Greener / Environmentally Friendly Ways to Treat Black Mold

So… I started this blog for eco writing… and eco-spirituality thoughts. And now I’m writing Cow limericks and Puttanesca limericks, and other nonsense that is quite glorious to create and post up here. Go figure.

Honestly, I am confident that Spirit loves it when we are silly and laugh uproariously.

Having said that – I do have some thoughts to share about mold remediation, having just had my basement mold remediated to sell my house. (Closing was two days ago. Whoo-hoo!)

This is what I learned:

Black Mold is a very toxic fungi that seems to be pandemic, especially in regions with damper basements. Apparently, basements in Fairbanks have issues too, per the web.  The Mid-Atlantic has been experiencing significant rain this year and thus many homeowners are being forced to grapple with this toxic fungi regionally.  And the labs are backed up as a result, per the first inspector to my house.

It shocked me that I even had any Black Mold in my basement but my buyer requested a test for it as one of the conditions in purchasing the house. My basement never smelled dank or damp and I had had it waterproofed several years before. But the tests came back “actionable.”

According to Wikipedia: Black Mold is within the family of what is scientifically known as “Stachybotrys.  [This is] a genus of molds, or asexually-reproducing, filamentous fungi. Closely related to the genus Memnoniella, most Stachybotrys species inhabit materials rich in cellulose. The genus has a widespread distribution, and contains about 50 species.

“The most infamous species, S. chartarum (also known as S. atra) and S. chlorohalonata are known as “black mold” or “toxic black mold” in the USA and are frequently associated with poor indoor air quality that arises after fungal growth on water-damaged building materials.

Furthermore, according to Wikipedia: “Exposure to the mycotoxins present in Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra can have a wide range of effects. Depending on the length of exposure and volume of spores inhaled or ingested, symptoms can manifest as chronic fatigue or headaches, fever, irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat, sneezing, rashes, and chronic coughing. In severe cases of exposure or cases exacerbated by allergic reaction, symptoms can be extreme including nausea, vomiting, and bleeding in the lungs and nose.”

To my shock, it turned out that the boxes and boxes of unsold books that lay stacked against my basement wall for six years (If I gave you God’s phone number….Searching for Spirituality in America, www.tocallgod.net ) had become a breeding ground for these fungi. And when the crew I hired to haul the boxes out yanked that last row away from the wall, the boxes looked like someone had taken a torch to them and burned away the cardboard to incinerate the outer rims of the books on that side of the box. It was completely disgusting and awful.

And I learned quickly, while hauling the books away, the spores in the trapped air of the van became highly, highly irritating and made my throat, sinuses and lungs burn. I could not sleep in my house for the remainder of that week, until the basement was remediated.

More environmentally friendly ways to treat Black Mold

           

Most companies treat Black Mold with some serious chemicals that are probably as dangerous as the Black Mold over time. It takes a good biocide to kill the pervasive fungi. Sadly, most of them on the market are toxic chemicals. A friend warned me that she is convinced that her three cats died from overexposure in the basement to the lingering chemicals from her Black Mold remediation several years ago.

But I knew there must be environmentally friendly biocides. As an organic gardener, I was certain that there must be some research that has been done and products on the market.

From the internet I found information on using tea tree oil and citrus oil to make your own biocide. I had the tea tree oil already. Plus I had some colloidal silver that I know is a powerful antibiotic, fungicide, etc. So I mixed the two up in a spray bottle. 1 part tea tree oil and 1 part colloidal silver to 20 parts water. (Again this is not a scientifically based study. I just followed my instincts.)

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/three-ways-to-kill-mold-naturally.htm

And I donned a facemask from Lowes and just sprayed the heck out of the wall where the book boxes had been leaning, all over the blackish bubbles of rotten moisture lock paint over soft cinderblock. I sprayed it a number of times over two days. (I was sleeping elsewhere but had to return to the house to continue packing up.) And I could tell that the air quality was significant better after the second day. My eyes and sinuses were no longer itching and I did not feel that caustic feeling in my lungs either.

There is a commercial product out there also that the professional company I hired used. Surely there are more too, one would hope. The owner sent me the specs for it. I was pleasantly surprised to learned that it was made for commercial operators. Its primary ingredients are: citric acid and… ionic silver. Go figure. My homemade batch was similar.

The product is put out by a corporation called: Fiberlock. The product is called: ShockWave Green24.

Once the wood surfaces in my basement were treated, then a paint was used with polyurethane and fungicide components. That particular aspect of the treatment was not as environmentally friendly but apparently it needed to be done to seal the wood surfaces from mold growing back.

And if you are in the Baltimore area, here is the company that I used. Craig Kripas is an absolute professional and I cannot recommend him enough. All About Waterproofing, Inc. A very fair good man to work with to get Black Mold remediated in a greener manner. Thank you, Craig.

And thank you to my buyer for coming along in this horrid real estate market to buy my house from me… I am extremely grateful to you!

About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-one years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home. www.marecromwell.com
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3 Responses to Greener / Environmentally Friendly Ways to Treat Black Mold

  1. A friend just sent to me so I thought I’d add it here:

    Hi Mare,
    Thanks for your post.
    Thought you might be interested in Ingrid Naiman’s experience of mold recovery, both her health and her property.
    Hugs,
    G-
    Begin forwarded message:

    > http://www.ingridnaiman.com/podcasts/mold_podcast16Jul2011.mp3
    >
    >
    >
    > —– Original Message —–
    >> From: ingrid@bioethika.com
    >> Date: July 21, 2011 12:45:21 AM EDT
    >> To: Ginny@FurryKids.net
    >> Subject: The Mold Podcast!
    >>
    >> Dear Subscribers,
    >>
    >> A few people went ahead and struggled with the raw version. We couldn’t fix the first few minutes so we redid it! There are still some edits I want to make, but let’s call this v. 1 and we are out of the beta version.
    >>
    >> Truly, this is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time. Quite some time back, I asked for volunteers. Two people wrote me. We did a mini recording and nothing more came of it so I am over the top happy to be where we are now . . . even if it’s not perfect yet.
    >>
    >> http://ingridnaiman.com/podcasts/mold_podcast16Jul2011.mp3
    >>
    >> Francene and I discussed starting on a completely different subject but the Fates have ruled and the first segment is, as noted yesterday, devoted to mold, its treatment and remediation. Francene is at the stage of remediation where parts of her walls and ceiling have been removed so there is more mess to follow, but hopefully no more stirring up of infected particulate matter. Francene’s story is all too familiar but we will have to wait for her retrospective take on summer 2011.
    >>
    >> On the positive side, aAs I explain in the podcast, I managed somehow to survive this ordeal, but it wasn’t fun and I hope the Universe will grant me some extra years to make up for the ones that went missing.
    >>
    >> The introductory music is from one of my favorite ballets, Don Quixote by Minkus. It is the Kitri Variation, also known as Quiteria. There are many videos of this ballet on youtube but my favorite is the archival Nureyev one reconstructed from old film that was restored. Lucette Aldous dances Kitri. It is available on DVD from Kultur. Tastes obviously vary but this performance has pulled me out of many a funk so I can’t recommend it highly enough.
    >>
    >> http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8321669142504325189
    >>
    >> . . . or you can watch the entire Baryshinikov production (which, of course, is also marvelous):
    >>
    >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=794WmeRKbq4&feature=related
    >>
    >> I want to thank Marvin Taylor of Five Feathers Music for voice balancing the podcast and fading in the music. This is the second time he contributed mightily to one of my efforts, the previous occasion was a music segment on the bee video:
    >>
    >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBChiVJAgUg
    >>
    >> For background on the substance of the podcast, suffice it to say that my story has been online for years now. If you download the site and remove all images, the text alone, without images, is 175 pages. This can be found onmoldmisery.com. The herbs are on moldherbs.com, including the horopito, sold under the name Kolorex.
    >> http://www.ingridnaiman.com/podcasts/mold-podcast_16_Jul_2011.mp3
    >>
    >> As I say in the podcast, every time I think of flooding, I think of the inevitable side effects of mold. There was a terrible tsunami in South Asia some years ago, another one in Japan this year, and now the rivers rising in areas that are populated. A few years ago, there were swans on the streets in Lucerne and there have been times when salmon were on roads in Washington State. I can’t imagine what will happen in Nebraska.
    >>
    >> Blessings,
    >>
    >> Ingrid
    >> http://ingridnaiman.com/podcasts/mold_podcast16Jul2011.mp3
    >>
    >>
    >> Please note that the contents of these emails are copyrighted by Ingrid Naiman and usually posted online right before or immediately after being sent to the list. An index of articles can be found athttp://ingridnaiman.com/subscription_lists/email_index.html. The emails may be forwarded to friends but not posted to the web nor used in published materials unless written permission has been received. Links for contacting the author can also be found on her personal site.
    >>
    >> If you no longer wish to receive emails, point your browser to this link
    >>
    >> To update your preferences this link
    >>
    >>
    >> powered by phpList2.10.14, © phpList ltd


    Mare Cromwell
    Sacred Dog Productions, LLC
    410-448-3679
    Blog: https://marecromwell.wordpress.com/

    Award Winning Author: If I gave you God’s phone number….Searching for Spirituality in America. http://www.tocallgod.net

    “Not only is another world possible. She is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
    – Arundhati Roy

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