Frequently, I talk to patients who have moved from highly contaminated mold environments to what they believe is a clean environment. They are bewildered as to why their fungus-related symptoms persist.
The first thing that I ask my patients is, “Did you take anything from the old house to the new one?” They almost always answer yes. Then I ask them if they have cleaned those items with an antifungal agent and they almost always answer no. What people don’t realize is that these items have likely become mold generators and are contaminating their new environment.
What you must understand is that there are certain right conditions for mold growth, including:
- humidity above 50%,
- having a fuel source, and
- being out of direct sunlight.
As the mold grows spores are released into the air that can then settle in every nook and cranny in your home. Often you can neither see nor smell these spores.
That means if you take things from a contaminated home like clothing, furniture, or even books to a clean environment you are bringing the live fungus with you. This is important so don’t miss this: Since those items have acclimated to an environment that promotes mold growth they will continue to have the same growth attributes until they are properly cleaned. And if they are highly contaminated the items may not be salvageable whatsoever. You can use mold screening test plates to ‘tap’ test items you are planning to move with you.
You have to ask yourself a question. Is your health worth whatever you are thinking about bringing with you?
Now, I understand that for most people it is impractical to replace everything you own to escape a mold problem. I have some tips and can recommend tools to help you decontaminate your belongings so that you to keep your clean environment safe.
1. At the very least you should wash your clothing with antifungal agent such as EC3 Laundry Additive. If your symptoms are moderate to severe. You need to replace you front loader washer with a top loader, because you simply cannot get rid of the mold in them long term. If your sinusitis symptoms are slight, EC3 Laundry Additive will help prevent the mold problem these units are known for. Run a cycle with 1 cup Clorox alone using hot water, small load, then a cycle with 1 cup of baking soda alone, small load, hot water. Do this weekly. In addition, I recommend treating the seals with EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate on a regular basis since the Laundry Additive does not reach the exterior portions of the seals during a normal wash cycle. If you moved from a moldy environment, after washing and drying clothes, put them in a sealed plastic container. Do not put them back in with non-washed clothes until the clothes container (drawers or closet) is thoroughly sprayed and cleaned with EC3 Mold Concentrate.
An easy trick to help you automatically know what to do in decontamination is replace the word “mold” with the word “lice”. If you imagine all your belongings are contaminated with lice, you automatically know not to put the contaminated items with the non contaminated items!
2. If your sinusitis symptoms are SEVERE discard contaminated fabric items like sofas mattress, pillows, etc. If you want to try to save them get someone else to HEPA vaccum them then spray them with EC3 Mold Concentrate. Then firmly tap test the surface with a mold plate, if it grows more than 2 colonies you can try the cleaning process again, or discard it. If your sinusitis symptoms are MODERATE to SLIGHT, for hard and soft surface items you can use EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate to eliminate mold spores. You should make sure these items are completely dry before putting them away. A dehumidifier can be very helpful in this process. By putting one in the room with the drying items you can reduce their moisture content to below 50% which inhibits any new growth.
3. Finally, tap testing of items is a great way to make sure that your personal effects do not continue to be a problem. It is also a very good idea to conduct an air mold load test BEFORE YOU MOVE IN, and even before you commit to a new lease or purchase, to make sure that there is not an unseen mold problem in your new environment. If your mold symptoms are severe and your prospective property purchase has passed the mold test, it is good to get a trained environmental health specialist to inspect it prior to purchase to that you will stay well in your new home and not waste a lot of time and money on a serious mistake.
Remember, mold has the power to contaminate everything you own and the only way to regain your health from mold related disease is to remove it from your body and your environment. That is why the best course of action when moving into a clean environment is to leave everything behind until it can be properly cleaned.
For more information on our products, please visit us at www.sinusitiswellness.com.