary and quite overwhelming to do this move alone without any emotional support or help.Can you help me with any suggestions or referrals? Thanks!!
I personally do not know of a group in NYC but will ask around and see what I come up with!
Should clothing be washed in a 50/50 solution if water and ammonia in order to keep? Can wood furniture not be saved? Wondering, as it is not pourous. Computers, flat screen t.v.’s, printers?
Can artwork be taken out of frames and salvaged it not? I want to be very careful not to cross contaminate.
Hi there! Yes, wash clothing in a 50/50 solution but be warned…it doesn’t completely rid your clothing of mold spores. Any electronic item with a motor should be discarded as the fan will spit out mold spores and cannot be cleaned. Wood furniture can be remediated pretty well. I did try to save some items that were in frames but ended up reacting to them. Make sure if you are reframing art that you have someone else handle it for you.
I am just at the beginning of this nightmare. I did a detox not realizing I was in a mold home and got very, very ill. Panic attacks, asthma attacks, my body was attacking everything I ate.. Even water.
We are waiting on the ERMI test but I already know. It’s bad. There’s a musty smell in my house and has been for as long as we’ve lived there.. 12 years. I’ve continued to fight health issues there despite making very strict dietary changes. After not sleeping in my room for a few days I tried again and woke up gasping for air and my lymph in one breast got really swollen. We’ve dealt with multiple leaks and water problems. We just didn’t realize this could happen. I feel like an idiot. We spend a fortune on organic foods and groceries and my house has been making me sick for years.
I left and am staying with family. My husband came to visit me forgetting to shower and change his clothes and all of my symptoms returned after he sat beside me. I think we are going to lose everything. I’ve been warned not to stress because my body can’t handle it and I’m leaning on God but I’m not going to lie, this is a nightmare.
I am so so sorry to hear this as obviously I know how painful this is. Feel free to reach out to me via email if you would like to chat further.
What about freezers?
Everything about this is confusing and traumatic, the level of fear that is instilled within you because of this is well crazy and it makes you crazy. About 5 years ago I became sick from black mold at the time I didn’t fully understand the implications of this, all I knew was my chest was really tight like I had been inhaling sawdust. Luckily the landlord had the place remediated and fixed and we eventually moved back in, I noticed that the really bad symptom of chest tightness had gone away as did the musty smell. We never threw away any of our stuff.
Years later my health has slowly gone through ups and downs but with a fairly defined trajectory down. I moved several times after that first house I got sick in. The raw chest feeling symptom was always my barometer and for the most part I haven’t had that symptom however I have definitely had a whole range of other symptoms, sinusitis, throat clearing, eoe esophagitis, neuropathy, muscle inflammation, ic etc. What’s funny (or not funny) is that I just found out I was living (for over a year) in a water damaged building AGAIN (seriously?!). I would say in the past 5 years since my initial issue more than half of the buildings I have ended up moving into have some sort of water damage mold issues, If I saw there was an issue I got out of there as fast as I could but I always took my stuff with me.
So leave all of your stuff behind, go buy a tent and live in the mountains. That sounds to me like the only plausible means to escape this issue since scientifically mold is everywhere and the likeliness of cross contamination is extremely high if not only from your own possessions but from just walking around outside, or into a moldy building or into a hotel or ANYWHERE. The confusion mounts, how do you psychologically defeat the concept of an invisible force slowly killing you.
Recently I decided to move out of my old place that definitely had confirmed water damage, in the process of figuring out what was wrong with me I got igenex tested for lyme disease and do show evidence of this on top of everything else. I threw away most of my stuff except for my TV, PS4 and Macbook, some dry cleaned clothes etc. I did buy soe new clothes from H&M because they are cheap. I moved into a building that was about 6 years old, clean, flawless almost brand new. Two weeks later I am having weird worsening symptoms including rawness in my chest and I just can’t explain it, the place is fucking flawless or atleast appears that way. Lately I have been experimenting with my pulse, taking readings here and there – I notice throughout the day my resting pulse is around 65-75, however when I enter my new place it jumps up to 80-86 and then eventually falls back to the 70’s, I also just ate food when my pulse rises, could this be a sign? I have decided to stay with my boss for a week on a sabbatical of my stuff, but yeah confusion is an understatement.
I am so so sorry to hear all this and of course, I can feel your pain, frustration, and confusion. The blood pressure issue can most definitely be related to food! I often do pulse testing when I feel like a food might not be working with my body. Take your pulse at rest. Put a piece of the food in your mouth and hold it for 30 seconds. Spit it out. Take your pulse again. If there was a jump in your pulse then likely your body does NOT want that food. It could be an allergy issue, an inflammation issue, or any number of things. But basically, take a break from that food for a month and then reintroduce it and see what happens.
Aaron, you said “I threw away most of my stuff except for my TV, PS4 and Macbook, some dry cleaned clothes etc….” It seems the problem is still your stuff. These electronics can have the spores inside them and spew them all over your new pristine place, cross contaminating it. Also dry cleaning does not fix the mold spore/mycotoxin problem unfortunately.
Concerned Reader says
Wow. Way to use scare tactics to make people throw away all of their belongings. You took a quote out of an article that doesn’t explain anything about the mold itself. Mold is an allergen. In only mass quantities can it cause…ALLERGY symptoms. Throw away all of your belongings? No. Clothes, wash them. Throw away your TV, are you kidding me? You tell me when you have ever seen mold growing on your TV. You throw you names of species like Stachybotrys and Mycotoxins and call them harmful. There is a reason there aren’t any regulations on mold. Everyone reacts differently to them. Most importantly, no one will be able to tell by looking if the mold they have in their living area is any of those types. Mold is everywhere, not all of it is harmful. Mold is constantly and will forever be around from trees, plants, bushes, etc. If any one makes it to this, please do not throw away your belongings. Food is completely different than clothes, tables, chairs, etc. If you talk to an actual mold testing or remediation company, they will tell you the same thing as me. Get your air tested, take a swab or tape lift sample of the mold. Get it abated. I guarantee you will find that you will spend less money and get the exact result wanted if you take that route. Let me know how you feel about throwing away a high school year book or throwing away your moms wedding dress that is sitting in your closet. Not because you see mold growing on it, but because some person told you if there is mold on your wall, its covering everything you own and to throw it away. Don’t take it from me, call a mold abatement company, an EXPERT, and ask them if they throw away all everyone’s belongings when they go out to perform mold abatement.
You are horribly undereducated. Go read some academic medical journals-the EXPERTS, and you will be enlightened.
My family accidently unknowingly moved with black mold. It has been the most painful thing. Our health is very damaged and my skin is sensitive to mold now. Are you kidding me? The t.v. was the worst item that was poisoning us with mycotoxins and mold spores. My family will never look at life the same way. I would have thrown every thing away if i knew id have to go through this. Its horrible running from mold. We almost died.
Hi Lynne! I obviously sympathize with you. Huge hugs. It does get better…I promise! Have you seen my post about detoxing from mold exposure? https://hybridrastamama.com/need-to-detox-from-mold-exposure-heres-how-i-did-it/
Tami Ramsey says
Sorry, but I have to whole heartily agree to throw it all out. You obviously haven’t been deathly ill from myco toxins and believe. We know little about our unseen world, the world of pathogenic micro-organisms belonging in the fungi-kingdom… as well as disease causing stealth bacteria. Most doctors have never heard of Candida nor have most studied the effects/affects of endotixins & mycotoxins in the human body. I cannot wait for the day that these issues will be in the forefront of our health care system. In my perspective, these issues have been limited to being an enviromental issue or a concern in the Vetanarian Field of Study. When you loose your health due to Chronic Fatique Syndrome, memory loss, severe anxiety, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, Chronic Inflamation, Neck and Spine Issues and IBS only to top it all off with the feeling of something crawling on your skin though you can’t see anything, so you get a piece of scotch tape to remove it and still can’t see much on the tape and as the tape hangs from your fingers frantically swinging towards you to get back on you,,, After freaking the hell out & after researching everything, you find a place to purchase a hand held jewelers microscope to see what could possibly be moving on your skin/beneath your skin….Through endless research you discover that these microscopic hairlike fibers that have created tunnels throughout your body & under your skin are some kind of fungus/mold? Bacteria? Myco-toxins?/Endo-toxins? It’s ghastly, there’s no help…. Yes!!! Leave it all behind!!! If I could only regain my health and my life I would willingly give it all up. I am working on it. If I could hold the numerous Dr.s accountable for dismissing the things emerging from my skin (3 years ago- So much more under my skin now due to it multiplying)I could afford to replace the basics. Diagnosed with Lyme Disease 2 years ago. I believe this to be a new emerging “Disease/Infestation of Toxins?” that isnt yet recognized. It’s believed to go hand in hand with Lyme Disease.
I think you need to do more research. When it comes to mold and mycotoxins, there are actual genetic reasons why some people react more severely than others. However, everyone will be impacted my mycotoxins. That is a scientific fact. While leaving everything behind is a personal decision, it can mean life or death for certain people. Also, air testing is useless. Dust sampling is much more comprehensive and reliable.
Sorry, but you can’t be more wrong. I kept a TV that had only been in the moldy apartment that I lived in unknowingly for 3+ years. It crapped on me just lately(a year and a half after moving out). I decided to look inside and wow, hyphae everywhere. It scared me soo much that I started looking at all the other stuff, which was only a very small percentage that I brought with me and “cleaned” up. I can smell it now and even though it hurt soo bad to throw away my gma’s pillow case that I never used, I just can’t take being sick any more! It is the worst thing i have ever been through and it may have been prolonged due to the fact that I’m low-income and not able to replace everything. I had found this page when I was being illegally kicked out by my slumlords apt. and thought naw, I can save something. I found this page again and now I have a different perspective. You do need to throw it out. It sucks but think about it before you decide what to do. Do you want to keep having horrible symptoms that could kill you or do you want a life again? I choose life and it’s not like you can take it with you if you are dead. It’s pretty blunt but very, very true. Good luck everyone!
Thanks for taking the time to share this! It is important for more people to understand the dangers of keeping items contaminated by mold.
Celeste Spiderwrulf says
After the 2004 Hurricane siege in FL, our house was compromised. Once i started getting really sick and could not breathe, we figured it out. My husband packed up the rest of our personal effects and they have been traipsing around storage facilities for 10 years while we roamed in a camper trying to survive. Now, I am finally in a place to be able to go through all that stuff, condense, get rid of, sell off etc… and I got VERY VERY sick out of Nowhere the other day. Please please listen to this! The hospital said sinusitis blah blah blah, then my husband hit it… the stuff from the old house i had spread all over upstairs trying to get sorted.
Thank you for sharing your experience. No one really realizes just how long spores and mycotoxins can survive and how damaging re-exposure can be.
My daughyer is going through this right now. she cut a piece of wall a found mold, the entire kitchen wall is black mold its inside the wall, its a rental. she have a 8 momth old baby and 2 other small children, she went back to her mold infested rental with her children, she will be moving this weekend because the property owner is giving her another Manufactured Home. I babysit her children while she goes too work, she bring diaper bag for baby and backpack for her other 2 children. is she bringing the mold to my home? and she have been sick off and on for about a year. now we know what has caused it. her children has been sick as well. she was recently sick for 3 weeks. with chest pains swollen lymph nodes sinuus infection running nose, and so on.
If you do not have a food source for the mold, then you should be ok. I for sure “contaminated” my parents’ house but they were ok. I am actually writing a post about this topic and what to do so keep on the lookout for that.
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am desperate for your help! We got our mold report yesterday from a mold inspection service that took two swab samples. We immediately left our home and will never return. My entire [email protected] health has suffered severely (myself, my husband, son 2.5 year, daughters 6 and 8). We need help picking which air purifiers to buy for car, and home, which diffusers for car and home. Anything else!. We went to target and got everyone 2 outfits, flip flops, and a tooth brush and kids got a small stuffed animal. I know people say you can wash some things but I don’t want any mold in our lives. It has already destroyed my children’s health. Especially the two youngest. I am so thankfull God gave me the feeling to investigate the house as a source of the health problems.
I have tons of resources on my site related to this… here is the link. https://hybridrastamama.com/toxic-mold-resources/ If you need additional advice please feel free to email me!
Got a question: I just lived 1 month in a place which I found out actually it was a very moldy apartment 🙁 I realized this only in the last day, unfortunately, when I saw some of my stuff grew a lot of mold on those. I threw that stuff away right away! I am in another place right now without mold luckily.
That room apartment had a lot of my stuff in it which were sitting in that room, the same room where some stuff grew a lot of mold, so clearly that place was very moldy.
Since I have been there a whole of 30 nights, I am wondering if I should throw 100% of everything away, even if there are no direct mold signals on them?
I had all of my stuff there, which includes my phone, laptop, wool clothing, luggage – I do not see any clear mold signs on them, so I am thinking what I should do? Those are a few examples of stuff, I have other stuff which were in that room. Some were packacked, some were inside my luggage for the whole month.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
So sorry! I just saw this! If you still have the items and are NOT having any health issues, then I would use these air purification candles in your new space (http://microbalancehealthproducts.com/products/ec3-air-purification-candle.html?rfsn=1068079.6c890) and wipe all your items down with this: http://microbalancehealthproducts.com/products/ec3-mold-solution-spray.html?rfsn=1068079.6c890 That ought to make things pretty safe for you.
Hi! I have moved to rented apartment one year ago. During this year I started to experience exema. The same did my girlfriend who lives with me. I did a lot of allergy tests no one showed increased IgE for anything includind different types of mold. Actually, I have found some mold behind wallpapers and realised that I also have some black spots in the bathroom. Our apartment is on the ground level, so Irealized it is wet. Now, we found new apartment and I still not sure how should I handle my stuff. For sure I will throw away all furniture, beddings, towels, pillows and so on. I wondering If I should throw away clothing, iron, kitchen stuff. I ordered air test samples. I will do air test during next days to realize how air polluted with spores. May out of this I can decide. Anctually, except of bathroom and behind wallpapers I don’t see any black mold on surfaces anywhere. May be under the flor, but I did’not try to uncover it. What do you think? What should I do?
Hi there! So sorry for the delay! I would absolutely throw out all porous items. I would also throw out anything you are not attached to or that can easily be replaced. As for the rest of it – I would pack it up, put it in storage for a month and then see how you feel when you go in the storage unit after being away from those items for 30 days. You will likely have a reaction pretty quickly. I also suggest that you clean items with the products found here: http://hybridrastamama.com/microbalance They really do a great job of cutting down the number of spores!
So. I’m pretty certain that my house is poisoning me. I’ve lived here for about 4 years, but didn’t start having health problems until this last March, when our basement flooded. It’s literally been health-hell ever since. I’m itchy EVERYWHERE, I have sudden allergies to food, bladder spasms to foods that have never given me any problems, gastro-intestinal issues, I’ve lost a TON of weight, and all I ever want to do is SLEEP. I literally have doctors appointments every week and have since March. None of my doctors know what the problem is, even my allergist is confused. The problem is that I CAN’T move out until the end of May. I literally can’t. I have no money, nowhere to go, and I live with people that I can’t dump them on their asses to attempt to get out of the lease. I would leave if I could leave.
What I want to know is, is there anything I can do? Something I can take to combat the mold? None of my other roommates are having problems, but they have better immune systems than I do and aren’t nearly as sensitive to anything, so they’re probably just going to look at me and think I’m nuts. Any recommendations would be helpful.
Hi there! I am so sorry to hear you are going through this! Please read this post and if you have any other questions shoot me an email. I am happy to help! https://hybridrastamama.com/need-to-detox-from-mold-exposure-heres-how-i-did-it/
Hi – my wife and i moved into our house about two months ago. We have a smell issue and havent had real symptoms of mold allergies however we did mold testing after having some water intrusion into the crawl space. The indoor tests were positive for aspergyllis/penicillium elevated above the outside. We have no visual mold but it could be in the walls, we just dont know, other than the musty smell permeating the house.
Is it unsafe to be in the house? What levels are considered unsafe since the difference between the outside are isnt great, say 60 raw count outside and 90 in the bathroom? This site has some doom and gloom but I dont know whether this mold is toxic or not.
Hi there! First, all mold is toxic as it creates “mycotoxins” which cause the bulk of the health issues associated with mold. There is no “safe” level of mold per say. It all depends on your genetics, overall health, lifestyle, etc… Some people take longer to react to mold and notice health issues. Some people developed issues immediately after exposure. It is best not to knowingly exposure yourself to any mold. Air tests are not the most reliable as they only capture a 5 minute snapshot of what is going on. Dust sampling is much better as it gives a more “historic” look at the mold picture and can more accurately assess the severity. Did you do anything after the water intrusion to remove the wet material? If not, chances are that there is mold in that area that will need to be removed and remediation.
Hello, I am not sure if this is the right website. Here is my question: how do we get rid of the mold cross contamination? We have moved several times without any success. (We no longer have any belongings at all and got new clothes etc)
I think the car is contaminated. We had it detailed before but it didn’t solve the problem.
We don’t want to be chased by mold for the rest of our lives. Any suggestions that can help us get out of this ordeal will be greatly appreciated!
I would just use this method in your car: https://hybridrastamama.com/monthly-mold-prevention-treatment/
I dont see any responses/ posts from 2018 so I know this is a long shot but a need all the help I can get. I am curious how to handle my wedding venue. I had to get rid of everything when I moved due to illness but my fiance had unknowingly sent our paper contracts and payment from our black mold infested house to our venue. The office and venue are in same location and I am terrified to have wedding at this location and am risk to lose all of our money and venue. I am unsure of how much cross contamination it will cause and dont want to lose our wedding cards/ pictures/ dress etc by hosting at venue. Any advice on what you would do ?
Hi Nancy! Don’t worry at all! Do you know how much mold we come into contact with daily from money and the mail? This is one of those cases where you just have to bury your head in the sand and pretend you don’t know a thing about mold. Honestly, the paperwork and payment likely didn’t do much, if any, cross contamination. Enjoy your wedding and don’t give this a second thought! Trust that all will be fine. And it will. We get exposed to mold daily, in small amounts. Other mold spores have probably floated through the venue before yours did. Huge hugs! And congratulations!!! 🙂
Hello, I am so glad to have found this site–I felt like I was the only one who went through mold toxicity. I have been having what I believe to be various mold-related issues for the last four years. At first it was just sink pricks, and then one Memorial Day my family came to stay at my house and several of them had strange rashes; one of them had to sleep in his car because his allergies were so bad. We all thought it was the cats…
Fast-foward to a year later, and one of my nephews that lives with me started having asthma attacks (while having had no prior breathing-realted issues) and complained of headaches on a regular basis. Out of nowhere, as I was driving my car, I started feeling dizzy and light-headed, haviing cotton mouth and nearly passed out at the wheel. I checked myself into the ER thinking it was CO poisoning, but they said there was no more CO in my system than an average smoker. I asked the landlords to check for mold after reading about the symptoms; they tried but no remediation company would come out. They were also selling the house, and the realtor stated “I don’t see any mold here”. I opted to move out, and this is where the majority of my and my nephews symptoms began. We made the BIG mistake of taking our items with us, which were more than likely contaminated, into another rental. Both of us had constant headaches, he with ashtma attacks very frequently, and myself with flu-like symptoms and a cough I couldn’t escape. I had the new rental tested, and they found aspergillus and cladosporium spores in abundant quantities. I decided to fog with several products myself, and thankfully my nephew started improving. We moved out of that rental, discared ALL of our possessions, and moved into a small apartment. At first we were all still having symptoms, but after a year they are not nearly as bad. And here is where my other problem lies: even though we are better, I still seem to have a cough that I can’t escape, and even stranger is the fact that whenever people are in a room with me, they start coughing and sneezing. All of these people get the same hacking cough that I have. I have seen a pulminologist, ENT, envorimental doctor and mold specialist and they all tell me that it is “unresonable” that I am spreading mold spores in the air. Is is possible that I may have a fungal ball stuck in my lungs or sinuses? It’s really beginning to drive me a little nuts, and I avoid doing many things in fear that people are having reactions to the air that I breathe. Is there a treatment for mold in your lungs that I don’t know about? Thank you for reading my longer-than-usual post, and I appreciate any answers that you may provide.
I typed out a LONG reply and it is gone! I have to run but will circle back to this ASAP.
Hi, I have been dealing with mold illness for a year and I just recently moved out of a moldy apartment. My friend used to live in the new apartment and I was perfectly fine when I came by to visit him, staying several days at a time. However, I made the mistake of bringing my belongings when I took over his apartment. Even though, I left over 90 % my stuff, the few things I have brought over have contaminated the new environment. One thing I have read about that seems to be promising is fogging with hydrogen peroxide. Has anyone done it and gotten good results?
Hi Dave! Peroxide won’t work. It can neutralize some mold spores but not all. And it only hits those spores that are on the surface – not in deep. Check out my post here: https://hybridrastamama.com/monthly-mold-prevention-treatment/ This is the formula I would fog with. It has been lab tested by Real Time Labs, the authority in mold and mycotoxin testing. It has been proven to work. I use it with great success and everyone I have recommended it to who has given me feedback on it says it work well for them.
I’m pretty sure I have mould in my flat which made me ill. I’ve had vertigo/balance problems, memory loss, breathlessness. NHS doctors here in the UK are clueless and treat you as if you are crazy.
Nothing is visible, but the musty smell is overwhelming. I suspected the carpet in the hallway which I’ve just ripped up and chucked out. I have had to move back to my Dad’s house. I got a damp expert in but he only tested for air and wall humidity not mould. He suggested I buy a meter myself to test for particles in the air and get back to him.
Maybe I should just have someone remove and dispose all the furniture and sell the place. I don’t know if I can ever feel 100% sure the place is clean. An over-reaction?
Hi Mark! I am so sorry that you are going through this. Testing for air particles is pretty useless as it only gives you a tiny snapshot of what is going on. If you were going to test for mold, I would recommend something different. Let me know if you would like suggestions. I need to see what is available in the UK.
You need to start some detoxing to help your health ASAP! Here is what I did: https://hybridrastamama.com/need-to-detox-from-mold-exposure-heres-how-i-did-it/
You might also want to check out this post: https://hybridrastamama.com/monthly-mold-prevention-treatment/ This company ships to the UK and doing this will absolutely help if you are not in a position to chuck everything and move.
Feel free to email me if that is easier for you. I am happy to try to help you figure this all out!
Hi Jennifer. Do you think the mould could be present on wall surfaces etc enough to become smelly and affect health without it being visible? Or would there always be a hidden source somewhere? E.g. behind tiles or cabinets?
There is only one contractor that will do invasive testing.
Hi Mark! Yes, mold can be invisible to the naked eye depending on the strain. Typically it grows from the inside out meaning it is also behind the wall. If you have wallpaper, the wallpaper glue is a favorite food of mold. Having said that, if there is enough moisture in the air, the mold itself can just be on the surface of walls, ceilings, etc…
Metal roofs are on its strategy to popularity.
We found mold in our house after large numbers were found in a mycotoxin test in my body. We found Aspergillus and Penicellium in our basement just from high humidity. The inspector told us to do remediation and to throw everything pourous out that was in the basement but the rest of the house was fine. Do we have to be as extreme with these two strains? I understand you don’t mess with Stachybotrys but how about Aspergillus and Penciellium? I’m obviously quite sensitive but it would be great if they were in fact cleanable minus the pourous furniture.
Hi Maggie! If you have mold anywhere in your home you have it everywhere in your home. Mold spores don’t just stay put in one place. Did you test the rest of the house at all? If not, I would do that ASAP. If you did test it and it came back clear then to be on the safe side I would follow this protocol. https://hybridrastamama.com/monthly-mold-prevention-treatment/ Please let me know if you have any questions at all!
It suddenly makes a lot of sense as to why I continue to have these symptoms although I´m now in a new and good place. Have had an idea that something was off with my large book collection – eventhough all of them look pristine. But how interesting and shocking that something that is impossible to see or even smell can make you feel unwell. I now know they´ve got to go along with the tv and the large plants I brought from my old place.
Thanks for enlightening me!
You are most welcome! Reach out any time with questions!
Kate Welling says
You mentioned that mold can spread to porous surfaces with ease. This is scary because there are a lot of porous surfaces in my house. I am going to look into getting a mold removal company to get rid of these things for us.
When you moved, did you bring credit cards and your passport with you, or did you replace them instead? Also, is it important to change your clothes before you walk into your new place?
My last place had a serious Mold issue and Unfortunately I brought clothes back with me to the place I’m staying in temporarily. I plan to leave everything behind as I’m still reacting to my clothes. Just wondering about the credit cards, licence, and a couple paper items like my birth certificate and passport.
Hi there! I am so sorry that you are going through this. Yes, when I moved I did clean and keep my credit cards and passport. My passport was in a safe deposit box so I wasn’t worried about that. Credit cards and your license can be wiped down with diluted ammonia or EC3 solution. Your birth certificate is tricky since it is paper. I just store mine in the safe deposit box now but if that is not an option, I would replace it.
yes, absolutely take your old clothes off, shower, and change into new clothes somewhere else! That is very important due to cross contamination!
Reach out any time with questions as you go through this process. Huge hugs!
iF the mold was found on one back wall of the house completely separate from the garage on another side of the house-one floor ranch style on slab foundation, then are the things you had stored in the garage or attic at risk? We chose to tear down the whole room to the framing and essentially rebuild the room after it was open to the air with the room completely stripped of everything so that it looked like we were doing an addition to the house and kept the house entry sealed securely the whole time we have been rebuilding. I was the one that got sick. I did leave the house and live elsewhere with a few articles of clothing and my purse and nothing else. I lived in a trailer we rented in the driveway for a while, stayed with friends, traveled to a far away place for medical treatment so was completely away, not even the car at that point.Stayed away for 4 months until dust test came back common molds in rare quantities in rest of house. Oh and we had all ductwork removed, housing cleaned with microban and new ductwork put in. When the rains came we put up the new siding and new window. Still under contamination, items removed under negative air, etc, pulled out window or side door, not brought through house. It has been a year and we are just starting to put the rest of the bedroom and bath back together. There had to be cross contamination before we found it. If even the building materials are new is this now going to be a safe bedroom and master bathroom? Even the bathroom (though no mold in there) was demo-ed and everything pulled out. We are having out new shower tiled, and floor and total bathroom remodel.
Hi Rosey! You need to assume that every area of your home was impacted by air born mold and mycotoxins. This does include the attic and garage. Was the ductwork in the attic or elsewhere? Insulation is a goldmine for mold spores. At the very least, you will want to fog your entire home again as well as the attic and garage as well as clean or toss anything that was stored in those areas. Feel free to email me directly if you would like.
Any leads for doctors in Canada, specifically Ontario that treat or diagnose people with mold illness?
Hi Chantal! Eeeek! Is this for you? Let me ask around and see who I can vet for you.
My room was tested for mold and they found all types of mold including Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Penicillium/Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys). I fled to a new place and threw away most of my stuff but kept my clothing, since I read that clothing could be salvaged if washed with the EC3 laundry additive. My question is is it ok to wash new clothes with the clothes that were exposed to mold but already washed with EC3? Also, how bad is it if I wore clothing from entering the moldy room to my new place, if I just went inside to shower immediately? I put the moldy clothing in a garbage bag and put it in the corner to be washed. Your insight will be so helpful. Thanks!
Hi Kat! I sent you an email. 🙂
Hi I have been struggling with mold for years. Left 95% of belongings when I moved to brand new construction. My question always is, how do I know the new stuff I am buying did not come from a moldy environment? i.e. what if the store where I bought new clothes had mold issues?…
This is a great question! Most buildings are moldy. So most of the things we purchase have been in a moldy environment at some point. However, if you are purchasing from a high volume retailer, chances are these items haven’t gotten terribly contaminated. Purchasing new is safer than used. Purchasing products made oversees has the advantage of bring treated with an anti-fungal before shipping. Purchasing products made in the USA typically means they haven’t sat in a shipping container or in a warehouse for long periods of time. It’s one gigantic catch-22. There is no perfect solution. This is why preventing mold is so important. Cleaning items you purchase and doing monthly mold maintenance is key.