Are your kids suddenly developing upper respiratory issues? What are those stains on the basement walls? And what’s that smell? In this episode, I speak with Jason Earle about mold in your home and what it could be doing to your family’s health.
Are your kids suddenly developing upper respiratory issues? What are those stains on the basement walls? And what’s that smell? In this episode, I speak with Jason Earle about mold in your home and what it could be doing to your family’s health.
Jason Earle 00:00
People think they get sick in the winter because it’s cold, right? They actually dry out and their mucous membranes, which are a protective layer to capture all those microbes and then filter them. They dry out and then your immediate portal into your body. So that bottom line is moisture is the issue. And so, mold is only the symptom of it. Air in general is hiding in plain sight. You breathe 24,000 times a day. How many of them are you aware of? Seriously, you breathe 24,000 times a day!
Melissa Vogel 00:40
Hey, what’s up everyone, if you’re looking to be inspired, motivated, educated and entertained, you have come to the right place. Welcome to the Bomb Mom Podcast, the podcast where we explore your fitness life mindsets and actions that help you become unstoppable. You are worth it. And it’s time to finally make changes in your life that will last you the rest of your life. Hey everyone, welcome to the Bomb Mom Podcast. I am Melissa Vogel, your host. And if you are brand new to the show, welcome. I’m so glad that you have found me. Make sure you go back and listen to all of the episodes, and you’re going to hear me say that over and over again.
Because it’s so important that I want all of my listeners to go back and keep learning. Don’t miss a single episode on manifestation, your mindset, workouts, nutrition, binging emotional eating. Like you name it, we have covered it on the show and I don’t want you guys to miss out. And if you’re returning welcome back. I love all my returning listeners. You guys send me emails info at Melissavogelfitness.com, I will get it. I want to know your feedback. I want to know if you have an idea for a guest on the show. What more do you want me to cover?
We did an episode, I can’t think of the number off the top of my head but it was a while ago and it was with a plastic surgeon and we dove all into Botox, fillers, collagen, elastin, all the things. And that came from a recommendation from you guys. And it was like a number one episode so let me know what ideas you have. Also follow me on Instagram. I’m It’sMelissaVogel. So I t s Melissa Vogel and send me a DM, follow me watch my stories and look at the posts. Like I’m always putting out new information out there as well. And you get a sneak peek to my crazy life. So if you’re on Facebook too, just go to Melissa Vocal Fitness, you will find me on there.
So we’re gonna dive into the show right now because I want to get get started with it right away. And we’re covering a topic that we have never discussed before. Mold. Oh, yes, mold, and their website is gotmold.com. I was approached to have Jason on, I don’t know, a few weeks ago, a month ago or so. And when I first thought like mold, really? On the Bomb Mom Podcast? And then I dove into it more and I really looked into Jason’s company. And I was like, this is insane how mold affects your overall health and wellness. I’m like, yeah, this is a no brainer. He definitely needs to come on to the podcast. Everything that he has done and experienced in his own life is just crazy and just doing this podcast episode, I learned so much and I’m looking to buy a home. And with that comes inspections and everything.
And I learned today that you should be doing the mold and moisture inspection first. Makes complete sense. You guys have to listen in all about what Jason had told me. But he’s a man on a mission. He’s an adoring father of two boys in diapers, I know! He’s an incurable entrepreneur and an indoor air quality Crusader. And he’s the founder and CEO of the Mold Inspection Company, 1-800-GOT-MOLD? and the creator of the Got Mold? Test Kit. Yes, you guys, they have a test kit that you can actually test your own home you can get one that’s for one, two or three rooms. The realization that his moldy childhood home was the underlying cause of his extreme allergies and asthma, it led him into the healthy home business in 2002, leaving behind a successful career on Wall Street. That’s how passionate he is about this. Over the last two decades, Jason has personally performed countless sick building investigations solving many medical mysteries along the way.
And he’s helped 1000s of families recover their health and peace of mind. He has featured or appeared on Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, the Dr. Oz Show, Entrepreneur, Wired, and at least two college textbooks and more. Jason is the mold man. He is the man that has all the answers for so I cannot wait for you guys to hear this episode. We talk about side effects, how it can affect you, what he experienced. So this is one that you don’t want to miss. This is one of those episodes that literally could change your life or save your life. He has a special website for us. He has special discount codes for us, all of it. So stay tuned, keep listening. And you never know who you need to pass this episode on too as well. So make sure you guys rate and review this episode, this podcast. Five stars of course, leave me a review. I love hearing from you guys. It’s like leaving a huge tip for me in a tip jar. All right, enjoy the show. Everyone, welcome back to the Bomb Mom Podcast. And today we have Jason Earle on, he is a man on a mission. Jason, welcome to the show.
Jason Earle 05:51
Great to be here.
Melissa Vogel 05:51
I love that you are, let me get this right, I saw it on your one sheet and I’m like, oh my god, I have to say this: A healthy home evangelist.
Jason Earle 06:00
Melissa Vogel 06:02
So cool! And we talk all about overall health wellness on this show. And if you want to live your best life ever, if you want to be fit, less body fat, healthy, strong, the air you breathe everything it has to do with your environment and where we live, right? I mean, think of how much time we spend at home or in an office. And I honestly don’t know anything about mold.
Jason Earle 06:26
Few people do.
Melissa Vogel 06:28
Being brutally honest, I know it’s bad. We were recently looking at a house to purchase and we read the fine details, and they said it currently has mold. And I’m like, that can’t be good and how bad is that to get off? So we can dive into that later. But I got to know Jason, like, how did you get into mold? Because this isn’t like a common topic. Or I gotta imagine an area that people are like, when I grew up, I want to sell mold. Well not sell mold but…
Jason Earle 06:53
Or the solutions to it right?
Melissa Vogel 06:54
There you go.
Jason Earle 06:55
Absolutely. Well, listen, this is a business that is not sexy, for sure. And I don’t think that there’s a university track for this career either. It’s really one of these things that in fact, most of the people in this industry that I’ve gotten to know have a personal connection to it. And it’s you know, probably very similar in other industries to where there’s really not like a very clear, you know… physician, lawyer, engineer with very specific track. This is kind of one of those things where it affects you personally, at some point, and then it becomes this irreversible knowledge. And then it becomes this thing where you realize that you’ve overcome an aspect and want to help other people to do the same. It’s a pay it forward kind of a thing.
Melissa Vogel 07:32
Jason Earle 07:33
And that seems to be a dominant theme. And most of the people that I know that are in this business, they’re in this business for the right reasons, at least, I got into this very accidentally, much like my other colleague. I was a stockbroker for about nine years, which is another conversation, perhaps for different podcast. But at a young age… One day I woke up and I wasn’t having fun anymore. And I went traveling, it was right after September 11.
So I was kind of staying close to home and relatively speaking, and I was in Hawaii, I was reading in this local newspaper about somebody who’d gotten sick from a hotel where they were working. They had been working at the Hilton Kalia tower, which is like the flagship Hilton property in Oahu. And they’ve been shut down for mold problem for a while there. And it was all over the local newspapers in Hawaii at the time. And this one particular story just jumped out at me though, because at 40 years old, this gentleman had developed adult onset asthma, which is something that I had never even heard of…
Melissa Vogel 08:23
Jason Earle 08:24
…at the time, and allergies and sensitivities to all sorts of foods and things that he had never been sensitive to, in fact, things that he enjoyed most of his life. And for me, it was like a light bulb went on a deja vu moment, if you will, where I was brought back to my childhood. Around three or four years old, I suddenly lost a lot of weight, and was having difficulty breathing. And so they brought me to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, I grew up in central New Jersey, an hour from Philly, an hour from New York. And so we went to Philadelphia and the first diagnosis was devastating to my parents. They initially I thought that I had cystic fibrosis. Oh, of course, you know, that’s a difficult diagnosis no matter what. But my father had seen four of his cousin’s die before the age of 14, because it’s genetic and my family, which is probably why they came up with the initial diagnosis, right, but the second round of tests six weeks later confirmed, thankfully, but I did not have to suffer as evidenced by the fact that I sit here at 45 years old.
But rather I had asthma, compounded by pneumonia, and I was allergic to everything that they tested me for. So back then, I don’t know how to do it now, but they put me in like a straitjacket for toddlers, like a papoose with my back open. Then they had a grid on my back and they tested all these antigens on me. My dad said I looked at the ladybug. Just big red swollen back with dots all over. Yeah. And so I was allergic to at the time grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, even cotton. So T shirts and sheets and stuff like that. I was always itchy. Both my parents smoked by the way, which is convenient for an asthmatic kid. I also grew up on a small farm, so I was surrounded by all these things grass, wheat, corn, eggs. I left out soybeans, we’re surrounded by soybean fields. Grass, wheat, corn, soybeans, dog, you know, the whole thing.
Melissa Vogel 10:02
You must have been miserable!
Jason Earle 10:03
You know, I actually realized that most of my time outdoors and for whatever reason, I didn’t connect the dots back then. But I had very few sensitivities to outdoors. I was allergic, mostly direct contact, and indoors. Indoors, I had a hard time. I never thought about it that much, until I’m sitting in Hawaii. What happened was when I was 12, by the way, all my symptoms went away. And nobody really understood why, except for the fact that we moved out of that house, my folks split up. And so my grandfather had grown out of his asthma, and so they assumed I had done the same, you know, there’s something that tends to happen. So never really put the pieces of the puzzle together until that, like I said, I’m sitting in Hawaii and geez, I wonder if we had a mold problem.
Knowing nothing about mold. So any of your listeners, if you know nothing about mold, that’s where I was and I began asking questions. And keep in mind also, this is 20 years ago, so nobody was talking about mold. There was not a conversation going on, like there is right now. There was certainly not there was not an industry of inspectors or mediators and laboratories and stuff like that. It was before all this. I called my father… I began asking myself a lot of questions. And I called my father from a payphone which probably isn’t there anymore. And I said, Hey, do you think we had a mold problem at Old Trenton Road? And he goes, Jason, we had mushrooms growing in the basement, of course we had mold. Why do you ask? It was just such a damp space. You know, we used to throw our clothes down the stairs, and they would sometimes be damp. And you know, there was just no awareness about this back then.
So he laughed it off. And I said, do you think that might have contributed to my asthma and stuff? And he goes it certainly didn’t help. You know, I mean, like I said, my parents were supposed to, they were told in the car with the windows up. I mean, that was the seven. Yeah, that was what people did. And people now would be, you know, brought up on charges for that kind of stuff. That was normal back then riding the back of the pickup truck, you know, all that stuff. So anyway, bottom line is that I immediately, immediately in that moment, you know, some people can point to sort of this epiphany moment where it’s something changed in them. And it was in that moment that a light bulb went on, and I said boy, that is, that’s what I want to do. I became immediately fascinated not with mold, but with how buildings impact our health. Because more broadly than mold, mold is just the four letter word, right? Mold is the thing that everybody is scared of is the first thing that shows up if you’ve got a building defect or repair that needs to be dealt with, that causes a moisture problem. So in many ways, is the first alarm that goes off.
And it’s the smelly thing, and it makes… ruins your stuff and all these things. But really, the bottom line is dampness is the enemy. Mold is just the first symptom. Dampness brings in all sorts of stuff, you know, dust mites, and in all the little critters and you know, it also eventually, if you leave the dampness long enough, eventually, it’s like a pool party, all the critters come. We get the insects and the rodents and all that. So right so that moisture is the deal. And if you fix the moisture, then the mold will stop. And all those critters go find somewhere else to party. So the bottom line is I became fascinated with buildings and health, and how these buildings impacted our… because at the time remember, there was sick building syndrome. That was… people talked about back in the 80s and 90s. Right, that was really due to lack of ventilation and from these chemicals that are in our building materials. And because they concentrate indoors with the paints and carpets and adhesives and all that stuff. You know that new car, a new house smells, not healthy.
So like I said more broadly, how build… that you have to take into consideration all those things, but mold is the reason that people pick up the phone. You know, people don’t call and say sick buildings… I think I have sick building syndrome. They call because they think their buildings making them sick. And usually mold is the distinctive thing that gets people’s attention.
Melissa Vogel 11:27
Oh, my gosh. Do you remember the moment when you moved out of the house and you were like in the new environment and feeling better?
Jason Earle 13:31
I remember wanting to get out of the basement, not wanting to spend time down there. Even though I was doing stuff down there that was engaging to me. Workshop, you know, we have all sorts of fun stuff to make a mess with down in the basement, but I didn’t want to spend time down there. And I also remember feeling very fatigued down there. And then yes, I remember being at friend’s houses and feeling better. I remember, you know, but they also also had a really, you know, kind of a tumultuous childhood, my family was a mess.
And so, which turns out to be the greatest gift ever. But at the time, there was sort of various different clouds casting shadows, it was hard to parse out what was making me feel good or bad or what have you. In retrospect, like I said, there are certain things that were very clear to me, I remember the weight of on my chest when I was indoors, especially in my house, but the actual relief was relatively gradual. Interestingly, I don’t want to get too far ahead. But most of the referrals that we’ve gotten for our inspection business are actually from physicians. We work with physicians who have patients…
Melissa Vogel 14:26
Jason Earle 14:27
…that don’t respond to typical treatment because there’s an underlying irritant, right? I mean… …first things first, remove the thing that makes you weak before you think you’re gonna get drunk. So the doctors who refer patients to us, a couple of them are like so tell me your story again, and okay, so let’s go test you for allergies. And they test me for all those allergies and I don’t react to any of them zero. So there was this thing that happened to me and I can only hypothesize that because there’s no way to confirm scientifically. But I’ve seen this in so many cases over the years with my customers where they have sort of a latent potential for sensitivity. I think we all have this and it’s just the you know, you’re sort of your army of your immune system army waiting there.
And what happened with me was, I was chronically exposed to mold which produces spores which are allergenic musty smell, which are gases. And then these toxins which everyone talks about in the media, but they’re kind of not really nearly as as important in the conversation as the overall picture in total, but the musty smell, it turns out has a very powerful impact on your immune system. It’s linked to headaches and nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, some people have allergic immune responses to it, even though it’s not very well understood or well studied. But the musty smell, pervasive musty smell, in my experience with my, with my customers, and also with me, I believe that was so chronic, that my body was just on high alert, and everything that could be potential allergen or anything that could be a potential irritant to me just came to the surface.
So suddenly, I was just this scenario in a coal mine. And absent that product exposure, I’m abundantly healthy. Every aspect of my life is diametrically opposed…diametric opposites 180 degrees different than the way it was when I was a kid. Just from that, eliminating that one thing kryptonite, think about mold is kryptonite. Yeah, it will weaken you. And it will make you susceptible to other things. And people often make this mistake where they they’re chasing the wrong demon. They’re chasing the wrong enermy.
Melissa Vogel 14:31
Right. I was gonna say, I wonder how many like light bulbs are going off right now for parents and anyone listening to this going? Oh, my God, I wonder if that’s why I you know, fill in the blank or if my child is, you know, all these things are probably going off. And that’s why I was so excited to have you on the show. Because I’m like, this is not talked about and this directly affects how we feel, think act, you know, what are the signs of potential mold? I know you just listed some right now, you know, from the musty smell and everything in our immune system. Are thoss like basically it, like headaches, the nausea or like, how do we know?
Jason Earle 16:57
Well, this is one of the problems with mold is that it packs everybody differently. So…
Melissa Vogel 17:02
Jason Earle 17:02
…It’s somewhat random, but it’s an individual sensitivity. So you can take a mold problem in a residence and have let’s say five people living in there, and they will all tell you largely different symptoms. Granted, they tend to concentrate on you know, upper respiratory, you know, typical coughing, sneezing, sinus issues it’s this huge issue. In fact, the Mayo Clinic did a study in 1999, kind of controversial, but they concluded the 96% or more cases of chronic sinusitis, which is the most prevalent long term illness in America is mold related. So the Mayo Clinic thinks it’s a big deal. And so you’ve obviously got all the typical triggers for asthma too.
In fact, EPA and Berkeley Labs did a study a while back, and they concluded that up to 24.6 million asthma cases, of which 10 million are children, by the way, and that number is up 100% last year so it’s an epidemic. But the 4.6 million are about 25% of those cases over 24.6 million are mold and dampness related. And so my question is how many of you asthmatic people know that? How many of you know that caused by… we all know, mold irritates asthma and irritates but what about the causal? So there’s another study that was done that showed that 50%, or rather than exposure to the musty smell, doubles the asthma risk, and children just exposure to the musty odor in childhood. In fact, it’s the number one predictor of asthma behind maternal smoking.
Melissa Vogel 18:23
Jason Earle 18:23
But the exposure to musty odor as a child, so it’s a really big deal.
Melissa Vogel 18:27
Did you say that asthma and children are up 100% over the last 10 years?
Jason Earle 18:32
Over the last decade at the asthmatic… the rate of asthma children’s doubled.
Melissa Vogel 18:35
Jason Earle 18:37
In fact, I have to update my numbers, that statistics a little and maybe more so now. Astmah’s a big deal. It’s one of these things, it’s a mystery, no one seems to know what it is. But what I can tell you is that if you don’t expose kids, you have less of it. You don’t expose kids to mold, you have a lot less of it. And it’s not just mold, again there’s broader things are going on with our buildings where we’re building with, you know, we build very tight. And we also build with a lot of synthetic materials that off gas chemicals. And so we expose ourselves in a concentrated way to both biological pollutants like mold and also non biological pollutants like VOCs paints. Every time we renovate a house, if you choose a VOC paint, when the smells, you’re doing it again, the builder uses cheap paint, and that fades away and then we go to renovate. We want that beautiful, renovated smell. And guess what we’ve just done, just started a new with a new chemical exposure. So there’s all of these things to be aware of. And that’s really I guess, we can talk a little bit about symptoms really quickly. And then and then we can talk a little bit about you don’t mind just sort of the awareness about this because I think…
Melissa Vogel 19:28
Jason Earle 19:29
This is more just like that.. instead of tactical stuff, which everybody wants to give you like, what do I do? What you should do, here are the 10 steps to deal with mold, but there’s a broader… there’s a more philosophical way to think about this. But in terms of the symptoms, this is something where if you have a musty odor, if you have stains you know if you see it, smell it, or feel it you probably have it. What I encourage people to do you know we sell a test kit go to gotmold.com, okay, we sell a do it yourself test kit, the best of breed uses the same..
Melissa Vogel 19:58
I want to know more about this time Test Kit and how people could do it at home.
Jason Earle 20:01
Well what they gotta love more but that uses the same devices that professionals use, but without the cost or aggravation of having to find and hire one. But before you even involve yourself in reaching out for help of any sort, first thing to do is engage your senses. If you see it, smell it, or feel it. And when I say do you see it, you know, you’re looking for staines, signs of water damage, you’re looking for evidence of dampness, peeling paint, blistering paint, the trim that pulls away from the window or the or the baseboard, these little clues that you just walk past every day. That’s why you have to hire professionals sometimes because they have a fresh set of eyes. But you know, you walk by these things every day and don’t notice them.
So if you see it, this coloration on wall, sometimes it’s very subtle, and you need to use a structure of strong flashlights, especially helpful in basements and low light areas. But if you see discoloration, which looks like little spots that tend to be sort of geometric, that can be colonization of mold. And then you have to trust your intuition. You know, one of the things that I found over the years is that people really do tend to know when something’s wrong, and they get caught up in the feelings surrounding a mold problem, the all the anticipation of it. So in other words, most of the people who have a mold problem know they have a mold problem. And they’re simply stuck in some sort of procrastination loop. Because they’re concerned about cost, they’re concerned about leaving, they feel guilty, because they know they haven’t dealt with it.
Right. So then that’s a negative loop that people caught up in all the time with lots of things, especially when it comes to taking care of their family, right, or taking care of their own health. They know they shouldn’t be doing this or should be doing this and they do it anyway. So it’s those kinds of things to take into consideration when we’re talking about trusting your intuition because you have to be able to look at this stuff and say, okay, objectively, we know that mold is unhealthy. We know that the longer it sits, the worse it gets. This is not a static problem, unlike lead paint or asbestos. It is what it is. This if you leave it be, it grows.
Melissa Vogel 21:48
Yeah, I guess when…
Jason Earle 21:49
Lead paint doesn’t grow. Asbestos doesn’t grow. These things don’t grow, right? Even the toxic chemicals and building materials. They don’t grow. They don’t get worse. They fade over time. This will not, this will eat you, eat your house, it eats everything. I mean, I shouldn’t say it will eat you because…
Melissa Vogel 22:02
I know what you mean.
Jason Earle 22:04
…eventually, I mean, it’s hungry. And Its job is to turn everything back into dirt. If you give it enough moisture, it will turn your house back into dirt.
Melissa Vogel 22:11
I didn’t even think of it that way.
Jason Earle 22:12
Yeah, they’re just everything. All these little critters are nibbling at your house. The moment you finished building your house…
Melissa Vogel 22:17
Jason Earle 22:17
Everything’s nibbling at it, right? And so your job is to be aware of that.
Melissa Vogel 22:21
How does mold start? I know that probably sounds really stupid. But do you have to have a flood in order to have mold like, my listeners got to be asking the same thing? Like how does mold get there?
Jason Earle 22:32
Well, so mold is ubiquitous in the sense that mold spores are everywhere.
Melissa Vogel 22:39
Jason Earle 22:40
In fact, 30% of the Earth’s biomass is fungi, isn’t that wild? So 30% of the stuff that is living or at what was recently living is fungi. And so fungi, his job is among many other jobs is to recycle stuff, to take stuff that was a one time living, whether it’s trees in your yard, or the old books in your basement that have gotten damp, and to turn them back into something that’s accessible, nutrient wise for the rest of nature. And it’s very, very efficient at doing that. And all it needs is moisture, it doesn’t even need liquid water. It’s very resourceful. Now granted, if you zoom in microscopically, you’ll see that that actually that water vapor or humidity becomes liquid droplets on the surface. And that’s really what happens. But that’s kind of technical. The bottom line is elevated humidity for any length of time, anything above 60% relative humidity tends to create condensation. Condensation would be you know, the little drops of water on your windowsill, cold surface, where you’ll get that humidity will turn into liquid water. That’s where you’ll start that problem.
Oftentimes, it’s in hidden areas, and that’s where we get into some issues. So the safe humidity range is 40 to 60%. That’s for human comfort, and that’s also to prevent microbial issues. Below 40%, you’re gonna be uncomfortable, you’re gonna have lips cracking, you know, everyone’s woken up in the house to dry, and there’s just not enough water to slake your thirst. That will also make you susceptible to sinus infections because your mucous membranes will dry out, and those things will get stuck. And that’s how you end up with getting sick in the winter. People think they get sick in the winter, because it’s cold, right? They actually dry out and their mucous membranes, which are a protective layer to capture all those microbes and then filter them and they dry out and then your immediate portal into your body. So that bottom line is moisture is the issue, and so mold is only the symptom of it.
And so it only… by the way, it takes 24 to 48 hours after an actual water event for mold to grow, so you have to act quickly. This is something you know I joke around about this because it’s one of these things that… Air in general is hiding in plain sight. You breathe 24,000 times a day. How many of them are you aware of? Seriously, you breathe 24,000 times a day? How many are you aware of?
Melissa Vogel 24:44
Only the ones when I’m breathing heavy at the gym that I feel like I’m gonna die. That’s it.
Jason Earle 24:49
This is something that you know, you won’t notice how precious your breath is until you can’t have any right like, you know, it’s one of those things where you look at shelter, food, water, air, you know? Shelter, we take that for granted as part of the reason why we have mold problems, because buildings we live in our boxes that we store stuff in, and we move from box to box. But really, our buildings are an extension of our immune system, if you think about it.
Melissa Vogel 25:11
Oh, I believe it.
Jason Earle 25:12
It’s an exoskin, it’s an exoskeleton and we have a symbiotic relationship with our buildings. In other words, we build it, we’re the immune system. And what’s interesting is that if the building develops problems, like a leak or flood, it shows up as a moisture problem. And then it sends a message to us in the form of mold, if you think about it, and then if we don’t deal with that, we get sick from it. And so in essence, this relationship, we have this inanimate thing, this building, right? It’s actually symbiotic. When the building gets healed, the people get better, you know, our job is to maintain these buildings so that it will take care of us. And when we fail to do that, it will come back.
Melissa Vogel 25:45
I’ve never looked at it like that before.
Jason Earle 25:46
That awareness about your building is not just a box, it’s almost like if you think about it, there’s another analogy which you might like the body. And the building analogy. Mold is ubiquitous, mold is present everywhere, it’s when moisture develops and persists that it begins to grow indoors. And that’s where we start to have problems. Very similar to inflammation. A lot of your audience will recognize that inflammation is the enemy, a lot of disease starts with inflammation, but it’s not inflammation, it’s chronic inflammation.
Melissa Vogel 26:15
Jason Earle 26:16
So it’s that little bit of inflammation that tells you something’s wrong here. And if you don’t deal with that, guess what happened, and it gets worse, eventually tissue degrades. And eventually you end up with chronic long term problems that are beyond the inflammation, you end up with heart disease. And you know, ultimately, most people die from inflammation related disease. That’s just the reality of things, right? The same thing goes to building look at mold as inflammation in your building is the first time and if you don’t take action on it, it will get worse it has to because it’s the signal saying that something’s wrong.
Melissa Vogel 26:46
Hey, so I thought this would be a good time to give you guys a little bit more information on my online program, busy to bomb fit, man, if you are looking to be motivated, inspired. Finally, get off your butt and do the things that you want to do with your health and your fitness and your workout in your body and hit those goals.
We need to talk visit The Bomb Fit Mom. It’s a full online program. It’s a 90 day program that’s going to get you into the best shape of your life. Now, is it an easy diet plan to follow are all these amazing workouts that I’m just going to hand you on a silver platter? No, this program is going to love and support you it’s going to motivate you get you heading in the right direction. But you don’t have to do it alone, you’re going to have an entire support system with you, you’re going to have me as your coach, coaching you on nutrition, your workout, I become your virtual personal trainer. So if this is something that you’re looking for, and you just need that extra push and someone on your heels telling you that you’re worth it, and it’s time, we need to talk.
Visit www.busytobombfitmom.com, book a call with me. Let’s see if this is a fit for you. All right, back to the show. Right? Okay, so tell me about these kits. How do we test our home because now I’m worried. I’m renting right now, but I’m looking to buy a house. And I’m like, deathly afraid of mold and termites out here in California.
Jason Earle 28:14
Rightly so. So if you want to have your house checked for mold, first of all, there’s a bunch of different steps you can take. If you go to Gotmold.com/bombmom-podcast, you’ll see that there’s a free ebook…
Melissa Vogel 28:32
I love it.
Jason Earle 28:32
…for your listeners. And they can download that. And that has a lot of inspection checklists, lots of things that will help guide your eyes and senses. So you can do some of the work on your own for free without having to involve anybody else and see what you see. Again, you know, if you see it, smell or feel it, trust your intuition, but get the facts, right? By the way, this is building science, it’s not a superstition, the first advice I will give you is stop reading Facebook for advice about mold. It will all be wrong, it will all be fear based, will tell you to burn your house down. It’s just insane. The echo chamber when it comes to mold, I mean, what it’s done for politics, it’s done for mold, too. So don’t read Facebook when it comes to mold. But go get our ebook. It’s not a sales document. It’s a true resource that we created to help people navigate this for free.
Melissa Vogel 29:24
Jason Earle 29:25
On the other side of the spectrum from free, you can hire a professional and that will be difficult, because it’s hard to find a qualified professional. It’s hard to find a qualified professional that, ready for this, doesn’t also do remediation. So most inspectors, even in states where it’s prohibited, either do both or they have a cozy relationship with the other side. So in other words, they’re able to test their own work or have someone else test in a way that may be a little more flexible or favorable. And this is very so commonplace that it’s illegal in many states. It’s just there’s so much conflict of interest. It’s hard to find a qualified professional, there are a few trade associations you can find in the back of the Hot to
Find Mold ebook, where you can search for qualified people. But you’re going to have to, again, follow your intuition, ask good questions, make sure that they don’t have a conflict of interest, make sure that this is all they do. By the way, environmental assessments, environmental consulting, healthy home assessments is not a part time job. You asked me in the beginning how I got into this, what I found out after I got into it was that I had to learn a lot. This is a multidisciplinary science, you’re talking about building science, you’re talking about the physics, the biology, there’s just so many pieces to this, that you just can’t possibly do this as an adjunct like a home inspector. By the way, that’s the other piece. Home Inspectors are not qualified for this, they’re just not, I did not know that they’re not qualified for this. In fact, many of them excluded from their inspections, they will flag it and they’ll tell you to contact a professional. Then you’re back in the same situation again, and they’ll grab samples sometimes, and not know what to do with the results.
Oftentimes, sampling can cause more problems, because there’s more confusion, if you don’t know how to use that data towards a remediation plan. So finding a qualified professional is expensive. It’s time consuming, and it’s wrought with all sorts of potholes and pitfalls, okay? So we identified that problem, where you’ve got basically, the professionals are conflicted, and they’re expensive, they’re hard to assess the quality of in advance. And then if you want to test you know what to do yourself test kit, we looked at that market and saw that there was just a bunch of petri dishes and junk science basically, seriously, just like, these are like sixth grade science experiments gone wrong. And people use this to determine whether or not their house is making them sick. By the way, they encourage you to grow mold in a petri dish in your kitchen.
If you’re concerned about mold growing in your house, the first thing to do is not grow more, right? So these are just silly things that you just look at further examination, you realize that this is just a joke. And that’s an industry of people selling these junk science test kits. So it took us years to create this to create the optimal test kit. But we finally secured an exclusive arrangement with the number one lab in the country. So our analysis is beyond reproach, you get a full accredited analysis the same as you would get from a reputable inspector.
Melissa Vogel 29:50
Jason Earle 30:09
But you can get either a one, two, or three room kit on gotmold.com, and it allows you to take air samples using a technology built for spore traps, which does exactly what it sounds like, it traps airborne spores in these little cassettes. And these cassettes are then opened up at the laboratory, and analyzed. And our software looks for unusual types and concentrations of certain types of molds. And there’s a very simple report that you get which green, yellow, orange, red indicator, depending upon what was found, as well as the full laboratory report, simple steps afterwards, you can take in terms of action.
So right now that we actually just went live with gotmold.com. So it’s a very exciting time for us. But the idea behind it is to be able to eliminate a lot of the nonsense that’s going on in the industry. Right now, it’s cost prohibitive for most people to test their air because a mold inspection can be $1,500 or more by qualifies. So that’s more than a lot of people’s mortgage, or they’re renting for sure. And so what we want to do is be able to give people the ability to test their air on a cost effective basis, there’s no reason that healthy indoor air should be cost prohibitive.
Melissa Vogel 33:14
That’s so awesome. And you want what’s best, you know, for your children, your significant other, your animals, you know, in your home, and that’s where you live, that’s where you sleep, that’s where you grow babies, like you do not want any of them breathing in toxic harmful air.
Jason Earle 33:30
Melissa Vogel 33:31
And I love that you came up with something that is so easy. So you said you could do one, two or three rooms now would that be like, if I have a three bedroom home, I’m going to need at least three to test each bedroom.
Jason Earle 33:41
So you would test the areas of concern, right? So we always ask people to do a little inspection of their home, you know, again, follow your senses, and then follow your intuition and then get the facts. And so you know, if all your senses do you see it, smell it, or feel it in those areas, you want to collect an air sample in those areas. And then ideally, you sample in a non complaint area in the house too. So there’s complaint, which is where you’ve got smells, or some page or something visible. And then there’s non complaint where it seems like this is okay. Because this is what we do on a professional basis, we’ll sample in areas and of course customers don’t like paying for samples in areas where they’re not experiencing a problem.
But when you can see the contrast in the building, you can quickly see where the work needs to be done. You know, these things tend to concentrate in areas where they’re growing, but they can also contaminate the entire building and you want to know that. By the way, also, I should mention, very important, our test kit best of breed no doubt, I mean, if I do say so myself, but it still does not replace a professional inspection by a qualified consultant. And the reason for that is because no test kit, no data, I don’t care if you’re talking about a medical test from your doctor. If you get your blood drawn, and your doctor says you have high cholesterol, that’s not actionable. He may tell you that take a statin, or she may take a statin, but that would probably be ill informed because there’s more work that needs to be done. Is this a genetic thing?
Is this something from the thing you ate yesterday, more work needs to be done. And same thing goes with any kind of building testing or air testing is that it’s not actionable by itself, you need context, is there a water damage history, is there symptom, or are their symptoms, all of these other pieces need to be taken into consideration before any action can be taken. So what we like to say is, this is not a replacement for professional inspection, but it’s a cost effective first step. And then if you do find that there’s a problem, then we help you find the professionals that you need, in order to…
Melissa Vogel 35:38
Jason Earle 35:38
…through through the resources that we’re both providing at the end of the report. And also we’re building out for all that work and some other things like that as a service target.
Melissa Vogel 35:46
Okay, that was one of my questions is Do you help us go next step and link us to professionals or this could be anywhere across the country?
Jason Earle 35:53
Yeah, right now, we link you directly to these trade associations that we respect…
Melissa Vogel 35:57
Jason Earle 35:58
…who issue license and certifications. Licensing doesn’t mean anything. In the states where there’s licensing requirements, those licensing requirements actually are lower than the certification requirements, but don’t look at licensing as anything other than a bureaucratic, it’s another tax on the industry.
Melissa Vogel 36:12
Jason Earle 36:12
There’s one in particular, there’s a certified indoor environmentalist, CIE, through ACAC, formally IAQA. And so they offer a pretty robust certification plan that’s beyond mold. And again, people call for mold, but oftentimes, it’s mold and something else…
Melissa Vogel 36:28
Jason Earle 36:29
…or something else. And so you want to have someone who’s got a broader view, but also has specialized knowledge and experience.
Melissa Vogel 36:37
Jason Earle 36:37
It’s a very difficult thing for the consumer, the reason that we exist, and we still 20 years later, and my Mold Inspection Company, 1-800-GOT-MOLD?. I mean, you know, we pioneered the use of mold sniffing dogs, we had a lot of fun doing it, and we got a lot of national attention because of that. Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, all sorts of stuff like that. And what was fun about that was we raised awareness about the subject matter. But even then, even now, 20 years later, with everybody talking in every major publication, it’s still the wild, wild west, and the consumer is the one that’s suffering from it.
And so first step, if you’re concerned, see it, smell it, feel it, explore whether or not you want to have a professional come over and show, use those resources for the trade associations to issue those certifications. If you feel like you just want to get a gut check, Got Mold? Test Kit, gotmold.com great way to get started very affordable, we keep everything confidential. And we also we encourage you to give us feedback, too, because we are just getting started with it. And if there’s anything that you see that we can improve, please let us know.
Melissa Vogel 37:32
Yeah. So what would you recommend for someone like me, looking at homes, the markets picking up there’s gonna be a lot of people out there, like be doing that to look at to get in somewhere? Obviously, we’re gonna have a home inspection. Duh, we’re totally gonna get the kit, right? That would be the next step, right? We’d rather test the home and get the kits and do our own, you know, research on it.
Jason Earle 37:53
Melissa Vogel 37:54
And then what like, should we contact you to get another professional to come out, look at the test comeback, not so hot.
Jason Earle 38:01
So when it comes to real estate, this is what’s tricky. With real estate, you usually have to engage with third party to do the testing, otherwise, it doesn’t hold up. And that’s where it gets difficult when it comes to real estate. A lot of times, you end up in a situation where you get a home inspector, and the home inspector then recommends a mold inspection. And then the test kit doesn’t tend to fit into that very neatly, because they’ve already got their existing lab relationships, etc. So real estate is difficult when it comes to this. In fact, one of the things I consistently recommend people is to find a local mold guy who you really do have perspective and use him or her first before you have a home inspection.
Because you want to do a survey for moisture issues and for systemic issues before you get into checking outlets and what the temperature is on the water heater and all the stuff that home inspectors do that are like the last thing you look at, the first thing you look at with a building, is there a mold or a moisture problem of any significance and everybody does it backwards. That’s all wait until the end for the most important thing. So my suggestion is get familiar with this stuff. The ebook is, by the way, a great way to look at any house, especially if you’re doing real estate investments, you know, the stuff off market, or if you’re looking at as is things, you know, these kinds of professionals and or online resources can be really helpful to figure out whether or not this is something you want to deal with. It’s a very, very difficult business.
And then so first, let me also insert this, the detection the inspection part is tricky. The remediation part is also pure joy. Because you’re dealing with a group of people, their job is to break stuff, right? Think about it, they rip the walls down. That’s what they do. They rip walls down. Their job is to break stuff so stuff gets broken, and not often the things that you contracted to be broken. So it’s a little bit like a bull in a china shop. The other thing is that these guys, they all have to be certified or at least they should be certified by the IICRC which is a trade association, one of the ones that issues certifications that I hold in high esteem, and you can get IICRC certified firms. But that doesn’t mean that their workers are certified. So they can get the certificate one person at the firm has to get certified. And then they can send out a whole group full of uncertified people.
This happens every day all day long. So you’ve got that. The other thing is that everybody wants these biocides, they want to use chemicals to kill them all. The truth is that mold doesn’t need to be killed. Mold remediation, according to the standard, the IICRC is by 20 standard for mold remediation, says not to use chemicals, but they all use chemicals. And those chemicals leave a residual behind many of them do, that can be harmful. Modulating can cause really truly long term impacts, and there’s no way to remove them. You can clean it up, then you also use the chemical spray the chemical on doesn’t get rid of the mold, it leaves behind dead mold, which is food for new mold when the moisture persists, and leaves behind a chemical residue, and you just made it worse.
This is a very, very common outcome. It’s one of the reasons why we exist. Because we are inspection side completely independent. And all of our documents promote a Green Clean free of chemicals. In fact, free of anti mold, anything, the only anti mold thing you need to do is keep it dry, get it clean and dry. The Healthy Home mantra is clean and dry, right? I do this when I’m changing my little boys diaper. I clean and dry, clean and dry right to happy. It’s the happy hiney mantra.
Melissa Vogel 41:26
Jason Earle 41:27
Right. It’s the hat is the whole mantra, the clean drive. And that’s it. And so we advocate a green clean, no biocide. And of course, the most important thing is if you’ve always had an independent inspector, both in the beginning, doing the testing and doing the scope of work, developing the remediation plan, that’s what a proper inspection will do. A proper inspection will yield a report and that report is exactly what needs to be done step by step.
And then that same inspector who brought you to the party is going to take you home, he or she is going to test the air at the end. And make sure that the areas where you contracted work to be done and test the areas around it, make sure contamination didn’t occur, right, because that’s also very common, where one area gets dealt with and other areas actually get adversely affected because somebody made a mistake. And so testing before and after having that continuity of coverage is extremely, extremely important.
Melissa Vogel 42:19
See I wouldn’t have thought about this at all. And I don’t think most people do. Just like I going back to the beginning. I don’t think most people understand how mold affects your overall health.
Jason Earle 42:29
Melissa Vogel 42:29
I really hope that this episode helped people become aware. And I liked that you said to how everyone is affected differently. You know, when someone might develop asthma, someone else might just be having chronic headaches. Right? That’s right, two totally different symptoms. But it’s all come stemming from the mold.
Jason Earle 42:47
That’s right, I’ll leave you with this mold is a fact of nature. It’s a force of nature. It’s not going anywhere. It was here before humans, it will be here long after we’re gone. And we all live in buildings, right? We all live in buildings we all breathe air. Mold is a fact of life. And wastewater where you live in a water planet.
Moisture is a fact of life. And oftentimes, these balances are hard to maintain. And so what that means is, if you haven’t dealt with a mold problem yet, you will and so be armed, because it is literally a fact of life, you can ignore it. But as one of my favorite quotes recently is you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of the garden.
Melissa Vogel 43:24
That’s so true. Oh, man, do we know that on this podcast?
Jason Earle 43:29
And so I’ll leave you with that. And if you have any questions, come to us, ask us questions. Go to gotmold.com We have an area where we encourage people to ask us questions, even email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about mold, and we’ll answer.
Melissa Vogel 43:44
Oh, perfect. And it’s so easy to remember. And I love that you have the kit for home that we can try on our own and do it like it’s so perfect. I love that you thought of all of this, Jason, we are so lucky to have you on today. And thank you for the special… we’ll make sure we get that up on the show notes. You guys, everything will be in the show notes. Just like we always say, are you on social media? Are you on Facebook yet?
Jason Earle 44:07
We just got started on social media. We’ve been kind of in stealth mode with all of this for a while. But if you go to Facebook to at got mold, so facebook.com/gotmold, we’re there. Yeah, we’re seeing some amazing engagement. This is an area where people are really hungry for more knowledge and information. So hopefully we’ll be able to be a good resource.
Melissa Vogel 44:25
Yeah, we don’t want to be sick anymore.
Jason Earle 44:27
Melissa Vogel 44:28
We want to live our best life ever.
Jason Earle 44:30
is preventable. You know, the thing about mold is that all of these things that it’s linked to or that it causes are all preventable.
Melissa Vogel 44:36
That’s so true. Yep. You don’t have to live with no answers and you’re not crazy to.
Jason Earle 44:41
Melissa Vogel 44:42
I want to make sure people are aware of that. Like, if you think you’re experiencing symptoms, like you said, Trust yourself, check it out. Mold might be your kryptonite that you’re living with.
Jason Earle 44:52
100% we get this all the time where again, that same house where there’s five people living there, one big mold problem, everybody experiencing that? different symptoms. One of the most common things is that the person who’s really sick, who’s making the phone calls, doing the research telling everyone else in the house, we have a problem. Everyone else dismisses this person, they tend to be marginalized. Everyone knows somebody who’s got this where they, they’re the sick one, everyone else goes, oh, she’s no, he’s a. And what’s interesting, I’ve seen 1000s of these cases. And when the mold gets cleaned up, first of all, the person who is sick often does get better. But the people who weren’t sick, suddenly they’re feeling better, too.
They didn’t realize that their sleep was disturbed. They didn’t realize they were blowing their nose 15 times a day, they thought that was normal, their normal, their baseline had been reduced. That’s normal. They didn’t have any symptoms beforehand, but boy, did they feel better and suddenly tell you what those symptoms were. So the second and the most important thing that happens after that is that the person who was marginalized, who was crazy gets validated.
And that is beautiful, because then when the building heals, the occupant heals. And I see families heal as a result of it. It’s pervasive, it’s holistic. And again, the best part is that it is preventable. It’s treatable, and preventable.
Melissa Vogel 46:11
I love it. Well, thank you for coming on today. Jason. Everyone, go check out gotmold.com and stay safe and stay healthy everyone until next time, enjoy your week. If you are ready to become a Bomb Mom, join my free course over at www.melissavogelfitness.com/course. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host practice and the practice or the guests providing legal, mental health, nutritional or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.