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mold, moldy house

What to do if you are Stuck in a Moldy House

The world is fast changing as we deal with things we have never had to experience in our lifetime. It can seem overwhelming to process and change our lives so quickly, but is important to not let stress overtake us and paralyze. Rather, let us focus on the things we CAN do to make this transition easier and more productive.

Many of us are confined to our homes for an indefinite amount of time. This can be a positive thing as we get to spend more time together as a family and do projects that maybe we never had time to do before because life kept us too busy and consumed. However, if we happen to be restricted to a house that contains toxic mold, this can have a very negative impact on our health and well being. Until things return to “normal” and we are able to get professional help with a mold infestation, it is crucial to do what we can to create the healthiest space to spend this time.

Open the Windows

Thankfully, it is springtime and warming up in many places affected by the novel coronavirus. This allows many of us to begin opening our windows and allowing the fresh air to penetrate our homes. This fresh air can help dilute the airborne mold spores and create a healthier environment. In a time when respiratory health is so crucial, it is important to note that “fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing action of your lungs.” 1 It is wonderful that something so simple as opening our windows can improve our lung function and cleanse the indoor air!

Turn on the Air Filter

Not everyone can open their windows, or keep them open for long, due to heating costs, noise pollution, etc. However, many people can use a HEPA air filter to improve the indoor air quality, especially when we are all spending so much time in our homes. Air filters can help clean the air we breath each day, and lessen the mold we are inhaling into our lungs.

Boost the Immune System

So, while it is important to reduce the mold you are breathing in your home, it is also a good idea to avoid moldy foods, and focus on eating foods that actually help the body deal with mold. Thankfully, we have lists of foods to eat, as well as ones to avoid that you can check out. It is probably a good idea to practice healthy eating habits as much as possible during this time, which also translates into the body being able to better manage any toxins that we may be exposed to in our homes.

Balance Your Humidity

You may want to investigate if your mold issue is coming from high humidity levels in the home. High humidity levels can often be a contributing factor or cause of mold growth. 2 The EPA suggests reducing humidity levels to 30-60% indoors (ideally 30-50%) to decrease and prevent mold. A simple dehumidifier can help reduce the humidity in your home to be less inviting to mold growth. If you think your humidity is too high, and can’t get out of your homes right now due to the quarantine, you can hop on over to Amazon and check out the selection there. Just be sure to get the correct size for your space.

Fix Your Leaks

If your mold issue is not from high humidity, it is likely due to a leak. Is your roof leaking? Do you have some plumbing that is allowing water to escape to where it shouldn’t be? Now is a good time to do a little detective work and find the source that is feeding your mold. If you are able to fix the issue during quarantine, or at least temporarily fix it until a plumbing or roof repair can be made, that might be a good project to do while we wait to be released into the public again.

Whenever you are dealing with a repair due to mold, it is important to note that the EPA recommends that any mold problem larger than 10 square feet be examined by an expert. So keep that in mind, especially if you heave health issues or respiratory problems. In the mean time, doing our best to stay positive and keep healthy homes during this situation is crucial.

mold diet

3 Potent Anti-fungal Foods for Mold

Exposure to toxic mold can wreak havoc on the human body. Sometimes, when a person is continuously in an environment with high levels of harmful mold it can cause symptoms and health issues that can be difficult to reverse, even after removing the mold from the surroundings.

Mold Symptoms

Mold symptoms can come and go. Often, the symptoms worsen or return when you are in a moldy home or building. Some of the common mold symptoms can include the following:

  • headache
  • a tightening in the chest
  • burning sensations in airways
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • fits of sneezing
  • nose bleeds
  • skin irritation
  • stuffy nose
  • watery or itchy eyes
  • wheezing

Sometimes the exposure can cause more serious and chronic conditions, such as the following:

  • asthma
  • autoimmune disease
  • cold and flu symptoms
  • emphysema-like disease
  • fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraine-like headaches
  • muscle aches
  • nosebleeds
  • pulmonary hemorrhage
  • rashes and dermatitis
  • sore throat
  • vomiting and diarrhea (especially in infants)

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health-care practitioner. However, it can be difficult to diagnose a mold-related illness. Make sure to check your home or work place for any signs of mold and relate any connection to mold and your symptoms to your doctor.

There are many wonderful anti-fungal foods that can help boost the body as it recovers from mold exposure. There are also some foods that are often contaminated with mold or potentially encourage mold growth, that should be avoided while trying to recover from mold or fungal issues. We will be examining three foods that can be helpful in dealing with fungal or mold concerns.

Antifungal Foods

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most well-known medicinal foods, with a host of benefits and uses. One of those medicinal qualities is a compound called allicin, which is recognized to have potent anti-fungal properties.

A great way to add some more garlic to your diet is by adding it raw (allicin is damaged by heat) to a host of different dishes, or as a topping. To gain the most allicin benefits, be sure to chop or crush the garlic about 5 to 10 minutes before consuming. This enzyme needs a little time and exposure to the air to reach its peak medicinal levels.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is highly impressive in it’s anti-fungal qualities. Studies show that this oil is known for being effective in against one of the most common fungal infections, Candida albicans. This study shows a huge reduction of colonization of C. albicans in mice with the use of coconut oil. There are more studies that show it’s possibilities with other fungal infections as well.

Coconut oil contains Lauric acid and Caprylic acid, and these fatty acids act by poking holes in the cell walls of Candida albicans, destroying the fungus and stopping the overgrowth.

Try to use coconut oil in place of other oils in cooking and baking. It can also be used as a butter replacement on toast, with a little sea salt!

Ginger

Ginger is famous traditionally for treating many different ailments. It is often a go-to treatment for nausea, stomach upset, increasing circulation, and anti-infammatory relief. Ginger is also known to contain the anti-fugal compounds gingerol and shagelol, which helps it inhibit the growth of C. albicans and supports a healthy balance of bacteria to prevent overgrowth.

A great way to include more ginger in your diet is to make a fresh ginger tea.

Always consult your health care provider before changing your diet, or if you have any symptoms of fungal or mold infections.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016684/ Inhibitory effect of allicin and garlic extracts on growth of cultured hyphae

https://msphere.asm.org/content/1/1/e00020-15 Manipulation of Host Diet To Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida albicans

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080 In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.

mold in crawl space basement

How to Get Rid of Mold in Crawl Spaces

Dealing with a mold problem in your home can be a daunting and scary experience. It is hard to know what to do first in situations that seem overwhelming. However, it is important to tackle a mold issue right away, so that it does not become worse and even more daunting of a problem. So what do you do if you have mold in your crawl space? This article will aim to help you break down the process and guide you in making decisions about your home and mold issues in your crawl space.

Keep on reading!

black mold natural remedy

Natural Remedies for Black Mold

Black mold is a common and toxic mold type often found in homes with some kind of water damage. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding, are frequently followed by black mold, and can bring unwanted damage to homes and human health.

However, just like there is hope for your home to be properly remediated from mold damage, there is hope in getting rid of black mold symptoms! First, lets take a quick look at what black mold is, the symptoms of black mold exposure, and then learn about some natural remedies for black mold.

Keep on reading!

mold risk

Got Mold? 4 Ways to Assess Your Mold Risk

Mold is a common and necessary part of our world. This type of fungus is useful in decomposing organic material, and is part of nature’s garbage disposal system. It is when mold begins growing in places we do not want it (such as in our homes) that it becomes a serious issue that can negatively impact our health and the longevity and safety of our house. That is why it is important to regularly check and evaluate the mold risk of the place in which we inhabit.

Keep on reading!

What is Concrobium Mold Control

Concrobium Mold Control

What is Concrobium Mold Control?

In several articles on the web, readers have been advised on how to create their own mold killer products from natural ingredients, such as borax or essential oils. There is even advise on how to concoct a DIY laundry detergent, as well as some insight into the effectiveness of antifungal supplements and antifungal diets. This is quite possibly because many commercial mold removal products are ineffective and equally—if not more—hazardous to the consumer’s health. Over the past few years, however, one product in particular—Concrobium Mold Control—has held the attention of mold remediation experts. Could this product be as effective against mold as it claims to be?

Keep on reading!
snow mold

Snow Mold in Your Lawn?

As winter melts away into spring, things may start to reappear in your yard that was previously hidden by winter’s thick blanket of snow. You may rediscover that tool that was not put away before the first significant flurries, or just the welcome signs of spring as your perennial bulbs begin to push through the surface. An unwelcome sight, however, may be the appearance of a fungal lawn disease called snow mold.
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checking your house for mold

Checking Your House for Mold

There is quite a bit of contradictory advice when it comes to testing for mold in the home; namely, whether it’s a DIY-type job or one that calls for the experts. But as with most things, it’s not a black and white answer, with different circumstances requiring different approaches. Before we explain further, however, let’s outline the factors that may lead you to check your home for mold in the first place:
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how to keep fruit and veggies fresh longer

How to Keep Fruit and Vegetables Fresher for Longer

Summertime is well and truly here and, with it, the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. But like a contestant on America’s Got Talent who has only two minutes to change their destiny, the window of opportunity for some juicy summer berries or a crisp green salad – before mold and other unwanted visitors mark their territory – is tiny.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a handy guide to ensure your five a day go the distance!
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summertime mold

Your Summertime Guide to Mold

The days are long, the sun is out and the beaches are having their moment; summer is well and truly here. Hooray! Yet, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free, er, BBQ. For with all the fun of the summer comes the added risk of mold.

Yup, that pesky fungal growth really knows how to get everywhere, doesn’t it? Especially at this time of year. This is down to several factors, which we shall now explore:
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prevent mold

The Importance of Clean Air to Prevent Mold

Clean Air Day 2018 came and went last week, but it got us thinking:  If mold thrives off elements present in the air we breathe, surely there must be a connection pertinent to our cause. And we were right.

One of the largest factors in mold survival is the amount of moisture in the air, as it can – and will – grow anywhere and on any substance that dampness is present.

But did you know that, as well as causing mold, excess moisture in the home can also contaminate the actual air, too? Just think of the cold, musty smell often accompanying it. And according to Global Action Plan – the organizers behind Clean Air Day – mold in the home is a source of air pollution itself. Yet the relationship is actually more complex, as if mold is present, toxic particles will emanate from it and infiltrate the air you breathe – not to mention the fact that damp itself causes water vapor, which in turn encourages microbial growth, leading to yet more mold in an ongoing vicious cycle. Thus, this two-way relationship emphasises how important – both for the cleanliness of the air and the actual, tangible things surrounding it – controlling the level of moisture is.

Monitoring the levels of humidity in the home, therefore, is extremely important, and most experts believe that erring on the lower side of the 40-60% recommended bracket will help to prevent the build-up of mold – thus keeping the air clean, too.

But there are many other things you can – and should – do to reduce the growth of mold and – by extension – keep the air around you clean. You can breathe a (toxin-free!) sigh of relief, as we’ve done the hard work for you:
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mold growth

How Does Mold Grow and What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth?

What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth?

Keeping mold from growing in your home is an important consideration for a healthy, safe environment to live. The first task in keeping mold at bay is discovering what areas and conditions might encourage mold growth. Molds are pervasive everywhere, and thrive in wet conditions. How does mold grow? Mold grows best when moisture and humidity are present. When mold spores encounter a damp surface most advantageous for fungal growth, they can begin to grow and thrive.
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the smell of mold

What Does Mold Smell Like?

What is that smell?

There are numerous aromas our olfactory organs are subjected to each day. Whether it be the smell of food cooking or baking, the distinct aroma of herbs or essential oils, or the unpleasant reek of yesterday’s trash, our nose encounters a host of various scents, both appealing and unappealing. While our sense of smell has many purposes, it is often overlooked as an alarm system. In fact, when it comes to personal safety, our nose is an excellent source for warnings against danger—not just burnt toast. Are there smells that can alert us to potential health hazards or signal that the environment we are in is not safe? Certainly. Aside from the distinct smell of smoke or gas, mold’s pungent odor is a helpful indicator that your health, as well as the health of those living with you, is at risk.

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baby allergies mold

Mold and Babies – The Importance of Mold Removal

Is Your Baby at Risk from Toxic Mold?

This time of year brings lots of sneezes and wheezes to young babies as the warm weather is replaced with colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer with seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and flus. You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is actually worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.
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diy mold removal

DIY Mold Removal vs Professional Mold Remediation

DIY vs Professional

Are you a “DIY-er” at heart? A lot of people love the thrill of taking on home projects from building their own furniture to remodeling a kitchen. DIY can be a great hobby, involve the entire family and save a lot of money. But what about when it comes to major issues like mold remediation?

Mold inside your house is a serious condition. If you’ve seen some or suspect it in your home, you may be wondering what the best method is to remove it. No matter what, mold is definitely different than your typical home maintenance project. When it comes to mold remediation in your home, should you try to DIY or should you call in the professionals?
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mold in houston

Essential Steps to Take After Your Home Floods

Hurricanes, Rain, and Mold

What happens to a city when a storm system dumps an entire year’s worth of rain in just 3 days? In late August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston, Tx and surrounding areas. The storm left 33 trillion gallons of water on U.S. soil before finally weakening. As you can imagine, the flooding experienced in Houston was intense. Many lives were lost. Homes were ripped apart, bridges collapsed and dams gave way. Even though the hurricane is now in the rear-view mirror, the health catastrophe continues to unfold in slow motion. While the focus of the news was on the shear amount of rainfall in the city (upwards of 50 inches in some locations), mold will be an issue for months and potentially years to come.

So, the question remains: after the wrath of a big storm has passed, what should a homeowner or renter do to keep mold from growing in their homes? Here are the essential steps to consider after your home has been flooded.
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mold expert

MoldBlogger Interview: Lisa and Ron Beres

Q. Being advocates for healthy homes, how often do you get contacted concerning black mold and how to remove it?

Lisa: We get contacted quite often for mold inquiries from people all across the country, but most people are unaware if they actually have mold, the scope of the problem or how to properly remove it. Many people will experience hay fever like symptoms, but if they can’t see visible mold, they tend to think it doesn’t exist or isn’t a real threat.

Ron: We always start by advising the person test, not guess. Too many people unknowingly put themselves and/or their loved ones in danger by ignoring the visible signs of moisture or water damage and/or a musty smell. They assume it will go away on its own. Many people wait too long before addressing the root cause of the issue – typically a leaky water source.
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mold types and classes

A Closer Look at Mold – Types, Classes, and Tips to Clean it

A Closer Look at Mold – Types, Classes, and Tips to Clean it

  1. Mold can grow almost anywhere! You might not see it but it could be there!.
  2. All types of mold prefer areas low on light and high on moisture – behind drywall/sheetrock, within wallpapers, carpeting, bathtub stains and etc.
  3. Mold spores or mold toxins can be present in food without you ever knowing.
  4. Many anti-biotics are manufactured thanks to mold types like Penicillium & more.
  5. Baking soda, borax, ammonia, oregano oil, neem seed oil, they all can help you clean up and get rid of mold, but bleach and peroxide will not handle Class A types of mold.
  6. The early stage of being sick from Mycotoxin will show no physical symptoms but it can affect the brain cavity.
  7. There is no such thing as mold allergy. You either fight it as a virus, or you end up sick (or even very sick).
  8. Mold toxins are even more dangerous if you use steroids, anti-biotics or even immune suppressing products.
  9. Candida Albicans is detected in the stomach and mouth of 40% to 60% of adults.It emits toxins, able to cause cancer.
  10. Most types of mold prefer to grow in a low pH environment, while Candida does it at pH of 7.
  11. NOBODY IS IMMUNED TO HEALTH RISKS FROM MOLD TOXINS!

Yellow. Green. Brown. White. Black. Mold comes in these and many other colors, just like a box of crayons. However, unlike crayons, these invasive fungi are nowhere near as fun to work with. If your property has been affected by this highly persistent growth, simply wiping it away will not solve the issue. Below, we will discuss the effects of mold on health, its common varieties, and the cleaning techniques that you can use to prevent the growth from coming back.
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