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Saturday, August 21st, 2010

GOT MOLD? Test Kit Perfect for Renters, Teachers, Employees

So you suspect your chronic sinusitis, your persistent cough, your year-round allergies, your frequent headaches, your kids’ asthma, might be caused by exposure to indoor mold. The question is, where? Of course, the first place to look is in your home, because that’s where you spend most of your time.

But maybe you don’t own your home. Maybe you rent. That makes it more complicated. If you incurred the expense of a professional mold inspection, say from 1-800-GOT-MOLD?, what would you do with the information? If a mold test discovered a mold problem, you can’t just proceed with hiring a remediation contractor. It’s not your property.

Maybe the problem is where you work. Chances are, if you’re a teacher or an office worker, your employer will not be falling all over himself to hire a professional inspection company based on your health complaints. And you don’t have the authority to call in the mold squad yourself. What to do? Testing mold is a daunting proposition for many.

The GOT MOLD? Test Kit is the perfect secret weapon. You can follow the clear instructions and do a preliminary screening of your home for a fraction of the cost of a professional inspection and with more usable information than any other home mold test kit.

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Monday, August 16th, 2010

No fun in fungi

“So, what do you do?”

“Mold,” I replied

“MOLD? Whaddya mean, mold? You do castings? Jello?”

“We help people find mold in their homes and get rid of it.”

“Oh. (Eww…) You can actually make a living doing that?”

“Actually, yes, we do.”

“Sounds like fun.”

“Not really,” I said. “But it’s important.”

The sad truth is, there is no fun in fungi. Even though I can be a fun guy, especially when the lampshade goes on the head at the party, fungi are not fun. Fun Gus is one thing. Fungus is another.

Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my work. I do, mostly because I know it’s important to tell people about fungi, molds, indoor air quality, moisture problems, and all the health hazards people face from a little mold inside a wall.

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Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere: It Really Makes You Think

How can water get into your home? Let me count the ways. On second thought, let me just try to describe many of the ways. Water is endlessly creative in finding its way into things that we think are tightly sealed.

We have a free ebook available, “How to Find Mold and Moisture Problems in Your Home: Secrets of the Professionals.” If you haven’t already downloaded it and read it, now’s the time to grab it. Go here to get it. Inside, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to inspecting your home and finding signs of water and moisture problems. If you find moisture problems, it may be time to test your air for evidence of indoor mold growth. If someone in your home is chronically ill, or just not feeling well, a mold test is imperative.

Water matters, because without it mold won’t grow. Of course, without any water, no life will grow. But humans, pets and plants can get by on lower relative humidity than mold. Mold is happy in the same temperature range people like. And pretty much everything people use to build homes and furnish them is pure mold candy, as long as there’s enough water.

How much water? Well, 50 percent relative humidity or more is adequate for mold. It helps if the air is fairly still, too. This explains why so many schools have mold problems every fall: They are closed up in June with no ventilation or air conditioning, giving mold a nice summer vacation with warm, humid air to grow and get healthy. Healthy mold means sick people. Often they make it even healthier by shampooing the carpets in August, and leaving the windows closed and the AC off. Yow.

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Sunday, August 30th, 2009

So Much Misinformation About Mold

I came across a blog site today that had my head shaking so hard I could hear the wind in my ears. For starters, it was one of those anonymous blogs; no name, no contact information, no clue who is writing.
The writer was ranting about how wrong it is to use dogs to find mold, how it’s cruel to expose dogs to moldy environments and all that. So that got the head going some more. Our sister company at 1800gotmold.com uses certified mold detection dogs, pioneered their use, in fact, in combination with all the high-tech instruments in the field – like infrared thermal imaging, electronic moisture detectors, laser particle counters and such.

And then this ignoramus claims a mold test kit (he doesn’t specify which one) is just as good as a dog!

Outrageous.

The GOT MOLD? Test Kit is indeed the best home mold test kit on the market, bar none, and the easiest to use and the most bang for the buck… But it’s no match for our dogs.

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Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Got Mold? Test Kit: the ‘Bestest Best Ever?’

Every company on the planet will tell you their product or service is the best you can get, or the least expensive, or the easiest to use, or some such superlative. One of my favorite gadget catalogs often said about its too-cool products, “Bestest Best Ever..” whatever it was.

So we think the Got Mold? Test Kit is the “bestest best ever” do-it-yourself mold test kit on the globe. You ask why. And you should. I’m glad you did.

For starters, it works. I can’t say that about some of the best-selling kits on the market, because, well, they don’t. Consumer Reports did a review of a bunch of mold test kits awhile back and basically shredded them all. Unfortunately, ours wasn’t out yet, so we missed a shot at being an overnight sensation. But we were already in development, and none of the flaws CS found in other kits exist in ours.

The non-working kits are the ones that feature “settling plates,” or Petri dishes – little flat saucers of goo that mold spores like to grow in. The theory is, you leave one of these goo gardens out on your counter or table for a few hours, then clap the lid on and wait a few days to see what sprouts.

In most cases, you get a pamphlet with some photos, which you’re expected to match up with the creepy, fuzzy stuff in your goo garden so you know what “type” of mold you have. This is an exercise in futility. Here’s why:

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Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Smart Ways to Stay Healthy in College

Roanoke College has decided that indoor plants are a bad thing. No, really. The college hired an air quality expert, mercifully unnamed, who recommended banning potted plants in one large building to “decrease the possibility of mold and mildew.” The building contains classrooms, laboratories, offices and dorm rooms.

No mention was made of teaching students not to make piles of dirty socks, underwear and wet towels, or to throw out yesterday’s leftover pizza before it becomes last month’s petri dish, or to clean and dust their rooms periodically (more than once a year), or to clean up spills immediately, or to make sure plumbing leaks are reported and fixed promptly, or to close the windows when it’s raining, or to refrain from food fights… the list could go on for awhile.

This is classic baby-with-the-bathwater thinking. Yes, an overwatered plant can create a mold problem, albeit a small one that’s easily corrected. Odds are, however, that a potted plant in a dorm room will be underwatered to the point it becomes a fire hazard, because we know how diligent college students are about taking care of their things.

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Monday, July 20th, 2009

Putting Ourselves Out of Business

While striving for long-term goals is common in business, it strikes me as rare for a company’s long-term goal to be putting itself out of business. Oddly, that’s our goal. No doubt it’s an unreachable goal, an impossible dream, but we do dream of a healthy world – one in which no one is made sick by their home, office or school room.

The origin of MycoLab USA, the maker of the Got Mold? Test Kit, was the realization my son Jason and I had years ago that indoor mold growth is a serious health issue for millions of people. The follow-on realization was the fact that there was no scientifically valid, affordable home test kit available on the market.

All this percolated to the surface while Jason was working with his Mold Dog™ Oreo to develop what would turn out to be the model for MycoLab USA’s sister company, 1800-GOT-MOLD? During five years of business building, research and brainstorming, we got a lot of feedback from customers, and lots of unsolicited queries from all over the country, thanks to the internet.

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