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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Moving from a moldy house

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Author Topic: Moving from a moldy house
n.northernlights
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I am asking for someone else, ill with lyme, and her house was very moldy in the basement. Aspergillus niger.

I tried to tell her she cannot take any belongings with her.

She is moving in the beginning of next year.

But what do you say?

Can she wash and clean : dishes, wooden table, table, furniture, clothes, bed, papers/files/books

How to wash and clean things?

Posts: 366 | From Europe | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steve1906
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We've all seen them — those white, powdery spots that coat cardboard boxes stashed in a damp basement or black gunk that lives in the corners of the shower. It's mildew — a mold that feeds off fabric, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, wood, or any organic surface exposed to excessive water and in areas with poor ventilation and no direct sunlight.

A small amount generally won't make you sick, but if you don't stop it in its tracks, the mold is guaranteed to spread. "It can ruin household valuables and even trigger an allergic reaction," says GH Research Institute home-care director Carolyn Forte. To prevent the growth of mildew, try these Institute-tested strategies.

Washable Fabrics
Is that wet towel you left in your gym bag speckled? First, take it outside, brush off the mildew spores (a stiff brush works best), and sun-dry the item for about three hours. Then, machine-wash whites with chlorine bleach or presoak colored fabrics for 30 minutes in liquid nonchlorine bleach. Rinse and launder. (This method also works on plastic shower curtains and liners; just skip the first step and launder in warm water using the gentle cycle.)

Paper
To rescue old books, air the pages outside on a sunny, breezy day for three (or more) hours. Once they're dry to the touch, brush off the mildew with a dry cloth. To remove any remaining stains on books, wipe gently with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 4 parts water (wring it well first). Repeat the process using another soft cloth dipped in clear water to gently sponge away the chlorine; don't rub or oversaturate the paper. Pat or fan-dry the pages. You can speed up the drying process by sprinkling cornstarch (or baking soda) on each page to absorb remaining moisture, then wipe it off with a soft, clean paintbrush.

Upholstery, Mattresses
To remove that musty smell caused by mildew, try this simple four-step plan:

1. Vacuum the entire item and toss the vacuum filter and the bag when you're through. (Mildew spores can escape into the air the next time you vacuum.)

2. If any stains remain, sponge the surface with a cloth moistened in 1 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 cup warm water. (Note: First do a spot test on a hidden area to make sure the fabric won't be damaged.) To rinse, do a second wipe-down with a water-dampened sponge.

3. Sun-dry the sofa or mattress for several hours to remove odors, or use a fan.
4. Spray with a disinfectant like Lysol to kill spores that can linger in thick padding. If your furniture still smells musty or stains reappear, throw the item out.

Painted Walls
Mildew can quickly take root on walls, especially if the ventilation is poor. At the first sign of growth, mix 3/4 cup bleach with one gallon of water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply with a soft scrub brush. Let the solution penetrate for 15 minutes before rinsing with clear water. Dry thoroughly with a fan for about a half hour. If stains reappear, you may have to replace the wallboard.

Wood
To remove mildew from wood cabinets, paneling, or furniture, vacuum the loose spores with the soft brush attachment. Then clean small areas using a well-wrung cloth dipped in a few squirts of dishwashing detergent and a gallon of water. Rinse with a clean water-dampened cloth and dry immediately with a fan. (Don't oversaturate the wood; it could warp and damage the finish.) If a cloudy film forms, wipe the area with mineral spirits. Otherwise, apply a thin coat of paste wax to restore the shine and protect the finish.

To reduce moisture — and prevent mold buildup — install a dehumidifier in your home.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/prevent-mildew-jun02

--------------------
Everything I say is just my opinion!

Posts: 3529 | From Massachusetts Boston Area | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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Yes. Some items may be saved but some cannot - if she has MCS. And, with lyme & mold exposure, she simply cannot handle this as someone without these health complications.

Her immune system is very different and she cannot afford to take this problem with her to her new home.

Many items of clothing, etc. cannot be washed as one might think, even with bleach - and by trying to do so can "contaminate" others. They will have to be discarded, very carefully. Not even given away. Nagy's site, talks are very helpful at sorting out how to do this, what can and can't be saved and how to specifically discard so that others aren't affected.

Some Papers & Books will likely need to be destroyed in a special manner, too. Family photos would need to be "treated" Album bindings discarded.

See Lisa Nagy's website for the best advice. I'd also see if she could be called upon for counsel or suggest someone with her knowledge base near where your friend lives.

Of course, some molds are worse than others but where lyme & MCS come in, it's not just the "black mold" that can cause severe repercussions.
-

[ 12-12-2013, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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-
http://lisanagy.com

Lisa Nagy, MD -

(She is NOT A LLMD, however, she understands the kind of toxicity issues faced by many with lyme. She did not have lyme but overcame very serious MCS from MOLD. She had to move and discard many household items - in a very careful manner. She spoke at the 2011 & 2012 annual ILADS conferences.) Those DVDs are available. Vital to see.
-

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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-
http://ciin.org/mcs.html

About MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities)

. . . Disorders of Porphyrinopathy . . . [there is Porphyria detail in the Liver Links]


http://ciin.org/

CIIN - Chemical Injury Information Network


http://www.ei-resource.org/columns/multiple-chemical-sensitivity/

Environmental Illness Resource


http://www.ehcd.com/

The Environmental Health Center - Dallas, Texas
-

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Judie
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For mattresses, there are cleaning companies that can come to your home to thoroughly clean the mold out. They completely encase the mattress when they clean it and no mold spores spread around.

It's the same process that's used for hospital beds. I'm chemically sensitive and they used fragrance-free products that I didn't react to.

Also, some rug cleaning companies will clean mattresses. You usually need to drop it off for that.

We've had to deal with this twice (2 locations. 2 different issues, not mold coming back after a cleaning). The rug company even used biokleen products. No mold and a nice, super clean mattress afterwards.

Both cost around $100.

Wood can be cleaned by spraying hydrogen peroxide, wiped up quickly (don't let it soak), followed by vinegar. They work at opposite ends of the pH scale to kill mold so don't combine. (test an area of the wood first)

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n.northernlights
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I have to ask her if she is very sensitive...I told her she might have to leave everything.

Dunno how bad it is,have to ask.

Here is an old topic i found here
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/74573

Judie, thanks for letting us know that it can be cleaned

this is in europe

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TerryK
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If she has the difficulty that many of us seem to have (genetic issue detoxing mold toxins) that is a much more difficult situation. If she has that problem she would be better off getting rid of most things.

Doing anything to cause the mold spores to become airborne is a big no no if you can't get rid of the toxins.

Thieves oil can be used to pull spores out of the air It can also be used to wash clothes and hard surfaces.

In general, wood and other porous surfaces cannot be saved.

There are many posts here in the archives for more information.

edited to add:
porous surfaces usually cannot be saved because mold has tendrils that grow deep into the surface (wood etc..). Surface applications of mold killer will not kill it

Terry

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lpkayak
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this thread is upsetting to me. i am sure some of what is said is not true. i have a long history with mold and have learned a lot.

it is true you can clean glass and plastic because you are cleaning mold and spores off it. the rags and water etc you use will still be contaminated with mold.

there is no way a product will kill mold. to kill it you have to desimate it-i know im spelling it wrong-but you have to use dry ice or sanding machines to tear it up

you would do this if it is on framing ...rarely on furniture never on sheetrock...possibly on siding...depends how deep it got

the products can make it go dormant...but as soon as environment is conducive to mold it will come back

all the mold remediation companies will say they are killing it but they arent unless they dry ice or sand

one really important thing is to find the chart that says what temp and humidity molds will grow at. the new house must be kept in a way the molds cannot grow. and sunlight vs dark is important too...but if temp and humidity are not right it cant grow.

this is general mold info. many of us with lyme are much more susceptible than others-that is true

i have posted about this before and put links to where info came from---i really cant go back and look now

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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oxygenbabe
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It depends, and each situation is individual. Nonporous items are okay (glass, metal, very polished or sealed wood). Mattresses tend to be contaminated and since you're sleeping on them, not worth it. Pillows can be easily replaced.

The type of mold and how your body handles it and the amount of toxins it produces are important.

Items in question, clean and put in storage until you've moved and feel better. Then go and spend some time with the items and see if you feel worse.

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lymednva
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Mattresses, upholstered furniture, except leather, thins like baskets, books, all need to go. I just walked through my home this morning with the remediation company noting what was going go permanently and what could be cleaned properly.

There's a ton of info on this site: www.survivingmold.com.

--------------------
Lymednva

Posts: 2407 | From over the river and through the woods | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beaches
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Agree with kayak, terry, oxygenbabe, lymednva.

Things like mattresses, papers, linens, furniture made from particleboard, damaged sheetrock, carpeting need to be discarded. And discarded in a way that does not introduce mold spores into the rest of the home.

Our remediation company used high heat to kill the mold we had in the basement (once all carpeting, soft goods like pillows and stuffed animals and particleboard furniture was discarded).

They told us that the items in sealed plastic bins were OK to keep. Most of that stuff is non-porous. Other things I keep in plastic bins like Christmas linens go through the wash before I put them out. Hopefully, this is a safe practice.

We have a heavy duty humidifier down there now to keep the humidity level low enough that mold doesn't grow. This is critical as kayak pointed out.

We now have a leather couch down there as well as a kind of plastic flooring that looks like wood. No more carpeting, no more upholstery/fabric furnishings in the basement.

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oxygenbabe
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sickofthepain, I think it's in the old testament somewhere, to leave a moldy house...

So some mold was always bad.

However lots of molds are benign especially for a healthy immune system, and the way houses used to be built, they didn't have particle board, tyvek, fiberglass, wall cavities, drywall with cellulose and plywood subfloors--all food for really bad toxic molds. They were drafty and not tight sick buildings. So if they had some mold, it was basically the same as the outdoor mold, and not such a bad thing. And it didn't grow in secret, unseen.

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lpkayak
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i hope beaches meant she has a DE-humidifyer in the basement

i lived with out rugs for awhile but just found some made of something that mold wont eat. i was afraid the fumes would bother me but they didnt.

http://www.blair.com/e/eastwick-reversible-braided-rugs/4077.uts#

they are cheaper on amazon and ebay

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sickofthepain
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Thanks oxygen. I can see how things are different. There are so many chemicals in things these days too.

I didn't know that passage.

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hopingandpraying
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I was curious about the passage in the Bible re: moldy houses, so I looked it up. Very interesting!

http://www.mold-investigations.com/mold-in-the-bible/

"The following is an excerpt from the Old Testament on what to do if you have mold in your house. Notice the Lord did not advise to simply paint over it or use bleach.

Depending on the extent of the mold growth, an owner may be able to safely remediate the problem themselves or it may require professional help.

Leviticus 14

33 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land,

35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house.’

36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.

37 He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.

39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town.

41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.

43 “If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean.

45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes.

48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mildew has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone."

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beaches
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LOL kayak, good catch! I meant to say dehumidifier of course.

Never understood why people used humidifiers. I know that moist heat is good if someone is sick, but after reading all the problems associated with humidifiers, I'll pass.

HandP, had NO idea mold was a topic in the bible! Holy cow! That was an interesting read.

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