Originally Posted by Doktari
I visited a friend I had not seen in a few years. He said he had gotten married and when his wife moved into his farmhouse she quickly began acting strange. Then she went literally insane. In the confusion he had the marriage annulled. She moved to stay with her Mom and recovered. He started doing some repairs on the farmhouse walls and found them lined inside with black mold! After lots or research on black mold he learned it can affect people’s behavior drastically.
How heartbreaking - did they get back together?
Yes, mold can be pretty devastating, not just effecting the respiratory system, but the endocrine (and thus hormonal), as well as neurological. I am a health care practitioner and treat it all the time.
We're doing all we can to prevent mold growth. Our bus came mold free (though we viewed some horrendously moldy buses along the purchase journey). We still cleaned our bus 100 % about 100 times, and then followed another skoolie.net post advise and used chlorine dioxide bombs (oder bombs) to kill any mold we couldnt see left on any shreds of insulation we couldnt reach in the walls.
See below for what we've done to protect our bus in teh future, hope it helps others out! I acknowledge these measures were expensive, painfully so, However, chronic illness from mold growth is far more costly - and in more ways then one, as we learned from Dokarti.
1) sealing the behind-the-scenes-wood (furring strips, framing, floor grid, underside of wood floors and up side of ceiling wood) with a water resistant sealer and then painting it with a mold resistant paint (both products linked below). Both products are not toxic.
AFM Safecoat - SafecoatŪ Hard Seal
2) making sure the bus can breath - so that things can dry out. Rather then attempting to seal things up tight, which is impossible in a bus, we are making sure all furniture has circulation under it, mattress and cushions are resting on slats, and we will have little hidden fans running under each sofa and kitchen cabinet to improve air flow. Trying to make a bus air tight will result in a partly-air-tight-so-not-really-air-tight-and-therefor-not-breathable bus.
3) choosing breathable insulation. Toxic spray foam exacerbates the possibility of having a partly-air-tight-so-not-really-air-tight-and-therefor-not-breathable bus. So, we are using new zealand sheeps wool (not the rockwool, which is super toxic), which is naturally antimicrobial, mold resistant, and dries very well. Contrary to assumptions, sheep wool breaths very well and dries well when wet (sheeps wool insulation will not react to dampness the same way a sopping wet wool sweater would). We are also using cork as our floor insulation, very hard, and breathes and dries well.
4) We also have two max air fans, which will improve circulation
5) A dessicant dehumidifier, uses very little energy, but is highly efficient. This dehumidifier (linked below) doesnt produce water, but rather burns up 85% of the humid air and then releases the remaining 15% of air as hot moise air, which can be hosed through the floor of the bus. No need for hoses, drains, or water collection.
6) Have breathable and dryable organic mattress and pillows, and an under-mattress pad. Also leaving space along side of mattress and head/foot of bed for mattress to breath.
Lots of brands of wool and organic cotton mattresses w organic latex, I pasted one below. Read about what makes a mattress breathable.
7) Avoiding propane, as that adds to condensation. Using electric stove (as much as we love gas, its just too risky) and a wood stove for heat. Diesel heater is our back up heat.
8. leave those holes in the floor behind that little lower wall, the ones you cant see. They allow for drainage. Just be sure to cover with a mesh screen so its not an access point for bugs.