When spring cleaning your home, it might be good to think about inspecting it for mold. In this episode, I chat with Jason Earle, the CEO of the Got Mold? company. He suffered from childhood asthma, and other health issues throughout the years. He shares his story of discovering that his childhood home had mold, and describes the process of mold testing.
A Teaspoon of Healing
Dawn DiMare 00:00
Open a doorway to healing in your life. I’m your host, Dawn DiMare. Hi, I’m Dawn DiMare and you’re listening to another episode of A Teaspoon of Healing. I’m very happy to introduce my guest today, Jason Earle. He is the founder and CEO of GOT MOLD?. Hi, Jason.
Jason Earle 00:23
Dawn DiMare 00:24
Thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast today.
Jason Earle 00:28
So good to be here.
Dawn DiMare 00:30
So, GOT MOLD?. We will talk about that in a little bit. I wanted to know, I read a little bit about your story. How did you get into, for the lack of a better word, the mold business? I saw that you were in Wall Street, and it looked like you did have some experiences growing up with with childhood asthma. So, I’m wondering how you got into how you did your career change. What made you decide to do this?
Jason Earle 00:57
It’s a common question. I think, mold isn’t there’s no academic track for what we do and most of the people who are in this space that do really good work tend to come from a personal experience. I see this with lots of areas where there’s healing involved and once people get over their own mountain, then they reach their hand back and that’s the case with this. So, mold is actually a fairly nascent industry, if you will. You know, it’s only been really mold inspections, mold remediation only for for the past 20 years or so and I’ve been in it for about that long.
So, I got into the business out of pure curiosity, really. I was, as you mentioned, previously, on Wall Street. I started on Wall Street when I was really young at 16 and at 25, I have had enough. And I decided that I wanted to go do something meaningful with my life without any really a clue as to what that meant, but I did have some space and some time and I’ve been traveling for a while and I, back then, you know, I brought a journal and some CDs, dating myself here and went on sort of a walkabout for about a year and a half. While I was away, I was doing a lot of reading. I happened to be in Hawaii for a bit of that trip and I was reading about a huge mold problem that was in the Hilton Kalia Tower, which is the flagship property. Hilton Strike Fletcher property in O’ahu and the building had been shut down for a number of months at that point for this huge mold problem that they initially they thought to be felt relatively small, but as they began opening the walls, it was like Pandora’s box and went from a $500,000 problem to a $5 million problem to a $55 million problem.
Anyway, long story short, it was a huge mold issue and a lot of people got sick from the building, or at least people were saying that they thought they got sick. And this is before mold illness was really in any of the headlines. This is around 2001 into 2002 and so there was one particular story that caught my attention was a man in his 40s who worked there who developed adult onset asthma, which is something I’d never heard of and he also developed all these sensitivities to food and the environment. So, things that he had always been fine with and so it was like a deja vu moment for me and suddenly, I’m thinking about my childhood because when I was around four years old, I lost a bunch of weight in a three week period. My parents brought me to the doctor and he said, you know, you should really take him to Children’s Hospital, get them worked up and so the first diagnosis with cystic fibrosis, which was obviously devastating, especially back then it was a term terminal illness and my father had four cousins who died of CF before the age of 14, so hit really close to home. Second round of tests or, you know, a second opinion, confirmed they did not have CF. Thank goodness and evidenced by the fact that I sit here 45 years old, but actually I had asthma compounded by pneumonia and when they did allergy tests on me back then, I don’t know how they do it now, but it was kind of in a papoose, like a straitjacket for a toddler. And then they drew a grid on my back and put the antigens on.
My dad said I looked at the ladybug, big red swollen back with dots all over it, you know. And so I was allergic to everything in my environment grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton, soybeans, and I grew up on a little nonworking farm outside of Princeton, New Jersey surrounded by dogs, cats, grass, wheat, corn, eggs, cotton, soybeans, everything and so grew up on basically on inhalers and always felt better when I was outside the house never really understood why. But here I am in Hawaii and I’m reading this article and I’m thinking geez, I wonder if the house I grew up in made me sick. I call my dad from a payphone. He answered and I told him what I was thinking. I said, do you think we had a mold problem and he goes, Jason we had freaking mushrooms in the basement. Of course we had mold. Why do you ask? And it was just so like, of course we have mold. It’s just back then they were also smokers and I, you know, and they smoked indoors and of course, even in the car with an asthmatic kid. Their awareness about these things was like zero.
So, anyway, it was immediate for me. I just thought I said, do you think that was what made me sick? And he said, well, it couldn’t have helped. There you go. So, it’s very clear, in retrospect. We had a very damp basement. Water would run through when it rains, you know, it was, you know, we should have stocked for trout, there was a lot of dampness down there. And, you know, I remember going down there and feeling the weight and the pressure, but I didn’t connect it directly to an environmental cause, certainly not mold, mold in particular, but then immediately in that, on that thought, I immediately became passionate, passionately interested in the idea that a built buildings can make you sick. Just the idea that the interaction or the nexus between buildings and health became immediately fascinating to me. I grew up in a medical and construction family. So, I guess that kind of works, right? Yeah, so I was doing construction with my uncle in a small construction company and I worked with him after school and in the summers.
And then my mom and my aunts and my grandmother was one of the first medical women to be admitted to medical school. And so I was and she got a full ride. She turned it down to go patch parachutes for World War Two for my grandfather, who, by the way, today’s Veterans Day. I know it’s, and I heard your piece about your grandfather.
Dawn DiMare 06:25
Jason Earle 06:27
So, yeah, it was a medical and construction family and so that kind of, I kind of landed right in the middle of that and so I came back from Hawaii, raring to go, curious, and I found a company doing mold remediation, there weren’t very many. They were also doing basement waterproofing and I saw, I took a job working for them in sales, and they thought what is this guy from Wall Street doing here.
But, you know, but I was really curious about, I mean, there was no standard, there was no industry standard, there were no certifications, at the time, no regulations. And so what I saw quickly was that these guys were doing shoddy work, lots of chemicals, very little actual cleaning, often leaving buildings worse. And so I started an inspection company in the evenings because I recognized that there was a need for the consumer to be protected from the contractors. All environmental hazards have this separation between the inspectors, and the remediators, whether it’s lead paint, or asbestos and so mold didn’t have that. And I thought for sure, that would happen one day and so I decided to plant and plant my feet firmly on one side and avoid a conflict of interest and so we started a company called Lab Results, where we started using Labrador Retrievers that were specially trained to sniff out hidden mold and buildings and that turned into a very successful company where we ended up on Good Morning America and Extremely Good Raw Meat Dish, and all sorts of national news, because of a few stories of healing, where we went into homes where the children were, where they weren’t doing well, they weren’t responding to traditional treatment for asthma and other mysterious illnesses.
And we went and found hidden mold, got it fixed and suddenly they were healed. Not only did they get better, but suddenly family members who didn’t think they were sick, got better. The whole house healed and these stories put us on the national circuit for a while, and then that company became 1-800-GOT-MOLD?, which is our mold inspection business, but what we’ve done since then, is really looked at and said, you know, the biggest problem with this industry is that the inspections are cost prohibitive. It’s very difficult to find a qualified professional, especially one that doesn’t have a conflict of interest. There’s information on the internet is 99% misinformation. First thing I tell people to do is don’t read, don’t go to Facebook with mold questions. And so but basically, we looked at what we were doing with 1-800-GOT-MOLD? and all the people that would help and realized that we weren’t helping the people who needed us the most. And so for the last 10 years, plus, I’ve worked to put together a do it yourself test kit that would allow people to cost effectively test their error without having to hire or find a qualified professional to get the same quality results, but without the aggravation. And so that’s what we did with the GOT MOLD? Test Kit, which is at GOTMOLD.com, which we’re excited to announce that we just recently made public.
So, that gives people the ability to very easily and affordably take a quick snapshot and see what’s actually floating around in their air and this will give people the tools that they need to be able to make the decisions that are decisions about the air they breathe.
Dawn DiMare 09:24
Oh, great. Now to get back to mold itself. So, a lot of, there’s a lot of misconceptions. There’s a lot of misinformation, of course. So, I guess just getting to the basics and this is gonna sound like a silly question, What is mold? What is it? And what is the, I guess, dangerous type of mold? I’m assuming there’s many different types of mold. I took microbiology, but it’s been a while so, please excuse me. I probably am getting a few terms wrong, but you know, you hear about black mold. You hear about most buildings do have some mold in them no matter what, I think almost all buildings. So, I guess, what is it and what is the harmful kind of mold? And how does it harm your health?
Jason Earle 10:13
Sure, there’s a lot there because within that there’s all these wives tales, and myths and misconceptions in there. It’s like, yeah, so starting in the beginning, what is mold? Right? So, mold is a type of fungi. A type of fungus that is nature’s great recycler and so in essence molds job is to take things that were at one time living and turn them back into dirt. It does a really good job of picking stuff outside, like leaves and twigs, and all the organic matter. When I say organic, I’m not talking about the grocery store.
Anything that this comprises carbon based, at one time was respiring, was living, that mold breaks that stuff down and so if we didn’t have mold, we would have dead trees. In fact, there was a period in history that way back when, which is where all the coal came from, where we didn’t have these microbes and trees piled up, they grew up till then, and they did not decay and that was one of nature’s great lessons. That’s where we get cold from. Yeah, it just didn’t decay. So, anyway, we have this world filled with fungi and one particular type of it is mold. And so mold is a normal part of our environment when it’s doing what it’s supposed to do outside or, you know, flavoring our foods, because mold also produces soy sauce and antibiotics and all sorts of other really delicious and helpful things, but when mold grows indoors, it causes problems. And so that’s the distinction.
Now, every house has mold. True, because mold spores are literally everywhere. On the face of your watch, on your eyeglasses, you as you breathe right now you’re breathing tens of thousands, if not more, in every breath that you take and without any effect, by the way. What happens is mold is very complex. It produces lots of different things when it digests just like we do, right? So, one of the things it produces is that musty odor, some people lovingly call them, mold, burps, some people call them mold farts, but the point is that everyone refers to them in a gaseous fashion. And so bottom line is that mold produces as it’s digesting digestive byproducts that can also make you ill. The musty odor is directly correlated to us or directly linked to lots and lots of different ailments. In particular, it’s the number one, it’s the number two.
It’s number two behind maternal smoking in terms of the prediction of childhood asthma, and just the presence of the musty odor, having children in the presence of the musty odor, and it doubles the asthma risk in otherwise healthy children and it also triggers immune responses and sensitive individuals, you know, asthma attacks, sinus, sinus issues, things like that. And also, there’s a direct link between exposure, chronic mold exposure, and chemical sensitivity development. People who have chemical sensitivities cannot be around the mold smell because it’s comprised of very similar chemicals that you would find in industrial refineries.
Yeah, benzene, and lots of aldehydes and alcohols and things like that. So, yeah. No VOCs that are man-made look very similar to microbial VOCs, which is what that musty smell is. People talking about mycotoxins a lot, which is another thing that mold produces when it’s growing mycotoxins. Some molds produce them sometimes and so that’s it. That’s one of the many myths is that we have to worry about the mycotoxins. You don’t. You have to worry about dampness, because mold won’t grow if there’s no dampness. At the end of the day, mold is a moisture problem. Everybody wants to vilify mold, mold is doing its thing. If you do your job then and manage the building and don’t have moisture problems develop or if you want, it does develop. You deal with it quickly, you won’t have a problem.
More and more of these days, I’m using the building as an organism or the building as a body metaphor because mold is like inflammation, right? It’s not the problem. It’s not the problem and if you treat the problem, you’re going to miss the mark and treating inflammation is a mistake, right? Information has a purpose and now if you have chronic inflammation, you have an underlying chronic condition, potentially. You need to deal with that and that’s moisture. So, mold and moisture are our symptom cause and so it’s very important that you keep your eye on the prize. Mold is just doing its thing. And by the way, the molds that produce the biggest toxins, FYI, it’s really interesting. You think the metaphor plays all the way through, because the first molds that grow are usually fairly just benign, allergenic, and as you go up as the water problem continues, you have secondary colonizers.
They come in and eat the first guys and then the third stage are the guys that have the nuke, the really aggressive chemical weapons, those are the mycotoxins, they come in and kill the other molds and eat them. That’s really why they produced the mycotoxins. These guys are doing chemical warfare on a microscopic level, and we get caught in the crosshairs. It’s fascinating stuff really.
Dawn DiMare 15:24
It really is. So, they’re just there. Now, are there different kinds of mold? You know, you hear about you black mold and then there’s some of them, you know, sometimes you see residue that’s different colored like orange or white? Is there, are there different types that are more dangerous than others or is it just a proliferation of more of the same kind of mold?
Jason Earle 15:43
It’s exactly like I said. So, you get this curve, if you will, or this you know, you got what they call primary, or the first colonized. The first crew that shows up to the party. It’s a pool party, you’ve got a moisture problem. Okay, and the first guys show up. You know, they come in, they’re dressed pretty light, they’re just going to have a good time and then the second guys come in there. They’ve got luggage man, they’re going to come in and they’re going to set up camp. And the third ones come in, they come in armed because they’re taking over and they’re prepared to take your building down.
They think that all the other ones are just nibbling at the edges. The most aggressive moles are the ones that are coming in to take your building back down the dirt. So, they’re going and they’re the ones that produce these mycotoxins. So really, it’s the, like I said, it’s inflammation, the chronic long-term where you have chronic inflammation your tissue will break down, right? Same thing goes with mold. It’s really that simple. So, if you see something, if you smell something, or you feel something, then do something. So, I always say the first step is, you know, do you have mold, right? Our name has GOT MOLD? with a question mark, because that’s what people ask and so we always say first thing you have to do is if you’re curious about this, if you see something that means, if you see any visible evidence of discoloration or strange texture or sparkling, right, that’s what your any blistering paint, peeling, trim pulling away.
These kinds of things. Right? Yeah, exactly. Condensation around windows, especially in the wintertime. Anytime you see any black speckles, but you know that this is also colors of mold don’t really matter because some of the black.
Dawn DiMare 17:18
That’s what I was wondering. If there’s orange or you know, I’ve seen in different houses throughout the years.
Jason Earle 17:25
Dawn DiMare 17:25
Yeah, I’ve never really seen black. Okay, so, I mean, I’ve heard about it. Okay, so it doesn’t really matter what color. It’s still mold and it’s still going to be a problem. Okay.
Jason Earle 17:33
Yeah, there’s a whole, one of those categories of myths and misconceptions is toxic mold slash black mold, which is some sort of a mold that you’re going to treat differently because it’s got to, and that’s a red herring, if you will.
The reality is that the mold is, you will remediate it the same way. It doesn’t change anything. There are some physicians and some questionable health care, quasi professionals that will treat those things differently and so they’ll work with different detoxifying elements to help remove these toxins and, you know, with questionable results, it just depends on the practitioner and etc, but anyway, the bottom line is that you really, at the end of the day, a moisture problem is a mold problem.
Remediation is the same, the testing, the inspections, the same. What the different molds tell you is the degree or the extent that problem has. It’s really more of a forensic situation. So, if you’ve got those, those late stage colonizers, that means you’ve had a long term problem. So, it’s more of a, you can tell if you have a chronic long term problem by the types of molds that you have more so than allowing that to dictate any of your behavior.
Dawn DiMare 18:57
Jason Earle 18:59
And part of the reason, let me just add to that. I think it’s an important. Part of the reason why people who have these chronic mold exposures, and I’m speaking to probably a good number of people who listen to your podcasts, because mold related illness is extremely common, and it’s something that people don’t always understand until after they’ve been through it, they realize that it played a part in some other illnesses.
Anyway, the bottom line is, if you have these molds, you have chronic dampness in your house. Chances are that means you have chronic exposure to these molds. So, it’s not the mold that’s so bad. It’s the chronic dampness and the chronic exposure. You know what I mean? So yeah, and so if you just walk into a house with a mold problem, your symptoms will be acute.
Dawn DiMare 19:53
Yes, I’ve had that happen before. I walked into, we were looking at rentals once and there was one house, and I remember walking in and I am somebody that has post-viral asthma and occasional asthma, but it’s definitely flared up. I walked in and my throat closed up. I couldn’t, you know, I was gasping the typical stuff and it was just so weird that it can be so acute.
Jason Earle 20:16
Yes. Everybody is different too, by the way. You can have five people living in a house with a mold problem. Everybody has different symptoms.
Dawn DiMare 20:22
Now, question. So, you’re talking about dampness. So, some people that are listening to this, they live where I live. I live in a beach town in California, and it is definitely moist here. Even though it’s Southern California, they say it’s a desert. Well, it’s not necessarily where I live and a lot of the houses are quite old and funky, which is really cool. However, so I’m assuming there’s mold. I mean, I guess, if you know that the place you live is damp, just like people who live in the southeast, you know, where it’s very humid all the time, Florida etcetera. So, you just know you’re living in a moist environment, and you have buildings that are older, you know, so they’re leaky. So, how do you solve the dampness? What do you do?
Jason Earle 21:04
So, that’s a great question. I’ll do my best to give an answer that will apply to everyone, which is that you adapt. Humans are capable of living in every single climate without harm if they use best practices designed for those climates. So, what you wouldn’t build the same way, I live in Minnesota right now. This is a very extreme climate. You get a lot of, especially in the wintertime, where you’ve got this extreme cold sea and condensation in strange areas. Your condensation here turns into ice.
I actually had a moisture problem in a basement and a house that we rented when we first moved out here last year from New York, and the moisture from the basement turned into ice into frozen windowsills. We looked like a freezer inside and then the humidity got straightened out. It just slowly evaporated and there was not even a stain left on the windowsill. It was just really, for a guy who studies building science, it was a remarkable observation in my own house, but you wouldn’t build the same way in Minnesota that you would build in Florida because moisture moves differently and the humidity levels are different inside and outside, whether it’s a heating climate or cooling climate.
So, the bottom line is, in every climate, there are techniques for that and there are books written about these things. So, each area, I mean, there’s a whole series by the Building Science Institute, Joseph Lstiburek. He goes into every single different climate and the different building, different configurations of building materials and things like that. So, the bottom line is, it is being done successfully wherever you live. The question is, are you doing it successfully? So, really what it comes down to is you want it to engage your senses and in all cases, you want to, you know, really make sure that you’ve got your eyes open. You’re looking for any source of moisture problems at anytime. If you smell anything, that’s the first clue. That musty smell is the dead giveaway. And then I always say trust your senses, but then get the facts. So, you want to do things like get humidity gauges.
Get temperature gauges. I like to get the kinds of gauges that you can put like a base station in your kitchen, like the ones made by Oregon Scientific and these kinds of companies and then you can put the sensors in different places that you might not go to all the time, like your crawlspace and your basement and maybe outside so you know if you need to throw a coat on before you go get the newspaper. So, you get to be familiar with the different sort of microclimates within your home, and you start to pay attention and you know that you got to keep your humidity above 40% but lower than 60%. That’s the safe zone according to ASHRAE, which is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
So, 40 and 60% is the range you want to keep your humidity. Ideally around 45%. Much above that, you start to get mold and/or condensation and other critters that like dampness, like dust mites and things like that. Much below that you start to dry out and you become susceptible to, you know, airborne infections and so the bottom. So, if you think about it, people get dry out driving in the wintertime everyone gets sick. It’s because their mucous membranes allow for pathogens to make it through. It’s not because they got cold. It’s really because they got dry. So, moisture is this fine balance, right. Mold loves the same stuff we love. It doesn’t. It just likes the temperature, likes the stuff we’d like to build with, likes to eat, it likes the moisture that we like to have, and it likes it because we don’t know how to manage it.
Well, as soon as it gets a little damp, those spores are already there waiting to grow. So, the only thing in this whole thing that you can control is moisture. So, that’s the only thing you can control. There is no mold prevention, there’s no paint, there’s no encapsulant, there’s no pill, potion, or spray. The bottom line is, it’s moisture control. So, if you live in a damp climate, you’re going to want to make sure that your air conditioner is actually doing its job and your dehumidifier appropriately. If you’re living in places where you’ve got a lot of groundwater, you want to make sure your building drains properly, and you want to make sure that you don’t have any intrusion. You know, it’s a vigilance that you have to employ and I’ll leave you with another thought on this, which is that I look at the building as an extension of your immune system. Look at it as an exoskeleton or an exo-skin.
We’re disconnected from nature already, but we have to recognize that the buildings that we live in are a basic human need. Air, water, food, shelter. This is not an optional thing here and this is not a luxury, this is a necessity and because it’s a necessity, and because we do have our domain and control over it, we should exercise that control. So, develop a relationship with your own understanding when it starts to have aches and pains because that’s where the moisture problems develop. Wherever the building is starting to break down, right? This is a symbiotic relationship that I’m encouraging people to consider.
Dawn DiMare 26:03
That’s really, I really like that and so you know, because it’s like you mentioned, it’s a basic need, shelter, and we just really need to treat it like a symbiotic relationship and just stay on top of it and it’s really interesting. As public health science and science develops, they’re starting to realize, you know, how much you know, the built environment and buildings, contribute to health, and sick buildings and people who live in hurricane zones, and so forth. So, it’s just really good that people are finally realizing this. So, I guess back to mold. You mentioned asthma. You mentioned other conditions, what are some other tip offs that somebody might have an issue with it? You know, maybe some people are not as affected by it, and they can live around mold and just be like, whatever. There’s mold here, and some people are going to be very susceptible.
Jason Earle 27:03
Yeah, and it does impact everybody differently. As I mentioned, you can have five people living in a house, they all have five different health profiles, if you will. It’s interesting because there’s going to be the hypersensitive person who’s usually the one looking for their, they’ll usually want to call us. Then there’s usually someone who is experiencing no discomfort, zero. Okay, at least I’d say there’s various different symptoms in between and so, you know, the most common stuff is upper respiratory, typical hay fever, like symptoms, of course, you know, asthma, asthma like symptoms, extremely common. Then, you get some thermal sensitivity.
Some people develop hives, itchy eyes, those those kinds of the sort of more acute symptoms that will go away shortly thereafter, but then you also have some of the more nebulous ones, especially coming from the musty odor like headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairment. A lot of people claim that the mycotoxins do that, but you know, you just need that musty smell. That’ll do it just fine. Remember, the alcohol is produced by fungi, right? So, you’re breathing in the byproducts, you’re breathing in these fumes and that’s really, yeah. So, then these cognitive impairments that people report are also dream disturbances, sleep disturbances very difficult. When you sleep in a musty home, you won’t smell it, by the way, you’ll only notice it when you walk in, and then your senses, your odor receptors get numb to it, essentially.
So, you want to smell it, but you also have elevated heart rates, and people have arrhythmias. It creates a fight or flight response. Remember, also, that we are as an evolutionary advantage. We are repelled by these things. So, it’s the same way that you repel when you smell vomit, or feces, or any of that stuff. Our body goes, whoa, keep that away from me because mold is the first stage of decay and you know, and so we know viscerally from, you know, however many generations ago that that stuff causes illness. So, it creates a panic response in some people and they can have, you know, incredible anxiety from it. Mold rage is actually a thing, believe it or not. Yeah, and people who have PTSD, like symptoms.
I mean, people really end up and then it’s also a loop because they get angry and then they get panicky. Just like with asthma, it’s a loop, right. So, they panic creates the the restriction and the whole thing. So, it’s very, very similar. The other you know, there’s some more extreme cases where, you know, people have chronic exposure. I mean, people have had all sorts of illnesses that they linked to mold exposure, but the other thing that’s really important, probably for a lot of your listeners, is that Lyme disease, which more people were diagnosed with Lyme disease, last year more than breast cancer, and it’s only in 14 states, but there’s an overlap with mold sensitive and there’s some research that a few doctors have promoted that talks about a genetic marker and a genetic mutation MTHFR, but regardless, there’s an overlap there that’s very, very powerful, and that people who have Lyme, and you see a lot of gut dysbiosis, a lot of antibiotic use.
These sensitivities overlap and reinforce each other. That’s what I went through. It’s mold, antibiotics from Lyme disease, and then chemical sensitivities. And you know, that whole thing is just like a snowball that starts at the top of the mountain and by the time you get down, it’s hard to parse out what happened, but they all overlap, and they all amplify each other. So, the first step is you got to, before you detox, you got to make sure you don’t retox and stop exposure, and then see how things sort of unfold after that, but you know, the core, that connection between mold and lyme is powerful.
Dawn DiMare 31:05
That’s really fascinating. All of this is. Now, can it also exacerbate allergies to other things? I know you mentioned dust mites. My son has a dust mite allergy, and I’m assuming that it gets worse when it’s moist. So, I don’t know if mold has any relation to that too, or not.
Jason Earle 31:21
Well, dust mites are kissing cousins. Actually, dust mites eat mold spores and if you look at them under the microscope, you can see their pictures with scanning electron microscopes, dust mites notching on spores. So, when you test for the allergens, a lot of the, you know, it’s the dust mite fecal pellets that you’re actually really reacting to. So, you’re talking about mold and dust mites and all sorts of delicious stuff.
So, that’s all based on moisture. Dust mites go into basically like stasis when there’s not enough moisture or if it gets below that, I want to say 70 degrees and 60% humidity, they just kind of go into like, they like freeze and then they reanimate, and they come out and just do their thing. So yeah, dust mites and mold, same thing. They’re the early guests. They’re the first ones to get the invitation to the pool party and so, but the other thing is, as I mentioned before, when I was a kid, I was severely allergic to everything. The interesting part is now most of my referrals through 1-800-GOT-MOLD? come from physicians, so we get a lot of referrals from doctors with patients that aren’t responding to traditional treatments.
So, I’ve told my story a million times, and they’ve all heard it. So, many of them have tested me for allergies to see that for themselves and I’m not allergic to anything anymore. So, anything, nothing zero. So, now I was allergic to everything. So, how does that happen? Well, so you know, for me, it’s in retrospect, of course, it’s anecdotal. You know, that chronic exposure, that chronic long term exposure made everything that I was potentially sensitive to come to the surface and so my immune system was on high alert. So, anything you threw at it was just gonna say, invader, and now absent that chronic exposure, I don’t have any symptoms of any such sensitivities. So, it’s kind of like the big, it’s like Stephen Covey with the big rocks. Have ever heard that one? You know, take care of the big thing first and for me, clearly it was the mold.
Dawn DiMare 33:24
Great, well, that’s really good to know that there’s hope. So, now if somebody wants to test their house for mold, but rather than going to one of these inspectors that are really expensive, and remediation companies before all that, so they can order your product.
Jason Earle 33:41
Yes, go to GOTMOLD.com. You can get either a one or two or three room kit. They start at $149 and that includes all lab fees, all shipping. So, there’s no hidden fees, no surprises. We work with MIP and K. So, we have an exclusive relationship with them, which is the number one lab in the country.
So, you get an AIHA accredited laboratory analysis, which is the same exact analysis that professionals use, but for a fraction of the cost, but you know, if you want to look for professionals, I will give some advice, because I think there’s a time. In fact, the test kit does not replace a professional. Make sure that you find someone who’s independent. It’s extremely important, make sure they’re not in the remediation business and that they’re brothers in it either, okay. You also want to make sure that they’re not going to say that they advocate a green clean, so it means that even because they’re going to do an inspection, they’re not doing remediation, but the job of an inspector is actually to design the remediation plan, and to put it in writing to provide a scope of work and so they need to spec out exactly what’s to be done and what’s not to be done. The number one thing is no chemicals, especially for people who have the kinds of sensitivities we talked about before.
There’s no place for chemicals in mold remediation, ever, but it’s especially important for people who have these sensitivities. There’s already enough chemicals going on produced by the mold grow and then, you know, the other part is that you want to make sure that they help you select the contractor, but again, that they don’t have a financial relationship with them and that they’ll come back at the end of it and do the requisite testing and inspection to make sure that you’ve gotten what you paid for. And above all, you want to make sure that they’re properly trained and certified. IICRC is the motor mediation certification training organization that we recommend. Make sure that people, that company, and the workers are certified. That’s a common mistake that they’ll send to uncertified workers and then when it comes to inspectors, you really want somebody who’s got a broader sort of building science background, not just the mold inspector or home inspector type. You want somebody who really has had more of a building biology building science, somebody who’s an environmental consultant, and that’s why they’re hard to find most people just look at mold inspector, and they end up with a Tom, Dick, or Harry, that just got a certification for 199 bucks on the internet. You know, so that’s why we created the Mold Test Kit, because it’s hard to find a qualified professional. There’s also, at our website, we got a learning center filled with lots of information. We have a free ebook that we that we make available to us. In fact, for your listeners, we have a page where we put up GOTMOLD.com/teaspoon.
Okay, and there, you can get some, you can get a copy of that ebook, which is how to find mold. It’s 45 pages of inspection, checklists, and FAQs. And you know, it’s a valuable document. Lots of people give us rave reviews on that, and also a link to that your listeners can get a 10% discount on GOTMOLD? test kit through that page.
Dawn DiMare 36:45
Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me today on the podcast and talking about this, about mold and it’s actually so important. It’s so amazing how many things it’s connected to and I really appreciate it.
Jason Earle 37:02
Yeah, you know, this is water, right? There’s this idea that we are farsighted. We tend to look at things that are so far away, but the thing that we need the most that we do 24,000 times a day, we breathe. We don’t do it consciously enough and so by bringing these things to people’s attention, they can start to, you know, like I said, make better decisions about the air they breathe. So, hopefully, that’s all for today.
Dawn DiMare 37:24
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Jason, for joining me on A Teaspoon of Healing and if any listeners have any questions, they can direct them to me and I will direct their questions to you.
Jason Earle 37:36
You can also, they can go to GOTMOLD.com. We have a contact section at the bottom of the homepage, where we encourage people to ask questions. You can also send questions to questions@GOTMOLD.com. We have people that are there to answer.
Dawn DiMare 37:50
Wonderful. Great, thank you so much for your time today.
Jason Earle 37:54
Thank you, Dawn.
Susan, you remember the time we were in Orange County, we were driving around and we got lost and we ran into this place called Avila’s El Ranchito. You remember the place. The place had awesome decor and authentic Margaritas.
Did he know that Avila’s El Ranchito has been around since 1966? They have 13 locations throughout Orange County. Visit Salvador Avila’s location in Lake Forest in Foothill Ranch for great food ambiance and specialty Margaritas.
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