Right - basements - good point and thanks for that great checklist!hopefully, somebody more familiar with mold avoidance will reply.
someone I once knew who was highly sensitive to mold told me that she made a point of avoiding anything with a basement and sticking to brand-new construction....
here's a checklist someone could use.
It would be good to find someone with sensitivities.....I wonder if there's a way to do that.You need someone to go through the house and look at all the potential trouble stops. There are kits that allow spore to grow and be sent off for analysis. I really don't know how accurate they are. Then there are "specialist", if they are involved in remediation then there's a chance of a less than honest assessment. You might try and locate someone who is extremely sensitive and have them go through the entire house, including the basement and attic. Mold free is a relative condition, there will always be some.
I get stuck analyzing the problem and not doing anything about it.
Thanks Forebearance - I had forgotten about living on top of a hill not in a valley = that's true for people with MCS as well. Good point!The people with ME/CFS who are sensitized to mold toxins (who I know) start by doing the usual things like looking under the sink for water damage, smelling the house for mustiness, etc. that anyone would do when house hunting.
But then because of our extra sensitivities, we tend to do things like sit in the house for an hour to see if we are getting symptoms. Common symptoms of exposure to toxic mold are pounding heart, burning skin, internal organ pain, which feels like back pain or heart pain, pink and white blotches on hands, and a bunch of more individual symptoms like headaches, sore throats, etc.
Sometimes we try to get permission to stay in the house overnight and see how we feel. It takes a good landlord to allow that!
If a patient is not sensitized yet, then you just do the best you can, or hire a mold dog to sniff it out for you, or do an ERMI test if you can afford it.
Those are good suggestions to avoid a basement, look for newer construction, and I would add look at the roof for signs of mildew or leaks, look at the walls and celings and shower tiles for signs of water damage. I may be forgetting some things to look for, but I hope you get the idea.
It's also good to live on top of a hill and not in a valley, where water damage from floods is more likely to have happened. And it's good to live in a newer part of town, and to be near some kind of green space or forest.
I hope that helped.
This is one of the hardest aspects of ME/CFS/FM - I think - the uncertainty of possibly doing things that are quite expensive. It's really hard to tell...I have heard of people who moved and got better and who moved and did not.I possibly need to find a mold free house. The problem is that I am not totally sure that mold is the problem so would hate to go through the extreme measures of moving and then find that I feel the same.
I have thought about getting myself tested for toxins to mold but not sure how accurate that is.
As for getting the house itself tested that is I have heard that there are companies that are not very reliable and the results don't necessarily indicate a true or false presence of mold.
Mold spores are always in the air and could be flying in from outside.
I live in Canada and almost all our houses have basements, many of them damp and moldy. New builds seem to better since they now have much better ways to water proof and insulate basements than ten or more years ago. The problem with new builds is that you then have to deal with toxins etc from the new materials, unless you build yourself and chose toxin-free building products.
Cort, this is why I am still living here and not in Death Valley as you suggested. I get stuck analyzing the problem and not doing anything about it. After waking up with a migraine the last few days and feeling like a truck ran over me in the night I am seriously thinking of doing something now. Stay tuned.