If you are reading this then you are going through a terrible nightmare and I am sorry. I know all about this terrible thing. My husband and I found out there was black mold in a rental we were in and we too had to figure out what could be saved and what couldn’t.
Let’s first go over what black mold is. According to hgtv.com the simplest way to explain it:
“Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans. “
Either way you look at it, black mold is nothing you really want to mess with. It also can be dangerous to your health causing upper respiratory infections, making asthma worse, constant colds and flus, and to the point of sepsis shock. How do I know? Because my husband almost died from his exposure and I was hospitalized with pneumonia. We got to the point that we were classified as having mold poisoning which is the highest level of exposure you can have.
If you are having physical symptoms of mold poisoning, make sure you get the proper medical help you need and find a safe way to detox the mold out of your system preferably under a professional’s supervision. And don’t expect to be healed from it right away either. It took awhile to have it build up in your system and it will take some time to get it out.
But now back to what can be saved. The biggest thing about getting out of a mold situation is to not get back in it which means dealing with your stuff. From our experience what could be saved was anything metal, hard plastic, hard porcelain, and glass. Which means:
- Some utensils
- Silver ware
- Fine China
Why the short list? Because black mold is LOVES porous things like:
- Things with motors
- Soft Plastics
- Polyester like in pillows and comforters
- Micro Suede
So how many things do you have like this in your house? Pretty much everything is the answer. Now, my husband and I tried to save our clothes but we ended up having to throw them away too since it just wouldn’t wash out. So I am sorry to say that pretty everything but that list I mentioned above. We lost everything in the long run and suffered through heartache after heartache as we toiled to save our items and they just ended up in the trash can.
What do I suggest? Follow my list and trash the rest. It is not worth keeping things that will just contaminate the new place you live in because it will. The item will keep emitting spores and will fill your home with spores until they find a new source to start growing again. Can you see the problem? If you keep something from the mold house then you can just have the problem keep following you.
I know it will be hard and it flat out sucks because you will have to throw out your whole life and start over. We don’t have anything from when we were first married, we don’t even anything from when our daughter was a baby, and we lost our entire library of books just to name a few heartache things that were lost. Every mom wonders if their daughter will wear their wedding dress, but I will never know I don’t have mine any more. It is going to be painful to go through this, but know that you have someone on your side who understands the pain and frustration you are going through.
Unless someone has gone through this kind of situation, they will never understand how you feel and many will think you are over reacting. I assure you that you are not. It is for the best for your family now instead of this happening again in the future.
If you think you need help processing, finding a counselor isn’t a bad idea. It took my husband and I a year after we were away from the situation to finally admit that going for some help to process the whole thing would be good. We tried it on our own as a strong couple and we needed some extra help. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, and, when it comes to replacing your stuff, you will need to ask for some. You will never know how much you really have until you lose it all.
But I would check with your insurance company. They might be able to help but ours didn’t. With a rental situation, it’s hard to pin point who was the renter that caused it and the insurance company said that it was preexisting so they wouldn’t do anything. Also check with your health department and see if you are lucky enough to live in an area with rights for renters (if you are renting) when it comes to black mold. I live in California and they have no such laws. So our landlord had no obligation to help us and we couldn’t find an attorney who would take the case.
All and all the situation stinks and all you can do is rely on family and friends to help you out. My husband’s work was amazingly generous with donations to replace what we had lost and I pray you are just as blessed. One thing is for sure. You will learn who your real friends are in a situation like this.
So as we finish up, I am sorry I don’t have much better news, but it is the truth. If you want to be rid of the mold in the future only keep things that are metal, glass, hard plastic, and hard porcelain.