******* Reader, please note. I have not used the product yet. But I have a few things to say that would [still] be of assistance. I''ve researched this product heavily, including a conversation with one of their environmental technicians at the corporate...
******* Reader, please note. I have not used the product yet. But I have a few things to say that would [still] be of assistance.
I''ve researched this product heavily, including a conversation with one of their environmental technicians at the corporate office in Canada. This is an excellent product, particularly at its price-point. The Concrobium name pops up repeatedly in my conversations with various folk. Below --- I present a rather-long narrative but please be patient because you''ll get some good information with some outside the box thinking.
We live in the Southeast US; humidity is high and I''ve numerous pest-control consensus for one fact: 98% of all crawlspaces are not adequately protected by crawlspace barriers and de-humifiers. Folks just don''t seem to think they need them.
Well -- those same folks may be walking around in their homes each day, being sick from long-term exposure to low levels of mold in their house, coming from the crawlspace and mold-infested air register vents closest to the outside (in our case) air handler.
For the last twenty years, our annual termite inspection has repeatedly reported small patches of mold on the crawlspace joists. I''ve had nearly a dozen other companies come to inspect the crawlspace, including a home inspector. All, repeat ALL, returned with a "not a big deal" conclusion. But they all voiced concern about a (summer) ambient humidity reading of 88% and a wood moisture level of 28%. All were reasonably consistent regarding ambient humidity & wood moisture levels of less-than 60% and 20% respectively. Above those numbers & mold grows.
Beginning in 2012 (about four years ago), I developed a sinus condition that steadily got worse. The last year, symptoms got noticeably worse; constant sinus drainage to the point of nausea and vomiting several times a day. My appetite dropped as all food smells made me ill. Over the last four months, my wife developed sinus issues as well with extreme pressure on her upper molars. Issues with this would disappear when she would walk the dog and return when re-entering the house. Her dentist said sinus issues were causing the pain. I took massive quantities of antihistamines and my wife started taking them as well. For me, the pills barely kept the symptoms in check and my energy levels kept sliding.
Recently, I saw a commercial on TV suggesting that at least some of the fresh air coming into the house could be coming from the crawlspace. Now -- I will admit I''m not the sharpest tack in the box. But if you were watching closely, you would have seen the bulb come on. A little research via Google and more phone calls brought me to a point of scheduling a air quality test. The test isn''t cheap at all but it takes an outside air "baseline" and then does the same for inside air. At $270 the test informed us that we had elevated (higher than outside) levels of Aspergillus/Penicillium. Symptoms include: allergic reactions, mucous membrane irritation, headaches,
vomiting, and diarrhea. I just copied that detail from our report for you to read. However -- the levels were 60% less than a level considered to be a threat (900). Many of you might think our results might not indicate a real problem. But I would put something before you to think about: High numbers (900) can cause a quick response. But can''t lower numbers over a longer period of time (years) present the same types of symptoms? This is a crucial question that readers need to think about.
So .. at any rate, I got my cheap self off the wallet and had the following done: crawlspace cleared out, electrical facilities installed, hanging insulation and duct insulation repaired, crawlspace barrier (NOT encapsulation) installed, de-humidifier installed and set to 50%.
The results were DRAMATIC. With the de-humidifier (we installed a Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 .. good for 1175 sq. ft.) configured for continuous output (no bucket dumping) set to 50%, we achieved reasonable stability in about four hours. The next day? My symptoms were 70% relieved! I went three more days with vastly reduced symptoms and no antihistamines. My wife''s symptoms disappeared also.
On the 4th day (after installation) I had to make a series of short trips into the "space" to perform adjustments to drainage/gravity issues. After about fifteen minutes, my symptoms returned with a vengeance. I was lucky to get out of the crawlspace before I stated throwing up. I had the old symptoms return for the remainder of the day.
Next day? I''m back to good. No pills and not sick. But -- a nagging reminder: OK got symptoms under control, but how did this stuff get into the house anyway? Good question. I use Merv 11 allergy filters (90% allergy removal) but still sick. So I went about the house and one-by-one inspected the registers for mold. Since I had them off, I cleaned by hand the registers and just "into" the duct space; due diligence. BUT -- I found two registers that were "covered-up" with black mold spores. If you consider their position in the main system, they are immediately under my office and closest to the main air-handler (package unit) outside. **** This is important. Mold grows where there is "air-mixing" ... hot and cold .. cold and hot. This is prime mold territory.
This is a current work in progress; I will provide updates as they come. We have our annual HVAC inspection coming & I will be holding the technician (he has been advised) to properly inspecting the coil, air handler and immediate main trunk conduit. I expect to find "junk/crap" that should be cleaned; stuff not attended to by sloppy techs -- but also working with techs to identify things that are problems.
OK. Blah-blah. For me, I can take this to a simple next level. I''ve got a 1 Gal pump sprayer. We still have active mold that cause professionals to "shrug" their shoulders. But it seems I can prove we are sensitive to mold. So other than HVAC work, I''m going to crawl inside the crawlspace (all nice & clean) with a gallon of Concrobium and my sprayer set to "fine mist" and hit all the joists. I will NOT be wiping but just spraying. My research indicates this product is water-soluble with no fumes. Not just killing mold **** will not kill spores *** but will encapsulate the mold colony and adjoining surfaces from new mold. This product will NOT give the treated surface a fresh new kitchen-clean appearance. It is rated to kill mold issues.
I''m not a vendor or otherwise paid contributor here. But I''ve researched this stuff and think most folks in the SE need to really take a hard look at whether you have a crawlspace and whether you have lingering health issues that could be tied to long-term mold exposure issues. I know if no medical study issue for this.
After we have the HVAC results, I will report. But in the meantime, buy this stuff, shove it into a good quality pressure sprayer, crawn into your "down-under" and spray your mold. I''ll "betcha" you''ll see black streaks with tan-colored "grains-of-sand" on top of them. If it smears with your thumb, you''ve got crawl-space mold. :-)
Best to all ---
09-28-2016. Used the product. Here''s a tip. I really needed a way to efficiently disburse Concrobium into my air-handling system without burning out (moisture) the blower motor. Guess what? Home Depot rents a fogger for $18; good for four hours. For the duct system, I estimated 2/3 of a gallon (talked w/ Concrobium HQ) would be sufficient to treat the air-handler and main duct system. * Note: fifteen minutes was all it took to empty the reservoir. But I''m confident Concrobium now coats my blower motor blades, blower housing, coil and at least the first thirty feet of main ducting -- which was my serious concern.
My [serious] sinus symptoms have continued to fade. I''ve taken antihistamine (1/2 dose) only twice in fourteen days when I was taking 1/2 to 1 dose each day for three years with little-to-no-effect. In another month, I could do another inside (only) air quality test but since we''re about to head into October with lower humidity, I don''t think the results would be apples-to-apples.
I went into the crawlspace and looked at the mold I sprayed (pump sprayer). There is a thin white coat of something on the beams. The black spots (lots of them) were diffused in appearance. Of the tan-colored mold spores (look like grains of sand sticking out from the wood) ... they were dropped by the dead mold body to the black plastic liner. I think I will take a vacuum down there and scoop them up for disposal.
This process could have cost (easily) several thousand bucks or more. But by doing a lot of research and thinking, my results are first rate for $2320.00. Here''s the breakout of the numbers:
1). Indoor air-quality test for mold. Cost $270.00.
2). Crawlspace "tear-out", removal of previous owner junk, plastic sheets, repair of existing hanging insulation (new insulation not installed), repair of hanging insulation from duct-work, sealing all foundation vents shut (11) and installation of 6mill plastic, overlapped to 6 inches. Cost: $1366.00
3). Independent air sensor (wireless) with desktop display. Cost $20.00.
4). Installing electrical facilities for lighting and de-humidifier plug-in. Cost $342.00.
5). De-humidifier; Model Frigidaire 70 pt. FFAD7033R1. Cost including 2-year insurance = $250.00.
6). Miscellaneous: $20.00
7). Concrobium (1 gal) + fogger rental, Home Depot (4 hrs.). $52.00
Sinus issues with both the wife and myself are much better ... as in immediately (within 24 hours). I spoke to a local HVAC owner and he followed the same routine and experienced the same results in twenty four hours. I did not like all .. ALL ... of the local vendors of the process for bundling or packaging the services I described above. Oh --- look to Pest Control companies for best pricing of moisture barrier services --- NOT crawlspace repair. But anyway, you will not get your best deal at all with anyone trying to package services for you. They''ll try to grab a dollar for a dollar for simply acting as a sub-contractor for you.
Skip the middleman, follow the list above and you will save $big-bucks$ and get best quality for an honest dollar. Good luck !!!!!!!