- “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home“—Environmental Protection Agency
- EPA Mold FAQs
- 10 Things you should know about mold.
“Mold is a problem. Mold and fungus spores are found EVERYWHERE, just looking for a place to sprout. All they need to set up shop is Moisture and Food.
“Unfortunately for us, mold is hardy and counts pretty much everything amongst the category of food—drywall, carpet, food, everything. Since everything is food, you need to control mold by getting it off the surface it is in, and then controlling the moisture.
”Whenever you are dealing with mold, you should wear a mask. I recently read a study that found that 80% of the evaluated sinus infections were actually fungal in origin, which was why antibiotics were useless against them. Bleach doesn’t destroy the mold’s little roots, where it hangs on to the thing it’s growing on.
“Now, in an empty spray bottle (such as can be found at any dollar store) combine one part rubbing alcohol with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Obviously, it doesn’t need to be exact.
“Spray the surface to thoroughly wet it—Really soak it.
Let it sit for five minutes to really work, then scrub the mold with one of those green pot scrubbers to remove it from the surface.
“If you don’t deal with the moisture problem, the mold will keep coming back.
Sometimes, the drywall or plaster will need to be replaced entirely to get rid of the problem.
If there’s not an obvious moisture problem, increasing ventilation in the area will often help.”
Top Ten Mold Mistakes from a Canadian member of the COH Support Group:
Top Ten Mold Mistakes to Avoid
1. USING CHLORINE BLEACH TO KILL MOLD. Do not use ineffective chlorine bleach to try to kill mold growth and mold spores. Bleach is too weak even when freshly manufactured to kill mould. Bleach that sits on store shelves and in your home continually gets ever weaker over the passage of time. In addition, read the manufacturer’s usage directions on the bleach container. The manufacturer does not recommend its use to kill mold. Bleach is NOT an EPA-registered fungicide.
2. USING OTHER INEFFECTIVE PRODUCTS TO KILL MOLD—such as Kilz, regular paint, paint containing a mildicide element, any paint, Lysol, ammonia, and other household cleaners and disinfectants. Painting over a mold problem does not solve it—it only hides the problem temporarily and gives the mold something delicious to eat—the paint itself.
3. ASSUMING THAT AFTER A WET AREA IS DRY, THAT IT IS NOW MOLD SAFE. Mold needs moisture to grow and to multiply as its eats your home building materials and personal possessions. This moisture can come from high indoor humidity [above 60% some or all of the year], roof leaks, siding leaks, and plumbing leaks. If mold spores and mold colony growth run out of moisture, they do NOT die. Instead, they become dormant, and can wait millions of years for access to high humidity or a future water intrusion. Dormant mold can make mold-sensitive persons sick. Even the smell of dormant mold can make some people very sick.
4. ASSUMING THAT THERE IS NO MOLD PROBLEM BECAUSE OF NO VISIBLE MOLD GROWTH. The worst mold infestation problems are often the ones you cannot see INSIDE floors, ceilings, walls, basement, attic, crawl space, and the heating/cooling equipment and ducts. Airborne mold spores are invisible to the eye, very light, and are easily carried in air current movements or in the air flows of your heating/cooling system to mold cross-contaminate your entire house from just one hidden mold problem. Use our do-it-yourself mold test kits to mold-test the air of your basement, attic, all rooms, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling register for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in comparison to an outdoor mold control test. Use a hidden moisture meter to scan all walls and floors for hidden water problems. Use a fiber optics inspection device to check for mold growth inside wall, floor, and ceiling cavities.
5. TRUSTING THAT MOLD REMEDIATION CONTRACTORS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Most mold remediation companies cause and leave more mold problems AFTER the alleged remediation than before their work because of: (a) failure to find and fix all of the mold infestation locations in a home or building due to incomplete mold inspection and mold testing; (b) poor and inadequate training; (c) failure to utilize proper mold containment procedures and effective mold remediation techniques; (d) taking shortcuts that undermine the remediation effort; and (e) sometimes fraud and dishonesty on the part of the contractor. Insist on hiring only Certified Mold Inspectors, Certified Mold Contractors, and Certified Mold Remediators who have been trained and certified by the Professional Certification Institute [PCI].
6. TRUSTING THAT INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE EXPERTS IN MOLD PREVENTION, INSPECTION, TESTING, AND REMEDIATION. The only people who truly care about your family’s health and home investment are you and your family. Although there are many mold-knowledgeable and mold-experienced industrial hygienists, most are not. Hiring an industrial hygienist [trained in industrial safety and health] to find and fix mold problems is often like hiring a dentist to treat your heart problems. Hire a Certified Mold Inspector (Canada) if you value your family’s health and home investment. Some government websites often promote ineffective and outdated mold remediation ideas like using bleach to kill mold. Government employees do not have the personal experience of having to work in the real world to find and kill real mold that is often hidden in home walls, ceilings, floors, heating/cooling systems, attic, basement, and crawl spaces.
7. SPRAYING SOMETHING ON THE MOLD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM. Only EPA-registered fungicides can kill mold, but just spraying visible mold does not solve mold problems. You need to kill all visible mold encountered in mold remediation, but it needs also to be removed from the home or building, and all of the water and mold-damaged building materials need to be thrown out and replaced with mold-free building materials. In addition, the cleaned-out area needs to be treated with “Tim-bor” wood preservative..
NOTE: IN MY OPINION, THE ENTIRE SECTION 8 (AND POSSIBLY 9 & 10) BELOW IS NOT USEFUL TO HOARDER CLEAN-OUTS AND SHOULD BE DELETED FROM THIS HANDBOOK.
8. THINKING THAT A NEW HOME IS MOLD-FREE. Today’s new homes often come with built-in mold infestation problems because:
(a) moldy building materials are received from the builder’s supplier—today’s timbers are not kiln-dried as in earlier times, and thus contain a high internal moisture content that makes mold growth possible in the timbers;
(b) the builder and its supervisors and employees fail to do quality control to inspect for, and thus prevent, moldy building materials from being used in the home’s construction;
(c) the builder stores the inventory of building materials on the outside ground with no plastic sheeting to protect the building materials from rain [which thus supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials];
(d) the construction crew fails to cover the entire home under construction with plastic sheeting at the end of each construction day to protect the building materials from rain [which thus supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials]. The roof and side walls need to be protected against rain until the entire roof, siding, windows, and doors are totally installed to seal out rain;
(e) the builder fails to inspect and test the home for mold growth while it is being constructed and at the home’s completion; and
(f) use of modern building materials like chip wafer boards, drywall (plasterboard), & plywood— all of which molds love to eat.
(g) failure to spray all wood-based construction materials on all surfaces with at least one spraying of the EPA-registered of the EPA-registered “Tim-bor” wood preservative—please visit:
9. IGNORING POSSIBLE MOLD HEALTH SYMPTOMS BEING SUFFERED BY ONE OR MORE FAMILY MEMBERS OR CO-WORKERS. Be concerned about possible mold problems if one or more occupants is suffering from unexplained health problems such as an ongoing itchy eyes, bloody nose, sinus problems, headaches, nose congestion, runny nose, skin rashes, skin sores, coughing, breathing difficulties, difficulty in remembering things and in thinking clearly, feeling disconnected from the world around you, and/or chronic fatigue. Please remember that some occupants may experience mold health symptoms, while others may have none, with all living or working in the same mold-infested area. People differ significantly in their sensitivity to mold.
10. IGNORING HOME MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS & MOLD CLUES. You contribute big-time to becoming a mold victim when you ignore roof leaks, plumbing leaks, sewer line leaks, water stains on ceilings, the indoor smell of mold, visible mold growth, high humidity [60% or more to drive mold growth from humidity alone], a wet or damp basement, and a wet or damp crawl space.
Getting mildew out of clothes…
“Get the product ODOBAN at Wal-Mart.”
“For smell control I sprinkle in some Borax occasionally.”
“Washing things in bleach will take mildew out.”
“The stuff I have is called ’Knight & Hale Ultimate Laundry Detergent with Fresh Earth Scent.’ I think it was about $11 a bottle. And it’s not a big bottle but you only have to use 2 oz. The powder might be good for the books.”