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Hire mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero to find air conditioning mold, workplace mold, and mold hidden inside the walls, ceilings, floors, crawl space, attic, basement, and HVAC equipment and system of your house, condominium, office, workplace, or other building anywhere in  Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, Arizona, California, Las Vegas, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and elsewhere in Asia. Mold Training  Mold Inspector Directory  Industrial Hygienist Training  Industrial Hygienist Directory  Mold Inspection Blog Questions & Answers

Building Mold Inspection Blog Questions & Answers from Mold Experts Phillip Fry & Divine Montero

Please submit your mold and environmental inspection, testing, remediation, and prevention questions (and mold pictures if you have any) to mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero, who will answer your questions fully and promptly. Please email your questions and mold pictures to

     Q. July 28, 2012. About 6 weeks ago we had our back room cupboard pulled apart and treated for mold under insurance and the mold people sampled the air.  Yesterday being 6 weeks later the mold company got back to us and said that the mold spores in the air was high so that they have to come back and retreat the mold and test the other rooms. My concern is that the day after the mold company came out our 8 month old son started projectile vomiting and has lost weight.  my wife and I have also have had back to back flu like symptoms and now have been on 4 courses of antibiotics and don’t know if this is due to the mold spores. I told my concern with the doctor and he didn’t know anything about mold infections and the Mold company did not know the health side of things. I am asking for your knowledge to help us in this situation.
A. Often poorly done mold remediation spreads the mold problem much more than the original problem. Most mold contractors do a very port job of mold remediation.  May I suggest that you carry out your own total mold inspection and testing of your house to find out the extent of the mold problem. To learn how, read my in depth ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Inspection, Testing, Remediation, and Prevention for only $15 from book is sent to you by email attachment. Please also study carefully the mold inspection instructions and pictures on my website, at which website you can also buy do it yourself mold test kits. To help you work with your doctor for your child's likely mold health problems, read (also available on Mold Mart) my ebook Mold Health Guide.  As you have already learned most doctors are ignorant about mold illnesses.  The Mold Health Guide explains mold health problems plus diagnostic and treatment medical procedures and medicines.  If you are going to pay for professional mold inspection, testing, and remediation, you need to seek out and hire the best possible mold inspectors and mold remediators. In what city and state do you live?  Do you have any pictures of the mold growth that was removed from your cupboard?  Please email me any follow up mold q's you may have. In service, Phillip Fry, mold consultant, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator

July 17, 2012. The apartment I live in with my three children who have asthma has a lot of mold in it. I've told the land lord more than once about the situation. They just painted over it. What can I do?
A. Living or working in a mold-infested home or workplace can cause asthma and worsen asthma for people already suffering from asthma. When you landlord painted over the mold, he did nothing to fix the severe mold health threat to your family. Mold loves to eat paint and the mold will become visible again. When you can see major mold growth in your apartment, it is also likely to be also growing INSIDE the walls, ceilings, floors, and heating/cooling equipment and ducts. Landlords don't care about the mold health of their tenants. Even if a landlord were willing to spend the significant amount of money, time, and effort to mold remediate a moldy rental unit, the tenants and their possessions would need to be moved elsewhere until the unit has been effectively mold remediated. You need to find a mold-safe place to live and move your family as soon as possible. Do not move any of your possessions to a new location until you have thoroughly washed and scrubbed all items outdoors so that you don't mold cross-contaminate where you move to. If you have more q's, I'm here to serve you----Phillip Fry, mold expert, Certified Environmental Hygienist

July 10, 2012. We need to clean our mold under the house on the beams.  Is this the best stuff to use?  Tim-bor---is this a true product?
     A. Your first step should be at least 2 hours of heavy ozone blasting inside the crawl space to kill mold growth therein. You can buy a low cost home ozone generator. Your second step should be to get into the crawl space to spray genuine EPA-registered fungicide and termite killer Tim-Bor onto all mold growth and all surfaces. If the crawl space ceiling is too low to get into the crawl space, use a mold fogging machine to for at least two gallons of Tim-Bor mix (mixed 1 lb of Tim-Bor per gallon of hot water). You can buy a low cost mold fogger. Third Step: After spraying or fogging Tim-Bor, if you can readily get into the crawl space, you need to remove the dead mold growth using a wire brush attachment to a hand-held grinder and/or hand wire brushes.  You need to both kill and remove mold for effective mold remediation. You should also be aware that it is easy for crawl space mold to grow upward into the insides of the floors and walls above.  You would be wise to carefully do mold inspection and mold testing of your entire house, including its heating/cooling equipment and ducts. Learn about mold inspection techniques. Read the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation. If I may be of further help, please email me. Sincerely, Phillip Fry, mold expert, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator. 

     Q. May 29, 2012. What do you think about expensive dry steam vapor cleaners for mold remediation?
A. There is no such thing as a "dry" steam vapor cleaner. Do not use because such steam cleaners (or any steam cleaner) introduce unnecessary moisture (mold producing) into what you are cleaning.

     Q. May 29, 2012. Is it illegal in the US (maybe only specific states) to be a BOTH mold remediator AND a mould inspector due to potential conflicts of interest? 
A. In the few states that regulate mold professionals, it is lawful to be BOTH an inspector and a remediation contractor but a professional in closely regulated states such as Texas cannot do BOTH inspection and remediation on the same job because of the potential conflict of interest. In unregulated states or nations, after the mold inspector has done his or her mold inspection job that has uncovered serious mold problem requiring remediation, the inspector should ask the client whether the client would like to know the names of several other mold remediators to get competitive bids and feedback as to the mold inspection report. Usually, the client will say that that is unnecessary, and just look to the inspector for the mold remediation if the inspector has done a professional and thorough job of mold inspection. Collected mold samples to an independent, qualified mold analysis lab.

 May 2, 2012. I am an owner of a basement home in the Phoenix, Arizona area with a prior history of storm water flooding.  The cause has since been eliminated and carpets have been removed.  However, in the finished basement, the bottom 2x4 of the walls and couple of inches of drywall are stained in an area that intersects two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a utility room.  I would like to cut the top 1 foot of drywall, discard and treat the wood with a tea tree oil solution and only remove/replace wood that is significantly rotted, if encountered. Would you provide comment to this approach?
A. To treat the flood-damaged wood and drywall,  may I suggest the following mold remediation plan to you?  Cut two feet off of the bottom side of the drywall, and NOT just one foot to be sure to remove and discard any drywall that might be harboring mold spores and internal mold growth.  The standard in the mold remediation profession would be cut out FOUR feet of the drywall to be sure, so my two feet recommendation is a middle-ground recommendation between your one foot plan and the mold remediation's standard procedure. Second, while wearing proper mold remediation gear (even during the above cutting out of drywall), cut out and discard any water damaged timbers, plus use a Makita or Bosch hand-held grinder with a wire brush attachment to thoroughly clean the surface of the remaining, exposed 2 by 4 studs. Use a wire brush to get into corners not reachable by the grinder.  Instead of tea tree oil, use much more effective boric acid powder mix to scrub with a hard bristle brush the exposed and replaced timbers. After a thorough scrubbing and cleaning, then spray a wet coating of boric acid powder mix on to the wood as a mold preventative (the deposited, dried white boric crystals are the mold preventative).  You can buy boric acid powder for delivery to your Phoenix home from our Mesa, Arizona, office. Buy boric acid powder and read the mix instructions and the application suggestions at Mold Mart.  You would also be helped by reading the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation. Please do not re-carpet your basement. Instead, install vinyl or ceramic tiling because carpeting is a great place for mold growth, especially because of water that might be wicking up from the ground through your basement concrete floor. If I can be of further help, please email me. Thanks, mold consultant, Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator.

     Q. April 30, 2012. My family and I moved into a rental house in Texas on 2/1/12. During the walkthrough with landlord, I noticed a brown stain on the ceiling outside an upstairs bathroom. I asked LL about it and he said all the plumbing was inspected and there are no leaks. I decided I would keep an eye on it. It's important for you to know that the house had been vacant from 10/2012 until we moved in on 2/1/12- meaning it was vacant during the cold, rainy winter months. Sure enough, a big storm rolled through end of March & I heard a crash upstairs. The exact area where brown stain was, had broken open from the weight & moisture of water and the floor was covered with mold-infested insulation and drywall. The pink insulation was literally solid black. The EXACT same thing happened to an area 10 feet away inside the bathroom., right next to the bathroom fan. It happened in the evening and I emailed my LL immediately with details and pictures. I cleaned up all the wet, mold-infested drywall & insulation off floor and tore off mold-infested drywall still hanging and cut out rest of the molded drywall in the 2 areas. I could see mold stains on a couple of the 2x4's. I didn't wear a mask or gloves and I have severe allergies and am allergic to all molds, plus I had chronic sinusitis until I had 2 sinus surgeries 5 years ago. I woke up the day after feeling terrible and I could literally feel the sinus infection develop throughout the day and it was full-blown by that night with both nasal passages swollen shut, sinus pressure & headache and ear pressure. I went to urgent care that night and got a steroid shot and 14 days of Levaquin- the strongest antibiotic. In the past when I got identical sinus infections, these 2 remedies always had me feeling better 24 hours later. Seven days later I had zero improvement and was miserable. I went back to same urgent care and now had an ear infection to go with the sinus inf. This time they gave me another steroid shot, an antibiotic shot, another oral antibiotic to take with the remaining Levaquin and an oral steroid pack. It's 3 weeks later and I have not improved at all. Also, my wife, daughter & son have all been sick off and on with different illnesses that are all associated to mold exposure. The cause of both leaks were broken seals around the vent pipes outside, on the roof and a roofer fixed those the next day. However, the other issue & concern is that the morning after the ceiling collapses, my landlord called two companies to come out and give a remediation estimate. The first remediator was very arrogant, and he had a device that looked like a stud-finder and it was to check for moisture behind walls. The first leak happened along edge of a wall and all the contractor guy did was test a couple areas on that wall and he was done with his evaluation in 10 minutes. He never went in the attic or got on a ladder to look up into the holes for more mold. He said this is a very minor mold issue and he doubts any spores even got airborne and that there is no chance the mold could have grown elsewhere and it was not a threat whatsoever. The second contractor guy was here for 2 hours and spent 1 entire hour in the attic. He checked all other vent pipes in attic for mold but didn't see any. He did say he saw "old mold" at the top of vent pipe that caused the first leak and there's a good chance the mold grew behind the wall connected to the area of first leak. The first contractor’ remediation plan was to cut out another 6-inches of drywall around the hole and to have his crew spray the areas with a chemical (can't remember name), sand the 2x4 with mold stain, have the "air cleaned" in the 2 rooms that connected to each side of bathroom, by placing 1 HEPA air cleaner machine in middle of bathroom and then use a blower to get any mold spores airborne so the machine would filter the air and catch any mold spores. Then lastly, wipe down everything in each room with a chemical. The second contractor’s remediation plan was much more thorough and included what the first contractor had recommended PLUS- cutting out 2-feet of drywall around each hole, not 6-inches and using a totally different method to clean the two adjoining rooms- not blowing all the mold spores back into the air. The second contractor’s remediation proposal also included removing the wall that ran horizontal to where the leak was causing the mold above & removing and treating the old mold at top of vent pipe. Of course my LL went with the first contractor because they were $300 cheaper. My questions are: 1) Would you agree that the exposure I had to the mold caused the sinus & ear infection, since the extreme medical treatment did not work? 2) Do you think I have a mold-related infection & if so, how can I treat it and get well? 3) Which company's assessment & remediation plan was better? 4) Considering the leak had been going on during winter for at least 5 months and probably a lot longer, could the mold have spread to other areas in the walls, ceiling and attic? I'm sure the areas stayed moist between rains because no electricity was on and the conditions stayed cold and every time it rained, the mold grew bigger and faster. 5) After the remediation, shouldn't a specialist tested the house for mold, including the air quality & HVAC systems, which are in the attic 10 ft. away from where mold was? 6) After I pointed the brown ceiling stain out during the walkthrough and landlord did NOTHING, do you think the landlord is negligent & liable for my month-long illness, my family's illnesses, the associated medical bills and prescription costs and the missed work and school as a result?7) Either way, should we get out of the house immediately? Thank You very much and pictures are attached.
A.  The pictures are startling because it is likely that the black mold is the deadly Stachybotrys mold , which destroys brain tissue permanently plus other serious health problems. Because of the likelihood that it is the deadly Stachy mold and because your family cannot safely live in the unit during mold remediation, you would be wise to find a mold-safe place to live. Don't move any of your possessions without first thoroughly scrubbing them outdoors with borax laundry detergent (or better yet, boric acid powder mix) in warm water to remove any landed/deposited mold spores to avoid mold cross contamination of where you move to.  Your present sinus problems are your prior sinus problems are most likely mold-related.  A medical study by the famous Mayo Clinic concluded that over 90% of all chronic sinusitis problems arise in patients who live or work in buildings that have an elevated level of mold exposure. Because sinus problems are usually a fungal infection and NOT a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics is not as effective for your sinus problems as taking a proven antifungal medicine. Ask your physician about whether or not he would prescribe for you Itraconazole, the most effective antifungal medicine to get rid of mold growing in the human body. Read about mold medical diagnosis and treatment techniques and procedures in mold expert Phillip Fry’s ebook Mold Health Guide, available for email attachment delivery to you at  The likely mold-related health problems of you and your other family members is strong evidence that you are living in a house that is heavily mold-infested. You need to move out quickly to avoid permanent and serious mold illnesses, such as brain damage from the likely Stachy infestation show in your mold pictures.  As to which mold remediation contractor to use, it’s really not for you to worry about---get out of the house and find a mold-free place to live as soon as possible. Live in a tent in the backyard temporarily until you find a safe place to move to. For your information, obviously the first contractor guy is an unprofessional jerk because of his failure to do any meaningful mold inspection of your rental house. The second contractor guy did the right thing-----spend adequate time for a thorough mold inspection. His suggestion that there is likely to be mold growth INSIDE the walls (and elsewhere in the ceilings) is absolutely going to be the mold truth of the rental house. All ceiling and wall cavities need to be inspected for mold growth with a fiber optics inspection cable. Roof leak water flows downward to cause attic mold growth, ceiling mold growth, and wall mold growth.  Please visit the website Building Mold Inspection to learn of the correct ways to do both ceiling mold inspection and overall inspection of a building. After a building has been mold remediated, the building needs to be mold inspected and tested by a SECOND, unrelated Certified Mold Inspector or Certified Environmental Hygienist or Professional Industrial Hygienist to find out if there are any remaining mold problems.  Most mold remediation jobs are poorly done, and most jobs would fail this “clearance testing” if actually done. Unfortunately, most building owners and managers skip have clearance testing by a qualified, independent mold expert.  Certified Environmental Hygienist Phillip Fry has done many clearance testings of mold contractor work in the USA, Canada, and Asia since 1999, and he has yet to find a mold remediation job that was properly done. As to your question about landlord liability, please consult with a Texas attorney who specializes in environmental law or landlord-tenant law.  You would also be helped big-time if you read Phillip Fry’s 400 page ebook Mold Legal Guide, available at   If you have follow up mold questions, I am here to serve you---Phillip Fry, mold expert, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediators. 

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Hire mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero  Fryto find air conditioning mold, workplace mold, and mold hidden inside the walls, ceilings, floors, crawl space, attic, and basement of your house, condominium, office, or other building. Mold Training  Mold Inspector Directory  Industrial Hygienist Training  Industrial Hygienist Directory  Lead Test Kits  Mold Fogging Machine  San Diego Mold Removal  Mold Test Dallas Texas  Mold Inspection Dallas Texas  Houston Toxic Mold Testing  House Mold Testing Texas  Mold Attorney

Pictures and Page Content Copyright 2013, 2014 by Mold Experts Phillip Fry and Divine Montero Fry. All Rights Reserved. You may use our mold pictures and mold inspection advice page content on your website provided that you include a published, prominent, clickable link credit for the pictures and content to Building Mold Inspection.  This website was  last updated on Jan. 7, 2014.