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How To Clean Your House From Mold?

Also read: How to Check for and Eliminate Mold Intoxication

It has long been known that the combination of mold illness and Lyme disease complicates treatment. But only now it has become clear that indoor mold complicates the treatment of any problem, even if the mold itself is not the primary cause of these problems.

What is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)?

CIRS is now the term used for a disease caused by mold exposure. Let’s list the possible symptoms of CIRS:

  • Various neurological issues;
  • Low energy levels, fatigue, forgetfulness, brain fog, dementia, autism, hyperactivity;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Chronic pain of unknown origin, irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Various gastrointestinal problems;
  • Chronic illnesses that are difficult to overcome;
  • Various respiratory diseases that are resistant to treatment and keep recurring;
  • Asthma, allergies, nasal polyps;
  • Excess weight, inability to resist cravings for sweets;
  • Insufficient weight, feeling nauseous after eating;
  • Various hormonal imbalances, including low levels of sex hormones;
  • Reduced ADH, leading to thirst, dryness of the mouth and eyes;
  • Increased tendency to form clots, constant inflammatory process of unknown origin in the body;
  • Proneness to autoimmune processes in the body;
  • Mold affects the size of red blood cells, making them larger and hindering their movement in small capillaries. This can manifest as problems with peripheral tissue blood supply.

Stages of CIRS Treatment

The treatment of CIRS can be divided into two stages:

  • Clean the environment;
  • Remove mold toxins and “reset” the body.

The first stage is quite universal for everyone. I’m a bit tired of repeating the same things to everyone, so I decided to write this article. At first glance, everything looks very simple, but in reality, it is the first stage that poses the greatest difficulties. The main problem one has to face is denying the problem itself.

Can’t Believe There’s Mold in Your Home? Take a Test

If your doctor suggests that your symptoms may be caused by mold present in your home, but you still find it hard to believe, take the ERMI test. It is worth doing if:

  • It’s an old house.
  • It’s not a very old house, but you have found traces of leaks.
  • It’s your home since its construction, and you know there have been leaks.

The link provided above allows you to order the test from Canada. How to properly collect material for the sample is a topic for a separate article. This test will provide you with information about the presence of 36+ types of mold in your home and the quantity of mold.

How to find a mold-free home?

You need to carefully inspect the premises before buying or renting it if the house has:

  • Flat roof on the house;
  • Finished basement or there is moisture in the basement;
  • There is a moldy smell in the room. This smell is not always present, but if it is, it means there is mold in the house, and there is a lot of it;
  • If your house is lower than the surrounding buildings;
  • If your house has a pool under the same roof;
  • If you have a glassed-in balcony, it creates temperature differences that lead to mold growth on the balcony;
  • You feel the humidity in the rooms.
  • The house has an attic, and it is poorly insulated from the environment or the ventilation is incorrect. Carefully inspect the attic, and make sure there is no moisture on the roof slopes and/or moldy surfaces. This is especially relevant in places where it is very humid, hot, or cold. Any temperature difference can lead to moisture accumulation.
  • The house has an air conditioner, and moisture is poorly removed.
  • Carefully inspect the bathrooms and their ventilation. It is often humid there, creating a favourable environment for mold growth.
  • Check the windows. If there are signs of leakage near the window (for example, if at some point the window was not closed, and water got into the house), make sure there is no mold around this area.
  • If the house has a forced air heating system, make sure the ducts are regularly cleaned. If the ducts are dirty and contain dormant mold spores, additional humidity inside these ducts can create a suitable environment for mold growth. Not cleaning these ducts annually is the simplest and quickest way to spread mold spores throughout the house.

It’s particularly challenging when it comes to your own housing. Almost everyone says the same thing: “I inspected the house thoroughly before buying it and didn’t find anything.” Yes, that’s correct. Everything undergoes cosmetic updates before selling. You won’t find anything, and a regular inspector won’t find anything either. Special equipment is needed to detect temperature differences and/or variations in wall humidity without opening them. Alternatively, you can order the ERMI test.

Our North American construction is creating increasingly mold-prone homes. Officially, up to 50% of houses have a history of leaks, which significantly increases the risk of mold growth in those spaces. If it’s any consolation, I’ll add that Europe also has its fair share of mold-infested homes. And now you’ll understand why.

Why what’s good for the environment is not always good for us

The less impact a house has on the environment, meaning the more it is insulated from this environment with plastic, the more potential problems it poses for its owners. A house needs to breathe, but it cannot do so when it is wrapped in plastic. Therefore, any leakage increases humidity and provides an opportunity for mold to start growing. Mold spores exist everywhere.

Next comes the temperature difference. It’s winter outside, but warm inside the room, so due to the temperature difference, mold starts to grow on non-insulated surfaces. What should you do? First and foremost, periodically open the windows. If you open the windows even slightly, you allow excess moisture to leave the room. If you want to preserve the environment, dress warmer and lower the temperature inside the house.

How to prevent mold growth

Certain conditions are necessary for mold to grow. If you don’t create those conditions, the likelihood of mold growth in your house will be significantly reduced.

Mold spores exist everywhere. However, mold grows where it’s warm and humid. Humidity above 50% leads to mold growth. Humidity below 30% will be uncomfortable for you. Therefore, the humidity should be in the range of 30% to 50%.

Mold thrives in darkness, so the more sunlight there is in a room, the lower the risk of mold growth. For the same reason, mold often grows in basements.

Mold prefers warmth, but it can also grow at relatively low temperatures for us, around 20 degrees Celsius.

Mold needs oxygen but is afraid of ozone.

Where does mold grow most often?

This is a list of things to help you find potential mold resources in your home.

  • Antique furniture and old upholstered furniture;
  • Old books that have been exposed to moisture;
  • Filters in bathrooms;
  • Filter for the room (if you have a Forced Air system);
  • Air conditioner. More precisely, filters in the air conditioner;
  • Humidifier. Mold causes you to lose ADH, the hormone that retains water in your body. It seems to you that the air is dry and you turn on the humidifier. In fact, you are only making the problem worse. Humidity should not exceed 50%, otherwise, mold will grow. If the humidity is less than 30%, then the air is actually dry. Take a measurement before you start humidifying the air;
  • Aroma oil diffuser. If you think that essential oils can prevent mold from growing on the walls of your atomizer, you are wrong. Therefore, you need to rinse and dry your sprayer at least every 48 hours;
  • Washing machine with side loading. Always open it after use and dry it;
  • Dishwasher. Always keep it open. This is one of the favourite places for mold to grow;
  • Your favourite potted flowers, especially if they are tropical flowers. Flowers have no place indoors, much less they have no place in the bedroom;
  • Your favourite aquarium may be leaking;
  • Leaks can be in bathrooms and kitchens;
  • Often, due to rain, there are leaks near the windows;
  • A roof leak can cause mold between floors and walls;
  • A finished basement is just a breeding ground for mold. Especially if there are no windows in it, or if they are, but you never open them;
  • Carpets and carpeting.
  • Well, I can not mention it because in our country it is legal and people can grow cannabis on their plot and then store it in the house. Cannabis for mold is extremely attractive, neither growing nor even just keeping cannabis in the house for a long time is not recommended. By the way, growing it in a house is so dangerous for the building that in Ontario you can’t even sell the house later without signing a paper that you never grew cannabis in it. Because it is not possible to clean such a house from mold, it only needs to be demolished.

What to do about mold?

If you have discovered black mold on glass, for example, and wiped the glass, you still haven’t removed the small mold particles and spores. They are everywhere, and wiping the glass doesn’t get rid of them. You need to take 70% alcohol, dilute it 1:10 with water, and apply this solution to all surfaces using a sprayer.

Wherever mold is visible, you need to wipe the surfaces with undiluted alcohol. But before doing that, ask anyone who is particularly sensitive to mold to leave the room. Then put on a respirator, disposable protective suit, gloves—everything you will remove from surfaces soaked in alcohol, place them in a plastic bag. Also, put the disposable clothing and respirator filters in the bag, and immediately remove all of it from the house.

Where you see that mold has literally penetrated the wall or any other surface, you should not do anything yourself but call mold removal specialists.

Mold resources in food

You’ve probably heard that peanuts are a source of aflatoxins. Just to add: aflatoxins are recognized as carcinogens and are produced by mold. It’s almost impossible to find peanuts that are not affected by mold. Peanuts grow in the ground, and that’s the main problem.

But this is far from a complete list. If mold is already a problem, and it affects at least 25% of the population due to genetic predisposition, you need to clean up the diet and eliminate products that carry less dangerous but still toxic mold toxins.

Foods to avoid:

  • Sweets
  • Dried fruits
  • Yeast
  • Bakery
  • Mushrooms
  • Grain, corn
  • Potato
  • Pickles, vinegar, soy
  • cantaloupe, grapes
  • Cheese
  • Peanut

Drinks to avoid:

  • Sweet
  • Fruit juice
  • Alcohol
  • Moldy coffee
  • fermented cider
  • kombucha

General rules of body detoxing

General rules of body detoxification Here it is very simple, and these rules improve the health of everyone.

  • Move, as movement activates your lymphatic system. It is responsible for removing toxins from the body.
  • Try to breathe clean air. Studies show that the air outside is always 5-6 times better than the air inside, regardless of the location of the room. Toxic cleaning agents should not be used indoors as they pollute the air and have a negative impact on your health.
  • Drink clean water. We are mostly made up of water. Tap water is not suitable for drinking without treatment. It contains heavy metals, medications, and all sorts of contaminants. Yes, I’m talking about Canada, so don’t be surprised. The only method that allows you to purify water is a high-quality reverse osmosis filter with subsequent mineralization.
  • Have regular bowel movements. Constipation leads to recontamination with toxins. No detox can be performed if you have a tendency to constipation!
  • Try to eat clean food. I’m talking about certified or non-certified organic food. According to the laws of the province of British Columbia, an organic farm can only be recognized if it is surrounded by organic farms. There are plenty of organic products here for this reason.
  • Healthy sleep is extremely important. For adults, it is 7-8 hours, while children should sleep significantly less. If you constantly wake up, it may be a sign of mold in your environment. Mold affects your breathing, causing you to suffocate and wake up. The simplest method to reduce the amount of mold spores in the air is to crack open a window. But this is a temporary measure; try to find and eliminate the mold source.

How long can you be poisoned by mycotoxins?

When there is suspicion of mycotoxin poisoning, I ask about the current living environment as well as the places you have lived in the past. Even after 20-30 years, toxins can remain in the body and affect your well-being. The same 25% of the population who genetically produce less glutathione are more susceptible to this than others.

That’s why the phrase, “I used to live near a moldy wall, but now there is no mold in my house,” has no significance if there are symptoms that may indicate mycotoxin poisoning. Yes, you may still carry them in your body even after decades. To eliminate them from the body, it is essential to ensure that you are currently living, studying, and working in a clean environment. Treatment usually takes one to six months, depending on the amount of toxins in your body.

As for the more individualized part of treatment, the detoxification and “resetting” of the body, we will discuss it next time.


The Environmental Relative Mold Index (ERMI)