Mold Remediation Philadelphia 

Above is a petri dish sample of the HVAC system (taken at the register).

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In my travels over the (33) years and in witnessing just about every type of mold infestation, one call was an educational experience for me. I thought I would share some of what I learned in this adventure.

I was called upon for mold remediation services for a large home in Bucks County, Pa. This home is impressive in its upgrades especially for the consistency with which its thoughtful owners kept with the theme of an old 1800's barn. It reportedly took a fourth architect to finally embrace the desired theme of the completed home. Despite a very clean and mostly dry environment, mold had taken hold.

This impressive home, as I learned after three trips to the residence, has been totally rebuilt except for the old stone walls, which were left standing. The structure was a run-down residence where the elderly lady inhabiting the old structure had reportedly let it go. The roof and all the floors were rebuilt with the open style architecture showing impressive barn timbers. The stone walls were re-pointed and left exposed. The new walls are drywall with a plaster overlay with an exclusive and antique wax treatment. The home is impressive to say the least. My job was to locate the source of mold that was literally threatening the health of the occupants.

The man of the house reportedly has pituitary gland shutdown, which reportedly affects much of the hormonal levels of the his body. My client, having his father die of Alzheimer’s Disease was fortunate enough to find a doctor that looked beyond blood deficiencies to root cause of his problems. It turned out that this man of 49 years of age was headed for Alzheimer’s Disease himself and an early an miserable death, if not for this doctor that looked beyond hormone replenishment to an underlying cause of his condition.

His wife relayed to me an interesting finding of this special doctor, that her husband has an inability to fight mold toxins and that this problem is genetic. The most interesting part of this story is that the doctor claims that every Alzheimer’s patient he treats has this same condition. The mold connection has reportedly been made! The claim is that this doctor has actually brought back a 94 year old Alzheimer’s patient to a more normal life. I was keen on hearing this information as having lost my mother at age 13, when she was only 44 years of age, to liver cancer, which has now been attributed to mold in improperly dried grain. My mom also lost her sister to the same disease who died a couple years earlier and at the same age.

So you may wonder, “Why such a discussion,” when mold in an old farmhouse is the focus. The reason for this to reflect the potential severity black mold presents and as you will read, the unique case this old home represents. In my quest to find the cause of the mold, I did the usual inspection of the basement, attic, ventilation and surrounding terrain and gutter system of the home. I found issues, but none that were contributing to the living area musty smell.

I performed an HVAC mold test for mold spores. After several days, the presence of mold was evident in the culture medium. Meanwhile my client was getting his tests back that verified the mold toxins in his blood. At this point, we knew that there was mold but it remained invisible to me. Only through much conversation with my client and my third trip out to the home, could we diagnose the unique root cause and location of the infestation. I usually look for the moisture issue, as do most Mold Remediators. The food resides just about everywhere in residential dwellings so the food often takes a back seat to moisture that often causes the mold problem.

It seems that this old home had many bats and the elderly lady inhabitant of the original structure fostered these pests, supplying bat houses and ignoring their take-over of her home. The home was previously infested with bats and the guano was a big problem and one of the reasons the home was totally gutted by its new owners. It was this fact that took us to the cause of the mold problem.

In reliving the construction and restoration of the home, my client told me of an incident that stuck in her mind while the roof was being installed. The roofers were on the roof working when one of the men leaned on the chimney for a moment of respite. As he looked into the chimney, he was startled and he screamed, “Bats!” The chimney reportedly was lined with the fur of living bats!

Now we had the source! The intake vents for the HVAC system were adjacent to the several chimneys on the first floor. Other than an unrelated infestation in the finished basement area, the first floor had a mold problem with a hidden cause and no visible active mold. The food for the mold was not the norm, but bat guano! Holy Bat Guano in the chimneys! Even though the chimneys had been cleaned, the jagged edges and ledges could never be 100% clean of the bat droppings. Mold, not being selective, will grow on just about any carbon or cellulose available to the organism. The wind carries the spores right down to the first floor and into the HVAC system. Moisture had been particularly available as recent hurricane Irene and subsequent storms had dumped over 20 inches of rain in the area.

ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry) has a page to this effect.

So my educational experience of the week was very enlightening. Mold causes serious health issues and it grows where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes a little investigation to find the cause, but if we can get to it, we can kill it!

Bob Wewer

Mold Remediation Philadelphia

I am adding the link for the doctor:

Yuck! Bat poop? That is amazing and nasty at the same time. Mold is horrible. We had it removed in our basement only to have it return the next year. Any tips on how to keep it from coming back?


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