Lessons Learned ... The Hard Way !!

6 Mold Remediations:

Each One Different ... and Each One With Important Lessons !!

Remediation #1


MY 1ST REMEDIATION:  My first mold remediation project was relatively easy compared to all the others. That's because I could actually visibly see the mold on the backside of the dresser, which resulted from a dark & damp environment. My daily ritual of spritzing my fern and keeping the blinds drawn for shade in my bedroom had inadvertently created an ideal setting for mold growth. 

While recovering from my first knee operation, I got really sick while lying in the bedroom, prompting me to search for a cause. I found it quite by accident just by pulling the dresser away from the wall. Taking swift action, I removed the dresser, replaced the mold-laden carpet, bought a new bed, and repainted the room with mold-resistant products. These straightforward steps not only cleared the mold from the room but also marked a significant turning point in my health, highlighting the profound impact that our immediate surroundings have on our well-being.

What I Learned from

Remedation #1

THE IMPACT OF OUR ENVIRONMENT: This first encounter with mold taught me several crucial lessons about the subtle yet significant impact our immediate environment can have on our health. I discovered that even seemingly innocuous daily habits, like misting a plant or keeping a room darkened, can inadvertently create the perfect conditions for mold growth. It was a stark reminder that our living spaces are dynamic ecosystems, constantly influenced by our actions and choices.

The Power of Early Intervention:  Through this experience, I learned that when you do the right things, even without knowing you have mold illness or a genetic susceptibility, your body can bounce back if your toxin load is low enough. At that time, I was still pretty young and resilient, and I got better naturally over time. However, I was shocked to learn that just by spritzing a plant and keeping my bedroom dark to block out the sun, I had created the perfect environment for mold to thrive. This taught me the importance of vigilance in maintaining a healthy living space and being aware of how small, seemingly harmless habits can have a big impact on our health.

Listening To YOur BodY: Most importantly, I learned that our bodies have an innate wisdom and resilience. Even without understanding my genetic susceptibility, my instincts guided me to take the right actions. By swiftly removing the source of mold and creating a cleaner environment, I gave my body the chance it needed to bounce back. This experience highlighted the power of listening to our bodies and taking prompt action when something feels amiss. It also underscored the importance of maintaining a healthy living environment as a fundamental aspect of overall wellness.

The Importance of Early Action: The fact that I was younger, and my toxin load was likely lower at the time played a crucial role in my recovery, emphasizing how early intervention can make a significant difference in health outcomes. This incident was a wake-up call, alerting me to the hidden dangers that can lurk in our most personal spaces and the profound impact they can have on our well-being.

Remediation #2


MY 2ND REMEDIATION:  My 2nd mold remediation project was the HARDEST ONE to figure out. That's because the mold was on the inside of the concrete block walls of my son's bedroom. It wasn't until we finally got the Environmental Protection Agency & Health Department out that we finally figured it out. Once again, we figured it out. Even then, it was quite by accident.

The original builder of our home buried garbage (scraps of wallboard, wood, insulation, etc.) up against the house when it was first built. The garbage never decomposed. Decades later, we installed a beautiful planter box with amazing new shrubs and flowers and automatic sprinklers that watered it regularly. The water seeped into the walls and created the mold that we could not see that got my son and I very sick. 

What I Learned from

Remedation #2

HIDDEN MOLD CAN BE ELUSIVE: My second mold remediation project was a stark reminder of just how elusive hidden mold can be. Despite having professional inspections, the mold inside the concrete block walls of my son's bedroom went undetected for a long time. This experience taught me that even when you think you've covered all bases, mold can still find ways to hide and cause health problems.

HISTORICAL FACTORS MATTER: One significant lesson I learned is the importance of historical factors in mold growth. In our case, the original builder's decision to bury construction debris near the foundation of our home created a long-term problem that resurfaced decades later. This, combined with our well-intentioned home improvement of installing a planter box with automatic sprinklers, inadvertently set the stage for mold growth.

MOISTURE MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIA: Moisture management is crucial in preventing mold. Regular watering near the house's exterior can lead to water seepage and mold growth inside walls, even if the mold isn't immediately visible. This experience emphasized the need for thorough investigations and multiple expert opinions to correctly identify the source of mold problems. The involvement of the Environmental Protection Agency and Health Department was instrumental in our case.

PROACTIVE MOISTURE TESTING: To prevent future issues, I learned the importance of proactive moisture testing. Using a moisture meter on walls after wetting the exterior can help detect potential water infiltration issues. Additionally, applying proper exterior finishes like mold-resistant primers and paints, especially in damp-prone areas, provides essential protection. In areas with recurring mold issues, using products like Kilz Mold & Mildew Primer and applying multiple coats can offer added defense.

LANDSCAPING CONSIDERATIONS:  Another key lesson was the importance of landscaping considerations. Keeping shrubs away from the house and ensuring proper drainage of rainwater and irrigation systems away from the foundation is vital. This helps to minimize moisture build-up near the house, reducing the risk of mold growth.

HEALTH IMPACTS AND PERSISTENCE:  This experience also highlighted the serious health impacts hidden mold can have. Both my son and I fell ill due to the mold, underscoring the importance of not giving up if initial attempts to identify and remedy mold problems are unsuccessful. Persistence in seeking solutions and expert opinions is essential for health and well-being.

Remediation #3


MY 3RD REMEDIATION: My 3rd mold remediation product (and the only that was NOT successful) was the one that I had in my office. I had a 5-room office suite in a professional office complex. It had a big drainage ditch around it that was always filled with water ... even on a bright and sunny day. The water seeped into the floors of the building and eventually into the walls and the Air Conditioning System, creating the mold that nearly killed me. It also made several other people in the complex very sick.

That's When I Learned the

I MADE A BIG MISTAKE: I convinced myself that I could not leave the building ... because, "I was way too busy. Had too much to do. Too many people relying on me. Too many bills to pay." Blah. Blah. Blah.  Then, I nearly died and learned a harsh lesson. What good would I be to anyone else if I was dead? NONE! I put my life in jeopardy because I didn't have my priorities straight. Rather than telling myself "I can't get out" ... I was really telling myself, "I WON'T get out". Can't vs. won't ... reemmber that! There's a fine line there and an important lesson learned. Learn it.


Get OUT ...
Or you're gonna DIE !!

GETTING LAST RITES - TWICE: My attitude quickly changed when I had a priest standing over me giving me last rites and I saw the look of horror on my son's and my husband's face as they came into the ER room to say goodbye. It was such a surreal experience and it happened so fast. Everyone was giving up on me. Thankfully, I refused to die and did not give up on myself. I fought and advocated for myself, barking orders and not taking no for an answer. Before I knew it, I was hooked up to a heart bypass machine and being critical care transferred to a Level 1 Trauma Center for open heart surgery.

HAUNTED BY MY DECISIONS: I should have died; I can't erase that memory or turn back the hands of time. It traumatized me and left me with PTSD. To this day, the sound of an ambulance triggers vivid flashbacks - the chaos & urgency of the day, the sights and sounds and smell, the memories of the chaotic ambulance ride, the frantic ER experience, my family's fear, and the intense procedure to unblock the blood clot in my heart. Then, the anxious wait for critical care transport to the second hospital, followed by the open heart surgery, a day and a half of unconsciousness, and ten more days in critical care.

MOVE FORWARD WITH PURPOSE & INTENTION: No matter the effort, or the cost, take action now! Stop the exposure that's making you sick if you want to avoid permanent illness, injury, or even death. Remember, every decision you make (or don't make) comes with consequences, and hesitating - or cutting corners - in seeking proper care for your health can lead to devastating outcomes. Your well-being is invaluable, remember that. Ignoring it comes at an immeasurable cost. Don't gamble with your life; it's not worth the risk.

What I Learned from

Remedation #3

Shared HVAC Systems Can Spread Contamination: In buildings with shared air conditioning systems, mold in one area can affect the entire structure, making isolated remediation ineffective. This was a significant issue in my office suite, where the mold in the AC system spread throughout the building, causing severe health problems for me and other tenants.

Environmental Factors Are Critical: Constant moisture sources, like drainage ditches, can lead to persistent mold problems in buildings. The drainage ditch around my office building, which was always filled with water, contributed to the mold infestation by seeping moisture into the floors and walls.

Landlord Resistance Can Complicate Remediation:  Many property owners may be reluctant to properly address mold issues due to the high costs involved. This resistance complicates remediation efforts and places tenants at greater risk. Landlords often neglect necessary remediation, leaving tenants to deal with the consequence

Documentation Is Crucial:  When dealing with mold in a rented space, it's essential to thoroughly document all interactions, remediation efforts, and health impacts. Proper documentation can be vital in legal disputes, helping to establish a clear record of the issues and the responses from landlords.

Legal Preparedness Is Important: Mold-related lawsuits can be complex and lengthy, requiring extensive evidence and expert testimony. Understanding the legal aspects, including the need for definitive proof and the challenges of proving negligence and premises liability, is crucial. Court cases can take years, and the defense will likely bring in experts to dispute claims.

Remediation #4


MY 4TH REMEDIATION: My fourth mold remediation was prompted by multiple kitchen leaks that started with a dishwasher leak, and then a pipe leak under the kitchen sink that caused the mold to grow beneath the cabinets. In both cases, we cleaned up the water quickly, but unfortunately, my mold symptoms returned unexpectedly, leading me back to the Emergency Room due to difficulties breathing.

This remediation project was the most expensive, by far, totaling over $25,000 in costs, even though we did most of the work ourselves. The estimates we got were over $35,000. The frustrating part was that after three months of detoxifying my body with CellCore Biosciences, I saw no improvement, despite having had significant improvement at that point before. So I KNEW there was more mold somewhere else in the house. This led us to investigate further mold issues.

What I Learned from

Remedation #4

HIDDEN LEAKS CAN CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE: Even small, undetected leaks behind appliances or under cabinets can lead to serious mold problems over time. It's crucial to regularly inspect areas that are not easily visible, such as behind refrigerators and under sinks. In our case, a slow leak in the hose behind the refrigerator and another under the kitchen sink went unnoticed until it caused significant mold growth.

PROPER MATERIALS AND INSTALLATION ARE CRUCIAL: Using high-quality, durable materials for plumbing and appliance connections can prevent leaks and subsequent mold growth. After discovering the mold, we rebuilt the kitchen with metal hoses and continuous piping without joints. We chose wood instead of particle board for cabinets, which can withstand water better. These choices can significantly reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

WATER DETECTION SYSTEMS ARE VALUABLE:  Installing water leak detection alarms under appliances and cabinets can provide early warning of leaks, allowing for quick response and minimizing the chance of mold growth. This proactive approach can save significant time, money, and health issues in the long run. We installed alarms under each unit, ensuring that any future leaks would be detected immediately.

THOROUGH INVESTIGATION IS NECESSARY:  When mold symptoms persist despite remediation efforts, it's important to continue investigating. Using tools like cell phones to inspect hard-to-reach areas can reveal hidden mold growth that might otherwise go unnoticed. We discovered more mold under the cabinets only after removing the kick plates and taking pictures with a cell phone.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES CAN SAVE MONEY AND HEALTH: While investing in quality materials and preventive measures might seem expensive initially, it can save substantial costs and prevent health issues in the long term. The $25,000 spent on remediation far exceeds the cost of preventive measures. Ensuring that your home is built and maintained with the right materials and precautions can prevent extensive damage and health problems.

Remediation #5


MY 5TH REMEDIATION: The 5th mold remediation project revealed mold behind the tile walls of my bathroom and beneath the tub, necessitating a complete overhaul. People often questioned why I hadn't considered moving, but the dilemma was more complex than it seemed. Living in Florida, especially by the water, I was acutely aware that mold is a big issue, with over 70% of buildings harboring it to some extent. Staying in my home, despite its challenges, meant that I was familiar with what had been done already and what might still needed attention. This knowledge, though daunting, gave me a unique advantage in managing and understanding the scope of mold remediation in my own space. Plus, I had remediated and gotten myself 100% well using CellCore Biosciences, so I felt more comfortable taking on the process.

When dealing with mold remediation, you must weigh the pros and cons and find your own path forward. I was fortunate enough to have a handy husband and supportive friends who put their lives on hold to help us, making the decision to stay an easier one. I'm glad I did stay, but I really wish that I had known about these mold issues sooner and that I had a more reliable mold inspector, as we lost valuable time, money, and energy on unreliable and inaccurate air samples.

What I Learned from

Remedation #5

UNRELIABILITY OF CERTAIN MOLD TESTS: DIY mold testing kits and air samples can be unreliable. Despite "normal" results from these tests, significant mold was found behind the shower tiles. This underscores the importance of thorough, professional inspections, especially in moisture-prone areas.

IMPORTANCE OF PROPER BATHROOM VENTILATION: Inadequate ventilation in bathrooms can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth, even with regular cleaning practices. Proper ventilation systems are crucial in preventing mold issues in high-humidity areas.

LIMITATIONS OF SUPERFICIAL FIXES:  Simply removing and replacing caulk at the edges of tubs and tiles is not sufficient to address mold issues. Mold can penetrate deeper into walls and structures, requiring more comprehensive remediation approaches.

BENEFITS OF LARGE-FORMAT TILES:  When mold symptoms persist despite remediation efforts, it's important to continue Using large-format porcelain tiles or slabs can significantly reduce the number of grout lines, thereby minimizing potential areas for mold growth. The non-porous nature of porcelain also contributes to a more mold-resistant surface.

COMPREHENSIVE WATERPROOFING IS ESSENTIAL: Proper waterproofing beneath tiles is crucial. The visible tile surface is not the primary defense against water intrusion; instead, it's the underlying waterproofing system that prevents moisture from penetrating and causing mold growth.

Remediation #6


MY 6TH REMEDIATION:  Our 6th and most recent mold remediation journey was in our 2nd bathroom. What was so different about this experience was that the mold was NOT just between the tile and the wallboard (as we had in the first bathroom renovation), but it was also behind the wallboard itself. And what was most baffling was the fact that we hadn't used that shower in several months, yet the area behind the wall remained dripping wet. Wet enough that my husband could put his hand on the wall and it would show the moisture instantly.

What was also interesting was the fact that I recovered quickly after remediating our 1st bathroom (the bathroom I use regularly), but my son did not. He uses the 2nd bathroom and remained sick. This led to a critical realization about the significance of proximity to the mold and its influence upon our health.

From this, I learned that every mold situation is unique, and every remediation project different. It uncovers new lessons to be learned about the stealthy nature of mold itself and its effects on our overall well-being.

What I Learned from

Remedation #6

HIDDEN MOISTURE SOURCES CAN BE PERSISTENT: Even in seemingly dry conditions, moisture can remain trapped behind walls due to factors like failed waterproofing, condensation, or rising damp. Regular use of the space isn't always an indicator of active moisture problems. Moisture can persist even when a space isn't being used regularly.

PROXIMITY MATTERS IN MOLD EXPOSURE: Different recovery rates among individuals in the same household highlight that proximity to mold sources can significantly impact health outcomes. This underscores the importance of thorough remediation in all living spaces, as mold in one area can affect occupants differently based on their usage patterns.

OLDER WATERPROOFING METHODS MAY FAIL:  Homes built with older waterproofing techniques, such as bituminous or asphalt-based coatings, may experience failures over time. These failures can lead to persistent moisture issues that aren't immediately apparent, necessitating modern waterproofing solutions.

COMPREHENSIVE MOISTURE MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL:  Effective moisture control involves multiple strategies, including improved ventilation, proper insulation, addressing rising damp, and updating waterproofing methods. A multi-faceted approach is often necessary for long-term mold prevention, including the use of dehumidifiers and proper drainage systems.

REGULAR INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE ARE ESSENTIAL:  Routine checks of plumbing, exterior paint, and sealants can help identify potential moisture issues before they lead to severe mold problems. This proactive approach can save time, money, and health in the long run. Professional assessments may be necessary for thorough evaluation and tailored solutions.

Don't Put it Off

The Importance of Taking Timely Action

Proactive Health Measures ... Are ESSENTIAL !!

PROACTIVE HEALTH MEASURES ... ARE ESSENTIAL: I cannot tell you HOW MANY TIMES I've had clients who have been sick for a LONG time, who come to me for help & support, but who, despite my advice, neglect to get their homes properly tested and remediated for both mold and/or environmental toxins.

It happens ALL THE TIME !!

MISPLACED PRIORITIES: I often see that people won't spend $500, $1,000, $2,000, or more, to make sure their home is 100% safe. Yet they'll spend tens of thousands of dollars on hospitalizations, medical treatments, rehabilitations & recoveries from the medical issues caused by the toxins & chemicals that are in their body and their work or home.

INVESTING IN LUXURIES OVER HEALTH: Or, they'll think nothing of spending $500, $1,000, $2,000 or more on holiday shopping, new cell phones, televisions, computers, or family vacations. This glaring disparity not only highlights misplaced priorities but also underscores the critical need for a proactive approach to health, where ensuring a safe living environment isn't just an option, but a necessity.

DON'T RISK YOUR HEALTHDon't end up wasting thousands trying to detoxify your body without eliminating the source of the problem. Take my advice: figure out what's in your home, your workspace, and your body, and work to remove the root cause of the issues. Facing these challenges directly is essential. Awareness and action are key steps toward achieving lasting health and well-being.

DON'T MAKE EXCUSES: Don't let obstacles like financial constraints, time limitations, or uncertainty about finding qualified professionals deter you from taking action. Dismissing the need for professional inspection and remediation can lead to greater risks and costs in the long run. Understand that the health implications are too significant to be ignored and that finding solutions, even in small steps, is better than inaction.

DON'T MISS THE HIDDEN DANGERS: And don't assume that a newer (or clean-looking house) is automatically a safe space. Hidden dangers like mold and environmental toxins can lurk unseen, regardless of a home's age or appearance. It's crucial to go beyond surface cleanliness and consider comprehensive testing and inspection. These steps are vital in uncovering potential risks, and ensuring your living environment supports, rather than hinders, your health.

DON'T ACCEPT BEING DISMISSED: It's deeply disheartening when individuals' legitimate concerns about their health are casually dismissed or ridiculed by spouses, labeled as "overreacting" or "crazy," while they exhaust time, money, and energy on solutions that don't address the root cause of the problem. I hear this all the time and it's so frustrating to witness. Standing firm in the face of skepticism and advocating for your health is not only necessary; it's a right that should be respected and supported.

DON'T RISK BEING HOSPITALIZED: Regrettably, neglecting these environmental risks often leads to emergency room visits or worsening health complications due to prolonged toxin exposure, trapping individuals in a harmful cycle. The physical, emotional, and financial burdens of this neglect can be overwhelming, with medical costs often far exceeding what a proper home inspection would have cost. Heartbreakingly, in some cases, this delay in action has even resulted in loss of life. This harsh reality underscores the urgent need for timely awareness and intervention.

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Navigating the complexities of mold illness and remediation can be incredibly challenging. Having gone through six different remediation projects myself, I understand the overwhelming task of figuring out how to get out of the mold and get the mold out of you. Through my journey, I've learned the hard lessons and experienced firsthand the difficulties involved. That's why I'm here to help. Our coaching programs are designed to provide the assistance you need,  hether through a comprehensive VIP Coaching program, a group coaching program with some personalized 1:1 sessions, or a single deep-dive consultation session. You'll find all the options under the Work With Us page. Let us know if you have any questions or how we can assist you in reaching your goals.

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