Sara explained that very well!! Thank you, Sara👏
There are a few inspectors who are very good and understand mycotoxins and chemical sensitivities and mold illness. Unfortunately, finding a really competent and like-minded remediator has been much more difficult.
I wholeheartedly agree with what Sara explained about
“killing” mold. Many people in the remediation business falsely believe this is appropriate. It is not. I agree that it is lazy and a sign of ignorance and incompetence.
Some remediators who do understand the concept of adequately removing mold growth and water damaged materials will STILL want to use some kind of antimicrobial products either directly on the affected area or via fogging or even ozone. For chemically sensitive people, these can be very detrimental and some may not be able to re-enter the environment for some time afterwards or possibly ever.
There is also the issue of what is referred to as “small particles.” Mycotoxins are among these but are not the only ones. These are particles that are too small to be captured by HEPA filtration. That means they will escape capture by HEPA vacuuming, HEPA air scrubbers, etc. This is a known scientific fact regarding mold remediation. The problem is many in the industry are not educated in the science and know very little about
the organisms and byproducts they are attempting to remove from the environment.
G. Weatherman patented a product and protocol called Aerosolver to deal with the small particles left behind. I had my remediators use the Aerosolver Pure fogging and wipe-down protocol as the final step in remediation.
Quite frankly, I was surprised by the results. I had been inside the house after they did remediation and before the Aerosolver. I had very bad reactions in the house even in full PPE and could detect the differences in contamination among different areas of the house. After the Aerosolver, I was able to start going into the house without PPE. I was shocked. Unfortunately, I could still detect mold contamination in many areas of the house. Ultimately, the remediation I had done was a failure, as I recently had to flee this house as mold and mycotoxins got significantly worse despite doing many things right and taking extreme measures.
I am apparently far more sensitive than many with mold illness, so it’s possible that things will work out okay for you.
In this house, there were sources of mold growth in almost every room in the house from either a leak from above or in the walls under almost all the windows. The mold beneath the windows was apparently light and scattered, as the remediators declared they couldn’t find or see it. Yet, it was (and still is) there. IMO, it could also be in areas inaccessible such as between 2x4’s in the window framing or between the studs and the sheathing.
Regardless, what they did was not ultimately successful. Initially, the master bathroom felt completely clean to me. The master closet and bedroom felt almost as clean. The master bathroom had been damaged by a leak from above. Everything was removed - water damaged drywall, insulation, toilet, tub/shower, vanity and sink. The whole exterior wall was removed and drywall and insulation replaced.
However, within a few months of moving in (about
8-9 months post remediation), I started noticing a wet dog smell when
opening the bathroom door in the mornings.
A few more months and I was having instant burning sensations in my mouth and face when I walked into the master closet. In the bedroom, I would get burning in my tongue at night and coughing spells.
These happened in the one area of the house that initially felt clean to me. We have had no additional leaks. An inspector came a couple weeks ago and checked everything via moisture meter and infrared camera and detected no sign of leaks anywhere.
What was detected was mold growth in the attic that I believe is new. It is white growth on the rafters and was first noticed by me in Aug last year 2 months after we moved in. What I am experiencing now is I can smell various mycotoxins outside and get horrific symptoms all around the property as the wind blows through the attic and carries spores and mycotoxins out through the soffit vents and all around the property. As it reaches me in the yard or at the street in front of the house, I smell it, get sharp pains in my cheeks, burning sensations in my lips, tongue and mouth, burning on the backs of my hands, liver and kidney pain, wrenching back pain, nausea, abdominal pain, and rage. I experienced similar but less dramatic reactions from the street and yard right after the roof was replaced (when the leak occurred) until the remediation was finished. Even my CIRS knowledgeable and very experienced inspector had no explanation for that phenomenon. I simply figured out that it was toxins blowing out of the attic. With my latest experience and knowledge of new growth in the attic, I am certain of this as the cause.
What I cannot determine is if or to what extent the attic mold and mycotoxins are now affecting the indoor environment, but I feel sure they are. Still, even without that added burden, the initial mold sources still remain in the interior cavities of the house in sufficient measure that I can detect them.
Now, to come full circle here. My remediators were instructed to use dish soap and water, scrubbing or sanding with HEPA vacuuming, and no antimicrobials or chemicals to remove the mold. Either they never removed all the mold in the first place (because they couldn’t “find it,”) or these methods are insufficient for long term success. In light of this and my not being as chemically sensitive now, I might be tempted to use additional measures such as botanical antimicrobials or probiotics after thorough cleaning/scrubbing/sanding/HEPA vacuuming.
It is situations like this where a very thorough, experienced, educated, and intuitive remediator could make all the difference. There are few men and many boys in the remediation business, if you get what I mean.
Post Edited (WalkingbyFaith) : 4/24/2021 10:12:36 AM (GMT-6)