|Mold Prevention & Clean Up|
This page contains educational material about Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome due to a water damaged building (CIRS). This is a biotoxin illness that is caused by mold and the interaction between mold, bacteria and chemicals used in building materials. Other biotoxin illnesses have similar signs and symptoms. They are also treated similarly. Some of them are discussed on this site. This information is for educational purposes only. Nothing in this text is intended to serve as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made only with the guidance of your own personal medical authority. I am doing my best to get this data up quickly and correctly. If you find errors in this data, please let me know.
Usually, a person does not try to prevent CIRS or Mold Illness until they have already experienced it. Some lucky folks have relatives that have experienced CIRS first and they are warned. The smart person takes this warning seriously. If you have a close relative with CIRS, I suggest checking your HLA DR Haplotypes to see if you are susceptible to mold. If you are susceptible it is in your best interest to do the following.
Get a Mycometrics DNA test on any building you purchase for home or work if you have a genetic susceptibility to mold. Additionally, get a Mycometrics DNA test on any building you rent to live in or place your business in.
If your home or work has water damage, be sure to get it cleaned up and dried within 48 hours. If it is not cleaned up and dried that quick there may be mycotoxins released from fungal growth that can alter your health. Tear out all wet material that can not be dried within 48 hours. It may seem terrible, but it is worse to get sick.
If there is mold in your home or work and you begin to have signs or symptoms of mold exposure, get that area remediated. Some of it may be able to be cleaned up with proper cleaning agents but it also may need to be torn out. Beginning symptoms can be as simple as feeling like you have the flu all the time or just feeling continuously fatigued.
When you are susceptible to mold you should be careful what you bring into your home. Antiques are very suspect. Be careful of "used" items that you buy or are given. Even new gifts that you are given by a person living in a moldy house can cause you trouble. Anything that smells moldy should not be brought into the house until it is cleaned properly. Also look for visible mold on items or dark stains that may be from mold having been on an item. Clothing, towels, bedding etc., that smells moldy should be washed with a bleach or hydrogen peroxide product such as "Country Save Oxygen Powered Bleach." Sometimes you need to let the item soak in Country Save or other H2O2 product for 30 minutes to make sure it is clean. I have even done this with a cloth lampshade and it worked. Then I dried the shade quickly so it would not re-grow something while wet. Visitors bringing in luggage or other items may bring in something moldy, so you should examine their items. Let people visiting know you have an issue and that you will need to sniff and look at their luggage and other items for mold. Most people susceptible to mold will smell mold on things. There are some types of molds that won't smell, but many do.
Cleaning items that are moldy is a bit tricky. You can only clean items that have non-porous surfaces. So you can clean sealed wood but not bare wood. Cleaning products are also difficult to use. Bleach does work, but it is not something most folks want to use on their dinning table our their electronic components. Additionally it is too strong for some people to be around. Products with quaternary ammonium compounds can be used but they may also bother some folks depending on the brand and other additives. These are usually products made for hospitals to use as a cleaning agent. Quaternary ammonium compounds are cationic detergents, as well as disinfectants, and as such can be used to remove organic material. They are very effective in combination with phenols. Quaternary ammonium compounds are deactivated by anionic detergents (including common soaps). I have found these agents are the least harmful to sensitive items and can be used on most household goods that are non-porous. Hydrogen peroxide also cleans up mold, but it has to be so strong that it can damage your skin and sometimes things you would put it on. Folks use anywhere from 7% to 17% usually depending on what they are cleaning and how hard it is to clean it. All of these things can be hazardous to use. If you are going to use them rather than hiring a professional to clean your household items, you will want to wear proper protection for your skin and a proper mask for protection of your respiratory tract.
Water Leaks: All water leaks in houses, business, cars etc. need to be attended to stat. Remember mold will start to grow in 24-48 hours and then becomes more of an issue to clean it up. Get to it before it starts putting out spores and contaminates the whole house or car etc.
House Sinks: Beware of kitchen and bathroom sinks. Be careful of any leaks in these areas as they often go unnoticed and can be pinhole leaks that mold starts growing on. Often people think of water coming from outside of the house, but leaks from inside can be just as bad. This includes plumbing in the walls and floor.
Cars are another source of mold. Be especially wary of the air intake and conditioning system. You might notice that the air conditioning or heating bothers you. Cars can get mold in them from leaving windows open or a leaky trunk also. Here is a really good article on how to prevent mold in your car as well as how to clean it out of your ventilation/ductwork system. It is expensive to clean the car ventilation out if you take it to someone else to do the work. Before purchasing a car, find out if the bran tends to have problems with mold. For instance I have seen many people complain about the Toyota 4Runner which seems to easily grow mold in the air conditioning system.
Barns and Greenhouses are another source of mold. I find that most of them are moldy. In fact, farms in general are all moldy according to Mycometrics due to the activities on the farm. They claim most farm houses are also moldy as people bring mold in from other areas. I am really careful when I go in my barn to cover my hair with a hat beforehand, wear a mask and when I get into my house, I change my clothes when I walk in the door and throw all my outerwear into the washing machine.
Mold Prevention Tips
For details on preventing moisture in a house, what to do when there is moisture and how to remediate a moldy home, go to this link.
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