LESLIE: Dana in Georgia is on the line with a mold question. How can we help you?
DANA: I’m in Santa, Georgia, where it’s already hot and humid and we’re already fighting mold a lot of the time during the warmer months. Right after Hurricane Matthew, it just seems to go on turbo where I’m having to clean it off all the wood furniture and some of the walls. And it’s even coming out of – or was coming out of the vents from the A/C heating unit. So I just replaced those vents rather than try to clean them. And my question really is – is there anything else I should be doing and should I be concerned about my kid’s health because of it coming out of the vents?
TOM: Well, not even it coming out of the vents. The fact that you’ve got this growing on the walls and furniture is a pretty serious problem. You need – you have the scope of a problem where you need actual professional-remediation help because it’s so prevalent. The problem is that these – some types of molds that kids and adults can have allergic reactions to. They produce mycotoxins that can get out and make some people really sick.
I’ve known folks over the years who had – in fact, I had someone very close to me that I diagnosed this for because she had kids that had a really bad year of illness. And we noticed that when they went on vacation – they went away for a month over the holidays and they felt great. And they came back and they felt lousy.
So it all turned out to be mold that actually got into the attic of this house, that was finding its way back into the living space through holes around where the lights came through the ceiling. And so, in this case, all of the insulation actually had to be taken out of the attic and the whole thing had to be sprayed and cleaned and then put all back together again.
So, if you’ve got that much mold in the house, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it. And I really think you need some professional help. But what you want is someone who does occupational safety and health as a living, as a profession. You don’t want the latest Johnny-come-lately mold-remediator guy that has no professional training. You want somebody who really has some skills and certifications, from a consultancy basis, to get to the bottom of this.
I’m going to recommend a website and that website is May Indoor Air – May, like the month – M-a-y-IndoorAir.com. You will find books on that website by Jeff May, who is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met about mold and indoor-air quality. He has an interesting backstory. He was very, very allergic to mold and it led him to a whole new course of study. He’s written three or four books on mold, including some written for the Johns Hopkins University press.
So I think that would be a good source of information for you. And he’s not from your area but he may be able to recommend to you some contractors in that particular area, some consultants in that area that he knows professionally. But that’s a good source for you to kind of get to the bottom of this, OK?
DANA: Great. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.