Special Issue for Water Damaged Homes
Addressing Your Home’s Mold Issues Immediately for the Safety of Your Family Members and Guests in Water Damaged Homes
By Cesar Collado
Following any natural disaster is overwhelming and a very large undertaking. In addition to removing the water damaged furnishings and building materials, repairs may involve the expertise of plumbing, HVAC, and mold remediation professionals to ultimately solve any significant indoor air quality problem. This takes time and money. I have been asked by several readers if there is a quick “band aid solution” to immediately address the fungal load in a home for immediate relief and for the benefit of their family members or guests.
There are some additional solutions that can help make your home immediately safer for your family and guests, especially during the Holidays. These solutions are temporary; however, many people, such as renters or apartment dwellers, may not yet have direct control of the finances, maintenance, work and schedules. The following action steps can help them manage mold on a day-to-day basis to keep the fungal load in their air low while awaiting repairs or more significant remediation.
Step One, Option 1: Spraying your Living Area with EC3 Mold Solution
You can mist your entire living area with EC3 Mold Solution Spray or Concentrate mixed per bottle instructions. It is a safe, all-natural, botanically-based solution, so you do not have to worry about toxicity that comes with chemical solutions or the sticky residues that linger with some polymer-based products. Your local hardware store carries gallon-size pump sprayers in the garden section. These are originally intended for pesticides, but are extremely effective in spraying a fine mist of the mixed mold solution.
EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate is a proprietary mixture of citrus seed extracts that have been used for decades by professionals for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. Spraying a fine mist over your carpets, upholstered furnishings, and surfaces will decrease your fungal load in the air for several days, depending on the amount of mold you have in the room. The mist will provide tiny beads of the solution to coat your furnishings without penetrating the materials or saturating and making it wet. A thorough HEPA vacuuming to collect the microscopic cell remains should follow after the mold solution dries. These dormant mold spores may carry toxins that can be inhaled, so using a sealed HEPA-filtered vacuum is imperative. Regular vacuums disperse microscopic particles back into the air. Spraying the area with the mold solution is the most cost-effective action step; however, spraying is not precise in measuring the mist.
Step One, Option 2: Cold Fogging Your Living Areas
This is the “hands down” favorite method of many mold sufferers for treating a living or office area for mold spores. Physicians who treat mold often fog their offices and even themselves with EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate after treating a full days-worth of mold patients. These patients often bring mold into the offices via their clothes, hair, and bodies. Keep in mind, that many professionals who have dedicated their practices to treating mold have had personal experience with mold illness too. Daily removal of mold and mycotoxins is imperative to keep the mold counts down to a safe level.
We recommend the Curtis DynaFog SANI+TIZER. This Model is the first ULV (Ultra Low Volume) sprayer specifically designed to efficiently apply antibacterial, deodorizing, and mold abatement solutions. The Sani-Tizer can be adjusted to apply either an ULV aerosol or a residual spray that wets all surfaces. The mist can distribute particles as small as 5 microns that can settle on surfaces, attach to dust, and evaporate or up to 50 micron mist which will leave a light wet residue without penetrating surfaces. It has a durable design, weighs only 6.6 lbs, holds one gallon (1 bottle of EC3 Mold Solution Spray and 48 ounces of distilled water) and has a precision particle-size nozzle that can produce mold solution particles as small as 5-50 microns. Mold spores in the air average around 10-30 microns, so the particles can also attach to mold spores in the air as well as on surfaces. While it is costly to purchase, the effectiveness and efficiency of the fogger cannot be understated, and it will eventually pay for itself. I have fogged a 4000 sq. ft. home as many as 8 times before having to refill the Sanitizer’s tank. You simply spray everything from 10-30 feet away with a wand-like movement. The fine fog also gets into cracks and crevices with even distribution. Then, let the mold solution air dry and HEPA vacuum afterwards to remove mold spore remains. You can also rent a different brand of mold fogger from your local hardware store. I have done that effectively; however, the Sanitizer is the best long-term solution in my opinion. It is durable and easy to use.
Step Two: Use EC3 Air Purification Candles
Burning EC3 Air Purification Candles will eliminate mold or mycotoxins in the air. Simply burn multiple candles in living spaces for several hours prior to spending time in those areas. After 3 hour’s burning time, EC3 candles are able to diminish the fungal load in a 600 square foot space by 90%.
Step Three: Avoid Tracking Fall Leaves Inside From Your Yard and Driveway
Fall leaves are one of the greatest sources of mold being tracked indoors. As the leaves fall during the damp fall months, the wet decomposition of the leaves allows mold spores to reproduce at alarming rates. Whether it is you, your guests, or pets walking through a leaf-covered yard or driveway, doing so will surely bring mold spores indoors to settle on carpets and furniture. Raking and clearing leaves from your front yard will minimize this issue. It is recommended that anyone sensitive or allergic to mold use a NIOSH rated N95mask and gloves while raking your yard as the activity disrupts and releases an enormous load of mold spores into the air. I have also used my lawnmower with a bag to mulch and pick up leaves in an efficient manner. It still requires a mask and gloves for protection. Alternatively, You can always hire someone else to clear your yard
Step Four: Remove Shoes and Coats Upon Entering Your Home on a Coat or Shoe Rack Near the Door
While this may seem controversial, there are many reasons for not wearing shoes inside your home. Shoes can track in bacteria, toxins, and mold. This is especially important if there are small children or immunocompromised guests in your home. Surprisingly, in my experience, most guests will understand and will not mind the minor inconvenience, unless their shoes are required for foot health. This practice also helps to prevent wear and tear to your flooring. Removing coats upon entry allows you to eliminate the risk of mold being transferred from them to your furniture and furnishings.
Each of these steps can make for a safer and healthier holiday season, especially if you are hosting guests. Putting your health first and keeping your indoor air as free as possible from active mold spores will make a big impact on your overall outlook and wellbeing. If you have a water damaged home and you are unable to leave while it being addressed, fighting the mold spore battle on a daily basis may be your only option.