Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JewelRA, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Well, I am not really totally surprised, but I am totally freaking out!

    We moved into this house 4 years ago, and we knew it had "leaks" but we thought the problems had been addressed. We have gotten a new roof, a lot of rotten wood replaced, and some of the siding replaced. But we had no idea of just what damage had been done already.

    The wallpaper in my hallway started peeling off, and underneathe are the telltale black splotches. I immediately called a Mold Remediation contractor who came out today. At first he thought it was pretty much contained to that area, and no big deal. Then after he LEFT and started looking outside my house, he rang the doorell again and asked if he could come back in. He said, "Could I look at your garage? I think you have some pretty back water leakage into it." I said, "Sure".

    Well, lo and behold, he found MAJOR water leakage and black mold in my garage, and behind the walls in my office right behind my computer where I am typing right now!!! His little "beepy" machine, was going off like crazy.

    I am totally freaking out. Not only has my family been exposed to this for 4 years (now I have a reason for my health going so downhill since I've been here), but we are probably looking at thousands and thousands of dollars in repair. He has not given me an estimate yet, but said, "I'll be honest, it's not going to be cheap".

    Oh, my God, I am just sick about this. Part of me wants to go move in with my mom, and part of me wants to burn the whole house down. And part of me wants to SUE THE @#$% out of the inspector that gave this house such a great inspection and the previous owners who said the water problems were fixed!!!! How can people be so devious??? To let a couple with a young child and a baby move into a house like this???

    Really, I don't see that leaving my house is an option, at least not more than to temporarily go stay with my mom while they do the remediation. Although the guy said I didn't have to leave, that they take extreme precautions to isolate the areas. There is no way we can afford to move, and no way we can sell a house with major mold problems!!!

    Anyway, on to more productive thoughts, I guess I will start by doing a search on all the posts about mold here. Maybe once this is taken care of, I finally regain some of my health.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2008]
  2. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Oh, Jewel, I feel for you. It's really unfair that that happened to you.

    Even though it's a horrible thing, it's also pointing the way to wellness.

    I finally had the stain on my living room carpet tested in February, and sure enough it had five kinds of toxic mold growing in it.

    The best thing I can recommend is to read "Mold Warriors" by Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. He explains how mold poisons can cause CFS.

    Or, check out Dr. Shoemaker's website at www.biotoxin.info

    I decided to move, to put all my possessions in storage or get rid of them, and start over in a new place with all new stuff. It was drastic, I know. But I feel better, and now I'm beginning to take things to get the poisons out.

    I hope you will keep us posted about how things go for you.


    P.S. I just remembered something that helped me. I thought of my toxic mold infestation as a natural disaster, like a flood or a hurricane or a tornado.

    A lot of people have lost everything including their homes to natural disasters in recent years, it seems. I began to feel grateful that I had the time to sit there and sort through my belongings and decide what to save in storage and what to get rid of. I scanned in all my photos and saved copies of them on a portable hard drive, for instance.

    So it's like a natural disaster in slow motion. You have a bit of time.

    And I also knew that I would do just about anything to get well. I have been ill for 18 years, and it was time for me to get my life back.

    And it was also an opportunity to get rid of a lot of ugly things that I would normally be too frugal to throw away, because they were "perfectly good". I felt lighter as I purged my household.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2008]
  3. Honora88

    Honora88 Member

    I was told that inspectors don't inspect for mold. Don't know if that is true. I support you to sue the old owners. That is totally unethical behaviour
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    What kind of "little beepy machine"?

    I'd not heard of that before. Did he tell you what it was called or how it could tell that there's mold somewhere?

  5. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    Sorry to hear that's happening to you. I think maybe people need to get a separate mold inspection from a mold inspector as well as a regular house inspection before they buy. I never knew that before. It's good to know.

    It's a shame you have to deal with this but hopefully once you get away from the mold you'll start feeling better.

  6. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    I am so thankful to read all this and do my homework so I can know what I am getting into.

    Let's see if I can reply to everyone who was so kind to reply to me:

    I have read a lot of your old posts. I see you have really been through alot yourself! I am glad you are doing better! May I ask, what is the purpose of putting some possessions in storage? Does the potential mold on them eventually die off? How long does it take? I'm sorry, this probably sounds stupid, but all this is new to me. I will definitely be checking out that website and book.


    He didn't say the name of the machine. It was a handheld thing that emitted a red (infrared?) light and he ran it along the walls. I saw numbers on a readout going up and down. It only beeped when he used it in my office, which must be the worst area.

    Ktn and TeeJay,
    YOu are so right about getting a separate mold inspector. I wish we had known that 4 years ago! I definitely would not buy another house without it! The thing is, here in Alabama and the rest of the Southeast I don't think there are many buildings that do NOT have some degree of mold!

    I hope I remembered everyone who posted. Sigh.... so much to read about and learn and try to do the right thing!

    LISALOO New Member

    We had mold around the windows in my old apt, then we had mold coming through a wall in a new apartment. My husband works for an architecture/construction mgt company. He had a handheld tool that he borrowed, you poke it in the wall (very very small hole, and it tells you if there's too much moisture in the wall.)
  8. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    I'm going to make a broader announcement, but I'm the one on Forebearance's thread that had the "black spots under the sink".

    I too am trying to get someone to just come out to remove that "known" area. I have no idea the extent of this.

    Yes, this is terrible, but Forebearance's attitude is the best one. This is something that we have a certain amount of control over.

    But what is terrible is that there is no insurance for something like this, that I am aware of.

    My dad was an independent agent many years ago, before all of this mold calamity. Without even looking, he doubted that our policy would include anything about mold.

    I am also worried that this may ruin us, but at the same time, just because we are afraid of something doesn't mean it will happen.

    I also don't know how we are going to get out of here, without passing a problem along to someone else. I just don't know what's going to happen, either.

    The previous owners may have known everything, or they may not have had any clue, just as you didn't until now. It's one thing to know about it and not disclose, but if the inspector gave it a thumbs up-- they might have been under a similar illusion that all was taken care of.

    If you do decide to leave your home, and go to your mother's place, DO NOT TAKE ANY STUFF WITH YOU!

    I wish someone had told me that. I may have inadvertently contaminated my mother's house, because the mold spores will be carried with you on all of your stuff. I escaped to her house so many times, and we spread our stuff all over the place, including what we carried in our hair.

    Make sure everyone strips down and has a thorough scrubbing, because your car will be full of spores, too.

    I have been in this boat for months on end. I know the logistical nightmare this can be.

    As freaked out as you may feel right now, keep telling yourself that you still have your loved ones with you, and that you can hold them close.

    This is bad, but there are so many disasters that are worse, although it's hard to think of one at times like these. A tragedy happened in my husband's family, and so that gave me some perspective.

    I know that's not the most comforting thing to hear, but it's from someone who knows exactly what you are facing. You are sick, you have children, you own the home.

    In my case we are the original owners. I saw the house go up, and we had two inspections. We are all vulnerable to those that we are trusting to know what they are doing.

    I'm so sorry that your house has gotten sick, and that you have been so terribly affected by that. I love my home and I am bracing myself for the grief that is beginning.

    You definitely are not alone on this one.
  9. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I've been hearing so many horror stories about mold, its scary!
    Due to no ventilation in my upstairs bathroom,.. I have mildew looking stuff towards the ceiling. Does anyone know if thats the same as mold??
    is it dangerous also??

    every so often I'll try to clean it with a spray bleach solution. it always comes back.

    so sorry you have this now to deal with
  10. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    Type in the 3 w's and then this web address...


    We just bought the product but have not used it yet.

    You can read all the things that "SporiCLEAN" will clean at their web site.


  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    If you clean mold off a wall and it keeps coming back, chances are that it's growing inside the wall.

    Various kinds of molds grow inside walls, but toxic molds seem especially likely to do so.

    My suggestion would be to get a sample of the mold from the wall and send it in for testing. A couple of people here have had good experiences with a company called Mouldworks. The address is mould-works.com.

    Regardless of whether you are sure the mold is toxic, you should have a professional work on it. Tearing it out yourself can make the problem much worse.

    I don't know anything about SporiClean. It's possible that it may kill surface mold. However, if he mold is growing in the wall and then showing through a little bit, no cleaner is going to help. No other method of killing mold (e.g. ozone) is going to help either.

    Proper remediation means sealing off the area, cutting out the contaminated sections of wall very thoroughly, and disposing of the pieces in a manner that does not contaminate the house. Especially if people are sick, I think a professional should do the work.

    The big question mark here seems not how to properly remove the mold (though a lot of companies and most individuals do it wrong), but how to tell if you've gotten all of it. And how to make sure it won't come back. I'm still puzzling over those questions myself.

  12. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    almost every house has this. It's become big business. Get down to the basics......expose everything and spray with clorox, let it dry for at least a week, then go back to restoring your house. If you took a wet bathing suit and put it away in the dark, it would form mold!
  13. SolSerenade

    SolSerenade New Member

    the mold biz is a crock - as the person above suggested, mold has been around for a while, long before the digital machine the bloke is scaring you with. wet things mold.


    now what exactly is the connection between mold and me/cfs? thanks.
  14. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Toxic mold is totally different than regular mold.

    The idea that "mold is everywhere" kept me sick (much of it in bed) for more than a decade.

    I am close to well now, as a result of moving away from my moldy house and the belongings it contained and then by engaging in aggressive detoxification.

    A beginning book on the topic is "Surviving Toxic Black Mold Syndrome" by Mary Beth Short-Ray. It is short and easy for even people with cognitive difficulties to read.

    Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker's book "Mold Warriors" is a lot more challenging, though the standard.

    His web site www.biotoxin.info also has some good (but challenging!) info.

    This is a real illness, recognized by mainstream medicine and legal court cases.

    Do not let anyone tell you that it's not big deal and that a bit of bleach will be sufficient to fix it.

  15. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The symptoms of toxic mold poisoning are precisely the same as the symptoms of CFS.

    I was as prototypical of a CFS patient as you could get. All the right symptoms, all the right scores on the lab tests, all the right responses (positive and die-off) to treatments.

    I don't know if everything was caused by the mold, but it certainly played a huge part in my illness.

    Erik Johnson, who used to be on the board, was one of the original CFS patients in Incline Village. This is where the CDC first investigated and then identified the disease.

    Erik was perceived as one of the core group of patients cited as having the illness.

    After addressing mold issues (and doing nothing else), his health improved quickly and dramatically. He now lives a normal life.

    Mold has everything to do with CFS.

    People do not have to believe that this is the case, but dismissing the issue of mold as if it could not possibly matter is an extremely bad idea.
  16. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Lisette's note here is excellent.

    Please let me know if you have further questions about specifics.

  17. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Well, I've always thought from your reading your bio and posts over time that your illness likely was mold-related, and now I am more convinced.

    I would suggest going to chronicneurotoxins.com and taking the Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) there. It costs $10.

    (I do not make any money off this. I am not associated with Dr. Shoemaker and do not sell any products even vaguely related to CFS.)

    Mold is a pain in the butt in terms of the "what do I do with the house and all my stuff" factor. And detoxing isn't much fun either (though it's a whole lot more fun than antivirals!).

    However, the good news is that if you really go after it, you likely will improve a lot or conceivably get wholly well no matter how long you've been sick.

    The book "Surviving Toxic Black Mold Syndrome" would be a good start for you too.

    Thanks for the info about the beeping machine.
  18. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Wow, this is the second post tonight about this toxic mold.

    Does anyone have any ideas to prevent mold from growing or keeping it from coming back?

    I just had several leaks at my place. I do not smell any mildew, I have a very sensitive nose, but know that does not necessarily mean you do not have any mold.

    Where I live, the building code requires you to have a vent in your bathroom.

    The midwest has been deluged with rain this year and with the humidity mold can really be a problem here.

    Would house insurance pay for mold removal?

    Forebearance, what an insightful way of looking at your experience. I can't imagine having the wherewithall to go through something like that.

    Take care.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/10/2008]
  19. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi JewelRA,

    Around the time that Lisa decided to check her house for mold, there was a guy on this board who went by Erikmoldwarrior, as Lisa mentioned. He was acting pretty obnoxious and got kicked off the board, so his posts are no longer around. But as Lisa said, he invented a strategy he called "extreme mold avoidance" which cured him of his CFS, as long as he followed it.

    I had the opportunity to read some more of his thoughts on a different web board, and I made the decision to follow his strategy. It was based on my gut instinct about what would be right for me. I could see that Lisa was following the strategy, and it was helping her tremendously. And my case of CFS has been similar to Lisa's in a lot of ways.

    So I planned to start over in a new home, with all new stuff. Erik said he put his valued possessions in a storage unit for 5 years and the poison that was stuck to them gradually denatured.

    It's important to understand that you can wash the mold spores off with bleach or etc., but mold toxins bind permanently to the surface of things, and there is currently no really good way to remove them.

    And I figured that in the next five years someone might invent a way to get mold toxins to "let go" of things. There are so many people being affected by toxic mold that surely someone is working on inventing something. So I saved everything of mine that was sentimental, even things made of fabric and paper.

    There is no manual on how to do "extreme mold avoidance". It has just been passed around by word of mouth among people with CFS who are Moldies. By comparing notes with other Moldies, I am learning about how to live this lifestyle.

    What is the address of Dr. Klein's website? Does anybody remember? Anyway, there is this doctor who had Stachy in his house and he turned out to be incredibly sensitive to it. He invented his own avoidance strategy, and it is something else to read about it.

    I agree with you, Lisette, that it is a financial disaster. I haven't even bothered telling my insurance company about it. Even though they are a good insurance company, and might offer to pay for remediation or some such thing, it would be hard to explain to them that I feel the need to buy all new stuff. Most people aren't super sensitive to mold toxins, but people with CFS are.

    It is lucky for me that I had a lot of room on my credit card.

    You know, I think that if someone said that there was a new drug that would cure CFS and it cost $10,000 (or some large amount of money), I would probably figure out a way to do it.

    If you take the proper panel of blood tests, you can predict whether getting free of mold toxins would be likely to help you get well. So my decision was partly based on my intuition, and then it was confirmed by my blood tests, that I did the right thing.

    Say, Tandy, I hope you figure out if the mold in your bathroom is dangerous, or just regular old annoying mold or mildew. The problem is that you can't tell by looking at it! I had to send in a mold sample to be analyzed to find out.

    I guess the presence of someone in the house who has CFS or FM would make me a lot more suspicious about the mold on your wall. We are like canaries for neurotoxins.

    solserenade, check out the books and websites listed in this thread. They explain everything.

  20. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    This is the address of the physician who practices extreme mold avoidance.


    It's a very good site.

    This guy is REALLY obsessive when it comes to avoiding mold. I think he may have even Erik beat.

    It seems that he's totally well as a result though.

    There's also lots of generally good info on stachy and other poison molds on the site, and so it's worth a visit.