Category Archives: Air Quality

Mold Remediation Steps

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.

Some notes:
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.


latest updatesIn 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.

I found and purchased a machine that eradicates mold and mycotoxins and I am feeling good in my home again – here is a blog I wrote with the before and after test results.
Hi Tech Air Reactor – Before and After Testing with Mycometrics – HERTSMI – ERMI

Hi Tech Video Testimonies

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.

Contact me with any questions. I am proud to be a Hi Tech Air Solutions Representative.

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Accentuate the Positive

Even when I am not feeling my best, I try to stay positive.

As someone who is sensitive to the environment… it’s not always easy.

sick buildingsWe are sensitive to toxins in the air.

We get sick in places others might not realize are sick buildings. The toxins hit hard and we have symptoms flare. For me, it is swelling tongue and throat… runny nose, headache, brain fog, diarrhea, and more…

If I test a building I got sick in, it will be toxic. If I go back to that building again without someone doing something to improve the air and reduce the toxins people breathe inside that building, I will get sick every time I go to that building.

I am the canary in the coalmine. I get sick first. Others are getting sick. They just don’t feel it the same way I do. Have you ever gone home from a place and had an “unexplainable” headache? Or have you “caught” the flu.

Toxins in the air.

There are places I want to go… but they are toxic to me.

An outing to the wrong building can turn into a week of recovery. I’m working on my health and recovery.

Detox.

Focus on the good. Stay positive.

Strive for clean air everywhere.

I am grateful that I have a home with clean air where I can recover
I am grateful that many people are learning that indoor air quality matters.

I help people get clean air. For real. Not filtered air.  Clean air.

There is always so much good to focus on. 🙂

There is always hope.

Accentuate the positive.

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Millions are Sick from Poor Indoor Air Quality and Sick Buildings

Mold illness is common and often misdiagnosed. Millions are suffering and many don’t know that their indoor air, food, water, and toxins they are unknowingly exposed to every day are making them sick.

Donate to help start a non-profit for mold sick people

My son deteriorated from an active, smart 11 year old boy to a bed & wheelchair-bound sickly child with daily seizures and vomiting and excruciating pain. He would forget what you told him a minute after you said something — it was like he had Alzheimer’s. It was common for him to collapse in a heap and convulse and/or stare off in a catatonic state.

I had to quit my job to take care of him and I found myself getting sick. When I went to the doctor’s for my memory problems and digestive problems, I was told it was stress and nothing more. I wound up hospitalized several times for vomiting. Surgeries, medication, nothing helped. We went into debt to pay for medical bills, testing, supplements and travel to various specialists.

We found out that toxic mold behind the walls of our home was the cause of the sickness. By the time we figured it out my husband had chest pains, my dog was having seizures, my daughter had asthma, MRSA and behavior problems. We were a sick family.

We took on more debt to fix our home and make it safe for us to live in. We were homeless for over ten months while we fixed our home. This all takes money… money we did not have.

My son is healthy now and about to turn 18 years old. If he gets exposed to toxic mold, he will crash physically and mentally. It’s something he will always have to deal with because he is genetically susceptible to mold.

Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker says that 24% of the population are genetically susceptible to mold and consequently can’t detox well… so we get sick from toxic mold and sick buildings. Dr. Shoemaker also writes about a phenomenon called “sicker quicker” in his book “Surviving Mold” – when someone has been severely poisoned, they can get well and then when re-exposed to a toxin… it makes us very sick, very quick.

If 24% of 325 million US population can’t detox – that’s approximately 81 million sick people.

We have to take precautions to keep our indoor air extremely healthy, we have to be careful where we go, who we visit and where we work.

Getting well from toxic overload takes money and many in the chronically ill community can’t work regular jobs because a large number of buildings are sick buildings. We need clean, toxin free homes and buildings. Many people don’t get well because they can’t afford treatment and supplements or they can’t think clearly enough to follow through with a daily plan… or worse, they can’t get out of bed. They need help. People need different levels of help.

We have millions of sick people because we have millions of sick buildings, contaminated water, pesticides in food, antibiotics in meat, mercury and radiation in fish and arsenic in chicken. The list goes on and on. Once you get poisoned, people need a lot of things other people would not think of.

Too many people are living in moldy, toxic homes and they are wondering why they are sick all the time. These are some of the things we need:

1. Clean Air, Water, Food and Skin Care
2. Detox Centers – motels and buildings turned into safe places to stay. Storage units for contaminated belongings. Outside showers, outside cleaning bays with good drainage.
3. Education on how to live healthy lives, how to grow your own food or source from an organic farmer, Wi-Fi is dangerous, make-up can be toxic, amalgam fillings add to toxic load, mold causes allergies and mycotoxins can kill you.
4. Access to clean, natural supplements, ground herbs, natural products
5. Stay away from pharmaceuticals except in emergencies. Always look for the cause.
6. Re-educate doctors to educate patients on the 4 categories that could be making them sick: Air, Water, Food and Skin Care
7. Testing air and water for mold, viruses, bacteria, pesticides, petroleum, VOC’s, formaldehyde
8. Air and water purifiers for homes
9. Mandatory testing for all public buildings and public housing by a qualified air & water quality inspector. Yearly or more often if they fail.
10. Money to pay for all this

As you read this, there are people who are living in their cars or in tents because they get sick indoors. There are people living in moldy buildings because they have nowhere to go.

I pray we can all work together and help people!

Thank you for your time,

Heather Plude
Heather Plude

Please share this with anyone who wants to help.

Comment with ideas on how to organize and help more people.

Donate if you can. The donation will go to “Freedom Out of the Box, LLC” which is owned by Heather Plude (me) — I have someone who will help me set up a non-profit and we need to pay her for that service.

Once a non-profit organization is started we can raise money to start detox centers and help individuals with medical needs, housing needs, education and more.

Our first goal is $5,000 to get the non-profit organization started.

First detox center. A motel is available and the location is nontoxic and remote. This would be an ideal place for people to stay and set up one of the rooms with a sauna, supplements, a shower, fitness area and a hub for the detox center. The other rooms can be remodeled to be toxin free and the basement would need encapsulation. There is room for tents and new cabins on the grounds. Also, an outside shower, organic gardening and possibly storage units for people to store their things in while the relocate. $100,000 to $250,000 plus operating costs

Mobile detox center. An Airstream or some other non-toxic mobile home complete with sauna and outdoor shower. People who have been dealing with toxicity and cross contamination would understand the need for this. We know many sick people, who are forced to live in tents, cars and homeless shelters and they continue to be sick from toxins. $50,000 to $100,000 plus operating costs

Many detox centers across the U.S. and in other countries… where ever there is homeless because of toxicity, there should be a non-toxic home and help finding a more permanent living situation. Homes, motels, apartment buildings… we need to fix existing buildings or build new. Whichever is more reasonable and working for super sensitive individuals.

I know some people who are so sensitive they are living on an island away from all civilization. We can never get a place so clean that everyone will do well there. We can get it so 99% of the people who were homeless from toxins have a place to go. That is my goal.

I would love to have other people comment here or contact me about moving forward with this project. We are going to need smart people who understand mold illness and smart business people to make this work. I want to work with a team of people who all want to help the people who are struggling. I know you are out there. Contact me. Let’s form an alliance.

I am flexible on all these plans as long as the general theme is to help people who are sick from mold and other environmental toxins to get into a clean space, get their health back and help to find or make them new, non-toxic homes.

In the past, I have sent emails and filled out contact forms on websites for politicians, heads of departments, non-profits, news channels, talk show hosts, and I have not gotten any responses YET.

I was discouraged and I made a post on Facebook about reaching out and feeling like I was getting nowhere and I was encouraged to keep on trying.

Someone, who knew I had been wanting to start a non-profit for at least a couple of years asked me if I had started that non-profit yet.
Now is the time.

I am helping people every day by phone, email and chat… and frustrated because we don’t have the money to REALLY help people!
Let’s do it already!

I will go back to a lot of those politicians, heads of departments, non-profits, news channels, talk show hosts and share this page. I’m not going to dwell on the ones that have not yet answered me. I will reach out to more until I do get answers.

I am going to pray we make the needle on this fundraiser rise.

Please comment with your own mold story so that those who are able to donate see the stories of those who are suffering. That is my request of you, my fellow mold warriors. Comment and share. Contact me if you are able to contribute anything from time to ideas. We need your voice, your prayers and your emotional support.

Financial support will come from people who can afford to give.

I pledge to give 10% of my income to this cause.

Donate to help start a non-profit for mold sick people

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