I moved into a house with mold for one week. Questions on cleaning and health?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ragingtulip, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. ragingtulip

    ragingtulip Member

    I moved into a rental house, and had not yet unpacked 90% of my boxes. I found mold, removed my stuff and moved out in only one week. I did not do any testing, so I do not know what types of mold were present. I am trying to find out what, if anything, needs to be cleaned?

    I do not want to succumb to "mold paranoia," it was only one week. But already having chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia is putting me on high alert, so I do want to be responsible and careful.


    Mold was in a laundry room next to a bedroom. Any concerns for the mattress in that adjoining bedroom? Just wash the bedding?

    Mold was also found on the inside of a closet wall in a different bedroom--about 8 sq ft of medium density mold on the closet overhang--so it was significant. I had placed a few things in this closet--an *open* banker's box of important papers, some clothes, shoes, etc. And I put bedroom furniture, and mostly, closed boxes in that same room.

    Of course, mold did not have a chance to grow on my items. Also, I believe that mold is not particularly sneaky; it does not infest your boxes and objects by crawling into cracks, like a bug might.

    But, after bringing my goods in, I did run the air co and every single ceiling fan in the house at high speed for a long time to air out the house. Presumably, then, I could have stirred up a bunch of mold spores, and I would not know where they landed, since the spores are evidently invisible. :(

    It was only one week, nonetheless do I need to wipe down all the furniture, wash clothes from half-opened boxes, worry about kitchen items or clothes in boxes that weren't fully taped and sealed? What about the shoes and open, important papers in the affected closet? Do I need to vacuum them all? Ugh, do I need to buy an expensive HEPA vacuum now that I cannot afford? (I *really* don't feel like vacuuming a box of papers page by page, and wiping off hundreds of boxes, after having only been in there just a week--it sounds exhausting and I want to conserve my energy.)

    I am moving to a smaller place now, and will sell some of furniture. And of course, I want to make sure it is clean and usable before posting it on Craigslist.

    If I do need to do any cleaning, is there a difference in my approach to items that were in the room that had significant mold on the closet, versus items, say, in the family room or kitchen?

    Lastly, will I be bringing mold spores into my new, clean space, when I move everything again?

    This is really turning into a can of worms. I want to be reasonable; but I also want to protect my health--which seems too fragile now.

    Thanks for your input!!!
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    After Hurricane Charley, we had a couple of small water leaks in our ceiling. I talked to the expert in our county. Mold spores are everywhere in the air. They are in a dry state. All it takes for them to grow is the right combination of temperature and a source of moisture. If you have had your things in a dry cool environment, I doubt you will have a problem. Just look for any mold growing and for any damp areas where mold will thrive. I think you will be OK.

    I once had a shower in a condo where the water had leaked in between the tiles and through the drywall. I had to have the wall torn down and a new one installed and tiled. When the old wall came down, there was black mold growing from stud to stud in the wall. They sprayed it with water and bleach and it was gone the next day. I had always wondered why I woke in the middle of the night choaking. It was the master bath.

    Good luck to you.

    Love, Mikie