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window molds due to winter

Dangers of Mold and Mildew during the Winter

Unless you live in Florida or some other sunny locale, you’re likely going to be confronted with snow and ice during the winter. Humidity may not be as much of a problem in the winter, but constant snow fall, ice storms, and melting ice and snow can make a slush pile in your yard and driveway and seep into the crevices of your home. It may come in through the windows or doorways, or it may leak into the roof or the foundation. You may even track it in on your shoes.
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molds in the car

Black Mold Cleaner Product Review: Vital Oxide

Vital Oxide is an odorless disinfectant that is also used to kill mold. It is additionally utilized as a deodorizer and is approved by the EPA as a hospital grade disinfectant. I was sent a sample and tried it in two locations. The first was in a car, and the second on an aluminum window.

Because I don’t drive to work very often, my car doesn’t receive as much use as most cars do. This coupled with living in a very rainy place (the coast of the Pacific Northwest) was the perfect opportunity for a little bit of mold to show up on the seats and in the cup holder. So I sprayed it on and scrubbed. The cup holder mold came off easily because it is a non porous surface. The seats however took a bit more elbow grease, but I was eventually successful in removing the mold. A couple weeks later the mold did come back on the seats, but no where near as strong as before. So I repeated the process with success.

My second experiment was on a single pane aluminum window. Because the U-values (insulating properties) of single pane glass and aluminum window frames are both low, this combination makes for a rather cold spot in a warm room. The warm air holds moisture quite well, but as soon as it gets near the window its temperature drops and so does the water, right onto the window. Naturally the water breeds mold. So I used Vital Oxide to clean the window with success. The glass and aluminum are both non porous surfaces so the mold wiped right off.

In general Vital Oxide is a strong and effective mold cleaner. It’s less effective on porous surfaces, but from my experience that is the case with all cleaners due to the properties of mold. It is sold both in a can or spray bottle. I preferred the control of the spray bottle, but understand how the can would be easier to use in tight spaces. Even though Vital Oxide is a little more expensive than most, it is well worth it for one very good reason. Most mold cleaners that I’ve used tend to have a strong and often offensive odor to them, but Vital Oxide has no odor and it removes the smell of the mold.

Brian Reeves co directs MoldBlogger.com with his wife Krystle. As an intern architect living in the Pacific Northwest he often encounters the damage mold can cause in buildings not properly constructed to prevent mold growth.

 

woman with glasses

Black Mold Encounters – A Story about Mold Exposure

My first few months of college became a miserable experience. Not because I had trouble adjusting or was homesick. I became terribly ill. Most nights I obtained very little sleep because I was coughing so profusely that I fractured a rib and would often gag and throw up as a consequence. During class, I always had to choose a seat based on easy exit and carried a plastic bag in case I couldn’t get out quickly enough and my coughing fits turned into gagging and then to regurgitation. I sought medical care with doctors and became an experiment. No one knew what was causing my health problems. I was given allergy medications, steroids, etc. Nothing helped. By this time each cough was terribly painful due to the fractured rib. I remember one night I was so desperate to get some sleep and relief from the hacking that I called home crying. My dad came to visit the next day, and I visited the doctor again.

My sister, who was also my roommate in college, began to suspect something with the air-conditioning filter. She called several times to have it replaced. Finally, after several months it was changed. I began to slowly improve. Eventually I stopped coughing and my rib healed.

More Exposure

Fast forward about five years. My husband and I moved to the west coast. The first two nights we stayed in a building that had visible mold. I had by this time suspected that my problems in college were due to a moldy air-conditioning filter because after this, every time I was around mold I developed a headache, and sometimes other symptoms. By the next morning I had a pounding headache which progressed to one of the worst headaches of my life. Pain medications did not seem to provide any relief. I told my husband that I couldn’t stay in that place any more. I would prefer to sleep in the car.

We found another location to live and I recovered. I still develop symptoms each time I enter a building with mold. I am not sure why my husband or my sister did not have noticeable reactions to mold, yet I felt horrible. I do not know if that first experience in college is what caused my sensitivity to mold which persists today. I do know that toxic mold has ruined and altered many lives. I know that there needs to be a more pervasive awareness of toxic mold and the consequences of mold exposure. I hope we can share more of our experiences and expand the information available that can save others from this life-changing encounter.

Krystle Reeves assists in managing MoldBlogger.com. She has experienced firsthand some of the physical distress mold can cause and hopes to help others find solutions and information for mold-related issues.

remove mold with alchohol

Professional Mold Removal

By Vincent Marone

One of the many frequently asked questions about mold is, “Why does mold grow indoors?” Mold is an ever-present part of the natural environment as its spores, or seeds, are continuously circulated throughout the air in search of a habitable place to start a colony. Mold spores are always both indoors and outdoors. However, mold colonies grow indoors when its spores find a damp, dark, and humid environment to thrive.

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