how to determine black mold | best mold remover

Is there any landscaping challenges on the outside wall? For instance, a low depression with a bad gutter system or heavy mulch and organic material (add a little bit of precipitation) will quickly pile up the water table in small areas where the rain cannot evaporate and drain-off. And, if stucco is present, then the excessive moisture will settle in behind it with the inner wall providing a source for continuous mold growth.
Your Basic PPE (personal protection equipment) kit should include a minimum of safety goggles, protective coveralls with a drawstring hood, safety gloves, boots and a N-95 respirator (can be found at most local hardware stores).
Very useful! I tend to have bad reactions from toxic chemical cleaners. A lot of times the smell sets off a migraine. When I had black mold in my bathroom I was desperate for an alternative and found out about vinegar – and later tea tree oil. Oh, I wish I had found your hub sooner, but I swear by these products and my house is never without them. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Reponen T, Vesper S, Levin L, Johansson E, Ryan P, Burkle J, Grinshpun SA, Zheng S, Bernstein DI, Lockey J, Villareal M, Hershey GKK, LeMasters G. High environmental relative moldiness index during infancy as a predictor of asthma at 7 years of age. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011;107-120-126.
If you have a mold problem in your home you are probably suffering several of the symptoms of mold. In fact many people suffer symptoms from mold and don’t even realize it, instead assuming their symptoms are from hay fever or a cold.
Clean up after a flood right away. Floods can often lead to mold because there’s a lot of water that comes in at once, and it’s not always possible to clean it all right away. After a flood, the steps you should take as soon as possible to clean include:[17]
Lower the humidity. Mold thrives in humid environments where the moisture levels are above 50 percent. To prevent mold, install a hygrometer and keep and eye on the humidity levels. When it gets too high, ways to reduce humidity include:[15]
If you find mold in your home which looks like toxic black mold you should have it professionally tested to be certain. It’s important that you determine whether it’s mycotoxin-producing toxic black mold or a non-toxic species of mold. Once you know for sure then you can plan how to remove it.
Exposure to low concentrations of formaldehyde may cause eye, nose or throat irritation, rashes, breathing problems, nausea, asthma attacks and allergic reactions. And formaldehyde causes cancer in animals and humans.
If you are at all concerned about airborne particles contaminating your face, there are N95 rated masks that you can purchase at your local home improvement stores that can offer a bit more protection.
1) Are you seeing a connection of the CIRS lab values and HLA mutations to other issues such as heavy metal toxicity? 2) If CIRS labs are out of range with HLA gene mutation and had a long-term past WDB exposure, can you recover without protocol over time? Will the labs remain out of range without treatment?
If you choose to do the inspection yourself you need to look into hidden areas like inside of wall cavities. Toxic black mold needs a lot of water to grow so especially check spots where there could have been water leaks.
Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains. Borax is also used as an insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and it can be mixed with water in a solution to kill and remove mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a year-round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that is effective at killing black mold spores and getting rid of mildew throughout the home. It will work for you equally as a cleaner and as a mold prevention agent.
Toxic black mold mycotoxins can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a person’s skin or eyes. Eventually the mycotoxins then find their way into the person’s blood. This leads to heart damage, problems with blood clotting and internal or external hemorrhaging.
Try a chlorine sanitizer you can pick up at a swimming pool company. The chlorine is much more concentrated than bleach. Mix with water at the rate on the bag if dry chlorine, or if liquid chlorine, at the rate described for a “shock” treatment for the pool. Then be generous with the wash: make sure the infected area is wet with the wash so it can soak down into the wall or floor material (OSB flooring could suffer swelling and warping – see article above). The chlorine will oxidize the mold and bleach it white. White means the mold is killed!
Many patients “don’t look that bad.” But those people are struggling with an illness that causes them to lose their quality of life. These patients don’t know that they have a genetic susceptibility to develop this illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). They don’t know that the inflammation that makes them ill comes from within: it is due to an assault by their own unregulated innate immune system responses. Because of exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building (WDB), these patients will have a series of abnormalities in innate immune responses that will not self heal; will not abate in severity [actually increase!] and will continue to cause illness from blood- and tissue- based inflammation as well as alteration of the regulation of fundamental genomic activity. At the core of why one person becomes ill from this exposure and another doesn’t is their gene susceptibility (or predisposition) – what is built into their DNA. Every person’s innate immune system is personal and genetically coded – thus, it works differently for each of us. When the body is faced with a foreign substance, it immediately begins to process that substance – recognize it, determine if it is good or bad, a friend or a foe, and throw it into the antigen presenting machinery that will normally generate an effective antibody response. If the body determines the substance is a foe, it will develop antibodies to bind these substances, called antigens. Normally the next time a non-mold susceptible person walks into a WDB, his antibodies will target the antigen and clear it out fast. That protection from so-called acquired immune responses just doesn’t happen in mold patients.
Remember! Ammonia is a skin and eye irritant and its fumes are quite toxic. This mold killing agent is poisonous and could prove lethal when ingested or its fumes are inhaled. Especially, in non-ventilated areas without the use of a respirator.
Get a picture of it and take it to your local board of health and have them investigate it. They’ll let your landlord know if it’s black mold or not. If it is black mold, he may have to pay to get it fixed.
Only use household appliances in good working condition. All electrical appliances, cords and tools should be listed by a nationally recognized, independent testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL. Periodically check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s list of product recalls to see if any of your appliances have been recalled for fire hazard or other issues.
However, if one of my sheds had lost a roof or sidewall and/or was exposed to the elements for any length of time (to include the slab); and I needed to get a handle on the mold growth asap; I would probably go with one of the two products below as the first step.
Our family of 11 lost our home to toxic mold. It took us 8 years to make the connection. We vacated the home in 2008 and slowly got our lives back thanks to radical lifestyle changes. Thanks for spreading the word.
Mold must be killed off first, then the reduced or eliminated. Dealing with the condensation problem will help. Well ventilated areas also suffer less with mold. However, you must kill any mold residue with bleach or borax and then paint with either anti-mold paint (usually quite expensive) or add an anti-mold paint additive to your “normal” paint, this is usually cheaper and will prevent new mold from growing to some extent. However, to be absolutely mold-free, all areas where it has been growing need to be treated and possibly replaced (such as drywall).
Hydrogen peroxide kills mold effectively on many materials such as clothes, floors, bathroom fixtures, walls and items such as kitchen appliances. Since hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent it may also help fade the stain mold leaves behind. Spot test hydrogen peroxide on the material you’re going to be cleaning to make sure it won’t fade the material’s colors.
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I have mold spots on my bathroom ceiling. We are in the process of redoing some of the paint in there and want to paint the ceiling, but I wanted to kill the mold first. I sprayed straight vinegar on there then left it for about 5 minutes then wiped with a rag, it lightened the spots but did not competely remove them. How long should I be leaving it on? Do I need to be scrubbing hard with a scrubber? Same with the baking soda? How long? Will the spots be completely gone?
I intend to store a counter-top humidifier for the off-season and have never reopened the unit for use and found mold, despite wrapping it in plastic in its original packing over the off-season. I clean it with Clorox clean-up spray and rinse it well during use, and often (weekly to every other week!), and cleaned it the same way before I intend to re-pack/store it, and I let it dry out completely. Is there ANY safe, proper, natural mold-preventative method to put in the box/unit whilst storing it, please? Thanks. JJ
However, in this article you put a doctor “Ritchie Shoemaker” up on a pedestal as if he is the god of mold and the cure. Doesn’t Ritchie Shoemaker use prescription drugs to try and treat CIRS? (if so…why are you promoting him on your website when clearly you are against prescription drugs?)
Toxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum. It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.
Think about it, there is a lot of rubber products in our lives. Think seals on the refrig, car doors and windows. No mold there…I thing the industry has chosen an inferior material. Some of the washer brands mentioned without the mold are generally Euorpean brands. Found in USA, but more expensive.
According to the EPA, studies have found that VOC levels are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. During and for several hours immediately after certain activities, such as paint-stripping, levels may be 1,000 times background outdoor levels.
What is your take on the ‘walk away from all your possessions’ question? Mold was found in our crawlspace and in one bathroom. We’re waiting on the report for how bad it is. Most of the mold info seems to say that even with remediation your possesions can’t really be decontaminated.
Toxic black mold causes serious symptoms and health problems such as mental impairment, breathing problems, damage to internal organs and sometimes even death. The main groups of symptoms toxic black mold causes are:
Chris, your podcast and several others have added so much value to my life and are helping me overcome chronic illness. I became aware of Dr. Shoemaker’s work in April 2015 when it suddenly hit me after listening to Dave Asprey’s podcast and being indoors on a rainy day that the illness I was suffering from was mold. (Maybe Lyme too.) I requested several tests from my doctor. I failed an online VCS test. I was hitting potholes because I couldn’t see them. I am realizing many people labeled with mental illness are suffering from mold-related sickness too. I was suicidal. It started with what I believe was exposure to Stachybotris. Mary Ackerley, integrative psychiatrist has a great article about it. I am beginning recovery. Also I realized that connection between mycotoxins, glutamine and histamines. Stopping high histamine foods is also helping. You contribute so much to the community and are helping me tremendously. Bravo!
Blood test. A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system’s response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to specific types of mold.

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Yes, people are indeed sickened and stay sickened by exposure to Water Damaged Buildings (WDB). There have been lots of names for the illness over the years, including “Mold illness.” The best discussion of the academic basis for this illness is found in the Expert Treating Physicians Consensus report published 7/2010 (available on this site). Let start with some basic ideas: this illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). The proper definition of CIRS is:
The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested for radon; even if the house next door to you tests low, your particular house could be at risk. Short-term tests take two days (often for real estate transactions), while long-term tests take about 90 days but give more accurate results.
Biotoxic illness refers to the cause of a person’s illness. All biotoxic illnesses have one common denominator…toxins produced by living things.  The tests contained in this panel look at the complex cascade of events throughout multiple inflammatory pathways produced by biotoxic mold exposure
The second step is testing your home or workplace. The best way to determine if your symptoms are that of toxic mold exposure is to find out if you are breathing in toxic mold spores in the first place.
You can also use vinegar with hydrogen peroxide during the cleaning to more effectively remove the mold. Afterwards store the spray bottle in a dark place since light diminishes hydrogen peroxide’s effectiveness.
If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at
Hi, I’ve done my bit of research and it doesn’t matter what make you have as long as you look after it. Washing gels aren’t ideal; they’re more likely to cause mold. Also, don’t try to be economic by always washing at 30 degrees C, that’s what’s ruining your washing machine. I do washes at 40 and 60 degrees, you need at least a 60 degree wash to kill most of the bacteria, if you want to kill all the bacteria, use a 90 degree wash every now and then.
One of the most important things about remediation is that you should never EVER use bleach for removing mold, as it would make the problem worse. While diet is important in any case, it will not cure you of CIRS, if that is your problem. Look up a Shoemaker certified doctor on Many of them do phone consultations.
Alexander Fleming’s accidental discovery of the antibiotic penicillin involved a Penicillium mold called Penicillium notatum (although the species identity is disputed as possibly being Penicillium chrysogenum or Penicillium rubens).[13] Fleming continued to investigate Penicillin, showing that it could inhibit various types of bacteria found in infections and other ailments, but he was unable to produce the compound in large enough amounts necessary for production of a medicine.[14] His work was expanded by a team at Oxford University; Clutterbuck, Lovell, and Raistrick, who began to work on the problem in 1931. This team was also unable to produce the pure compound in any large amount, and found that the purification process diminished its effectiveness and negated the anti-bacterial properties it had.[14]
Rub in a mould stain remover and/or scrub it off with a toothbrush – Using one of the products suggested below, apply the solution to the mould stain. If the fabric is tough, like cotton or denim, you can try gently scrubbing off the mould with a clean toothbrush and the selected product. But try not to damage the fabric in the process!
Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
Remove the source of moisture. As long as there’s a moisture source, there’s the potential for mold. After cleaning your mold problem, it’s essential that you remove the source of the moisture that caused the mold to grow in the first place.[14] Depending on where in the house the mold was, possible moisture problems could include:
Español: eliminar el moho negro, Italiano: Eliminare la Muffa Nera, Português: Matar Mofo Preto, Deutsch: Schwarzen Schimmel bekämpfen, Русский: уничтожить черную плесень, Français: éliminer la moisissure noire, 中文: 消灭黑霉, Nederlands: Zwarte schimmel doden, हिन्दी: ब्लैक मोल्ड (Black Mold) को हटायें, العربية: القضاء على العفن الأسود, Tiếng Việt: Tiêu diệt nấm mốc đen, ไทย: กำจัดราดำ, 한국어: 검은 곰팡이 없애는 방법
Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.
Surface molds grow in just about any damp location, such as the grout lines of a ceramic tiled shower. They’re easy to scrub away with a mold cleaner mixture of 1/2 cup bleach, 1 qt. water and a little detergent. In mold remediation, the bleach in the cleaning mixture kills the mold, and the detergent helps lift it off the surface so you can rinse it away so it won’t return as fast. You can also buy a mildew cleaner at hardware stores, paint stores and most home centers.
Most mold symptoms are caused by mold allergies. When you breathe in mold spores your immune systems responds by creating allergic reactions. These reactions are the immune system’s defense against foreign particles entering the body.
Thoroughly shake the spray bottle of mold-mitigating solution, then spray the affected area so it’s well-saturated. (Continue to shake the bottle repeatedly during this process in order to ensure the solution stays well mixed.) Allow the liquid to sit on the mold for 5 to 10 minutes so the antibacterial properties have time to work through the grime. Never scrape dried mold, or else the toxic spores could spread into air and cause negative health effects.

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