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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How to test the molds in my bathroom

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Author Topic: How to test the molds in my bathroom
Terminator
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to know if they are bad for my health?

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We will win

Posts: 135 | From California | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wtl
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We hired someone to come in to collect air sample to compare with the outdoor air. And then that person also did the visual inspection. But my understanding is that, depending on the day the samples are collected, the result can vary.
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Terminator
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I had never heard of that. I thought people put little stickers one the molds they see, then send those stickers to specialized labs to have them analyzed. Supposedly, good labs can tell you if the species of molds present in your house are very bad for humans, or not too bad.

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We will win

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TF
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If you see mold in your bathroom, you need to get rid of it. It is not good for your health.

Some molds are a real health hazard. You can pay a professional to tell you if the mold you have is a health hazard or not.

I got mold inside my ear once and the ear doctor told me that this mold should be reported to the Health Dept.

There was a crack in the basement wall in the house we were renting, and black mold (not a lot, but it was easy to see) was growing on that crack. Water seeped in a little there.

The furnace sucks air from the basement and blows it all over the house. So, what happened in my case was that the furnace sucked in the mold spores when they became airborne (like a dandelion bloom when it turns white and puffy and flies around in the air) and blew them all over the house. Some landed in my ear.

The doc said that someone with a normal immune system will fight off that mold if it gets in their ear.

I didn't fight it off. So, the mold grew in my ear. The day it shot off its spores in my ear, I got the most excruciating ear ache immaginable. I had to leave work and go immediately to the doctor, the pain was unbelievable. (The doc took some of the black mold out of my ear and showed it to me.)

The ENT said that this is the most painful condition they see in their practice. He gave me narcotic pain killers to take along with the medication to kill the mold.

We moved out of that house. So, don't treat any mold as safe. That is the safest way in my opinion. Kill it with Clorox or other mold killers and do whatever it takes to keep it from coming back.

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Terminator
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I heard of professionals coming to your house to test the type of mold present, but I thought you could do it yourself with the strips.

the only place you could see molds was in the crack in the basement? And that was enough to contaminate your ear? wow! some molds are no joke. my immune system is already a disaster.

How did the doctor knew it's a kind that should be reported to the health department, did he send it to a lab to analyze it?

finally are the meds used to treat molds? or what did he give you? is cholestyramine used? Did you try to get the landlord to pay for your move and medical care?

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Posts: 135 | From California | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
july
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I had recently been to an allergy clinic and have moderate to severe sensitivity to molds and other things like chemicals since being diagnosed with lyme.

I was told that I need to have the molds in my home cleaned up. How is that possible when your home is over 100 years old, your basement is always damp, and you can't afford to hire someone to do it? I'm sure it is probably in the walls also. Do you think it is something homeowners insurance might cover?

Doctor told me to use bleach in the basement, but how long does that last?

I know mold is bad for you.I think it's possibly a contributing factor for some of my neuro like symptoms, pain, fatigue?

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TF
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The mold grew on the crack which was over 1 foot long. The mold grew down the crack about 8 inches. It was just a thin strip of black on this crack on the wall.

I never went into the basement except about once per month. So, we ignored this, especially since it was a rental house.

I can only say that this ear doc knew by looking in my ear what kind of mold I had. Ear problems are his specialty, after all.

He told me then and there to report this house to the Health Dept.

I don't know what he did with the sample he took out of my ear. All I know is that it was totally black like the black mold on that crack. And, I know that it was excruciating letting him do it.

Each time his little tweezer touched the inside of my ear, the pain was excruciating. He knew it too. But, he still wanted that sample for some reason. So, he got it and showed it to me.

The meds killed the mold in my ear. They were ear drops. The doc said it could be difficult to clear. In my case, I didn't have much difficulty. But, I believe I used those drops for at least a month, as he prescribed.

Cholestyramine was not involved. This all happened before I got sick with lyme.

The entire 3 years we rented that house, I had nothing but ENT problems. I was going to the ENT every couple of months. I was getting sicker and sicker.

Then, we bought a house. Settlement was 2 weeks after I got the mold in my ear. So, we just left there and forgot the entire thing.

Once we left that house, all my ENT issues went away. I didn't need to visit an ENT for years after that. So, that shows you how bad mold can be.

My husband had no problems with it, however.

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TF
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july, here are some things my husband has done in our basement to totally rid it of that little bit of mold that will grow on the joints between the block on the walls during a rainy spell:

--buy a dehumidifier for the basement and run it continually to get the air in the basement into the "dry" zone. Mold needs a moist environment.

(If you have a sump pump, do NOT put the dehumidifier near the sump. Move it far away from it. Run a hose from the dehumidifier to the sump well and let the water from the dehumidifier drain into the well. Then, you never have to worry about emptying the dehumidifier.)

--when he saw mold begin to grow on the walls, he scrubbed it off with bleach or other mold killing products you can buy at any store

--finally, as a permanent solution, he put drywall on the lower half of the wall that always got the mold. This is the waterproof drywall that they use in bathrooms. I believe he also put some kind of sealer on the wall before the drywall. I believe he glued the drywall onto the wall and also screwed it on. I believe wherever he put a screw, we noticed moisture come through there. So, I believe he put some sealer on those spots before he painted the drywall to match the wall.

You can also pay a waterproofer to do this type of thing for you. (Maybe some unemployed waterproofer would do this for you at low cost.)

Now, we no longer have any mold at all grow on our basement walls.

Look it up on the internet. You should be able to find instructions on how to do this yourself.

If you are sensitive to mold, this will really help you, I believe.

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Carol in PA
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quote:
Originally posted by july:

How is that possible when...your basement is always damp...


We finally got a dehumidifier for our basement when we realized that it was damp.

Wow, what a difference!

Carol

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july
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I have been wanting to get one for some time now, but they are so expensive. A friend of my sister was in the process of moving and had just bought one last year and didn't need it anymore. My sis bought it for me for $30.00 just a few days ago.

Do you think it will help with the main level of my house also, if it is in the basement?

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july
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TF - do you know what kind of sealer your husband used. I've seen some stuff called drylock or something like that. I just want to make sure it is something that WILL work before I spend any of the little money I have. Thanks for the tips.
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seekhelp
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TF, I just got a dehumidifier a couple of months ago after out basement flooded due to a sump pump failure. [Frown] It was a VERY costly accident I still shiver about. I didn't have insurance for the accident.

I am reading your suggestions. When you say put the dehumidifier away from the sump pit, can you elaborate how much away in feet? Most of the external hosing I see for these units are 5 ft in length. Must it be more?

Thanks for the tip. This is very relevant to me.

Posts: 7545 | From The 5th Dimension - The Twilight Zone | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wtl
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Seek - I put the dehumidifier on the other end of the basement corner. I think the thought is that, if you place the dehumidifier close to the sump pump well, it just sucks all the water out of the well instead of the air. Make sense?

So just put the dehumidifier as far as your basement allows.

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TF
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seek, wtl has explained the rationale for not putting the dehumidifier next to the sump pump well.

We put our dehumidifier next to the wall that got the moisture. Just put the hose from the dehumidifier into a garden hose and run that to the sump well.

july, hubby thinks he used drylock on our walls. Then, he glued cement board on them, also known as ceramic tile backer board.

Scrub off the mold with clorox whenever you see it. That could be good for a month at a time. Hard to tell. If your basement walls are too damp, the drylock may not work.

The cement board is expensive and so are the other needed supplies (glue, etc.) and you have to know what you are doing to install it, calk the joints and tape them, etc. So, doubt you will have the money or expertise to do that step. It is an awful lot of hard work.

If you have stone walls or uneven walls, you won't be able to glue the cement board to them.

At least check the room where you sleep for mold. If it adjoins the bathroom and there were water problems in the bathroom in the past, there could be mold in that wall your room shares with the bathroom. You may be able to see the mold, or you may have to open up the wall to see it. You would not want to sleep in such a room or keep your things in that room unless you first got rid of the mold.

Maybe you could move to another room. My friend moved her 2 year old daughter out of such a bedroom and it made an enormous difference in her mold allergies.

Likewise, if there is a leaky roof, you could have mold growing from that.

Once you assess where the mold is, then you can figure out the best next step. If it is just in the basement, maybe the dehumidifier and scrubbing off the mold when it appears will work for you.

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'Kete-tracker
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Not sure just which molds are "bad" for your health, but you can easily view bathroom mold... on a toilet seat, say, by using a small ultra-violet or "black" light.

I use a small U.V. LED keychain light, but you could use the kind for rock/ mineral examination. It can even be a fourescent blacklight "party" lamp (used to make posters glow).

Darken the bathroom & examine the toilet seat with the lamp. Many (not all) of the molds & funguses are "flourescent" to some degree & will glow (typ. yellow/green) upon exposure to UV.
A great way to tell if you've cleaned/ disinfected the toilet well. ;-)

(But be prepared for how much you'll see glowing if it hasn't been cleaned off in awhile!)

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karenl
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sickbuildings@yahoogroups.com
there is more info for mold

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karenl
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Did you read your insurance policy? Hidden mold is often included.
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17hens
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You don't need clorox to kill mold. All you need is white vinegar.

My husband's cousin owns a small construction company and recently became certified as a mold inspector (tests the air, etc.)

He told me he puts white vinegar in a spray bottle (maybe diluted a bit w/ water - I'd have to ask him as I don't remember exactly) and sprays the mold.

The vinegar kills the mold and then he wipes it off.

He said if you have a damp basement, the carpet must be removed and anything in boxes must be moved to plastic bins and the boxes discarded.

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"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26

bit 4/09, diagnosed 1/10

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