Toxic Black Mold Inspection, Testing, Removal, & Prevention
in Midwestern and Eastern USA and Canada by Environmental Hygienists and Industrial Hygienists Phillip & Divine Fry

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Email phil@moldinspector.com   ►Phone USA 1-810-639-0523 or 1-480-310-7970
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Mold Problem Advice Questions and Answers

Picture of bathroom exhaust duct mold growth in Philippines.
Advanced mold growth inside the duct of a bathroom exhaust fan in an expensive condominium in Makati, Philippines. Picture taken by Certified Environmental Hygienist Divine Fry, April, 2011.
Picture of mold growth on the bottom of wood furniture in Philippines.
Mold growth on the bottom of wood furniture, resulting from resting on wet marble floor of an expensive mansion in Makati City, Philippines. Water is wicking up through the concrete floor from the dirt below to wet the marble floor and anything on the floor. Picture by Certified Environmental Hygienist Divine Fry, April, 2011.

For free email answers to your mold questions, please email phil@moldinspector.com
or phone Phillip Fry Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616

     Q. May 27, 2011. My wife and I are looking for legal representation due to serious health problems from black mold exposure. We are renting a nice home that is run by a local property management company in Louisiana. Along with several incidents and breach of contract agreement due to negligence by this company, the exposure to mold/fungus and other harmful mycotoxins has been a nightmare. I have been sick since December with symptoms worsening each day. Had gone to different doctors, specialist, and emergency rooms and was continuously misdiagnosed up until about 5 weeks ago. When I went to a certified health practitioner in Lafayette, I found out that my body was completely damaged by the mold exposure. After personally taking air samples in each room of the house under direction of the doctor, we discovered the extent and severity of our problem. After sending pictures of the air samples (Petri dishes) to the doctor, she evaluated each concluding we have at least 42 molds, yeast, & fungus including Stachybotrys Altra, Dendrodochium Toxicum and many others. Immediately after she analyzed the samples she called my wife extremely worried, upset, and begging us to get out of the house. My wife is experiencing most of the severe symptoms I have had. My symptoms are worsening with new symptoms occuring the last few weeks. If we stayed in this house any longer I can't imagine what would happen. The doctor stated if I wouldn't have been young and healthy when I moved in, the symptoms and affects could have been deadly. We are moving this Friday and hoping to have representation. We will be breaking the lease and knowing how crooked the owner of this property management company is based on his previous attitude; he will try to take action against us.  What suggestions do you have?
    
A. You and your wife are so unlucky as to be renting a mold hell. You are wise to move out this week as you plan. Do not move any of your furniture, clothing or other possessions without thoroughly washing and scrubbing them outdoors with borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, or much better in effectiveness, boric acid powder, available at the Mold Store, so that you do not mold cross contaminate where you move to. Yes, you would be smart to have the entire house thoroughly mold inspected and tested by a Certified Mold Inspector while you still have access to the house you are vacating.  Be sure the inspector does mold testing of the outward air flow from many or all air con duct registers for likely elevated levels of mold spores. With the huge number of mold health problems you are experiencing and the large number of identified mold species growing in the house, you can be almost guaranteed to find extensive mold infestation inside the air con equipment and ducts.  Also be sure the Inspector takes lots of mold questions, properly marked as to their precise locations in the house. You would be helped big time if you read my mold advice ebooks Mold Health Guide and Mold Legal Guide, only $15 each for email attachment delivery to you from http://www.moldmart.net. The Mold Legal Guide has a good section on how you can find a good mold attorney to represent you against your moldlord.  I'm here to help you so please send me any follow up mold questions you may have. Sincerely, Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator.

     Q. In the months of Oct-Apr we have heavy condensation on our windows which has resulted in a lot of black mold.  I have tried to scrub it off with bleach and water, but it is stuck along the seams of the window.  Do we need to have all of our windows replaced?  Can I hire someone to sand and refinish them and would it stir up spores? Also, how do I know whether this is a really bad mold?
    
A. You need to first determine the cause for the heavy window condensation that causes the mold growth. The most likely problem is high humidity that develops during winter months when your windows and doors are usually closed, trapping and accumulating indoor air moisture. Buy a digital hygrometer [about $30] from the thermometer section of Home Depot, Lowe's, or a large hardware store. Take and make note of the humidity readings of the different areas of your home throughout the year in all living areas, plus your attic, crawl space, and basement. The best humidity level is 30 to 40%, a level that discourages mold growth. If the humidity is more than 50% in any area of your home, the higher the humidity at above 50%, the more air moisture is provided to strongly facilitate mold growth and mold infestations in your home. The next step you should take is to do mold testing of the air in the various areas of your home, including attic, crawl space, and basement. You can use Mold Inspector's do-it-BEST-yourself mold test kits with laboratory analysis. For more info, please visit: Mold Test Kit. Or you can hire a Certified Mold Inspector to do a thorough home mold inspection and mold testing. Bleach is not an effective way to clean and kill mold. If you or someone you hire is going to remove mold contamination safely and effectively, please follow the mold remediation tips and suggestions provided at  Mold Remediation.

Q.  We moved into our home in 1984. The windows are covered all the time with black yuck and I believe it's black mold. No matter how much I clean - it's still there, plus we have  mold in every corner of the bedrooms. Anytime anything is left on the floor it smells musty. My problem is that my husband is HIGHLY allergic to mold and our one son has had breathing problems most of his 11 yrs., and my husband won't replace the windows, carpet,etc. because "we don't have the money". I feel we can't afford not to and after reading some of the Q&A -we should probably move ourselves. Will most insurance companies help pay for this under the homeowners policy? Oh, and that part of the house is on a slab. HELP!!!

A. This first message is for your husband: listen to your wife about the wisdom of your family moving out of your mold-infested home until the home has been completed inspected for mold, tested for mold, and has been mold remediated to make your home safe for your family living. Continued occupancy in a mold contaminated residence will destroy your family's health permanently---what price or value do you place on your and your children's health? Moreover, continued mold growth will destroy the home. Homes can become unsellable due to mold problems and the high cost of mold removal and mold remediation.  Since you are on a limited budget [as are most families who are facing serious mold infestation nightmares], you may have to do your own mold testing and mold remediation. Your insurance company will probably take the position that your mold problems arise from poor home maintenance on your part. For mold growth to even be a possibility for insurance-paid remediation, the mold damage must be directly caused by a sudden water problem that is specifically insured against in your homeowner's insurance policy.  As a guide to doing your own mold testing and mold elimination, your first step should be to read Phillip Fry's detailed recommendations in his book Mold Buster Tips. You can order this book on the home page of Mold Inspector.

Q.  Prior to buying our house 4 months ago, we had it inspected by a home inspector. The house was given a "thumbs up". My concern about our house has only risen because a friend of mine rented a house which was later determined to have black mold. We have not had any visible evidence of any type of mold nor have we been sick (which I assume would be the first indicators). There has not been any indication that our house would have mold (flooding, water damage). My question is, after having been here 4 months, would we be sick by now if the house did have black mold?

A. The absence of common mold health symptoms [visit: Mold Health Effects], no visible mold, no known history of water problems, and you have had the home examined by a home inspector [next time also hire an inspection by a Mold Inspector] all add together to make it unlikely that you have a serious mold infestation in your home. Please be aware that you may have mold growing inside walls, above ceilings, beneath floors, in attics, and crawl spaces that have not yet produced health problems for your family. If you want to be even more assured that you have no problem, hire one of our Certified Mold Inspectors to inspect inside walls, above ceilings, etc., and to do air testing of the various rooms of your home plus attic, basement, and crawl space for evidence of water problems and mold problems. Please read the webpage:  Mold Inspection

Q. Nov. 21, 2002. I have had a mold problem since 12/24/01 when I had a water line break in the house flooding the kitchen, dining and bathroom. When I filed a claim, the insurance company wanted to do some minor work replacing part of the wood floor, painting that was it. We live in Redlands Ca, semi arid dry low humidity climate. Well the mold grew and the cabinets started to turn black and rot the floor lifted. They still ignored the problem now after almost a 11 months. I  retained an attorney and they have gotten a little better and finely have done a mold test. It came back positive with Chaetomium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Ascorspores, Cladosporium and Basidiospores. They sent a crew out, contained the area. Removed the walls and cabinets and treated the framework. They left some kind of a Hepa filter that supposedly  moves 20000. cfm run for 4 days. Then they returned for a re-inspect placed a small canister in the area with the filter running for about 10 minutes. Called me 48 hours later and said it passed. All while we lived in the house. My questions are. 
1. Should we have stayed in the house for 11 months utilizing the kitchen and bath as normal w/ mold in the areas?
2. What should the insurance company be doing and have done? 
3. My daughter whose bedroom is closest to the exposed area became ill during the time and medicine was $300.00?
4. Should the re-test have been done with the filter off for several hours and shouldn't a visual also be done before the (plastic) been removed.?. What is the industry standard?
5. Where should I go from here?. They're still dragging their feet. 
6. Should we test the whole house?  
7. Should we be seen by our doctors for health concerns?

A. Because no Certified Mold Inspector from our nationwide mold association has provided mold inspection and mold testing services for your home, our company is not able to answer several of your questions which seek FACTS and FACTUAL CONCLUSIONS about your home as your desired answers. The information provided in your email about what has happened to your family and home is sufficient to answer some of your questions. Before a mold clearance test can be done after the completion of a mold remediation project, the hepa filters must be turned OFF for at least 24 hours PRIOR TO the clearance testing so that the large hepa filters don't minimize the real extent of any remaining mold contamination problem by constantly removing air spores from the air of the mold infested area.  Second, taking just one mold sample for a clearance testing is very inadequate testing. Third, it is much better if the clearance testing is done by an independent mold testing company, and NOT by the mold remediator company [which has an obvious bias to test in a way NOT to find any remaining mold infestation problem]. Fourth, usually people should leave a mold-contaminated home as soon as possible and not return until after successful, documented mold remediation results. Fifth, you would be very wise to have your home thoroughly inspected for mold and tested for mold, at your expense, by a Certified Mold Inspector who will provide you with an unbiased mold inspection and mold testing. Visit: Certified Mold Inspectors. Then you and your lawyer will know the real truth in dealing with both your mold removal company and your insurance company.

For more mold advice Q & A, please visit:
[Mold Law] [Mold Advice p. 2] [Environmental-Mold] [Mould-Italy]
 

Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, and mold killer, for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com. You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.

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