Our homes are our sanctuaries, and keeping them healthy is so important. Mold is no joke, and something that most of us - including many doctors - have very little understanding of; especially when it comes to the health consequences of toxic mold exposure in the home. So many people are left struggling with autoimmune reactions because local professionals simply don’t have the knowledge on how to navigate mold toxicity.
Breaking Down “Mold”
Mold is several different things. First, it is a classification of over 100,000 different species of fungus. Second, it’s both a living organism and a particle, or rather, a spore - essentially the “seed” from which mold reproduces. All it takes is 48 hours for mold to start to grow, particularly in moist environments. In a home impacted with mold, these particles settle, along with other bacteria and toxins, where dust settles. They are also attracted to and easily grow on the coils of modern HVAC systems - the lungs of a home. From there, tons of these particles are circulated through the air. Inhaling these particles can lead to overloading the immune system, sending it into fight or flight mode.
It’s also important to note that mold can produce mycotoxins whether it’s active or dormant. It will sporalate less - especially in the absence of moisture - when dormant, but can still negatively impact your home.
Warning Signs of Mold
Our bodies never lie - they are our best alarm systems. If you are experiencing brain fog, chronic fatigue, inflammation, reactivated symptoms of autoimmune diseases like Epstein Barr or Lyme Disease, or have been diagnosed with a respiratory disease or infection, like aspergillosis (an infection in which aspergillus mold is colonizing and growing in your lungs), these could be signs that you’re being exposed to toxic mold. Unfortunately, many of these signs are too often blamed on age, or normalized. A good portion of the population could be deemed “asymptomatic” simply because their genetic predispositions are not as sensitive, making them unaware of the gradual decline it’s causing in their health.
How to Identify Mold
Go to your bathroom and lift up the toilet tank cover. Take a look inside the tank and on the underside of the cover. Any mold there? If so, there’s a 9 in 10 chance that this is indicative of a mold problem inside your home. We know this can be alarming, but Michael assures us that there’s no mold problem that can’t be fixed, even if you’ve already undergone remediations!
Other factors to be aware of in determining whether or not your home is impacted by mold is if you live in a humid climate (mold can grow in 60% humidity or higher), have city water (mold can be present in tap water if your city has moldy pipes), and water rings/signs of water damage. The latter is not always definitive of mold, but it’s highly recommended that if you see water damage, do your due diligence and get testing done on the area before disturbing it.
Remediating Your Home
After identifying the sources of mold in your home that are causing you adverse reactions, Michael recommends starting to clean up and remove the particles thereafter with an ermi test that uses PCR, which tests the dust that is circulated in your environment.
Other types of testing include air testing, though this method is limited because inspectors ofen test the air in the middle of a room, leaving a significant amount of space overlooked. If you go with this method, ask that tests be conducted closer to areas where you suspect there could be a problem. Alternatively, swab or tape lift tests work great for areas with water damage, or are frequently exposed to moisture, like underneath sinks.
If you’re buying a new home, it would be extremely beneficial to have a proper mold inspection carried out so you can weigh the value of the home against the cost of conducting a remediation.
Preventative Measures to help Control your Environment
Once you have a clean home after a remediation, it’s ideal to retest for mold once a year, along with inspections of the roof, doors and windows to make sure there are no signs of degradation allowing water to intrude. Be prepared for fluctuations in your annual results, which are completely normal.
The next steps are to waterproof your home, control moisture with a dehumidifier, install a water filter, air purify with a filter, and clean regularly.
Our favorite air filter is the AirDoctor (try it for $300 off using this link). Its UltraHEPA filters are 100x more effective than ordinary purifiers, capturing 100% of airborne particles as small as 0.003 microns, and the vast majority of VOCs. It's also equipped with quiet performance technology and a cleanable pre-filter.
When it comes to cleaning, keep on top of removing dust appropriately, which inadvertently removes other environmental contaminants. In addition, contrary to what you may have heard, never use bleach on mold. The objective is to remove mold, not kill it. When you kill mold, it essentially just breaks down into smaller particles that are left behind, still exposing you to potential ingestion. Furthermore, harsher products do not equal greater efficiency. We have to look at health holistically and make sure we are checking all the boxes when it comes to compounds we are exposed to: the air we breathe, chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, etc. Chemicals can be stored in our cells for many years. That’s why it’s important to use organic, botanical products and microfiber towels that you can discard after use.
A great option is Homebiotic, a naturally-sourced probiotic treatment spray and multipurpose cleaner. Each spray contains millions of soil-based probiotics that restores the population of beneficial bacteria, keeping harmful microbes in check and creating a balanced, protective layer on any treatment area.
To detox the body, once you remove the toxin from your environment and eliminate your exposure, your body knows how to detox on its own. The best way to support it is with a good, clean diet and exercise that gets you sweating and the blood circulating. If you’re pregnant, we recommend working with a doctor that specializes in detoxing to help guide you on how to do it safely.
Working with Michael
Michael Rubio utilizes the research he has conducted over the last decade to work with mold inspectors and doctors all across the country in doing deep dive diagnostics to understand all the environmental impacts on a home. They then work to remove it on a scientific basis, not just for cosmetic reasons, for the health of the family. Find information on how to hire a mold inspector on the All American Restoration website - a mold remediation and environmental clean-up company founded by Michael - as well as some inspectors they have vetted and recommended across the country. He also works with families as a consultant (you can request this service on his website). Even if you’ve had mold remediation conducted in your home multiple times, Michael and All American Restoration is dedicated to looking for new answers on how to address it.
Finally, if you haven’t already, be sure to pick up Michael’s Book, The Mold Medic, and keep an eye out for the launch of his second book and educational course - which he is currently working on.
The content provided in this article(s) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Neither Carson Meyer nor C & The Moon LLC are liable for claims arising from the use of or reliance on information contained in this article.