I see some doctors and authorities saying to get out of sick buildings but I don’t see a lot of advice saying HOW to get out of sick buildings. There are 4 different schools of thought when it comes to breathing clean indoor air.
There are the “extreme avoidance” people – before I found Hi Tech, this was my belief system. Clean, clean, clean, wash, wash, wash, HEPA vacuum, HEPA filter, try anything to clean the area we live in. Minimalistic living.
The goal of “extreme avoidance” is to live in a completely toxin free environment by throwing out anything toxic, keeping things clean and/or enclosed in plastic bags and plastic containers. Living in tents, empty metal boxes and environmentally friendly tiny homes is the norm. Living in a modern, stick built home is often frowned upon in the extreme avoidance mindset.
There are the “mold experts” – each one of these have the best way to clean mold. If you put 100 mold experts in a room you have 100 different opinions. There are written guidelines, but they don’t go far enough to protect the consumer from the mold “expert” I have seen more failed remediations than successful ones. If you get sick from mold again 2-3 years after the remediation the only guarantee you have is that you are on your own for the next mold remediation.
There are the “indoor air doesn’t make me sick” people – they will just stay in the toxic home, school or building. They figure they won’t get that sick. Someone else might get sick, but they’re fine. They get sick a lot but it’s not the air they breathe.
There are the “I can’t afford to move” people – I don’t have the money so I do anything about living in mold. They have no where to go. If a test tells you there is toxic mold and you are sick… get out! Figure out how to pay for it later.
There are the “Hi Tech” people – we don’t have to run from mold, clean mold or be afraid of mold. We have Hi Tech and we just run it and breathe. It cleans the air, it cleans our stuff, it cleans our car. Got Mold? No problem. Hi Tech it.
92% of people worldwide live with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer ~ World Health Organization, September of 2016
Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors.
Indoor air has 2 to 5 times more pollutants than outdoor air.
At least 30% of the buildings in the United States experience indoor air quality problems. ~The World Health Organization, 1984
Indoor air pollution, commonly called sick building syndrome, costs businesses $60 billion annually ~ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
In 2007-2011, my family became so sick from mold that when we found out what was making us sick, we did whatever it took to breathe clean air again. We threw out almost everything we owned and spent a ton of MONEY and TIME on mold remediation. We were homeless, between motel rooms and tents, for 300 days.
The only thing I found that was working to clean clothes and the few non-porous things we took with us was ammonia. So, we stuck with ammonia for the remediation.
We owned a home we could not live in. And so, we lived in tents, motel rooms and my husband worked on the house that made us sick. I did the research on what to do, and he did the work.
We were sick. Camping and living in hotel rooms is not “fun” when you are sick, the kids are sick and the dog is sick. We had to do it because we could not find a safe place to rent.
We looked at dozens of homes and apartments. And I got sick at ALL of them.
A 1984 World Health Organization Committee
report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and
remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject
of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality
He threw out three quarters of what we owned and ripped the house down to studs.
It was financially and emotionally gut-wrenching. Never-mind how sick we were. Try being homeless when you are sick. It’s almost too much to bear.
Mold remediation was difficult and expensive.
The whole house had to be decontaminated. This was the system that worked for us.
1.) Ozone blast- which means you have to get all people, plants and pets out of the house because ozone, at the levels you need to kill mold will also kill anything living.
2.) Clean every surface with ammonia and cotton rags – wear mask & gloves
3.) HEPA vacuum
It took over 10 months, and over $40,000. Finally, we were not getting sick in the house anymore.
We moved back in.
We continued to practice “extreme avoidance” by bagging up all papers and throwing things out or banishing things to the porch or back to the storage unit if they made us sick.
We went back to the 3 step system if I started feeling sick. Ozone. Ammonia. HEPA.
We were constantly cleaning.
I had to hire someone to do deep cleaning once a week.
We did a HERTSMI test every 6 months or so. For the first 2 1/2 years after the first remediation our HERTSMI’s were a 4 or a 6 – consistently low and enough to keep me feeling our house was fairly safe. Anything under a 12 is considered safe for most people.
Mold Remediation Has NO GUARANTEE
If you are not testing for toxic mold, you will not know if you have it. I recommend doing the HERTSMI every 6 months… whether you think you have a problem or not!
August, 2014, 31 months after we moved back into our home, our HERTSMI score was a 20. (anything over 12 is NOT SAFE)
I didn’t want to lose all my stuff again.
I didn’t want to be homeless again.
I didn’t have the money to do another remediation!
We Were Getting Sick – Something Had to Be Done!
I found a couple of testimonials of people using a machine to get rid of mold. The first one I found was Bill and Ruth Pillings.
I remember thinking, “If they can put one of these machines in their house after a flood and they can feel better and the mold can actually disappear… maybe this thing will work?”
Then, I clicked on the name, Ray Robison, which brought me to a page with all the videos Ray Robison uploaded to youtube – and they were all about this machine that was getting rid of mold and pet odors. One of them was an “Environmental Expert” named Dick Lee who teaches at the college level. He said he saw mold counts and formaldehyde levels go down dramatically.
There was not a company name or a link to any website from those youtube videos — so I had to do my research. I found out Ray Robison owned a company called Hi Tech Air Solutions out of Moore, Oklahoma.
I got Ray’s phone number off the website and gave him a call. I told him about our situation and asked him if he thought his machines could help me.
He said, “Yes. – without a doubt”
From August 2014 to November 2014, I researched and asked around to people I knew who had been sick from mold. No one I knew in the mold community had ever tried a Hi Tech air reactor.
I was devastated. I was frightened. I did not want to have to leave my home and go live in a tent again. If I was going to live in a tent I wasn’t doing it in upstate New York again. Too cold. I had just spent 3 months on Kauai and my two oldest daughters are living there.
I told my husband, we either get one of these machines or I’m flying back to Kauai and I will camp on the beach, stay with my daughter or stay with friends until I find a place. The weather is beautiful all the time and I felt great when I was staying in Kapaa.
Then, I went one step further.
I told him we had to buy a machine for my parents.
Here was my thinking:If this does work, I want to help my parents too. And I want to be able to visit them again. My mom had been very sick and I could not go into their house without getting very, very sick.
I bought 2 Model 101’s. With the feeling that these were going to work… but if they didn’t, I could send them back.
There was a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.
So, I was still doubting. But extremely hopeful.
I remember the night they arrived. The tracking number said they would be arrive Wednesday, November 19th – the day after my birthday. I had a class to teach online at 7pm and I was not feeling good from the mold in my home. I couldn’t wait for those machines to get here.
The UPS driver got here at 6:40 – I had already called UPS at 5:00 because the package had not gotten here and they explained that they deliver until 7pm and my packages were out for delivery. I met the UPS driver at the truck. I wanted my machines!
The Second Time – We Got Hi Tech
We had some of the symptoms coming back: brain fog, nausea, and fatigue.
Our HERTSMI was at 20 in August.
In November of 2014 – we got a Hi Tech air reactor, installed the bulbs, plugged it in and turned the Hi Tech air reactor on.
That was the first day of the rest of my life. We have been breathing cleaner air ever since. I felt better almost immediately and definitely felt better when I was in the room with the machine for the first few weeks.
Now, I can be any where in my house and the air just feels clean and light.
Our follow up HERTSMI was a 6 – down 14 points.
If somebody comes over from a mold house or brings moldy things in the machine cleans the stuff that comes into the house. I might feel an initial reaction to mold and other toxins on stuff… but the machine cleans it up.
I travel with Hi Tech and I clean my car with Hi Tech.
I can shop at thrift stores again and the machine cleans the moldy smell off stuff.
I have saved books, artwork, photos, clothes, papers and so much more.
When the Hi Tech 101 helped me so much, I called up Ray, the owner of the company and I said, “I’m going to tell people about these.”
And Ray said, “Then, I’m going to pay you.”
You don’t have to worry about me just telling you about something because I might get a commission. I know it’s instinct to not trust someone’s opinion because they might be just trying to sell something. There is no way I could ever tell you something works if it didn’t work. How could I ever make up such a story?
Anyway, the company has a money back guarantee. A company just could not offer a money back guarantee if the product didn’t work!
The money back guarantee was one of the biggest reasons I bought a Hi Tech Air Reactor. If you have any doubt whether or not this could work, the money back guarantee should seal the deal.
I am thrilled every time someone gets to experience clean air the way I have been able to enjoy clean air. I think every school, library, public building and home should be properly sized for clean air with Hi Tech Air Solutions.
We moved out of our house on April 16th, 2011. Spore counts of mold (especially stachybotrys) were very high and our Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) was 20.3. [This translates to a 32 on the HERTSMI-2 scorecard] We also had aspergillus, cladosporium and wallemia sebi. It took a long time to get our house to where we could live in it without getting sick. We moved back in on February 10th, 2012.
Here are our remediation steps:
Step 1. – empty the house of all belongings. The only things we left were appliances and built in cabinets. Even those we moved, cleaned inside and out, and decided whether they could be kept.
Step 2. Rip out any building materials that have a hint of mold on them. Growing or standing. We rented a dumpster that would be taken out of town and burned.
Step 3. Clean everything. We used many cleaners in our process. Some had no effect and I would call them useless. It took 10 months to get it to the point where I was not getting sick in the house anymore. This is by far the most time consuming step.
It helps if you have become sensitive to mold. You can become the tester. That was what I did. “Nope. Still can’t live here… clean some more.” My poor husband. Those of you who know Mike, know he worked hard on making our house livable for me and the kids. He probably could have lived there through the entire process, but we couldn’t. My son and I had gotten very sick in that house and from now on we have to be very careful we are not living in sick buildings.
We did decide that a mixture of 50/50 ammonia to water was the best cleaning solution. Giving the best results after cleaning. I still use ammonia and water for cleaning… luckily for me, I don’t react to ammonia. Some do. Some become very sensitive after mold exposure or other environmental toxic exposures. They develop sever Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and react to everything. Since the mold exposure, I have problems with lotions, hairspray, perfume, make-up, candles, deodorants and probably more… but I am fine with most plastics, cleaning products and most fabrics.
The most helpful tools were the MaxBlaster ozone blaster, a RIGID shop HEPA vacuum, then later the Miele canister HEPA vacuum and a garden sprayer that we kept filled with our ammonia mixture. The ozone blaster has to be on a timer so it shuts off automatically. When no one is going to be in the house for a day or so… run ozone for 12 hours and let it sit for 4 or more hours after to let the O3 turn back to O2. It kills mold, bacteria and viruses… and believe me if you have mold, you probably have bacteria and viruses too! When they say ‘sick building’, that’s what you have.
Ozone blast, clean everything with ammonia, HEPA vacuum, repeat. When the house starts to get cleaner… I was able to pinpoint trouble spots in the home. Concentrate on cleaning that area until you no longer react to it. Sometimes I would get sick from cleaning and I had to take time off… or wait until my husband did it. When we were close to done with the house, I was still reacting to the refrigerator, the stove, the microwave, the dishwasher… some we cleaned, some we got rid of… some we replaced. We had to decide based on how easy they were to get into and clean.
Step 4. Put it back together using the most environmentally friendly products we could afford. Vermont Naturals Polyurethane is my best friend. If something wood that I LOVE is still making me sick… I have been putting Vermont Naturals on it… and it seems to be working for me. Some things are just too emotional to get rid of… like my hope chest, and my grandfather’s cedar bedroom furniture… Not all wood needs a coat of poly… but some does. This is how I am dealing, not sure it is ‘approved’ for mold encapsulation on wood, but it works for me.
Only bring one item into the house at a time so that you can tell what (if anything) is making you sick. I bought three new mattresses and had to take one donated mattress. I had to cover that with mattress covers but we can live with it until we can afford to buy a new one. Thankfully, I am not reacting to plastics or fabrics and I have been able to buy new bedding and couches without being overly careful.
When we went furniture shopping, I was super in tune to whether the place we were shopping for furniture made me react. We spent 4 hours in Huck Finn’s Warehouse in Albany, NY… and I felt sure that they didn’t have any mold. We bought a floor model… and I sniffed it. INHALE BIG. I have to live with this furniture! CAN I?
We started moving things into the house on February 1st. We didn’t move in (sleep there) until February 10th, 2012. It’s March 2nd and I am still feeling fine in the house. Everything in the house is new. We have 2 storage units full of stuff that I cannot go near, nor will I allow it in my house.
My husband wore full hazmat suit when he was ripping out moldy building materials. The mask he used was a Moldex 9000 and we got the hazmat suits from the same company.
We used plastic to close off rooms once they were cleaned and we worked our way through the house, cleaning methodically.
If there were an isolated room with mold, that room should be plastic-ed off from the rest of the house so as not to cross contaminate.
The guidelines we used for mold remediation were the ones that were written for asbestos clean up. Although mold is not regulated like asbestos is… it is quite dangerous and should be treated as the bio-hazard that it is.
In July/August of 2014, I started to get sick in my home again. No new leaks, just not feeling well and not getting any better so I did HERTSMI and it came out to be very high.
If you decide to purchase a Hi Tech Air Reactor, there is a 30 Day money back guarantee. The reason the company can offer this guarantee is because it works! I am an expert in indoor air quality and I help people who are sick from mold and other environmental illnesses.