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Roof Leaks & Mold Problems

       Q. Feb. 3, 2012. OK, I will buy all of your mold advice ebooks.   We own our home, an old schoolhouse in Vermont, one big room with loft space above and additions on both sides.  The dirt floor (covered with plastic, big mistake) under the living room is just 1 1/2 feet down.  The kitchen addition is over a crawl space, also with plastic and mold under the plastic.  the bedroom addition to the other side is only on piers, plastic over the dirt and pulled up with a surround of foam and flashing material on the outside so it sort of looks like it has a foundation.  The bedrooms smell much like a porch over dirt does, ugh.  There have been roof leaks over the years so there are places that the sheetrock is clearly carrying mold.   Mold grows behind the shower space--- a nightmare.  I've been chronically ill and homebound for about 13 year now, lyme disease but even with treatment just got worse so I'm sure this mold has something to do with it. I am leaving next week to stay for 3 weeks in a clean apt, don't want to bring anything that has spores on it. I thought i should mention we had an ERMI test done, results were level 7 (I've been told that someone with chronic illness should get out if it is above 2). These are the molds found in sample of 5 mg dust from various places in the house: apsergillus penicillioides:   spores E./mg dust: 23; aspergillus restrictus:  9; eurtium (a) amstelodami:  19; cladosporium sphaerospermum:  20; paecilomyces variotii:  1; wallemia sebi:  426; alternaria alternata:  2; cladosporium cladosporioides 1:  59; epicoccum nigrum:  31.---Vermont home owner.

     A. You were very wise to move out of your home in view of your serious mold health problems and the severity of the mold infestations therein.  I would recommend that you and family members not move back until you have done proper mold remediation to get rid of the mold health threat.You were also wise to sample the carpeting for mold infestation using the ERMI test procedure. Your house’s ERMI score and report is certainly very high, indicating a serious mold problem. ERMI is the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index - the combination of EPA research, powerful Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, and a new method to screen homes for mold. Based on recently published data from EPA researchers and the 2006 HUD American Healthy Home Survey, the test has been developed as a tool to evaluate the potential risk of indoor mold growth and associated health effects.  Although this effective test is usually done by using the DustChek™ cassettes  in combination with a hand-held HEPA vacuum cleaner on carefully measured carpeted areas in two rooms of a home, mold consultants Fry and Montero also use ERMI testing for other areas where airborne mold spores settle such as the top edges of window and door frames, tops of kitchen cabinets, and other seldomly-cleaned areas. Testing landed mold spores is much more indicative of the true extent of home mold infestation than the commonly-used 15 minute air sample test. If you want to buy DustChek™ cassettes with mold lab analysis of your sampled cassettes, please email Phillip Fry. What have you done to find and fix the roof leaks?  Roof leaks lead to extensive mold growth inside the attic, ceilings, and walls.  In view of the really bad mold dangers existing in your house, you need to take big mold remediation steps before moving back in.  Start by running the Bio3Blaster ozone generator at least two hours in each of the separate crawl space areas, the attic, and in all living areas of your house. High doses of ozone gas will go along way to kill mold growth in those areas.  Ozone blasting is especially helpful to you in the low-ceiling, inaccessible crawl space areas. After ozone blasting, use a fogging machine ($100 to $300 upward on the net, such as the Hurricane fogger from to fog large quantities of boric acid powder (using the mix formula explained in the boric page of Mold Mart).  Do boric fogging for at least two hours in each crawl space area, attic, and living areas (after removing all furnishings for separate cleaning outdoors by scrubbing all furnishings, fixtures, appliances, and personal possessions with boric mix to remove landed/deposited moldspores).  In the attic and crawl space area, you will leave the dried boric crystals as an excellent mold preventative.  In your living areas, after the boric has been dry for 24 hours, you can use a HEPA vacuum to vacuum off all deposit/landed boric crystals (unappealing visually inside your living area). As far as the mold-infested drywall, remove and discard all moldy drywall, including 4 ft beyond each moldy area in all directions.  Once you have removed the drywall, you will likely find extensive mold infestation therein, which also needs to be removed by proper mold remediation. Please read the 25 steps for safe and effective mold removal. Please email me with any follow up mold remediation questions, you may have. Best wishes, Phillip Fry, mold consultant, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator

I'm hoping you can help me regarding a mold problem in a home we are renting in San Ramon, CA.  When we first went to see it, It smelled a bit musty and dusty and I was told this was due to being closed up for awhile.  I didn't see any signs of mold.  We were told the place had a new roof and new double-pane windows, which we thought was great.  There are some black stains inside the house on the wood frame below the windows and we were told there had been leaks so double-paned windows were installed.  I asked if it was mold and he said no. Also, a built in air cleaner had been installed in the heating unit.  We thought this was a good thing.   So we moved in on July 1, 2003, opened the windows, had the carpet cleaned with a type of cleaning that uses carbonated water, dries in about an hour or two, cleaned, etc., etc.  Still, the musty smell.  The owner had moved into a "Senior" retirement home, and the son was renting it out.  He mentioned "roof leaks" and a lawsuit, due to faulty roofing materials.  He said this house didn't have roof leaks.  That sounded good. A few days go by, I cannot go into the bedroom, cannot breathe in there.  I have to sleep in the den.  I think if it keeps airing out it will be better.   There is a good cross wind and so all of the windows are opened.   I am putting clothes in the closet and see a stain on the ceiling.  I poke it with an umbrella, plaster falls, there is some sort of tape, which I pull,  and underneath is dark stuff.  This is not good.  Over the next day or two we find about "20" plastic air "odorizers" in closets, cupboards, under sinks,  in every room.  Now I work at a homeowner's association office and am getting quite an education about mold and roof leaks.  We tell our new landlord that we think there may be a mold problem and want to get it checked out.  I can't help but think that there was a major roof leak here, the windows leaked, there is mold in the walls, and/or inside the roof (it is a high roof with a space between the ceiling the the top of the roof).  I am beginning to think the water stains on the wood below the windows inside the house is a black "mold".   For all we know there is mold in the walls, in the insulation, etc... I want to write to our landlord and tell him I'd like to schedule a "mold inspector" to come out as soon as possible and he should pay for it.  Is he obligated to pay for it?  Can I do this?  Does it sound like mold to you?  We have health symptoms that could be attributed to the presence of mold; sinus, bloody nose, low energy, even the dog is having some symptoms.  Different people have come into the house and can smell mold, mildew, immediately. We have mentioned to our landlord that we think there is mold.  How could he not know this?  He has not offered to get someone out to check.  [August 19, 2003]

A. The existence in the past of serious roof water leaks means your rental house is very likely heavily mold infested in most or all of your ceilings and walls, making a big house-wide mold problem that has resulted from the roof mold problem. Your family is suffering from mold health symptoms and you have also found visible mold growth, and you smell mold.  If you need further documentation of the serious health threat you are facing, use our do it yourself mold test kits to mold test the air of the various rooms of your rental house, basement, attic, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register. What you are testing for is the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, which, if present, especially in comparison to an outdoor control test, means your health is at risk. Use do it yourself mold test kits from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store. Hire a Certified Mold Inspector You will have to pay for your own mold testing to document the problem. When you have our mold lab analysis that documents a serious mold problem in your rental house, you and your attorney can pursue whatever legal rights you may have against the landlord for damage to your health, mold contamination of your clothing and personal property, and the expenses of moving. If you expect the landlord to pay for testing, that won't happen. Most landlords do not care about the health damage of mold to their tenants. Thus, most landlords will not spend the often substantial sums involved for professional inspection, testing, and mold remediation. If you value your family's health, move out as soon as possible. Do not move any of your clothing or personal property without first mold decontamination in accordance with the precise instructions provided in the mold book Do it yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide.

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Read the 5 mold advice ebooks in the Mold Library Combination, for a combined discount price of only $49.00 [$75.00 if bought separately]. Combo package includes: (a) Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation, $15; (b) Mold Health Guide, $15; (c) Mold Legal Guide, $15; (d) Mold Home Remedy Recipes, $15; and (e) Mold Monsters, $15.  All helpful ebooks are delivered to your designated email address by email attachments only within 12-24 hours of your order. Order Now!

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480-217-7173 USA
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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970