From Detection to Elimination: Jim Tomlinson’s Pro Tips for Effective Mold Remediation | Podcast #422

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Jim Tomlinson, a mold remediation expert, shares his journey into the mold business and provides tips for effective mold remediation. He emphasizes the importance of addressing moisture issues, keeping humidity below 50%, and using botanical-based products for mold treatment. He also recommends regular air filter changes and duct cleaning to maintain a mold-free environment.

Key Insights

– 🔍 It is crucial to address moisture issues and maintain humidity levels below 50% to prevent mold growth. Dust, a food source for mold, can lead to mold growth even without visible water leaks.
– 🔍 Using botanical-based products for mold treatment is recommended, especially for individuals with chemical sensitivities. Chemical-based products can cause adverse reactions and may not effectively eliminate mold.
– 🔍 Implementing preventive measures, such as redirecting air flow and using humidity-controlled switches for bath vent fans, can help prevent mold growth in specific areas like bathrooms.
– 🔍 Proper mold remediation involves containment, wet fogging with botanical-based products and fine particle cleaning. Removing water-damaged materials, cleaning and treating affected areas, and conducting post-remediation air sampling are essential steps.
– 🔍 Regular air filter changes and duct cleaning help maintain a mold-free environment. Using HEPA filters and ensuring proper cleaning techniques are crucial for effective filtration and removal of mold particles.
– 🔍 Using heated vacuums with HEPA filters is recommended to minimize dust and prevent mold cross-contamination. It is important to clean and maintain the vacuums properly to avoid leaks and ensure efficiency.
– 🔍 Mold can be introduced into a new home through contaminated belongings or moving trucks. Dry fogging these items and conducting mold prevention measures upon moving in can help maintain a mold-free environment.



Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Today, we are going to be chatting with mold remediation expert, Jim Tomlinson. Jim is out of Colorado, so excited to dive in on this topic. We're going to hit all things from remediation, mold testing, mold assessment, prevention. So we will dive in on this topic today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Jim, welcome to the podcast. How are we doing? Dr. Justin

Jim Tomlinson: Marchegiani Thanks, Dr. Justin. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for the invitation. Dr.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Justin Marchegiani Yeah, absolutely. Now, Jim's information is MoldServices. com and he's got an email and a contact number. We're gonna put it right in the description of the video.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So if you guys are listening and you want to get a hold of Jim for a physical assessment or a virtual assessment, there'll be options down below where you can reach out to him. So Jim, first off, we were kind of just chatting earlier here. Tell me, how did you get into the topic of mold remediation? And how are you different than the typical kind of, you know, every day mold remediator out there?

Jim Tomlinson: Well My family and I moved to Colorado in 2010 and in 2011 we were it happened, our neighborhood was in the Waldo Canyon fires, which was one of the fires that they've had out in Colorado that caused massive devastation. We lost 362 homes in our own neighborhood. The house across the street burned to the ground.

Jim Tomlinson: We were backed up to the to the front, what's called the front range. And I actually saw the fire come over the, you know there were earlier evacuations, but I actually was there at the house when the fire jumped the mountain range and, and invaded our community there. So anyway I went down to retrieve a couple of.

Jim Tomlinson: of items that were not replaceable. First thing you would want to do, of course, is remove any any sentimental things like photos, family photos and that sort of thing. So I grabbed the family photos and the and the hard drives and computers and and the the file cabinet or the safe that had the important documents in it.

Jim Tomlinson: And those are the items you grabbed. Of course, you're on the way out. And so we did and we escaped. Okay, we were evacuated for 10 days when the National Guard allowed us to return. We didn't know if the house was going to be standing or not. But when I went down to the basement to grab the photos and safe I noticed a stench when I opened the closet door and it turned out to be mold growing inside the closet from a hose bib leak that I was totally unaware of.

Jim Tomlinson: So my wife had been battling Lyme and has, is was diagnosed with Lyme. So she was extremely immunocompromised. We could, we knew that we couldn't have any other toxins in the house, but lo and behold, we were living in it. And so so that's started my journey or our journey in, into the mold business.

Jim Tomlinson: We partnered with a guy in Texas. My thoughts were, well, Hey, if, if it happened to us, it could happen to others. I was concerned also about the levels of carcinogens. When you have a house fire, you have formaldehydes and carpets and all these materials, burning it form. molecules and are extremely carcinogenic, similar to cigarette smoke.

Jim Tomlinson: So I partnered with a guy named Dan Yates in Austin, Texas. Dan's a 35 year veteran in the industry and Dan is, I consider him to be my mentor and Dan and I started a business called Smoke and Mold Services. We only kept that business for about six months because Dan was too busy in Austin to To deal with issues in Colorado.

Jim Tomlinson: And he, he gave me his blessings and continued to, to train me. And we are, we are great friends now. But anyway, so that's how we, we got into the, into the mobile business and it's been a really good journey. It started out with just me. I started doing inspections for another company. For, for a couple of years and then, and then started started Colorado mold services, which we branched out.

Jim Tomlinson: We're also working in other states now. So we adopted the parent name, created a company called mold services, simply mold services. Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So the average everyday person, right, they come in, there may be, there's two kind of scenarios, right? There's going to be an acute, some kind of a leak, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pipe burst a leak in the roof, something happened where there's a massive intrusion of water, that water is hitting wood, it's hitting drywall, it's hitting insulation, and it's potentially creating mold if we don't get after it and get it remediated. And then we have the chronic maybe high humidity situation, poor air filtration, and then that kind of creates this microscopic breeding ground for long term potential environmental issues due to that high humidity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you mentioned earlier, we talked that humidity over 50 percent chronically with maybe dust intrusion in the air, can that be enough to create mold without like an acute type of water infiltration, like a leak?

Jim Tomlinson: Absolutely. If the relative humidity is above 50 percent for more than 48 hours. Keep in mind, dust is a food source for mold.

Jim Tomlinson: So you could have dust. And I've seen this where you don't see any black growth anywhere. There, there's no history of any moisture intrusion in the building. And yet if you go into the crawl space, for example, where the relative humidity has been above 50 percent for months on end or what have you.

Jim Tomlinson: But certainly more than 48 hours, you can see what appears to be a slight haze on the floor joists, for example, and if you pull a direct surface sample off that and take an air sample, you may find that you have, and this happened in one of our own houses, actually the levels of aspergillus and penicillin were through the roof.

Jim Tomlinson: They were greater than 74, 000 spores per cubic meter, greater than the lab even reported. And then the direct surface sample was very heavy aspergillus with many mycelial. So you can definitely have mold growth without having a major water leak.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now we talked earlier about water intrusion from a leak or some kind of a, you know hole in the roof, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now you talked about mold can start to form in 48 hours. Let's say I get to a leak. I see the water. I get someone in there to suck all the water out. We get some dehumidifiers and fan. We start that drying process inside of that first 12 to 24 hours. Am I pretty safe for any mold formation if I start that process?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is it more? leaving it and letting it sit in that high moisture, high humidity environment for those days on and that starts to drive it.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah, I would definitely recommend having the moisture removed. So if you had a, say a toilet leak and it overflowed and You suck it up. Carpet wet, pull that carpet back, put fans on it.

Jim Tomlinson: As long as you know it hasn't been 48 hours. But if it's been over 48 hours, I wouldn't disturb it. I would have a professional. Come in and take a look. But but if you can, you know, I call it the 48 hour mark. If you can address the moisture and bring that relative humidity down under 50 percent within 48 hours, you don't even have to worry about microscopic mold.

Jim Tomlinson: But if you, if you have toxic mold symptoms. And, and and possibly even a clinical mycotoxin test, a urine sample that shows that you do have mycotoxins in your urine, then it's a good idea to have your home checked out for mycotoxins, you know, professionally for molar mycotoxins. Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani So we want to bring that humidity down below that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You want to try to get the moisture off in that, in that two days, even if it takes wood, hardwood or drywall, maybe three to five days longer to dry out. So END We at least still have that environment down where mold is not going to start to start to grow in that timeframe.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah, you could, you can run dehumidifiers though and bring that level down very quickly.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now I see this quite a bit like, you know, we're on that in the summer or you see it also in basements, basements typically run about 20 percent humidity higher just because if it's a concrete basement, it's going to just pull some of that moisture in the soil around it. And I see. Yeah. Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Basements running 20 percent higher humidity. You'll see in the summertime, AC in AC being on in the house humidity, maybe in the mid forties, but you'll see 60 in the basement. And so is it good advice to have some kind of a continuous dehumidification in a basement? Absolutely.

Jim Tomlinson: Absolutely. I have two 50 pint per day dehumidifiers running in my crawl space.

Jim Tomlinson: At all times. And it's important to monitor that. You can use an outdoor weather monitor. AccuRite makes one, you can purchase it for under 75 and you, and you put your trend transmitter there's kind of a trade off because there's, there's studies that show EMS actually increased mycotoxin production, but and EMS have a, a bad rap, but it's, it's, you know, it's, it's, it's.

Jim Tomlinson: for ease of use. And you have to find where the lines cross. I think it's good to have a outdoor weather monitor that sends a signal from the transmitter to the receiver. Have the display sitting by your coffee pot somewhere where you can see it once a day. Monitor that relative humidity in those areas that are suspect that could be in your attic even, you know, with ice ice or with snow accumulation on a roof and inadequate ventilation and or inadequate insulation in an attic.

Jim Tomlinson: You can I've seen sheets of ice on the underside of the roof decking in an attic. So it's important to monitor those extremities of your home, especially. Like basements crawl spaces, attics, and to monitor the relative humidity. So, you know, that's constantly under 50%. I like to keep seeing it around 40.

Jim Tomlinson: And

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: even in the summer where I'm at, I mean, I'll see, I'll have my. you know, H A. C. H back systems going on on all three floors and I'll have the temperature down to about 70. But the relative humidity will still be in the mid to upper fifties, even hitting 60. If the humidity or the dew points, you know, 75 outside, let's say a relative humidity around 60 70%.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, let's say it's kind of in that tropical type of environment. It even an A. C. Running alone. nonstop may have a hard time bringing that humidity down alone. That's why I have 50 pint dehumidifiers on each floor of my home. And when it's on these really hot times of the year, hot and humid, I will pull out, you know, four gallons times three.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I'll pull out 12 gallons of moisture on top of the AC running as well.

Jim Tomlinson: Right. There, there Home Depot and Lowe's and Menard, some of these box stores, they'll, they'll sell a GE. There are a number of manufacturers, but 50 pie per day. Dehumidifiers for around 300 bucks delivered to your door. It's important to, to get one that's energy star rated to help out on your on that.

Jim Tomlinson: I would also recommend purchasing a two or three year extended warranty, especially if they're going into a crawl space or an attic area. But more importantly is also to make sure you have a built in condensation pump so that it will take that, that reservoir and dump it periodically. There's usually a 16 and a half foot quarter inch drain line that can be run to a, to a plumbing drain somewhere.

Jim Tomlinson: You may have to extend it, but that way you don't have to, you know, once the bucket fills, it'll automatically dump. You don't have to go and physically dump that reservoir. So that's important to have and then and then have, you know, again, having that outdoor weather monitor that measures relative humidity is important so that you'll know if that system fails.

Jim Tomlinson: If your DQ fails, you'll know, Hey, there's something going on relative humidity is pushing 50 percent now I better go take a look.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With mine, I'll have, cause there's some areas where there's just not a water supply. There's not a drain to dump it like in my bedroom or in my first floor, my basement, I have a drain, so I have it run continuously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Plus I have an HVAC. in April air dehumidifier hooked up to my HVAC. I have both, but then I got a thousand square feet of storage where there's no ventilation. So I leave it in the storage area to keep the humidity down. But upstairs I use the Medea cube 50 pint, but they have a four and a half gallon holding tank.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that's pretty good. And so I'll, I'll dump it every, you know, just that month or two where it's really, really nasty that July and August and I'll go and I'll, I'll pull four gallons out and I'll look at it myself and be like, all right, we're good. But yeah, it's crazy how much water you can pull during that timeframe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that's where you'll get, you'll get that musty smell.

Jim Tomlinson: Right. And there were studies. I saw one and I'm, I'm trying to recall, but I, I believe a quarter, a quarter inch hole in your exterior wall can allow something like 25 gallons of moisture into that wall in a year's time. Wow. That's, that's tremendous.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. Don't quote me on that. I think it was 25. It could have been less, but but just a massive amount of moisture can enter into wall. And that's why in areas such as Minnesota, for example, where they're unfinished basements, they'll have the. exterior, you know, sheet cladding and then the sheathing and then a vapor barrier sometimes and then insulation and then another vapor barrier.

Jim Tomlinson: But it'll oftentimes be clear and you can actually see mold growing in the wall in that unfinished basement where they do have Warm air from they, you know, they keep it climatized, but it's, it's not completely finished with drywall. So you can have moisture buildup from condensation where the warm air hits the cold air and it condensates.

Jim Tomlinson: But the important thing about homes is to make sure. Whenever possible is to match your HVAC system efficiency to, to the you know, to the size of the house and that sort of thing. Other factors that your HVAC company should be able to determine. Many of those have come in and do some studies.

Jim Tomlinson: And if you, if you're having excess moisture buildup inside. Now you said, you said, you mentioned April Air. Is that a humidifier or a dehumidifier?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A a a dehumidifier.

Jim Tomlinson: Dehumidifier. I've seen humidifiers, inline humidifiers oftentimes where many times they've been disconnected. But even the humidifier companies.

Jim Tomlinson: Recognize that 50 percent rule on on humidity because their, their settings won't even allow you to, to change the setting above usually 45%, but certainly not above 50. So they have a humidifier as well too. And the highest

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: go, cause I have an April air. humidifier to the highest thing goes 30 30 percent where I'm at in the winter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It could sometimes be 15 20 percent a little bit dry. But I just said I'm not going to do it. I'll just tough it out because I rather not deal with any more from that too.

Jim Tomlinson: Right now, one one thing that we've seen a lot, especially with empty nesters, A couple of things. They'll we, we had a customer in Atlanta.

Jim Tomlinson: I believe it was that that it was a very large house, about six or 7, 000 square feet. It was just the husband and wife, all the kids were grown and they had families of their own. So they, they made the decision that we're just going to leave the unit off down in the basement. And it was a finished basement, very nice home.

Jim Tomlinson: We're just gonna leave the HVAC off, it was separate units. Bad idea, you must have, you must keep some ventilation going and some dehumidification. Of course, that's what air conditioning does, is remove the moisture. And in Georgia, where the relative humidity is very high, especially in the summertime.

Jim Tomlinson: It's real important. So they had there were, there was they had no moisture event other than the high humidity in the basement. But there were, there was microbial growth on just about every wall in the, in the whole basement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Was it visual or just visual? It was visual.

Jim Tomlinson: This had gone on for several years.

Jim Tomlinson: Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani So how do you clean that? When you come in out of the gate, are you going to rely just on fogging? Or are you going to do a topical hydrogen peroxide? What's the best way to non toxically knock it down without creating these metabolites? Dr. Tim Jackson

Jim Tomlinson: Well, we, we recommend, first of all, find out what the levels are, see if there's any, has been mycotoxin producing or a mole present, and has it produced mycotoxins?

Jim Tomlinson: You can have Microtoxin producing mold present without having the microtoxin levels being extremely high. I've never pulled an environmental microtoxin test. Where the result came back with all zeros across the board, there's always going to be at least some level of every mycotoxin group present, but it's, it comes down to what are those levels.

Jim Tomlinson: So if you think of a bad onion, you want to peel back enough, bad layers of the onion and remove enough of the toxins to where it's considered to be acceptable and, and but you'll never get rid of them completely. Just like you'll never eventually never have a clean, usually not have a clean. air sample, you'll have some kind of background mold present because it's ambient outdoors.

Jim Tomlinson: When you open your doors and windows, it comes in, comes in on your, your pets and on our clothing. When we ingress and egress the home. So but going back to your question, once you, once we have determined what the levels are, Then we dial up the proper remediation. It may, it may just be running air scrubbing if it's just isolated to one area.

Jim Tomlinson: Microcontaining that one area to prevent cross contamination. Put it under negative air pressure with HEPA air scrubbers running. And then topically treat everything and then fog the area. Maybe if there has been mycotoxin producing mold and you have a positive mycotoxin test result if those levels are just barely in the present category, simply fogging the home with a plant based botanical mold enzyme could potentially do the job.

Jim Tomlinson: Now, one of the things that we've seen a lot is many of our customers have developed chemical sensitivity. So it is important. to not use chemical based products. When you're remediating you can, you can really cause a bad bad reaction. We, we used to use a chemical based product. And it was a little discerning because some customers were fine and others were having reaction following treatment.

Jim Tomlinson: So we did some research and found that what was happening was these chemical based products weren't actually hydrolyzing the mold spores. They were, they were actually deflating them, collapsing the mold spore and leaving. If you can picture a balloon after your, your son's birthday party, two weeks later, laying in a corner, it's collapsed.

Jim Tomlinson: It's no longer floating in the air. That's exactly what a collapsed mold spore would look like under an electron microscope but it would collapse the mold spores and break up the stalks of the mold. Similar to a dandelion, you have your stalk, you have your root system growing into the, the, the food source, the substrate, the drywall paper, the dust.

Jim Tomlinson: And then you have your fruited head that has all of the spores on it. It looks much, much like a field of dandelions. If you look at it under a microscope, well, once, once your treat, if you treat with a chemical based product, it will break up those stalks and collapse the mold spores, which are tinier fragments that become more easily airborne and can cause more of an allergic response following the treatment, rather than, you know actually removing those spores and, and hyphae from the, from the area.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so is that like a, like a corncrobium, like something like that, or a decon 30? Are those the ones that you're talking about? Yeah, well, decon 30,

Jim Tomlinson: decon 30 is, is a botanical product. We don't, we don't. So that's a little

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: bit cleaner.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. Yeah. It's better. I think all of leaf. Now there, there are, there are some, you know, a lot of different protocols.

Jim Tomlinson: We follow the ones that, that we've had success with, but there are some good products out there. We use a clove based botanical product that doesn't require wipe down. There's some other citrus based products out there that I believe are probably just as good. But we just use the product that you

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: use.

Jim Tomlinson: Well, we, we use a product primarily called mold stain T clear. It's a top T for toxin. That's one of the products that we use. We use encapsulants 24 seven encapsulant. So so we use these products that they're, they're not always available. You can't go to home Depot and Lowe's and the big box stores and find a lot of these products.

Jim Tomlinson: You can't find. Concobium and some of those other you know, there are just a whole list of, of different types of products to use, but it's important to just make sure they're. They're botanical, especially if you have anyone in your household that's chemically sensitive. You can have a reaction. Dr.

Jim Tomlinson: Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So out of the gate, let's say you see this film, right? You're going to test it. You're going to run some kind of a test to identify the mold. And you're going to also look and see if the mold's making mycotoxins, which are the actual flatulence of the mold that's kind of byproducts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How often do you see mold without mycotoxins? Dr. Tim Jackson Well,

Jim Tomlinson: percentage wise, I would say probably 25 30 percent of the time. Dr. Justin Marchegiani Okay. Dr. Tim Jackson That's another reason. You wouldn't want to pay for fine particle cleaning on your home if you didn't need it. I mean, it's very, very expensive process.

Jim Tomlinson: It's very labor intensive. time consuming. And even if you were doing it yourself, you wouldn't want to spend that time if you didn't have to. So it's important to, you know, it's worth, it's worth the cost of doing some, some front end lab testing to, to see what those levels are to, so you can dial up and, and converse to that, you wouldn't want to.

Jim Tomlinson: To go in and do, let's say that you thought, well, I don't think my levels are very high, but I'm not going to test. I'm just going to, to treat my home based on that assumption. And then you treat your home, you're still sick and you're thinking, well, okay, so you finally do the testing. It comes back. It was much worse than you thought because you can't see the mold and micro toxins, so it's important to know on the front end.

Jim Tomlinson: what you're dealing with so you can dial up the right amount of treatment for your home. Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani Okay. And so you're in this basement, right? You have this film, let's say a test positive for mycotoxins, obviously the mold, because you can't have mycotoxins without mold, right? So mycotoxins are going to be there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mold's going to be there, correct? You're always actually,

Jim Tomlinson: actually, we've come into a number of situations where maybe the home has already been remediated, but the previous remediation efforts did not remove the mycotoxins. They did a great job, a wonderful job of, of containing the situation, taking down and demoing the water damaged building materials, doing HEPA vacuuming, cleaning up and treating all those areas afterwards.

Jim Tomlinson: Maybe even maybe they may even have good clean post remediation air samples, which I highly recommend checking your indoor air quality following remediation. But let's say all that looks great, but they left, they didn't address it at the mycotoxin bubble. So you And that's because they didn't fog.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They didn't use some kind of a botanical fogging

Jim Tomlinson: agent. Yeah, or, or maybe the levels of mycotoxins were so high in the other areas of the home that they needed to find particle clean those as well and that goes back to what I was saying earlier about knowing what those levels are so you can dial up the right amount of treatment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when you say fine particle cleaning, is that the botanical air fogging or dry fogging?

Jim Tomlinson: Well, we, we don't do a dry fogging. We, we actually use, it's almost dry. The particle sizes are so tiny.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah,

Jim Tomlinson: that, that they, they'll dry in the air on, on the way out of the fogger. But there are a number of different techniques out there, but the, the technique we use is actually called a wet fog, but but the particles are, are very, very tiny and they push into nooks and crannies and, and extremities.

Jim Tomlinson: So, so they'll coat those areas. That's where

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: you're going to fog the botanicals. That's where it sits and that's denaturing it. So not just collapsing the balloon, it's breaking the whole. Yes.

Jim Tomlinson: Yes. That's important. But if, if you have more than just a light elevation of the mycotoxins, it's going to be important to also remove the dust because the dust is a food source for mold.

Jim Tomlinson: Have you ever noticed on a, an old Especially a single pane glass window in an old farmhouse where you boil water, you take a hot shower and you see the condensation and over time you may start seeing some little black dots on that glass. Well, glass is not a food source for mold. So what you're seeing is the mold, little mold colonies on each dust layer.

Jim Tomlinson: particle that stuck to that wet glass. And once it reaches the extent, the margin of the food source, it stops growing. That's why it looks like a little black dot. And so dust is definitely a food source for mold. Mold and mycotoxins hang out on dust particles. That's how they actually transport to other areas.

Jim Tomlinson: And then they'll They'll reside there for a long period of time until the relative humidity is over 50%, 48 or more hours or a moisture event occurs. And then that, that starts the colonization of that mold spore starts multiplying and you have another little mold colony mold growth. So another thing to be aware of is you can have mold in your home.

Jim Tomlinson: We've gone into brand new homes before and done an inspection where someone was hypersensitive when we found mold. It came in on the lumber from the lumber yard where the, where the relative humidity is above 50 percent or maybe it's in a warehouse where it's 60, 70 percent or it's rained and snowed on.

Jim Tomlinson: And over time you have mold growth, it's visible mold growth on the lumber. So, so it's important if you do build a home to, to include, you know, mold savvy Transcribed a mold savvy builder or maybe inspected on a daily basis or have someone that's that's where, hey, we don't want to cover up any mold.

Jim Tomlinson: We want to treat it. If it's if it's on the lumber, either don't use that piece or or use another piece or maybe even fog the area before you put the drywall up. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think that makes sense. The fogging, I've seen people come in there and do some topical hydrogen peroxide at a higher level and then use a wand and you'll just kind of, as, as the lumber's all up there, you'll spray it, but you know, you see it, you get some of these Tyvek sidings or you get, you know, you're still, it's going to be hard to climate control it while you're framing a house.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It's still going to have, so it sounds like it's probably best to, All right. You get everything kind of contained. And then on the inside, before you start putting drywall and insulation that you just, you really do a good job fogging or, you know, topically hit some areas that look more suspect. Would you agree?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. Justin Marchegiani Yes. Yes. Dr. Justin Marchegiani Now just to kind of dive a little bit deeper, let's just say, you know, there's a little bit of topical mold on a glass window. Like you said, what's something that outside of a dry fog like we're talking about. What's something topical that's gentle that someone could do?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Could they do some hydrogen peroxide? Could they do a higher percent apple cider vinegar or white vinegar that's a high acetic acid? What could they do to help that?

Jim Tomlinson: Dr. Jay Harness Yeah, there, there's some products that, that, that you can use to to maintain recurring mole growth. But I, I would be in, in there.

Jim Tomlinson: You can buy those over the counter. I would try to stay botanical wherever possible. Stay away from it. Yeah. And if you did like a decon 30,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that's okay. That's a cheaper one. And it's more botanical recommend. It's more over the counter like that.

Jim Tomlinson: There are some citrus based products. You can, you can use, there's just a whole host of them out there, but the main thing is to make sure.

Jim Tomlinson: That okay, so if you see visible mold growth, even on the glass, for example where you have condensation buildup, it's, you, you need to try to figure out how do we stop the moisture. So, rather than just maintaining it, actually try to, try to find ways to, to eliminate it from, from occurring because it's just a matter of time before you're going to have enough buildup where it's going to get on the wood surfaces or those other food sources from mold and, and you're, you'll start having bigger problems.

Jim Tomlinson: Dr. Justin Marchegiani So

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: the key for that is going to be getting a good dehumidifier and keeping it under 50%.

Jim Tomlinson: Yes, yes, you want to keep the relative humidity under 50%. You may want to, it may be something as simple as redirecting the airflow from your air, your HVAC registers to blow up towards the glass, you know, towards the windows.

Jim Tomlinson: Oftentimes when the home's being built, They'll strategically place those if you'll notice close to doors and windows, the registers. So and if it's in the ceiling, you may be able to get a deflector to, to deflect that window to try to, to stimulate more airflow around those areas there. Getting moist, but now, now another, another thing I started just touching base on or touching on this topic is bathrooms.

Jim Tomlinson: If you have, we've talked about empty nesters, but if you have teenagers, for example, and you have several teenagers and they take baths and showers at different times, and they take these long, hot showers. And the bathroom's closed. But the first thing they did before they got in the shower is pull all the drawers open, open all the cabinet doors.

Jim Tomlinson: Now you have all these. these cavities open to this moisture. Okay. So they, they jump in the shower, they take their shower. They may or may not have turned the bath vent fan on, but you've created this high humidity, 80%, 90 percent relative humidity inside the bathroom. It's a little ecosystem. And then they, they get out, dry off.

Jim Tomlinson: Brush their teeth and then they close all these drawers and then the next one comes in. So I've actually seen it where you can have, the only area in the house that has a mold problem is in that bathroom where those pockets of moisture have been closed up over and over. And you, I've, I've seen it where.

Jim Tomlinson: you can actually have that, that fine layer of mold growth on the bottom of the cabinet drawer. So it's important to, to, you know, to implement strategies in your household to prevent that. They make a a retrofitted wall switch or electrical switch for your bath vent fan that you can set the relative humidity.

Jim Tomlinson: 35%. And even if they don't turn it on, it will automatically cut on there 35 or 40 bucks. You can buy them at Lowe's or Home Depot. They'll, it will automatically cut on that vent fan to extract that moisture. Another, the

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: fan will go on automatically. Yes. Yes. Even if the percent of the air goes up. Yeah, that's good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That's good. Yeah.

Jim Tomlinson: So, so things like that, that you can, can implement just in structure. your teenagers, be sure and close the doors before you turn on the hot water. You know, just make them aware, educate, educate everyone in the family needs to be educated on how can we prevent mold growth in our home and, and try to catch it on the front end and be proactive about it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, for me, I have a Right now, I don't have to worry about it just because we're at 20%, 20% humidity right now. So even after a shower, I, I, I barely get it to 45. But during those months, I keep my de dehumidifier on and I have it set at 45%. So once it hits 45% or higher, it turns on automatically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that's good. It's super important. I think it's, yeah, it's a big deal. 'cause that's a big area. You'll see it. That's really good. So we have a couple of scenarios where we're getting the humidity down. That's one equation because Dr. Justin Marchegiani, M. D. Mold needs moisture, it needs carbohydrate, now carbohydrate in a chronic situation could be dust like you're talking about, in an acute situation it could be wood drywall insulation from a leak, and then it needs air, air is gonna be mostly a given unless it's a, a kinda kinda controlled environment, closed off environment but talk about, talked about topically removing it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mentioned Some of the topical botanicals. We talked about hydrogen peroxide. Any thoughts on hydrogen peroxide as a topical?

Jim Tomlinson: We don't, we don't use the hydrogen peroxide. We use a product called chlorine dioxide, which does off gas. Chlorine dioxide is on EPA end list for COVID disinfection. It also kills bacteria, viruses, staph.

Jim Tomlinson: E. coli, Ebola, HIV. It's, it's a wide spectrum. Disinfectant. It's, it's fairly inexpensive. But it does off gas. So it's, it's normally not I wouldn't, I'd be recommending professional use only. Because of the offgassing, when it off gas, it is, it is off gasses. It is poisonous, but the offgassing is the secret sauce.

Jim Tomlinson: The off the off gas is very, very tiny. It's smaller than the Covid virus, so it encapsulates and it gets into these little cracks and nooks and crannies, but that's the primary disinfectant that. Normally using what we call level one remediation. We use wire brush scrubbing it. So it's more, it's, it's important to remove water damage building materials.

Jim Tomlinson: If you have if you have drywall that's wet, insulation that's wet, it's important to process would be to contain the area, put it under negative air pressure with HEPA air scrubbing. And it's also important to exhaust that negative. That HEPA filtered air out of the home because you know, the mold spores, aspergillus, micron range.

Jim Tomlinson: HEPA filtration will filter that, but the mycotoxins can get by. They can, can get through there. So you don't want to just exhaust it back through the containment wall into the rest of the house. Because if it is producing mycotoxins, you can, you can elevate that quickly. But then once, once it's been cleaned, Or once you, the water damage building materials have been removed, it's important to, to clean the studs and bottom plate, the two by four, the framing behind there, and also to HEPA vacuum that we will use wire brush wire brushing to get into you.

Jim Tomlinson: We talked about the dandelion with the root system. The roots will grow into the wood, into the substrate, the studs, two by four material. It's important to, to get in there. You don't want to just go to the margin. That's another thing. You don't want to. If you see visible mold, you don't go to where you don't see it and stop and just cut that out.

Jim Tomlinson: You have to go beyond the margin. Some protocols call for two feet as much as two feet beyond that. You know, we, we, we determined that based on you know, a number of factors, but, but you definitely want to go beyond. Dr. Justin Marchegiani I've heard too that

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: if you have any staining on the wood, like any mold staining on the wood, that once you clean that up topically and or vacuumed it to put some kind of a low VOC lacquer over it to encapsulate, is that true?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr.

Jim Tomlinson: Tim Jackson Encapsulate. Absolutely. Yes. And we use a product that renders the wood no longer a food source for mold. It seals in and if there are any other spores deep inside that wood that weren't, that weren't Extracted with the wire brushing then it would seal those in. And then it also is one it breathe it's breathable one directional.

Jim Tomlinson: So it allowed the moisture, any resident moisture to skate, but it won't allow moisture back into those two by fours. So once, once all that's done the final stage would be to do the level two fine particle cleaning inside of the containment area to remove any dust, as much of the dust as possible, and then decontaminate the air scrubber, let it run overnight.

Jim Tomlinson: And then come back the next day and pull, turn the scrubber off for a period of time, and then pull an air sample inside of containment and outside of containment many times to check because your technicians are going in and out of the containment area. If it, if it's a, if it's a do it yourself, or sometimes if people can't afford or don't want to do professional remediation, we'll help them any way we can if you, we normally recommend that only non symptomatic.

Jim Tomlinson: People participate in this. There's too much risk involved in their PPE failing their respirator, having a leak or something in them having a reaction. So we recommend that you use maybe a family member or friend to do this. We call them guinea pigs, but, but, but you don't want to. Have a, you know, you don't want to put people in harm's way.

Jim Tomlinson: And if they have that HLA gene defect and they have you know, they're hypersensitive, why would they want to put themselves in harm's way possibly? So so there are ways to create negative air pressure. For example, if you have a bathroom in a. And that has a window leading to the outside, you can put a box fan in and seal around it and create negative air pressure that way.

Jim Tomlinson: You can even use your bath vent fan and to create enough air pressure where if the door's closed and you seal the bottom of it, you, you've got some of that negative air effect that's sucking the outside non contaminated air in because you can have as many as 65 million mold spores on a one inch square area of visible growth.

Jim Tomlinson: So when you start disturbing it, it's going to become airborne by the millions. And that's the. Okay. The purpose for having it contained properly, having, having it under negative air pressure with HEPA air scrubbers running. So you can do it yourself in some cases. And in other cases, I would, I would say absolutely not.

Jim Tomlinson: But if it's a very small area, it's possible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And with negative air, the air with the fan will be pointing outside, right?

Jim Tomlinson: Yes, absolutely. If you're in this situation, yes. With a box fan, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then when you talk about doing negative air containment, you're putting up some kind of a zipper wall, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it's airtight. You're gonna have clamps, you know, from floor to ceiling, and then you're going to have some kind of a Some kind of what a three by three type of funnel that runs through a half of that phone will then go all the way outside or to the closest window.

Jim Tomlinson: Well, these air scrubbers will, will move anywhere from 500 to a thousand, sometimes more depending on the size of the air scrubber.

Jim Tomlinson: But most of the residential jobs are small, isolated. 500 to a thousand cubic feet of air movement is sufficient to create that negative air pressure. So you have your, your intake that has a three stage filter, HEPA filtration system. And then you have your exhaust. Well, the exhaust we use a lay flat poly ducting.

Jim Tomlinson: And then, and then that two runs to the outside. So that as you one of the laws of physics that are, as you remove a volume of air from a contained area, it's going to try to suck it in from somewhere else, or it's going to create a vacuum in that case, our technicians wouldn't be able to be inside of the containment area.

Jim Tomlinson: So we, we have to sometimes purposefully. leave you know, not completely seal the containment, but leave some so we can get some airflow from outside. So there are ways to test that. There's some some, some sticks that burned. You can use a smoke test or you can use a tissue test. To check that airflow.

Jim Tomlinson: They also make some scientific equipment that'll check and see what that negative air pressure is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. You talked about the moisture. We talked about two big scenarios, kind of acute water exposure, remediate that. You call someone, you suck that water up, you get the humidity down. We talked about more of the chronic scenario.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there any other big scenario you see outside of kind of the, the acute or kind of sub acute scenario that I mentioned? Is there anything else?

Jim Tomlinson: Well we've had customers that again, I think we've touched on this, but. Corrugated cardboard, the brown stuff is perfect food source for mold. So you have to be careful what you introduce into your home.

Jim Tomlinson: Another, another source for that would be the, you know, the boxes coming from China, for example. You order something on Amazon, they ship it because we, we had a couple of boxes arrived just this week. And and I've actually seen visible growth on corrugated cardboard boxes coming from, yeah, because they're sitting on the ocean in a container that's not climatized.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. The humidity is probably a hundred percent and they'll be there for months, months on end. And remember it only takes 48 hours. So it's important that if you do receive a corrugated cardboard item. Even furniture boxes you, you may want to consider opening, or I recommend opening those outside, maybe wipe those down with a botanical mold enzyme product, and then HEPA vacuum or what have you, and then bring that item inside rather than bring the box in and then creating it inside the home.

Jim Tomlinson: Dr.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Justin Marchegiani Got it. So some kind of a HEPA vacuum is there a brand you like on the HEPA vacuum?

Jim Tomlinson: It's good. There are a number of commercial brands. First of all, I'm not a big a proponent of of carpet. I don't, I don't like carpet. Carpet harbors mold, mycotoxins, endotoxins, bacteria, and all sorts of things.

Jim Tomlinson: So our home's very, very large. And for the first thing we did with my wife, Jill's immunocompromisation is we removed all the carpet. Pad tax trips before I put down LBT. The only area that we put carpet back on was the stairwells because of the grandkids and the safety factor. So we, we use some really high end carpet for that and plan on changing it out every couple of years, you know, keeping it clean, making sure no moisture's on it that sort of thing.

Jim Tomlinson: But but, but but yeah, keeping, keeping your home You know, mold free going forward is very important. So if you have a mold problem it's a good time to get very well educated on it and also on how. So one of the things that we recommend is a simple rigid vac. That's a shop vac that can be, it's important not to, you know, to only use HEPA Vacuums.

Jim Tomlinson: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. But equally,

Jim Tomlinson: equally as important. So you can, you can purchase this rigid shop vac for under 300 bucks. You can buy the shop vac by the Home Depot Depot sales. Five horses, what I recommend at least five horse, that's usually the less expensive one and a smaller, little smaller footprint.

Jim Tomlinson: And then you take the the filter that comes with that and you just toss it. It's no good. And then you purchase a HEPA rated filter and bag. And they come with a latex membrane that fits over the intake on the inside of the unit. You make sure that everything's good and tight. You have the new HEPA rated filter.

Jim Tomlinson: Now you have a HEPA rated shop vac. It's very low cost. They make some, you know, that cost two to three times more than that, that are HEPA rated. But for the average homeowner, this is going to be good. And what you would use to keep your dust down in your home going forward. I recommend taking your house whatever size it is and split it up into maybe at least four different areas and just incorporate.

Jim Tomlinson: HEPA cleaning in each of those areas, maybe one area each week so that every month you've wound up cleaning your whole house, your whole house, de dusting your whole house. So over time you, you keep the dust out and it's, it's going to be real important to do that. Dr. Justin Marchegiani Now

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: what about a high quality air filter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What kind of HEPA air filters do you personally recommend? Do you like the VOC with it as well? Go ahead. That's

Jim Tomlinson: Well, yeah, I think, I think, I think any, any kind of filtration like that's going to, going to improve your indoor air quality. I think on one of your pod podcasts, I heard you, you have several different Yes.

Jim Tomlinson: Plans. Austin Air is one of them and yeah. Air Doctors a pretty good one. Doctors once, I think all, I think all of those, I think you can just read the specs on it. And there are some that I saw one in Costco not too long ago that looked like a, a nice one, you know, like, like a one, a room, a room but, and there, there are also some inline systems you can put in your HVAC system that could do a good job in our home.

Jim Tomlinson: We have, we have four HVAC units and we have HEPA. Real thick HEPA filters in each one of those and, but changing your replaceable filters on a regular basis I, I get, I usually, that's one of the first things I'll ask the customers. How often do you change your filters? Your HVAC filters.

Jim Tomlinson: And sometimes I'll get, I'll get, well, we've never changed it all the way down to a couple of times a month, you know, and obviously the more often you change it the better, but you can get to a point of diminishing returns. But so I, I usually say change your air filters. At least once a month, those little one inch pleated filters use, use a more, a Merv, at least a Merv eight but better if you can, 11 or 12 sometimes you don't see the Merv rating.

Jim Tomlinson: Some of these other brands, they'll have a particulate ratings, but use the better the filter, the better the higher the filtration. The other thing is to have your HVAC ductwork cleaned at least once every two years. I've had a customer just last week, well we've been in here, this house 17 years and we've never had it cleaned.

Jim Tomlinson: You know, that's, that's not good because it'll build up layer upon layer upon layer of dust in your HVAC ductwork.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now how should they clean it? Should they do it where it's pressurized, where they're closing everything off?

Jim Tomlinson: Well that gets to be a little, a little tricky because some ductwork won't allow you to use the brush system, it'll tear it up.

Jim Tomlinson: Punch holes in it. So you have to rely on your duct cleaning service. But if you, if you can find a duct cleaning service in your area that understands that they have to have the system on a, on a HEPA, one end of it on a HEPA system. So there, there's minimal chance of those particles getting into the open air of the room.

Jim Tomlinson: It's going to be sucked back into the system. I like, I like the systems that have that unit outside. That way there's no chance of it leaking in the house. And, and, and then this is another thing, Dr. Justin with vacuums, you also have to make sure that they're clean properly, because if you don't clean them properly, then they're going to leak.

Jim Tomlinson: So even if you have a HEPA rated vacuum and it's in your home and you're using it. If it's leaking, you're just redistributing all of that. Another thing is, is if you have a house cleaning service, a housekeeper that comes in your room or to your home once a week, once a month, make sure that they use only your equipment.

Jim Tomlinson: Don't let them bring mops and vacuums that could have been used in a molding environment, and now they're reintroducing that mold into your home which is not helping you at all. So we, we have housekeepers that come periodically and we, we make sure they use only our HEPA rated vacuums, our mops and our materials and, and the VSC situation for chemically sensitive.

Jim Tomlinson: You don't want them to spray. Caustic products into your home. So you want to make sure you kind of monitor and manage that so that they're not using. That's good. I've

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: been a fan of the German, the brand Miele. They have a really nice vacuum, some pet vacuums with some really good. We use

Jim Tomlinson: the Miele's for areas where the customer will not replace the carpet and the carpets never been wet.

Jim Tomlinson: So they want to keep the carpet for whatever reason, maybe the warmth factor or to keep the sound down. That sort of thing. So, so we, we use Miele and the thing that I like about Miele is the upright that we use is you know, they're, they're in a, yeah, say 800, 900 range, thousand dollar range, but they have

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: forever though.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have one that's over 10 years old. No problems.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. We like, we like the Miele. They have two two motors and they have high CFM rating. So they, they really do work well. And but, but there, again, it's important to another thing with changing bags out I recommend changing the bag out around the no later than half full because as it, as it starts getting fuller than half, it's going to start losing efficiency.

Jim Tomlinson: And you've got more of a chance of it releasing some of the dust and particulates at the right. So, and with the Miele, there are a number of filters on there. It's important to change all of them on a regular basis. You have one down around the meat, the beater bar, you've got your main bag. Okay. And then there's another filter in there, depending on the, on the brand.

Jim Tomlinson: But it is important to use separated vacuums and to not let housekeepers bring in vacuums that have used, been used somewhere else. And that's another thing. You can have a customer. We have a number of customers that have moved into a brand new home and they say, well, how can we have all, it's, it's a new home.

Jim Tomlinson: Well, we talked about it coming in on the lumber, but other ways it can come in is if their previous home was moldy, they could be bringing mold and microtoxins in on their belongings into the new home and now they've cross contaminated the new home. Another, another situation is let's say that they're.

Jim Tomlinson: Previous home was cleaned up. I've had this happen. All of their furniture. Everything was fine particle cleaned They're moving it into a new home that's been tested. Everything's great But guess what they move it in on a moving truck that just moved some moldy Items on so now it's all contaminated and they're bringing it in from the source was the moving van So there's just so many things that can't

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: hurt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It can't hurt just at one when you get into that home You know, just get everything, you know, dry fog. If you have the ability, just go in there and you could probably dry fog a moving truck in just a minute or so. It wouldn't be a big deal, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Jim Tomlinson: And that's exactly what we've done. We, we have actually treated the moving van now.

Jim Tomlinson: You as long as you're using a botanical product you know, I don't personally don't see anything unethical with doing that, but the moving van company may not want you to fog their equipment. So, so sometimes you have to do it, you know, kind of just take it on yourself to do it knowing that you're using a safe product that's non toxic and that it's only going to help them.

Jim Tomlinson: So, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can also pre, pre pre treat the home ahead of time right after everything's brought in. Do it again. Yes. And that way you kind of set the tone for it.

Jim Tomlinson: We've had customers. I can think of one lady in particular. I worked with her for several years. Her husband was what we call a naysayer.

Jim Tomlinson: Oftentimes you'll have, you know, the HLA gene is, is only found in 25 to 28 percent of the population. So you can have a family of four members and only one of them be mold sick. The other three be perfectly fine. And if they don't have a mold savvy physician that's treating them, then that oftentimes the physician will say, ah, it's all in your head, you know?

Jim Tomlinson: So now you've got the spouse and the kids thinking that if it's say it's the female that's sick that has that gene. Moms, moms just gone off the deep end, you know, and it makes for a very bad day for the person that's feeling bad. And we see this often. So anyway, this one lady that comes to mind had Stachybotrys in her master bathroom area.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. They had carpet in the bathroom. That's a no. Oh my

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: gosh. You don't want

Jim Tomlinson: carpet in the bathrooms. Okay. I saw

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: a patient with a carpet around their toilet. I was just like, yes. Oh my God. Thank God you don't have boys. Oh my God.

Jim Tomlinson: I know. I know. So, so, you know, and I, that was one of my recommendations, but her husband was what we call a naysayer.

Jim Tomlinson: He didn't think the mole was a problem. He was fine, you know and, and but this lady really was sick and she had the clinical evidence to prove it. She had the blood. Clinical mycotoxin urine sampling. So anyway, so, so they wound up getting a divorce over that. They never never called me to do any remediation.

Jim Tomlinson: They, I don't know if they ever had that home remediated or not, but, but she she calls me a few years later. She gives me an update. They had gotten divorced. She bought a new condo from the divorce settlement, not a new one, but she bought a, another place to live. She didn't have it tested, and lo and behold, it was worse than the house that she moved out of.

Jim Tomlinson: So, so it's real important to test if you are moving from one house to another. Make sure the house you move in, make sure you're not moving from the fire into the frying pan, so to speak.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have patients that did that recently, and they would bring the plates in, and they would just bring it in, they'd put it down.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: on the counter in a couple of places and they would just walk the house for an hour and then after they close it up, send it to the lab and then a couple of patients came back to like, yeah, this house we were interested in the mold twice as high as ours. Nope. Not going to happen.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It's good to have that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you can always, you know, make your option period contingent upon a negative mole test too. If you're, if you're savvy at that.

Jim Tomlinson: And I'm actually a licensed real estate broker in Florida. My wife and I are, and I was a broker in Georgia as well. And the real estate developer, we built homes from the ground up in 48 acre subdivision.

Jim Tomlinson: So I've got a heavy background in real estate construction. And and we, we do have some property management companies that send referrals or they, they call us from time to time to check their homes out that are under management. But what you, what you want to do is it's, it's kind of touchy because you don't want to cost a real estate transaction.

Jim Tomlinson: So what I do is I recommend that both parties, buyer and seller, normally it's the buyer's agent that contacts us, Hey, we want to get this home checked out. Our buyer is highly susceptible to mold. toxicity and we want to you know, make sure she won't, they want to, they want to check it out. So they'll do an, have a student inspection.

Jim Tomlinson: And and, and I usually recommend maintaining transparency between buyer and seller. We've oftentimes gone in and done remediation. Normally it's the buyer that'll do it before. I mean, the seller that will do it before they close on the transaction, but, and we can transition very well between buyer and seller, but.

Jim Tomlinson: But anytime you you put the trust on the line, maybe the buyer has some lab data and they don't want to share it or the seller does, they don't want to share it. Then that's a good recipe for the transaction going south. So it's good to keep that transparency.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, that that makes a lot of sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also designing homes. This is perfect. I didn't realize you had that background. Do you recommend if you can, if you're building a home, getting waterproofing on the inside and the outside of the foundation? And then what about drainage around the foundation and sub pumps, etcetera? What do you recommend just as a preventative to get your home more mold or waterproof, if you will?

Jim Tomlinson: Well, you could do, you could do per testing soil testing to find out what the soil is. I know, for example, In Georgia, you can dig two feet down and hit solid bread clay. I mean, it's, it's really tough. So, you have some different soils and different geographic areas. You have different frost lines.

Jim Tomlinson: You have different different codes that you need to follow when you're building and that sort of thing. But, but across the board, it's important to keep the moisture away from the foundation, away from the home. In Colorado, you can have seasonal Groundwater coming up from snow melt and that sort of thing.

Jim Tomlinson: But it's, it's just important to be mindful of that use. There are a lot of products out there. There's a WR grace. Asphalt impregnated, impregnated product you can use for flashing. And, and there are just a lot of different, I was talking to a guy in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, about a month ago, that was a builder.

Jim Tomlinson: He builds 800 homes a year, residents, residential homes. And and he was telling me about a system that he used. On his basement of his own home when he built it. And I was like, man, that's the best I've ever heard. He had layer upon layer upon layer of moisture intrusion prevention. And but you can using French drain systems most, most codes will have some kind of waterproofing.

Jim Tomlinson: But it's, it's good research that if you're having a home built, make sure that you're going above and beyond and and, and making sure that you don't, you keep that moisture out of there. Oh, that's great. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now I also see people every now and then I've seen this where people have had moisture in the ductwork of their ventilation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I'm not sure if it's because there was a temperature gradient, not enough insulation or because there was, the humidity was still really high, even though. You had you know, AC running, you know, you could see that in Florida. It's quite common to see 60 percent humidity with a 70 percent temperature and the HVAC running, how do you prevent that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And is that an issue? Do you see that often?

Jim Tomlinson: Well, it's funny you say that because just a couple of months ago, we had a situation where there was probably a gallon or two in the duct work of the home and it was a multimillion dollar house. I think it was 5, 000 square feet. They probably had. Two or three systems, but they were working with a general contractor that called and said, Hey, Jim, when we were changing out some of this duct work and there's moisture in it.

Jim Tomlinson: So that's another reason for having your HVAC duct work cleaned at least once every two years. The other thing in order, in addition, we talked about having a, a HEPA filtration system on one end of it, HEPA vacuum, but another thing is to have them do before and after photos and videos, so they'll have a camera on the front end of that.

Jim Tomlinson: That that brush or whatever system they're using. And they'll go in and they'll record and they'll check the junctions and the plenum and the duct work, and they'll, they'll stop and record areas where they see microbial growth so that they can show you that it's being cleaned afterwards. If, if you were to encounter moisture in the duct work, you would obviously see that.

Jim Tomlinson: But if you suspect or have that situation, I would recommend checking with your HVAC contractor. They have tech technical equipment that they can monitor or measure that with, and they can, can see what those dew points, see what all that lines up and find out if your system is adequate or not and make necessary changes.

Jim Tomlinson: There are ways they can dry the air, their devices. They can attach the system that can. actually dehumidify the air as it's going through the system and maybe prevent some of that moisture buildup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what about in the actual HVAC unit? Is it possible that there's leakage there and then you can get mold growth in the actual unit itself?

Jim Tomlinson: There could be and that's why that should all be inspected and sealed if you do have any penetrations. There's a, I recommend

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: it's good once or twice a year, especially if you're in a hot climate to get your HVAC. At least fully looked at as a tune up, you know, start of the season, mid season kind of thing.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah, I think so. Maybe a good, good time would be the start of the summer and the start of the winter, you know, like in the spring and fall. Those are two good times to do it because you have two different systems working. You have each, you know, air conditioning or heating. So it's, it's really a good good idea.

Jim Tomlinson: And if you do have Your ducts cleaned. It's also a good idea to have the coils cleaned as well. Those, you can have mold build up on the coils.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That's great. Very good. And who do you recommend to get duct work? Is there certain companies or would you recommend just calling your big HVAC installer that does a lot of that, that see what they recommend?

Jim Tomlinson: Well, do, do your due diligence, you know, check your area. Sometimes you can find really low price deals on Groupon and living social and things like that. But but are they going to be effective? So you could ask the questions that we discussed earlier. Do you have a vacuum outside of the house?

Jim Tomlinson: Take photos. Another thing is if you do have a brush system, go in clockwise and back out counterclockwise and then do it again on each, each trunk so that you're getting a thorough cleaning then when you have your photo afterwards. So what I'm finding more and more is the really good duck cleaning services.

Jim Tomlinson: They're not going to be in and out in an hour or so they're going to, they're going to take six hours, five, six, seven, eight hours to clean your duck. It's going to take most of the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that brush has a HEPA on it. So they're, they're going in, they're sucking as they're agitating.

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. Ask, ask those questions.

Jim Tomlinson: And then another big question to ask Dr. Justin is, Are you using any kind of antimicrobial agent after you clean the ductwork to treat it? And and, and if they are, make sure it's botanical, you don't want to use some products are, are oxidizers. They can cause, you know, wear and tear, excess wear and tear on your systems you know, your components.

Jim Tomlinson: And, and then more importantly, they can also collapse the spores or, you know, break up the hyphae and create a more allergenic environment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I've heard ozone does that. Do you have thoughts on ozone?

Jim Tomlinson: Yeah. Ozone. Well, I'll tell you this, the chlorine dioxide product that I was telling you about it for a short time in Colorado, we got into the because it breaks down long chain molecules.

Jim Tomlinson: It actually breaks for, for post fire. Odors and pet urine odors and that sort of thing. It also destroys those, you know, the odor elimination business is a multi billion dollar industry. But most odor removal works like this, like Febreze and some of these products. They work like this. They, they either encapsulate the offending bacteria, the odor, they encapsulate it with a shell and you no longer smell it, but over time it's, it doesn't, So it breaks through the shell.

Jim Tomlinson: Then you smell it again. You run down to Walmart, buy some more, you come and hit it again. This stuff works great. We just need more of it. Or the second way that they usually work is to mask the offending odor with a better smelling, stronger, that eventually wears off. And now you smell it again, you're running down to buy more.

Jim Tomlinson: So what the, what products like chlorine dioxide do, and that's no reason we use it, is they actually break down the long chain molecules. A cigarette smoke has over 500 different chemicals in it and they form these carcinogenic long chain molecules. It actually destroys that, breaks those down. Same thing with pet urine odor.

Jim Tomlinson: So it doesn't mask it or encapsulate it. It actually annihilates it. So you no longer have it kills the bacteria. You no longer have the odor. So that's, that's another reason that we use, use that product. Dr. Justin Marchegiani That's great. Excellent,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Jim. I think you've answered all the questions here wonderfully.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I'll just kind of put your contact info here one more time for everyone. Mold services. com. Jim Tomlinson, Jim's in Colorado sees people as well, virtually as well. Go ahead. Dr. Jim

Jim Tomlinson: Tomlinson Right. That's right. I was going to say, We, we we, we we have done work in, I think, last count, 18 states. This past month, we were in Minnesota, San Diego, Georgia.

Jim Tomlinson: Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani So you'll travel?

Jim Tomlinson: Oh, yeah. From time to time, we do. We're, you know, where it makes sense. Again, we, we try to do as much or as little as we can as the customer wants to help them with the product, as much as they'll let us sometimes finances are an issue. Sometimes yeah, it's just a whole host.

Jim Tomlinson: I had a, had a couple down in, in Pueblo. That they, they couldn't afford testing or anything. I mean, the whole family is on disability and, you know, you just give them advice and tell them ways, you know, that they can maybe do some self remediation, recommending they use someone that is non symptomatic, maybe a non symptomatic family member and follow that, that, that protocol.

Jim Tomlinson: So again, we just, we're in the business to help people. We. We had our own mold story, mold journey and, and and we know that it, you know, it's important. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That's great. So Jim Tomlinson here, MoldServices with an S dot com, we'll put Jim's contact number and email. Feel free and reach out if you need Jim support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Jim, thanks so much for coming on the show. Anything else you want to leave the listeners with? Jim Tomlinson

Jim Tomlinson: No, I think we're good. Thank you so much. I appreciate it and God bless you guys. Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani Thanks so much, Jim. Thank you. God bless. Jim Tomlinson Bye bye. Bye

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