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Stachybotrys Found In Apartment, Now What?

Editors Note: Names removed to provide anonymity. 

Question


We found stacc. in our apartment 3 months ago. For a week or two before I found the mold I had started feeling generally yuchy and as soon as we moved I felt better. My 1 yr old and my husband showed no symptoms.

We stayed with friends while we looked for another place. We found another apartment and had it mold tested. The test results were good and we moved in. We had lived there for 10 days when we found a black spot behind the paint in the bathroom.It turned out to be stacc. too and we moved back in with friends.

We have been living with friends for 2 months straight now while we look for a new place to live. We have toured dozens of places and they all had obvious mold somewhere. One place didn’t and we had it tested and they found 1 stacc. spore. We had two more places tested this week and they came back o.k., but while we were waiting for the test results the landlord rented the place to someone else.

We are just at our wits end. We will have to put our stuff in storage, find someone to care for our dog, and move to another friend’s house in a week if we don’t have our own place. What should we do?!? We are tempted to just do a careful visual inspection of an apartment, buy a high quality air filter and call it good. What do you think? Is that reasonably safe or would we be taking too big of a risk with a toddler in the house? We are just ready to have our own place to call home.

Answer


It sounds as if you’re between a rock and a hard place. As you have checked various houses, its possible that its the area in which you live that’s causing the severe mold growth. Severe weather changes, lots of humidity, etc can cause mold to grow.

You were right to get out of your apartment when you did.

My best advice to you would be to, as you said, do a visual check on the home you’re looking at renting, and of course in many cases there will be a noticeable smell as well. By filtering the air, as well as looking into a dehumidifier you will be able to atleast minimize the chances of mold growth.

I wish you the best, and hope you find the mold free home you are looking for.

Joslyn Wold
MoldBlogger.com

When Mold Attacks Your Rice Cooker

It’d been one of those busy weeks in the Wold family. Between work and school, Joslyn and I hadn’t had much time to clean up our kitchen. The small gang of fruit flies looking a little too much at home in our kitchen was a sure sign that it was time to clean.

We went through a bunch of dishes and made excellent progress. Down near the end of the line, I reached for another dish and stopped immediately as my nose caught a strong wift of unpleasantness. I looked through the dishes, trying to figure out what it was. Then I saw it.

The Rice Cooker.

Some good friends of ours had given us a beautiful rice cooker as a wedding gift and it had served us well. 15-20 minutes and fresh, perfectly cooked rice is served.

The past weekend, Joslyn had cooked rice to take on a Church outing and we’d forgotten to empty the leftovers when we returned home.

Our beautiful rice cooker was in trouble. As I opened the container my gag reflex kicked in and I braced myself to help dinner stay down.

It stank bad.

Here are some photos of the mold for your viewing pleasure. To ensure safety (and because of technical limitations), the smell has not been added.

Naturally, we weren’t about to lose such a nice rice cooker. We took the following action:

  1. Initial Cleaning – After washing the rice down the drain (thank you, insink disposal), soap and water took up a thorough attack, cleaning the rice cooker well, inside and out.
  2. Secondary Cleaning – For good measure, I went at it with soap and water again, noticing that the smell was still lingering around.
  3. Smell Elimination – I took a bottle of “Veggie Wash” (an organic mix, made up of citrus and coconut extracts) and sprayed the container generously. The citrus kicks in almost immediately and, in addition to helping with the smell, sends the citrusy goodness to fight any last lingering bacteria.Tip: You can pick up a fruit & veggie wash at your local grocery store in the produce section. A fresh lemon, cut, squeezed, and rubbed over the affected areas would do the job as well.

And voila! Our rice cooker is back.

Another fight against mold (albeit a small one) successfully won.

Jonathan Wold
MoldBlogger.com

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