Welcome to Understanding Mold. If you have found this site, it is likely that you are suffering the effects of mold exposure or you suspect you have (or have already found) mold in your home or workplace.
It is my sincere wish that you’ll find information and guidance here that will help to make this journey easier and it can be the first step towards making your life whole again. This site is a “cheatsheet” of everything I’ve learned or good information I’ve found. It is my gift to you.
My Story and Why I want to help you…
Never in a million years did I ever expect to learn so much about mold and mold toxicity. But life had another plan for me….
In 2006 I bought a wonderful little condo in the best neighborhood, just steps to the Metro and with an amazing view that extended all the way to the Masonic Temple in Old Town Alexandria VA. I was living a dream….I had a new circle of friends, a great day job and an expanding freelance business.
Then, in early 2008, I reported a water spot in ceiling of the hallway outside my unit. The building did nothing — I didn’t worry, I knew they’d get it fixed soon. But they didn’t fix it and I didn’t realize then how dangerous this would be to me and my life as I knew it. Over time, I started feeling bad. Not exactly sick, but just not good. I chalked it up to the just stress of working a day job along with running a part-time freelance business. So, I took a major leap, quit my day job, and went out on my own. This meant I was now spending all my sleeping hours and most of my daytime hours in my home. I never could seem to get my energy back.
About 8 months later, I realized my hair was falling out and I had to force myself out of bed in the morning by shear will power. I eventually figured out that I had adrenal fatigue and put together a supplement plan to support and rebuild my system. After eating right and doing all the right things for myself and my health, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get back to feeling 100%. But….my home…my sanctuary…was already toxic….and I still had no idea.
Early 2010 I went on vacation to Cancun Mexico. I caught up on sleep, got some sun and felt great. But the next morning after returning home, I felt like a Mack truck had run over me. Two days later I had my first non-traumatic nose bleed…and for no apparent reason. The next day I found visible mold in the ceiling above my washer/dryer unit. The building attempted to remediate the mold but they did everything wrong including replacing the drywall before the leak was fixed and using bleach. So, two weeks after removing the large air scrubber from my unit, I could smell that the mold was “back”. Well, actually, it turns out that it was never gone.
When my chiropractor told me that she could smell mold on me, I took a handful of belongings and moved out of my home that same day. This was the first day of a process that lasted over two years of cleaning up my body, and settling the issue of my home with the condo building. It took 3 remediation attempts before the unit would test free of stachybotrys.
Mold exposure that was caused by a main hot water pipe on the floor above me had been leaking and ignored by building management for years.
Luckily, I survived and I am now thriving. But this is a journey I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It cost me a home that I adored, tens of thousands to restore my health, and much much more financially to pay a mortgage on a home I couldn’t live in.