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a little help with mold in a car

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Aerose91, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Several months ago I got rid of all my stuff, wrapped new stuff in plastic and took off to camp in the desert. Due to altitude restrictions I had to abandon the plan and have been living in my truck (i can't go through the altitude again to get back home and have no money to rent a place).

    My truck has always been fine but recently I must have spilled something and started getting really sick. I then noticed a bunch of mold under the seat. I had no choice but to gut the entire interior of my truck and rented an upholstry cleaner to clean my seats. I sprayed the bare interior with vinegar as well as the seats then washed them twice. It's better but I'm still reacting.

    I'm being really careful to try and not contaminate any of my new stuff but I can't seem to get my truck safe, even gutted to the metal. I'll be heartbroken if i have to abandon this whole ordeal, plus this is my home for the foreseeable future. Is there any way to salvage a car from spores?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    I don't think vinegar kills mold. Bleach does but Im guessing Thats too toxic for you.

    I had a mold problem a few years ago. The professional mold remediator got some stuff from Home Depot that was not toxic
    And sprayed it on.

    I can't remember what it was called but it was pretty cheap. I'll look and see if something reminds me. But that is a place to start.
     
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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  4. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Thanks, Minkey. I've been using vinegar for a while and it's pretty effective with mold but maybe this one needs a little more, I'll check that product put. Though I'm worried that there may be spores in the car that I can't get
     
  5. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    I wonder if heat or cold would kill any spores?
     
  6. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    There is a paint called KILZ> if you can come to grips with painting the area with a hand brush, you can cover the area (after using bleach to kill as much as possible) using two coats. Let it air out a lot afterwards. Maybe let a fan blow over it as long as possible, 2days?
    The paint is a protection against the inevitable parts that don't get killed by the bleach.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I've scrubbed the whole area with vinegar and borax as well as let the whole car bake in the sun for a few days now but still no good. My guess is it's in the seats since the mold was under them. I scrubbed them twice but that didn't seem to do it either. I feel like it's more than just that area now
     
  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I have wondered about mold within the A/C systems of our cars b/c even though there is no visible mold, there is a smell when you turn on the A/C. We had to move and discard all of our belongings b/c of toxic black stachybotrys mold but kept out cars b/c no possible way on earth we could afford to replace them with everything else we lost.

    Does anyone know how to check if there is cross contamination in the A/C system of the car? Thank you @Aerose91 for starting this thread and any info would be helpful. Our mold specialist actually said that the cars should be replaced (in an ideal world) but short of this, what can you do?
     
  9. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I'm in the same boat, ginger. I feel the only way to be clear of it is to sell my car but that's not an option. Is there any relatively affordable way to get a car tested?
     
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  10. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Aerose91 I have no idea how you get a car tested but it is something I intend to find out. I may ask my mold doc (but she is the one who said to get rid of the cars so am expecting the same answer again.)
     
  11. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    The best thing I have found for helping a car recover from a mold exposure is to change the cabin air filter (if your car has one).

    If you are lucky, you can buy one and change it yourself. The best brand I have found so far is the EnviroShield sold by NAPA auto parts.

    If you put in a more toxic cabin air filter, it can actually make your car worse! So don't do that. The brands made in the US are best.. There seems to be a mold problem at the cabin air filter factories in Asia and Europe.

    I have to change mine tomorrow, because I've been parking my car in a place with some toxins in the outdoor air. I have to go to a Firestone place to get it changed, because it's too hard to do it myself in my model of car.
     
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  12. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    I sympathize with you guys. I've been through 5 cars in the past seven years.
     
  13. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thanks, Fore, and will investigate this further. Hope you are doing well.
     
  14. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Forebearance Do you mean you have been through that many cars b/c of mold? We are Googling the product you recommended right now and there also seems to be cabin air filters that are HEPA filters (if we are understanding correctly?)

    I need to do some other work on my car and we are thinking of buying the cabin filter and bringing it with us and asking them to change it when they do the other work. Thank you so much for the info.

    I am now living in a mold free apt (which is wonderful) but got sick after really long car ride and now am wondering if there is mold in our cars and this is why.
     
  15. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I feel like having mold in your car, depending on how bad it is can potentially ruin a safe zone you may have. I've heard too may stories of cross contamination.

    As of now I have a couple pairs of clothes I wear when I have to go in the car and the them off outside so they don't mix with anything in the apt and immediately take a shower.
     
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  16. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Aerose91 For us it is the cross contamination of our two cars with our prior moldy home so the damage is already done. We had stuff in the trunk and backseat from moldy home (before we knew of course) and also transferred things back and forth all the time. We cross contaminated our storage space this way (which is another thing we will deal with at some point) but this thread made me realize the impact of the cars and how much the mold smell from the A/C affected my breathing on Mon on a long car trip (2.5 hours each way.)

    I was very ill at the end with shortness of breath and angina and attributed it to other factors but in retrospect, I think it was the car b/c being back at home the past four days (without being in the car at all) my breathing is much better again and no angina. I have no other differences (meds the same, food the same, etc) and this is the only variable. I don't even drive any more but being in the car as the passenger is the same from a mold perspective.

    Our mold doc told us ideally that we had to get rid of the cars but we felt it was too unrealistic after losing all of our other belongings. But now I am thinking that we need to replace my car and I will only go in this car vs. my husband's. I know it sounds extreme but the level that mold affects my breathing, autonomic system, chest pain, ability to walk, etc, is so extreme that I am willing to do whatever it takes.

    I know it will be a slow process like the rest of it but if each thing I change can give me 10% improvement, I will do whatever it takes. In the meantime, we will replace the cabin air filters or get a car air filter and do minor things to improve the quality. I am also thinking that we can try taking a long car trip (maybe an hour) with a relative or friend's car and see how I do as a comparison (this was my husband's idea but I think it is a good experiment.)
     
  17. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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  18. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I just did a little research on it. It says it will filter down to 5 microns which wouldn't be sufficient for mold. I think for mold spores something needs to filter down to 1 micron, possibly even less. HEPA filters get to .5 or as low as .3 microns.

    Still going to be better than a typical air filter though.
     
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  19. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Hey @Gingergrrl I thought about your problem with the A/C vent and given my (somewhat extensive) mechanical knowledge I had an idea then looked it up and others have mentioned it, too.

    It would make sense for mold to grow in an AC duct wherever the residual condensation collects. That would mean the bottom of the intake tube or if there is a partially clogged drain tube. These would prevent the condensation from draining out and there you have a perfect place for mold growth.

    There's a thing called a lysol bomb which people use to disinfectant the vents and AC unit. Given that lysol is very toxic this wouldn't work for us but I figured it would make sense that vinegar would work just as well and I was right, here's a procedure someone wrote up. Can't hurt to try.

    http://autoresource.internetautoguide.com/clean-mold-cars-air-conditioning-system-1460.html
     
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  20. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thanks @Aerose91 and I will definitely be asking you some more questions about this later!
     

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