516: Brandon Faust’s Ultimate Mold Fix: Essential Tips for a Mold-Free Home

Our homes should be safe havens, but hidden within their walls, a silent foe like mold can lurk, posing risks to both human and pet inhabitants. That's why I'm joined by Brandon Faust of moldsolutions.com, who sheds light on the health effects of mold and offers sage advice on prevention and proper remediation techniques. We dissect the complexities of mold in various environments—from conventional homes to RVs—and the importance of vigilance in maintaining a mold-free sanctuary. With Brandon's expertise, we navigate the delicate balance between awareness and alarm, providing you with the tools to safeguard your living space.

Highlights:

  • Addicted to Wellness Book Launch
  • Mold Solutions
  • The Impact of Mold on Health
  • HVAC Mold Remediation and Prevention
  • Mold Remediation and Prevention Best Practices
  • Warning Signs of Mold Remediation Issues
  • Impact of Mold Exposure on Health
  • Preventing and Managing Household Mold
  • Preventing Mold in Humid Climates
  • Early Warning Signs of Mold Damage
  • Preventing Mold Growth Through Understanding Humidity
  • The Dangers of Mold Exposure
  • Living in Vehicles
  • Importance of Mold Prevention and Detection

Intro:

Hello True Health Seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am so excited to announce the launch of my book. It's finally here. How exciting is that? It's going to be launching February 1st, so be sure to check that out. If you go to learntruehealth.com in the menu, I will have a link right there to take you straight to buy the book on Amazon. 

The title of the book is drumroll Addicted to Wellness, and it's funny because some people go, oh, that's such a perfect name. And other people go, ooh, isn't addiction a bad word? And it's so interesting how people perceive it. And then, as it sits with them, they go actually, I really like it. So the whole premise of the book is no matter where you are in your health journey, whether you're just starting out, or whether you are a health nut like me that still has   some ways to go before they feel like they've achieved all their health goals. Or maybe you have achieved all your health goals and you're looking to just maintain the health that you've worked so hard to achieve. There's no easy way to just coast through perfect health right. We're always working on it. It's a nonstop. Everything's moving and life constantly changes and moves and as long as we make sure we maintain those little daily steps, we can maintain and grow our health. And so, Addicted to Wellness, the book that I spent the last few months writing. I locked myself in the office and my family waved goodbye to me, didn't see them for a few months, just locked myself in and I poured out everything I've learned from over 500 interviews and working with clients for over two decades. 

I poured it into this book and the concept is no matter where you are in your journey, let's make these little health challenges, make it fun to push ourselves, to stretch ourselves just a little bit. Something, for example, I always say kale because, like I remember when I didn't like kale and now I crave kale, and I know a lot of people roll their eyes like, oh, how could you crave kale your body actually can get to a point where it craves healthy things, where it desires, where you wake up desiring moving your body in a way that brings you joy, like I love weightlifting, and  if you said to me, we're going to go walk on a treadmill for an hour, I'm like that sounds gross. But if you said to me, let's go to the gym and pump some weights, I'm like, yes, I'm right there with you, so I crave it and I and if I don't do it I kind of miss it. And the whole premise of the book is to help you get to that point where you want to. You're driven, you're compelled and you're pulled towards these little easy steps that make huge strides in maintaining health and in growing health and in getting us further away from a disease state, and closer to optimal health. And there are things that you can do even in a busy lifestyle. 

I'm a working mom. There's so many things that we do or we're juggling many, many roles, right, we're a chef, we're a chauffeur, we're a maid, we're everything to our families and we have very little time for ourselves. And this book is perfect for you. It's perfect if you're a busy person, no matter what age. It's perfect for anyone, men and women. I didn't want to exclude men there. Anyone could pick up this book, plug into it. 

And it's a workbook, so it's actually interactive. It pulls you through these beautiful lessons where every week for 12 weeks, you choose between one and four challenges and then you get to journal about it. And the journaling, I promise you is not tedious, it's not arduous, it's actually quick, insightful, it's fun, it's light. I make the whole thing fun. It's not bogged down, it's not super heavy, but I do bring in the beautiful science and results that people see clinically from incorporating these things. But I do it in a way that's light. So there'll be a little bit of reading every week and then there'll be interactive things you do with the book every day. But it is done in a way that even a very busy, like working mom, for example, can do it. Ash long as you make that commitment, I'm going to pick up that book and spend five minutes with it in the morning, five minutes with it at night. You can do it, you can absolutely do it, and it is so much fun. And some people will do all 12 weeks back to back. That's three months. And, by the way, there's a bonus, 13th week. So it's officially a three-month journey. Or you could choose to break it up and do one week a month or two weeks a month. It's up to you, it's up to how your life is, how your schedule is, but by the end of the book you’ve the opportunity to incorporate thirty-three beautiful health habits that build the foundations of the strong body-  mentally, emotionally and physically.

So Addicted to Wellness is my book. I'm very excited to have it launch and I just I can't tell you how thrilled I am to provide it for you, my listeners, as a gift to you guys. I wanted to do a launch party, right, we can't all get together, unfortunately, in the same room. We can't all fly to Las Vegas or something and meet, maybe one day. But we're not going to do a physical, in-person launch party. What we're going to do is a virtual launch party. 

So for the month of February, the whole launch party month for the first 50 listeners who purchase the book and share, if you're in a Facebook group, take a picture of yourself with the book or holding the book, talk about if you started your journey with it. You can talk about your impressions about it and give me your mailing address and I will send you a gift bag with some goodies. So it's for the first 50 listeners who buy the book and share that you've gotten it, share it on your social media, or you can just share it in our Facebook group. You then email me your address so that I can send you my gift bag to celebrate with you as to be part of the launch party.

If you're not on Facebook, don't worry about that, just send me an email and I would love to send you that gift bag as being one of the first 50 listeners to purchase the book; and, of course, for everyone that purchases the book, if you love it, please leave a five-star rating on Amazon, because that is the gift that you could give back to me. That would help me so much to help build this book, make it a success on Amazon, which will then promote it to others who are looking to seek true health, and that way, you're helping more people actually to find true health through my book. 

There's plenty of resources in the book. It's very interactive and there's QR codes that'll link to resources. So, even though it's a physical book, I decided not to go digital because you're writing in it every day, so that you get to hold it. You get to sit down with a pen and write. Several points along the road in the book point to different interviews or different recipes or different resources, and so you can use your QR code, just scan it with your phone or your tablet and it takes you to those resources. 

Can you tell I'm excited? I'm so excited. I already have ideas for the next few books I'm going to write. This is my first book, so I learned many, many things. So if you're ever going to publish a book, just write me an email. My email, by the way, is support@learntruehealth.com. Shoot me an email if you have any questions, because I've learned some pointers to make the journey smoother and maybe one day I'll write a book on how to write a book. I'm sure there's a lot of those out there, but I learned some interesting things and I can't wait to implement them in my future books. 

If you buy the book and you have a positive experience which I know you will but when you do, when you have a positive experience with the book, I'd love to hear about it. Please write me an email, support@learntruehealth.com. Jump into the Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group, and you can find that by searching Facebook for Learn True Health, or you can go to learntruehealth.com/group and that'll take you to the group. I'd love to hear about your journey through the book and how it has helped you and the things that you've learned. There's going to be a lot of stuff. I think that people already know, because I had to cover the foundations, but I do in a way that's fun and I do it in a way that even if you've been a health nut for many years, you'll be surprised at what you learn in the book. So I make it fun. I add new information that I think it'll still surprise you. For example, I know it's good to drink water, but I had no idea that when you drink 5% less than your body needs, you have a 25% reduction in energy production. The body can't produce enough cellular energy, enough ATP. So simply by drinking five ounces less a day than your body needs you can. For example, if that's 100 ounces is your daily requirement, then five ounces less or sweating five ounces more than you normally do can lead to a significant drop in energy production. And then people go to the coffee and the energy drinks, which further dehydrates them, leading to these swings, especially those a lot of those drinks have sugar in them and it leads to inflammation and just like these energy swings where you wake up exhausted or you're exhausted and hungry at 3pm and then that affects cortisol and the whole thing kind of tumbles downwards, right. 

So the book and the little daily challenges is meant to get you back on course with every area of your life health and happiness and fulfillment in every area of your life not just physical health, also every area of your life. So I'm really looking forward to you checking it out and reading it and please share, as you go through the process, what you were excited about learning. Share with me and also with our whole Facebook community, the Learn to Health Facebook group community, and I'd love to hear your impression and your experience. I'd love the feedback. 

Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing my book with your friends and sharing this podcast with those you care about. This episode in particular, I'm very excited to publish because I think it is a silent epidemic. 

Many households across the globe, not just the United States, have hidden mold and mold is a big, nasty voodoo daddy of a problem for many people and they don't even realize it and they'll go so many doctors because you don't see the mold, because it's in between the floorboards or wherever it is. It's hidden in the house. By breathing in the mycotoxins that we can't see, we can't see them. It can cause respiratory problems, skin problems, nervous system problems, immune problems, digestive problems. And in the United States, how many people are going to a medical doctor and being put on drugs, drug after drug after drug, to suppress symptoms and continue to be exposed to the mycotoxins and the mold which continues to cause the problem? 

Think about how many people are sick in the United States and don't know why. And that's one of the reasons why I do this podcast is to help people who the medical system has failed them, and we want to help them find the answers. And these wonderful doctors and experts that I have on the show are those kind of people who help us navigate this crazy world and get to the root cause of our problem. And so many people don't realize that the root cause of their problem is mold in their house or their car or their business, their place of work.

So let's dive in and thank you so much for being here and sharing with those you care about, because we've got to help as many people as possible to Learn True Health for my book. Go to learntruehealth.com and look in the menu at the very top of the website and you'll see a link to go buy the book. And please jump into the Facebook group as well, as I would love to hear from you. Enjoy today's episode. 

Ashley James (0:12:38.935)

Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 516. I am so excited for today's guest. We have with us Brandon Faust, who's the founder of moldsolutions.com. First of all, you got a pretty awesome URL. When did you buy that? Back in the 90s? Like, how did you get moldsolutions.com? That's a really easy website to remember.

Brandon Faust (0:13:09.453)

You had to ask. So my original website was actually moldsolutionsusa.com for that exact reason, because mold solutions was a very expensive URL. I didn't even know if I want to tell you how much I paid for it, but it was definitely.

Ashley James (0:13:26.797)

Oh no. I'm going to guess $25,000. 

Brandon Faust (0:13:29.560)

It was $20,000.

Ashley James (0:13:31.409)

Oh! That was my first thought and I was like, no, that sounds too little. Well, it's worth it. It really is, because who's going to remember to type USA? That kind of reminds me of all the URLs from the late 90s, early 2000s, where you had to type in so many extra things.

Brandon Faust (0:13:53.687)

Yes, so that's exactly what happened. So the original name of the company was mold solutions usa because of that exact point. And, at the end of the day, people were remembering moldusa. And that's definitely not the message that I want you to remember. Right. So we had to ante up and, invest in mold solutions. So here you are. That's the back story.

Ashley James (0:14:17.029)

I think you should own moldusa.com and moldsolutions.com If you still own all those and just redirect them to your main website. But it really does make a difference, especially for podcasting. And then my listeners who are like driving or walking their dog or whatever, it's like, they're not writing this down. Like they're just listening. So you've got to make it easy so we can remember, two hours from now when we go to look you up. Especially because you've got some cool stuff on your website. You got a free book. And mold is a big topic. So we have a Facebook group for listeners. We have over 5000 listeners in our Facebook group. We have way more listeners that download, but just the hardcore Learn True Health listeners come to the Facebook group and to discuss health topics and mold is like a regular topic. We should just have a pinned post all about mold because it's such a common topic because most areas in the United States can be prone to mold and especially with the weird weather. We've been having like floods and stuff like that. It's very common. I live in the Pacific Northwest where our houses grow mushrooms for fun. And you're down in Florida and you've probably seen mushrooms grow out of the corner of toilets. I just saw a post that's going viral right now about how if you ever grow mushrooms in your house for fun, like in your kitchen, you could actually end up growing mushrooms like out of the floorboards of your house. And you've got to be really careful about what you bring home because you don't want to inoculate your house with spores.

Brandon Faust (0:16:01.190)

And that is definitely fungus 101. There are spores, and they will spread.

Ashley James (0:16:06.926)

Yes, the fun side to fungus. You could have a substance come and digest your house for you. So we don't want that. And we don't want mold in our house because it really drastically affects our immune system. And it's something that people can kind of put off and say, that's not such a big deal, whatever that weird black stuff by the tub or by the window and no big deal. And, oh, it's just mildew. It's not mold.

And then wonder why two years later they have autoimmune conditions. They have their kids have hives, their kids have rashes, they have asthma. Everything from skin conditions to cancer. You're wearing down your immune system. And we've had guests on the show, holistic health practitioners talk about how a single mold exposure could actually make mold grow inside you and stay inside your body. And then you have to do a mold detox. And so this isn't something like just get rid of the mold in your house and you're fine. It can actually still exist in you years later. I had a practitioner tell me that I had a mold in me and I had a moldy basement. This was 30 years ago. I hadn't lived in that basement for 30 years and yet I still had some mold in my system. God forbid, you broke your arm or you broke your leg, it's obvious you take care of it. But with mold, it's something we can overlook, something we can put our blinders on and just go about our day. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a friend say, oh, I just threw bleach on it. I'm like, you can't do that. That's super bad for you. And I so I want to talk to you about this, Brandon. I want to talk about you have 15 tips to prevent mold in your home. We weren't going to talk about improving your indoor air quality. We're going to talk about the impact mold has on our health and on our pets.

If you don’t care about your health, why would you listen? You definitely care about your health because you're listening to this. Anyone who has a dog or cat will put their pets first. I've never met a dog owner that wouldn’t immediately go and take care of their pets health before they took care of their own health. So it's even worse for your pets to have, because they're living in that environment. Like you leave your house, they don't, right? They leave the house much less than you do. And so they're smaller bodies, but they're way more exposed to the mold mycotoxins. And so we're going to talk about all this. And also a lot of times people have mold in their house. They don't even know it. Super scary. So thank you for coming on the show and thanks for having such a cool URL. So we could,  , ooh and ah over it.

Brandon Faust (0:18:48.889)

Oh my goodness, you're a woman after my heart. Everything that you just said was completely resonating with me. I was like, oh my God, I can talk this girl's language. So a hundred percent, everything that you just went over, I'm highly in agreement with and it's true. It's one of these things that goes misunderstood, underestimated, and there's extremely different sort of takes on it. And you have your people that are, it's no big deal. That's nothing to worry about. It's a scam. It's this, it's that.

And then some people that are wanting to go into a home with a spacesuit and are super concerned and highly concerned. And to some degree, there's validity in their concern. So I try to on this subject because it can be so scary, but it can also be one of those things that people completely ignore. Try to take somewhere in the middle, maybe a little bit over, hey, have a healthy respect from old and don't ignore it because it can actually cause some serious health issues, but also providing answers and solutions, which is why we have mold solutions. That's really what it's all about at the end of the day is how to solve this problem that can cause a lot of issues. It's not just an unsightly thing. It's the indoor air quality aspect of it, which is the most important.

Ashley James (0:20:11.197)

Right. So we could have hidden mold. I don't want to say invisible. We can have hidden mold. You don't see it, but it's in the walls and it's affecting your health. So in the ducts, right there, if you have a furnace, there can be hidden mold in a building. One of my doctors, I go see her whole office smells like mildew. And I mean, if it wasn't for the fact that she's just like a world-class, amazing chiropractor, I would not be going to her and I feel bad for her, but this is the office she's in. And I just think to myself, like, if you can smell mildew, you're inhaling mycotoxins. Like you're inhaling some level, your body is having to process some level of stressor.

And so we can have hidden, but you don't see it. Like I'm in her office is super clean. It's just the whole building. Again, living in the Pacific Northwest is very moist here, but I can smell it. And I guess a lot of people don't notice because they're not as aware as I am. And so it's not visible, but it could be in the walls. Right. And then there's visible mold. My friend has an old car that is ancient and barely functional. Somewhere has a leak and she goes to get in the car after being away for a few days. She's at the airport. She gets in the car and it's like fuzz. It's like an inch of fuzz. The entire car is mold. There's a hole inside has grown an inch of this moldy fuzz, but she has to get home. So she opens the windows and she drove home and she goes halfway home, she has the world's worst headache and she's one of the healthiest people I know. And so with her already, she's a healthy immune system, a healthy liver, like she's healthy at processing stuff. She was sick for days, just feeling completely out of it, like hung over her body had to deal with all those mycotoxins. So there's times when people just suck it up and go, Oh, I'll just be in this mold for a few minutes. Like, Oh, It's okay, I'm just going to go down into the moldy basement. I'm only here for a few minutes. And the fact  is that it's affecting you in an acute situation, affecting you for days, but if you have even a small amount of mold that's not visible over time, it's wearing you down. So I want to get into, why mold solutions? What happened in your life that went, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to crawl around people's ducts and fix their mold problem. Did you have something that happened to you that made you passionate about getting rid of mold?

Brandon Faust (0:23:06.321)

I did. That's a great question. Because I was not in this industry initially. I was a headhunter, I was a recruiter, and I also had done a lot of sales type stuff, marketing. But believe it or not, I even did the New York Institute of Photography course. So I was a professional photographer as well making money in that arena, which I still love today. I think it's fantastic as a creative outlet. 

But the thing that really hit me hard was I had gotten involved in another company because my good friend of mine asked me to come on board with this mold company and initially I turned him down. I told him, look, I'm not interested in being a mold guy and I felt it was almost like a step down for me. And he approached me on the concept of having equity in this company. And at that point, my wife was pregnant and with the baby on the way, I was like, no, that might be a good way to go with the ownership. Let's build this. I felt like I could do it, but I wasn't 100% sold, although I was like, okay, marketing, you can market a product.

But it wasn't until my son was born and a month into him arriving, he's like a one month old, infant newborn, he starts having almost like an asthma attack three days in a row. And we were so concerned. And my wife after the third day, she's like, I'm taking him to the emergency room.

And I said, well, look, I've just done all this training and certification. It could be environmental. Let's just take a look. Let's see what's going on.  , so I started to do a deep dive in my own home and got to the bedroom, which just happened to be the same room where the furnace was located. It was in a closet there, the air handler. And I moved this one shelving system, this dresser drawers, and there was two feet of mold on the back of it and two feet wide. So it was literally four foot, four square feet of mold on the back of this shelving system. And my eyes got big. I couldn't believe it. And it was just like your friend's car.  , it was fuzzy on the back. And at that moment in time, I was like, Oh wow. So started checking the moisture. There was a leak behind that wall that on the other side was a shower. And my mom had come to visit because of the baby. And every time she was showering, there was a pinhole leak. So it was basically soaking that floor in that wall. And then it was wicking up the furniture. So that sort of cheap panelling on the back of the dresser drawers was just covered in this growth. It was being sucked into the air handler and distributed all throughout the house. So what we did was fix a leak, cleaned up the contaminated material and did a whole home sanitization using a non-toxic product, which filled the volume of the home with a product that would actually break down spores and mycotoxins. And the result of it was, my wife and kid were back in the home, about three hours after we were done with everything.

And he slept an hour longer and he had no trouble breathing the next day. So that was really for me where the light bulb went off. Because I started thinking about what would have occurred if I would have taken him to the emergency room? And how many tests would have been done on him? What would have that been like for him in terms of like a traumatizing occurrence? Whoever knows what other tests would have taken place and they wouldn't have found the actual cause point, the thing that was making it happen to begin with. So that was sort of the big moment for me.

Ashley James (0:27:12.083)

I would say one thing to that because I love holistic medicine and I've been deep into holistic medicine for many years. It saved my life. It saved my husband's life. I have seen where if we didn't have holistic medicine, I wouldn't be alive. So my husband at the same time, so we've got that. We have Children's Hospital here in Seattle and my son, not as a baby, but as a toddler. Actually, I don't know if you call 18 month old still a baby, but there was about three different separate times where we had to take him because he had respiratory distress. 

So the first thing they did, which would surprise you because I was on guard asking the doctors, like, what are you doing to my son? What are you doing? Like I need an informed consent. And that's a first thing you say to the doctors, I need an informed consent. Before you do anything, I need an informed consent, which means they have to turn around and tell you what they're doing and what the negative impacts are. And so they started putting an IV in my son. He was very young. This was like 18 months old young. And she turned to me and she smiled when I said it, because I thought she'd get angry, because some doctors do. They don't like you advocating. And I was so fortunate that she actually appreciated me asking. And she said, okay, great. This is magnesium. We're doing an IV magnesium because magnesium is the first thing we try with respiratory distress because it asks the lungs to open up it and stop spasming. And I'm like, Oh, magnesium. Great. Go ahead. And I thought that was really cool. And then the second he didn't recover. He was so bad. His oxygen was going down. His lips were blue. Like this is dangerous. Right. 

So I would say, if a child has respiratory distress, you don't want to wait and you want to get that handled. And they're not going to find the root cause in the first visit to the ER. And that's not the point. The point is to get them stabilized. But don't ever expect an ER doctor is going to be like, I found the root cause to your chronic health problem because it's very unlikely. They're there to like just stabilize you and then you go see your PCP and hopefully you find a holistic doctor that can help pick through every aspect of your life, including your environmental home health, to find what are the stressors and what's going on, and even do genetics and do nutritional testing and do everything, right? But if a child has respiratory distress, my thing is get it handled and then we'll figure out what caused it. But I'm really glad your son recovered so quickly because he didn't have a chronic exposure to it because he was so young. So it wasn't like years and years of exposure. But I'm so grateful you figured this out. It just seems like God set it up, like it's just such divine order to have you just go through this training and then have this problem with your son. And imagine if you hadn't gone through that training, what would have happened to him? What would have happened? How many, like you said, tests and medications? And when we medicate, we're just suppressing, but we're not addressing the root cause. And he might have lived his entire childhood exposed to mold and his body fighting that. And then on top of that, suppressing his body with steroids and medications and then, just what would have happened then to his life?

Brandon Faust (0:30:42.430)

That's exactly right. And that's really, for me, what did it, was just kind of thinking about that and potentially having missed the boat and not knowing that this was something that could cause that big of an issue because I look back and I was on the West Coast for 30 years, so this was a pretty dry, arid climate, but I was helping on a project with these old files, and they were musty and you could smell it and it was like this sort of mildew smell. But at the time, I had no idea. I was in my late 20s and we didn't have masks on, we didn't have gloves on.

And I was waking up every morning with my feet on fire, my lower legs on fire. And my hands would start swelling up when I would start walking. And I was wondering what was going on. And I never determined what the cause was. But now looking back on it, I know exactly what the cause is because I get the same sensation when I go into a home that is full of mold. And even though I have the mask on, I also have a beard, so there is some exposure that does take place. So I have to take the proper binders and things like that to help detox and pull it out of my body on a daily basis. But while I'm driving back, I get the same burning sensation in my legs.

Ashley James (0:32:13.783)

And you take the binders on a daily basis because you're exposed on a regular basis, unlike the listener who hopefully gets the mold, if they have any mold, they get it properly mitigated and then they're not living in an environment exposed to mold on a daily basis. But if you have mold in your body or you're exposed to mold, then taking those binders is essential. Can you give us the list of the binders you take or is it in your free book or can we talk a bit about that?

Brandon Faust (0:32:43.727)

I try to stay away from that to some degree because I'm not a medical professional. I really work on the health of the home.

But there are definitely certain brands or things that I take that do work. Obviously there's an activated charcoal element. When I got sick in 2019 where I was really pretty impacted by mold, I was taking Spanish black radish on a daily basis. I take glutathione is another one that is not a binder, but it definitely helps with mold exposure. So a lot of these things would probably speak to it would be more like hey go to your functional medicine doctor or your integrated medicine doctor your holistic medicine doctor and find out what they are would be   recommending or referring.

Ashley James (20:51.331)

Nice. I've got some good interviews about that also. So listeners can type in mold in learntruehealth.com. And I do have some interviews where we talk about that. But I appreciate that you're sharing a bit about that. I don't know if I've ever heard of black Spanish radish. So I'm going to look that up. So here you are. You have your child, you've just mitigated your own home. Was that the first house you ever worked on? Because you had just gone through your training?

Brandon Faust (0:34:15.497)

No, I mean, I had worked on probably 20 or 30 homes up until that point. There's a lot of mold in Florida, let's put it that way. So, it's a very humid climate and there's no shortage of growth. So it was really fortuitous in terms of like this career path. And then what happened with my son was not fortuitous, but it was serendipitous. It was something that like you're talking about the  , the divine entering in and letting me know because for me if I'm going to talk about something or promote something. I feel so much better about it if I have belief in it and if I know that it's going to help somebody or make a difference and   just six months earlier my wife had approached me on getting a mold test done in our own home. And I said, I don't want to spend the $400 on a mold test. Like, what's the big deal? Why would we need that? So I had this other end of the spectrum sort of viewpoint on it. And now, fast forward seven years and 3,500 homes later, and how many people that I've helped that have been patients of functional medicine clinics or integrated medicine clinics, and the difference that it makes in their life in terms of actually having a mold-free environment, it's tremendous. And everything that you're talking about with your friend and what she went through. I've gone through that personally and I've seen other people that have gone through that as well. So it's not a joke. It's not something to ignore or to brush off as a potential problem.

Ashley James (0:36:05.603)

So with all the homes you've worked on, have you ever seen a negative mold test for a house?

Brandon Faust (0:36:16.976)

Well, this is an interesting question, right? Because the air sampling is not a good yardstick. It's not a good measuring tool at all. Have I seen homes that I would say are safe and healthy? Of course, absolutely. But the most important test of all is the people test.

How is a person doing in that home? Now that's not an end all be all test either because you can have acute reactions or you can have long term exposure problems that you may not even notice are actually coming from some hidden mold in your home. So I think that you have here in Florida there's like a saying especially amongst realtors, well every home is going to have mold. This is Florida.

Don't worry about that, that's just this old Florida smell, right? Oh, that's just the old Florida smell, no worries. And it really, you should be concerned about it, because if it's musty, it's moldy. But there is truth in the fact that almost every home is going to have some mold spores floating around. It's a naturally occurring thing in our environment. If we didn't have mold spores, imagine what the landfills would look like. 

I mean they'd be overgrown, over packed. You would just have that decomposure element is crucial to life on planet earth. So mold has a time and a place. But the problem is that when it gets into your home, it's like putting a car in the garage and keeping it on and closing up the garage door and closing the doors. And then what happens? 

So if you have an airtight envelope and you have carbon monoxide going strong, it can be really disastrous for the people that are cohabiting that space. And that's the same thing with mold. When you have mold in your home and it's hidden and it's off gassing and it's releasing spores, it can cause a serious issue. So one of the things that you brought up is this concept of mycotoxins. A lot of people, even in the mold world, even professional mold remediators don't know what a mycotoxin is. 

So myco is a Greek word for fungus and toxin something poisonous, something that can do damage to your physical well-being. So the fungus poison is what colonized mold releases. So not all molds have as a potent of a mycotoxin. But I think that the more advanced we get in this study and in the subject, we're going to find out that most of them do release a mycotoxin.  So in a lot of times, a lot of cases, and I've heard this one as well, Oh, it's not that dangerous mold. It's not black mold. It's you shouldn't, it's nothing to worry about. And I've even had mold inspectors tell clients or homeowners, Oh, that mold on your vents or that mold in your HVAC. It's no big deal. It's common. 

Every home in Florida is going to have it. And these are professional mold inspectors. And then you do the research on it, and you find out that particular mold that is in the HVAC unit that tends to basically infiltrate a HVAC system is called cladosporium. And when you start doing a deep dive or deeper study on cladosporium, you find out that it is highly toxic. It does release a mycotoxin. It can cause skin issues. It can cause a host of physical problems, upper respiratory problems.

And when I go to a home and I hear the entire family is sick, the first place I'm going to is the HVAC. And I wouldn't be surprised if your friend who is the doctor or the chiropractor is dealing with that exact situation. It could be behind the walls, but the first place I would actually be looking is in the HVAC system, in the ducts, in the furnace, the air handler, because the amount of infestation that I have found in the entire system alone is, it's amazing because the materials, especially down here in Florida, they use a porous duct board for the box that connects the air handler or the furnace to the ducts. So these long tubes that go through that attic or,go through the home, the central heating and air conditioning, the outlets, So those ducts are connected to a box that is, it's basically a fiberglass board that's about an inch thick. So it's extremely porous. So you can imagine, when you're turning on your air conditioner, the coils are getting cold enough that water droplets are attracting to the actual coils. So that's wetness, that's water. And then you have this wheel that is spinning super fast and blowing that moist air up into this box that's porous. And what do you wind up with? A Petri dish that is supplying the home with air.

Ashley James (0:41:51.216)

I've heard of these HVAC systems or these add-ons that you can add to your system, in the ducts in your house if you have a furnace, that it's like infrared light or some ultraviolet light, something.

Brandon Faust (0:42:05.430)

UV lights, yes.

Ashley James (0:42:06.306)

Yes, UV, thank you. I was like, it's light, they put light in there. And it kills! It kills all the bad stuff.

Brandon Faust (0:42:15.184)

So, again, there's truth in it, for sure, 100%, but it's also what are the limitations of that technology. So, you have whole home purifiers that can plug into the box, which is called a plenum. So you can basically insert one of these purifiers. There's different technology that goes along with it. There's UV aspect of it. There's ionization technology, some of them have ozone, although I don't particularly recommend having a continual ozone exposure, but you can get these different technologies and add-ons, as you call them, put into your furnace or the plenum box. 

So in the book that you talked about, it's moldebook.com, and that's a book that I wrote after going through 3500 homes and it basically has 15 action tips in that particular book, it goes over the sort of the setup which I would recommend when it comes to your air handler. And it's actually Chapter Three, Achieve Fresh Air Through Filters: UV Lights and Purifiers. And it goes over what would be a good setup. So I recommend a sort of a multi-facet approach on purifying your air conditioner. 

So a UV light on the blower wheel and potentially one on the coils. So they look like lightsabers when they're on, but I highly recommend you not look at them. You can look at a photo of it, but the UV will burn your eyes. 

So it goes on, you have it on the blower wheel, and then a UV light on the coils, and then the purifier in the actual box on top. So those things work in conjunction to ensure that your air quality is kept clean. But let's say you have an HVAC that is already infiltrated and infested, it's not going to handle that situation. It's like taking a slingshot to a battleship. It's not going to solve all the problems. It's not a silver bullet. 

Ashley James (0:44:25.890)

So it's more for prevention, but if you already have an infestation, you need to take more specific actions to clean out the infestation.

Brandon Faust (0:44:34.372)

That's correct. Because when it comes to mold, the solution is always first and foremost, removal. You want to remove the mold from the contaminated material. And in most cases, you want to remove the contaminated material. So there is a difference between mold removal and mold remediation. So the technical difference is when you're remediating, you are removing the contaminated material itself. And in some cases, you can get away with mold removal where you're actually like vacuuming up the mold from the surface. So let's say it's a non-porous surface like glass or metal. You can get away with cleaning it and removing the mold from that particular item. 

Ashley James (0:45:25.984)

So something that mold is growing on top of, but not growing roots into.

Brandon Faust (0:45:29.520)

Correct, that's exactly right. And that's a big difference because if it's porous, the roots can get deep into the material and in a lot of ways, that's very difficult to actually fully handle because the roots are now in the item itself. So that's where in many cases, if you're dealing with colonized growth on like a sofa or an item that is porous, shoes, purses, things along those lines. You don't really want to take chances with it. And I always recommend throwing it out. So similar to that with the HVAC system, the best solution is always going to be actually removing and replacing the contaminated material. The only problem with that is that's a pretty expensive endeavor. So when you're talking about replacing all the ducts and replacing the HVAC system itself, that could be 20 grand.

It's a massive expense and some people are not in a position to do that. So what I would recommend at that point is doing a deep cleaning or a remediation of the actual HVAC system itself, where you're actually like taking the blower wheel out and removing the mold from the blower wheel, cleaning the coils, cleaning the plenum box. And in some cases you can't clean it, especially if it's porous fiberglass duct board. You can't brush that because it's going to make a bigger problem with the fiberglass and disturbing that. So what we do instead, if we're not able to replace it, is we encapsulate it with a fiberlock antimicrobial paint after we've treated the mold itself. So we do a lot to try to actually break down or kill the mold, then we encapsulate it with a antifungal fiberlock paint. 

And then if it's flex duct, which looks like that, almost like an accordion. Metal is always the easiest to clean. The flex duct is hard to clean, and the duct board itself is pretty much, you cannot clean it if that's what's running through your ceiling. So you can only encapsulate it. So it's not ideal for sure. But when we do the duct cleaning, end of it, we run a brush through the ducts and then we sanitize the ducts. And then a key element when you're doing any sort of duct cleaning is also doing a whole home sanitization. Because if you've had mold in your ducts and you've now disturbed it and agitated and it's a living, breathing organism. And that's, I think, one of the most crucial things to understand when you're talking about mold is it is a living, breathing organism that does want to survive. So when you attack it or you agitate it, you actually are putting it into defense mode and hyper replication mode. So it's going to shoot off more spores and more mycotoxins to defend its territory, to defend itself, and to also make sure that it as a species does not die off. So it sends off little babies, which are the spores, and you have almost like a mold explosion that takes place. 

So you really, if you're going to do the duct cleaning, you should have it for sure where it's under like a negative air. You can also call that like a massive vacuum, where you have a vacuum system outside with a massive ability for suction, pulling that dirty contaminated air, but even that is not absolute. So you might want to have like a HEPA filters, placed around the home, helping to catch those little microscopic particles, and then doing a whole home sanitization where you fill the entire volume of the home with a product that helps to break down and almost like dissolve or disintegrate mold spores and mycotoxins. So we call that a dry fog, and there's certain companies that do it and do it extremely well. So you want to find a company that knows how to do that.

Ashley James (0:49:47.199)

I want to bring something up, but I just want to say, I'm sorry if I mentioned a competitor of yours. I interviewed, just to be polite, I interviewed Green Home Solutions. I don't know if you guys are friends or if you guys are competitors, but I interviewed them and I thought their whole system was really interesting that they have an enzyme that digests the mold.

I hope you guys are friends and I didn't just mention a competitor of yours, but it sounds like you guys do similar things.

Brandon Faust (0:50:22.877)

Honestly, I've heard of Green Home Solutions and I think that one of the things that I admire, I don't look at it as competition, right? Because there's not enough of us that are doing it the right way. And as long as they are getting a great result and they're creating safe and healthy homes, then fantastic, because there's not enough of the remediation industry that has that as the end result and what they're going for because you have medical clinics that are more inclined to treat what insurance is going to cover versus medical clinics that are more inclined to treat and not even treat but locate, find, and remove the cause, they're looking for root cause. 

So if you have a clinic that is operating on finding the actual root cause and trying to handle that, then that's your colleague, that's your brother in arms, it's somebody that is trying to accomplish the same goal, which is making people truly healthy.

So it's a colleague, somebody that you can talk to, it's a contemporary, it's somebody that you can bounce ideas off of. And that's really, for me, anybody that's in the industry that is going for addressing the holistic side of health for the home is the type of person that I want to actually associate with and talk with and discuss best practices, because that's really the end goal, is to make homes as safe and healthy as possible.

So if somebody knows how to do it, better than I or I can learn from, then great. And I think that Green Home Solutions is one of the ones that is doing it correctly.

Ashley James (0:52:19.367)

Well, they didn't talk specifically about the HVAC system, but I really appreciate they say that, well, the first thing is finding out what caused the mold. Like, is it the vapor barrier isn't correct? So I'm sure you do this too. You're looking for, well, why did this happen? Like, yes, we have spores in our environment. And yes, mold is natural because vegetation is supposed to be broken down and we do unnatural things to prevent our homes from breaking down because most homes are made of porous material that some of it comes from nature like trees. 

I want to talk about this too with you, there's a certain environment that you can create within a home and it doesn't matter if it's the Pacific Northwest or Florida or Nevada desert, we got to create airflow and make sure the humidity is in check and make sure that the whole home has good airflow, right? Because you don't want like something getting trapped in the basement or in the crawlspace underneath or the crawlspace above. And so again, this is not my area of expertise, but my understanding is if you have healthy circulation and you have healthy throughout the whole house and you don't have any moisture building up anywhere, you are more likely to prevent mold.

So I do want to talk about mold prevention with you, but before we do that, because it's still on my mind, can you warn us, like without calling out any specific company, can you warn us on like, what are the red flags when we're hiring a mold mitigation or mold removal company? What are the red flags that just, you want to run the opposite way? So like if they're come out with their bottle of like, bleach in a spray bottle, like, run the other way! What are the things you've heard of that you in this industry that   are just really, really bad, bad practices that we should be aware of?

Brandon Faust (0:54:30.261)

Well, I think the first and most important thing is proper containment, because if you're going to be doing any sort of remediation, you need to prevent that area of exposure from cross-contaminating the rest of the building envelope. And although there is the potential of there already being some sort of cross-contamination.

I'll just talk about a job that I recently did. So, a friend of mine, her father, we had done work on her house. She was pregnant at the time and had a baby on the way. So she was pregnant and had a young baby. So her daughter, I think, was a year and a half. But they had been chronically sick. They didn't know what was causing it. And she asked me to come take a look. And sure enough, there was infestation in her HVAC. And we handled it. And it completely handled her breathing issues and the sickness immediately. Her story was phenomenal. And it gave me a lot of pride. I felt good, let's put it that way, of being able to help a friend of mine who was sick. 

So she recommended my company to her dad, who was not doing well and had just kind of hired another company to come handle his mold problem. So when I walked into the house, there was a little bit of a musty smell, and then I got to the master bedroom and it was like Mike Tyson punching you in the face.

So it was so strong. And then I looked at what was occurring, and they basically had put fans on the wall where the mold was located. And they didn't build proper containment. So number one, first thing, you don't put fans on mold. Number two, you always build containment to section off that area of the home. So those are red flags.

And the result of that was, he is still not doing well. He had a massive migraine, headache, brain fog, and he's 92 years old, although he's doing incredibly well for 92. This was something that really set him back. So it's important to know that the actions that you're taking could result in somebody getting sick. And that's something that I would absolutely be making sure is in place if you're going to hire a mold remediation company is that they understand the health aspect of mold. They understand what mycotoxins are. They understand what that means to the health end of it. 

So when it comes to insurance, you have sometimes preferred vendors that work for the insurance companies, but they don't necessarily work out deals where the preferred vendor may get less money. So unfortunately, that could result in them taking actions that are less detailed. And when that occurs or they're potentially cutting corners, the person that is not a benefactor at all is the homeowner. They're the ones that are getting negatively impacted by a cut corner. 

So, what are the things that you look for? Somebody who has great reviews, that understands the health end of mold, that they know what mycotoxins are. They may be difficult to find, but that they also are not testing their own jobs pre and post. I would always get an independent inspector as long as they really knew what they were doing to come and check what are the levels of the home and then be able to cross check, did the remediator accomplish the goal of getting this home as free and clear as possible? 

So there's a whole topic of testing that is a whole subject and topic in itself, but you want somebody who is not just going in, finding that there's a big situation and then charging a huge amount of money, because maybe the results get skewed.

So now at the end of the day, if you have somebody who has a moral compass and is doing it for the right reasons, you really shouldn't have to worry about that, but sometimes it does occur. So just to have sort of checks and balances, I would recommend having an independent inspector do the testing and then write a protocol. But also that goes hand in hand with finding an inspector that really knows what they're doing. They know where to look.

They know what to look for. They're using not just air samples, but they're using direct samples. And ideally, if you have a high-end inspector, you have somebody who's doing like VOC testing, they're doing bacterial testing, they're doing mycotoxin testing, they're doing air samples, they're doing direct samples. And they are building an indoor air quality profile on the home. Now, with that said, that can be a pricey endeavor. 

So, there are sometimes ways of doing a thorough job, maybe not as thorough, but still a thorough job at a much more economical rate. So for listeners that are like, wow, that sounds intense, they could go with like Immunolytics, which does almost like Petri dishes, and they do Petri dishes, and you put them in different areas of the home, and as long as you follow the instructions, you can get some concept of the levels that are in your home. And that may be your first step.

There's also like mymolddetective.com where you can do some of your own testing and they give you cassettes,  , and doing swabs. You can do some of the swabs and send them to a lab. So there's like different screening partnerships that you can do with people as well. Like I offer that system to some of the people that call me up that are at a distance that they want me to consult them on a project and they're not necessarily wanting to pay a huge amount of money for one of the top tier testers. Because a mom on a mission is sometimes your absolute best inspector, because she's going to overturn every possible place that there could be mold, right? And you want to make sure that what you're looking at is actually mold. So I had a friend of mine who's an actual nutritional health coach and she was talking to me about all the mold that she had in her home. And she was close by, so I said, well, let me come and take a look, see what's going on. And it turned out that what she thought was mold was white rims around her plants, but that was actually efforescence. It wasn't actually microbial growth. So it was just a salt material that was coming through the clay that she had her plants in.

So sometimes you may think something is mold and it's actually not. And that's why testing it is so important. So back to this point on the red flags, if they are putting fans on mold or talking about putting fans on mold, that's number one. If they're not talking about locating the source and locating where it's actually coming from, that's number two. If they're talking about just sanitizing or fogging the home and they're not doing the actual locating of the problem in itself and not looking for the actual mold growth itself, that's number three. 

Having somebody that is not understanding of the actual health ramifications and doesn't know what a mycotoxin is and doesn't understand the actual topic, like that's probably number four. So and then somebody who's not, somebody who's trying to test and clear their own mole jobs is number five. So I probably could make a whole list, but I think that probably gives you a concept to start with.

Ashley James (1:02:37.591)

That's a good list. Yes, those are the red flags we've got to look for and then run the other way. I have an interview with a woman in Florida, actually. I think, pretty sure it's Florida. It was a few years ago. I mean, if you type mold into my website, learntruehealth.com you'll find this interview and she's a holistic health coach. And they had mold in their bathroom.

And the first company that came in, which was one that now, after hearing this, she would have run the other way and found a better company, found moldsolutions.com to help her. But the company she found, or maybe I think actually I think it was the company that her insurance was going to cover, they had mold in their bathroom. So they put up a vapor barrier around the door of the bathroom while they're doing whatever mitigation. But there's a fan, like exhaust for the bathroom and they had it on, they're thinking it goes to the outside, but they didn't do any crawling around the space. Like if they had gone up into the crawl space and the attic, they would have identified that whoever built this house was high as a kite because the exhaust does not for the baths. Like so when you're taking a shower, the exhaust does not go outside. The exhaust blue into between the walls and was coming out into the living room. And so she was with her kids in the living room while they're doing mold remediation in the bathroom. And they start feeling sick and sicker and sicker and they're getting dizzy. And it's, it's because everything was just blasting into the living room. So they ended up having to live in a motel for a while, while they found a better company.

And that was just massive problems with home insurance and stuff like that to get a different company. And then the new company figured out what was going on and fixed everything. But she had chewed that, her and her family was sick from it. Now, sometimes one family member gets really sick and the other ones don't. And it's hard to say, okay, this is mold in the home. Cause we've got different genetics, we have different loads in terms of stressors, right? So stress load, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, whatever your stressor is. Maybe you have a histamine problem, maybe you have MTHFR, and you're just you're not as good at detoxing, right? So I've often heard this well like, I get really sick when I'm near mold, but my husband he could roll in it, he can roll in it and be fine. So it's not always the case where the whole family gets sick or presents differently. Like asthma in one person, sleep problems in the other, a third family member could always have a runny nose, dark circles under the eyes. Another one could have immune problems or skin problems. They could present with different symptoms. So we don't always present with the same symptoms, which is really, we have to be aware of the fact that if you have if people in your household have chronic issues, this is not because of your age, your genetics, your ethnicity. Everyone could be having the same external stressor, but it's presenting differently because of how our body works. Everyone's unique. 

So that's just something to consider because I think there's so many listeners who can't figure out, why is my scalp itchy or why do my hands swell or why is my son have asthma. And they keep taking supplements and doing microbiome tests or just doing lab tests or going to holistic doctors. They can't quite figure it out. It might be the air quality in your home.

Brandon Faust (1:06:45.982)

100% and the point that you just talked about where there's potentially a genetic predeposition to mold or in actual fact it's the inability to detox at the same speed as others, right? And I believe if memory serves me it's the HLA DR gene where those people that are exposed to it is like 20 to 25% of the population that are going to have more of an issue than others. 

Now that doesn't mean that, let's say you have a perfectly well individual who does not have that gene mutation. If they walk into a moldy home, they still could have an acute reaction, but the person that has this particular gene issue may actually have a much more difficult time detoxing and it may stick with them that much longer. 

So I've seen that so many families, I can't even tell you, where one person is sick and it almost seems like they're being told it's in your head, you're crazy or whatever, right? And it turns out, no, in actual fact, they really do have an issue in that once you get the mold out of the home, they get better. 

Ashley James (1:08:03.188)

Can you run down the list of here's your sign. If you hear a symptom, you think we got to check mold. Can you run down the list of all the symptoms?

Brandon Faust (1:08:17.136)

There's the respiratory issues, there's the allergic reactions, the hives, headaches, fatigue, skin irritation, even like neurological systems, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, dizziness, brain fog, there can be joint pain and inflammation that goes with that. But some of it is even like mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, sudden mood swings.

You can have nausea, vomiting. Some listeners have probably heard of mass cell activation syndrome or chronic inflammation response syndrome. So when you take a mold spore and you're inhaling it, it's a foreign invader into the body. So similar to like when you get bit by a mosquito or stung by a bee, what tends to happen?

You can get a swelling or an inflammation of that particular area. It gets itchy. And it's a similar thing. You're taking in this foreign invader and the body can have that same sort of histamine release. Where you now are experiencing this inflammation or pain or itchiness or what not. But the mycotoxins are different than the mold spores. They're an ultra fine particle. 

So, the unfortunate part with the mycotoxins is they tend to be fatty in substance, so there's a natural affinity to the fattiest part of the body, which is the brain. So there is the interruption of communication in terms of the nervous system as well. So some of these things are more long-term. And again, I'm not a health practitioner. I've just interviewed a lot of the professionals in the area in terms of the impact that mold can have on the body. Mosaic Diagnostics, they are doing a mycotoxin panel and an oats panel But their mycotoxin profile it shows what different mycotoxins have been linked to which physical issues So you have like Alzheimer's? Parkinson's dementia and even a carcinogenic aspect of mold toxicity.

If you look at Dr. Jill Carnahan, she was talking about one of the things that they're finding in tumors, cancer is a fungus. So I think that it's one of these subjects that there's so many different potential ramifications. It's hard to pinpoint one, but there's no question that the exposure to mold, mold spores and mycotoxins it’s not good. That's why I tell people there's no mold that's a good mold to have in your home. So, if somebody tells you oh, that's not a mold that's concerning. It's no big deal that's a huge red flag, especially if there's somebody in the Industry is considered to be a professional.

Ashley James (1:11:29.587)

Got it. Yes, it's okay that you're not a doctor. You've been around this so long. You're sharing from your experience and we're here to listen. After 3,500 homes, you've heard, 3,500 stories of how mold has impacted people's lives and how removing it has helped their lives. So you're an expert. You don't have a degree. You're not medically treating anyone, but you're bringing your plethora of knowledge and experience to show like it's without a doubt removing mold from someone's home makes a huge difference to the quality of the life of everyone in that home and even people who visit that home because like even visiting someone's home with mold has an impact on you for a few days like we really need to take this seriously.

I told you about this off air, but I interviewed Andrew Pace, who's like a world leading expert on non-toxic home materials. And we talked about why is it that some homes are prone to mold? And it's because of the quote unquote green practices of making homes more energy efficient. In doing so, they forgot that we need to have constant circulation and get the moisture out. And so these newer homes are actually mold manufacturing, like they're just mold factories because they're more green, especially like up in the North where we need it to be warmer. Like when it's cold in the winter, we need to keep the house warm. So they've sealed it off and there's not enough circulation. 

And then he talked about how certain states have had to go in and implement a law that in building, they have to provide this ventilation so it doesn't create mold. But that still doesn't help you if you happen to buy a home that was built during the time when they weren't making homes drafty, right?

If you buy a hundred year old home it’s better than a 20-year old home in some cases, because 100-year old homes are going to be drafty. And that is kind of like natural mold prevention. But it's a little hard to heat. But it's back then we heated with fire, which is it's drying for the house. And then the whole home was kind of drafty. So we might have had mold like less 100 years ago than we do now. It's just funny to think you think everything's getting better. But in some cases, we made it worse.

Brandon Faust (1:14:11.699)

Well, that's absolutely correct in that ventilation is such a crucial element to making sure that your air quality is excellent because when you think about it to your point, you're never going to live your best life. You're never going to have the best quality of life if your air quality is subpar. It's just not possible. It's one of those things, that in order to live your best life, you need to have clean food clean water and clean air. It's just part of your overall health. And if any one of those are contaminated, there's going to be a much higher chance for illness, for disease, for sickness. So, when you get to sort of what is the actual cause of these problems? Why is mold now all of a sudden becoming a big issue where 40 years ago it wasn't? Well, it may have been an issue 40 years ago and people just didn’t know what it was and now more and more people are starting to realize that it is an actual cause, it is a situation, but there also is a point that just like you're talking about these energy efficient homes that are more airtight. It is like putting that car in a garage and sealing it up. And if there isn't that cross flow of fresh air or ventilation, it can be really bad for the people that are living in that particular building envelope.

So there's another factor, which a lot of times, there's a couple factors, but one of them is the lumber or the timber itself that the homes are being built with. So that old timber, the actual makeup of that wood was much tighter, it was much stronger, and it had an antimicrobial factor in itself, where the new lumber is far more cellulose. That young lumber is something that mold tends to feed off of. And then not only that, there's some of these composite materials that have more glue in the material. And that's also going to be more prone to microbial growth because mold loves anything that is organic. Paper, wood, leather, so it will feed off of it. So if you have glue in the material, and it's a composite material that's also wood or paper or like drywall which also has a paper on it, yes mold's going to love that. So and if you look at the building material that many homes used to have, plaster, the acidic nature of plaster it was at a different level on the pH scale and mold actually does not like plaster for that reason alone. 

So, there are certain materials that we build with now that are far more prone to mold exposure. And then there's another element that is one of these ones that many people will not think with or not thinking with at all, which is the EMF exposure. So you have the electromagnetic frequency and electromagnetic fields. So that output is something that actually is disturbing to colonize mold so it makes it replicate faster. There was a study that is, go ahead.

Ashley James (1:17:35.883)

Wait, hold on, hold on, hold on. This is huge. My mind is exploding. Are you saying that electronics like electromagnetic field, which is basically of wires in your home, you have a cell phone, you have a wireless printer, you have wifi, you have a smart TV, you have a microwave,  it's like crack to mold and it increases the strength and the growth of the mold.

Brandon Faust (1:18:06.668)

That's exactly right. Yes.

Ashley James (1:18:10.080)

So I was right. So like if we had a house a hundred years ago, we would have less mold problems than we do now. That is crazy. So you're saying that modern building materials, more recent changes, are like just feed mold. The mold loves to eat it. The more wireless we get, the more mold loves it. Just wants to come and digest our house. This is insane. 

Brandon Faust (1:18:40.470)

Well, you're agitating it, right? That's what's occurring. So if there's an interview from a doctor in Europe, Dr. Klinghardt.

Ashley James (1:18:48.696)

I've had him on my show. He's great. I love Dr. Klinghardt. I had him on my show. Sorry.

Brandon Faust (1:18:50.665)

That interview is all about EMF and what that can do. And the actual frequency, like that EMF exposure, there is a connection between EMF and mold and that it grows 600 times faster. So he had one of those, Faraday cages, right, that was protecting one set of books and another set of books that didn't have it. 

So that exposure set it off and it grew and was put that much more toxic. So yes, it is an issue. Look, that sounds kind of way out there, but based on my understanding of mold, and if you just think about it, mold is so sensitive that if there's another mold in its territory, it puts out more mycotoxins. So mold is very territorial. So if you look at like a Petri dish that has two different types of mold in the Petri dish, you will see a distinct dividing line between the two molds until the one that is stronger starts to get more and more of its spores into the other territory and then it starts feeding off the other mold. But it actually, the whole point of mycotoxins is to prevent other molds from encroaching on its territory. So it literally is like gang warfare in the Petri dish.

So if you have something that is sitting there and agitating and disturbing the mold, like the EMF waves, you can actually set it off where it's growing that much faster.

Ashley James (1:20:29.889)

That's just wild. Okay. I want to address the subject of home remediation, home mold killing. So people go, oh, there's mold in my bathroom. I'm going to spray it with whatever, like, hydrogen peroxide. I'm going to spray it with bleach. I'm going to go on Amazon and buy something that says it kills mold.

What are your thoughts on this? Because I have never seen it actually work. And from my understanding, does more harm than good. But so many people think that they can just buy something on the shelves and then take care of it themselves.

Brandon Faust (1:21:12.167)

Well, it goes back to this point of mold being a living, breathing organism. It doesn’t matter what product you use. Look, bleach has its own toxic element, which I strongly don't recommend using. It's going to take the color out of it, but it's also going to add more toxins to the home. But even if you're using something that I appreciate and I like a lot as a product, whether it's a concentrated vinegar or hydrogen peroxide or in some cases, let's say you're using thyme oil as an antimicrobial, any of those products are going to create an agitating effect. 

So like if you've ever had mold in the shower and you hit it with this product and you go to scrub it away and you come back three weeks later, four weeks later, and now it's in places that it wasn't before, like why is that? 

Well, you've just agitated it and now spread the spores and now they've had a chance to germinate and grow and they're starting to colonize and spread their roots. So you've basically helped to transport it. Same type of thing if you have mold on the ceiling of a particular area and you just hit it with a product and go and wipe it down, you've just aerosolized those mold spores. Not to mention, set it off in terms of producing more mycotoxins. So that's why it's so important that when you're doing mold remediation or mold removal, that you are cutting out the contaminated material in a way where you're removing the actual source itself. And the less agitating, the better. So when you have like a general contractor that tends to really think mold is no big deal, it's like a very common theme amongst general contractors. They just go and smash it, tear it out, and rebuild it and call it a day. Well, they didn't.

Maybe they thought they were doing a good thing by tearing it out, and to some degree, that is the right thing to do, but that tear out action is basically like setting off a bomb on a mushroom. What's going to happen? You're going to like, the spore explosion is now going to spread those little babies to other areas of the home. So you want to do it as delicately as possible.

Ashley James (1:23:25.321)

Exactly. What are your main tips for preventing mold in the first place?

Brandon Faust (1:23:31.797)

The most important element of all is that your home is clean and dry and proper ventilation. Those are the most basic sort of advice I could give to prevent mold. It's keep your home as clean and dry as possible. So, now dry as possible, maybe let me rephrase that. You don't want your relative humidity to at 60% relative humidity, mold will start to grow. 

So now you also have to keep in mind that, for example, we have a higher RH every day in our bathrooms. It doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to have mold growth, but you have to dry it out. And I always, always recommend having like a fan go on to help dry the air in the bathroom because I can't tell you how many homes I've been in where there's been mold on the ceiling and they hit it with bleach and scrubbed it and it keeps coming back and they don't know why. Well the reason why is that they don't have proper ventilation, they don't have a fan, the humidity stays high and then the mold starts growing and then they make it worse by scrubbing it down. So having a dehumidifier on hand if your home continues to have like over 60% relative humidity is not a bad idea making sure that your HVAC unit is properly calibrated ensuring that you do not have an overgrowth of mold in your HVAC. 

Definitely, when you're dealing with HVAC professionals, a lot of them like in Florida an HVAC guy, it's actually against the law for them to say that they handle mold. They cannot say that they handle mold. So they won't even call it mold. So the only person that can handle mold is somebody who's got a mold license. And ironically, a mold guy cannot go into an HVAC unit, per law. Yes, they are against, it is against the law for them to go into an HVAC unit.

Ashley James (1:25:44.655)

Wait, so hold on, hold on, okay. So you have mold in your HVAC, but HVAC professionals can't treat mold, and mold professionals can't treat HVAC. How is that? Does that even make sense?

Brandon Faust (1:25:57.391)

Welcome to Florida. So this is a huge issue. And the only way I was able to get around it was getting a license for both. Because for me, the air quality is so crucial and that HVAC unit plays such an important role in your air quality that as a mold guy, if I was not properly addressing that, I was not fully solving the problem for my clients. 

So in some states that may not be the case, but it is the case here in Florida. So, when I'm seeing mold growth on the ceiling of a bathroom or in the grout, the first place I'm going to is actually the HVAC, believe it or not, because that's where it's actually coming from. That's the source is in that plenum box and it's now spreading and finding places to grow where it's wet. So mold loves water, and that is back to my point that if you want to prevent mold, it is keep your home as clean and dry and properly ventilated as possible. 

So one of the places it will find mold that often gets underlooked or overlooked is the behind paintings or behind photographs. And, for the snowbirds that go out of town, they come home and they see a little bit of mold and we start moving paintings or pictures off the wall and it's covered in mold behind those paintings. Why? Because it's dark, it's damp, and there's not a lot of ventilation. There's not a lot of airflow behind them. So thinking with that in terms of having proper airflow, and that's why it's so important that you have your fans on. And if you look at tropical areas, that's one of the things that fans do, is that they circulate the air. We've had homes where they have a vaulted ceiling, and they're 12 feet high or 13 feet high or 15 feet high, and there's a ton of microbial growth at the top of that vaulted ceiling, and they're trying to figure out why.

Well, the reason why is because hot air rises, and your central heating and air, the vents are at like eight feet. So there's this space that there's no airflow. And of course, it's just staying there. So it's that hot, humid air is lingering. And once you get the mold starting to grow, it grows faster and faster, similar to like a pool with algae in it. Like once it starts turning a little bit green, if you don't jump on that fast, right?

It's going to get greener and greener and be much more difficult to handle. So that's why the prevention is so important. That's why this book, The Mold-Free Living, How to Prevent Mold in Humid Climates, that's the book that your listeners can download at moldebook.com. It goes over each of these points. It really was developed to create an action plan to prevent it in the first place because it's so much less expensive to prevent it than having to deal with it once it's overtaken your home. So we've seen these snowbirds that do come back and literally everything, similar to your friend's car. Imagine walking home to that. Walking, you've been gone for four, five months, you come home and that's what you're seeing, is a white-green growth over every item. And I can't tell you how many times I've seen that here.

Ashley James (1:29:48.279)

So I love that you give us a free book. Thank you. I joke about how like our bodies didn't come with a manual. Like God didn't say, welcome to the world. Here's how your body functions and here's how life works. Well, we're here to discover. We're here to learn. Unfortunately, we learn more lessons from our mistakes. But let's learn from other people's mistakes. And that's why I love hearing stories, because let's just learn from other people's mistakes. I'd rather not have to live through everything. It's funny.

My son, I can't wait to see the man he becomes, because he's so intelligent like, he observes things that blow my mind. And he is very communicative and he is a negotiator. I did not sit down and go, here's how you knew. He's a shrewd negotiator. I think there's some kind of DNA memory passed down because he is like a carbon copy of my dad. He's like a salesman, but in the most beautiful way. He's so great. When I see him communicate, I'm really impressed with that. He observes things that I cannot believe what I learned from him, but he's one of those personalities that he has to learn by doing. You could say, don't touch the stove, it's hot. You could say that to him a million times. He's got to burn himself to learn the lesson. And there's just certain people out there that they have to learn by going through the bad experience. I hope that by saying this, I can warn every listener. Let's not wait until you have mold problems and health problems because of the mold. Let's not wait. Let's not be one of those people that has to learn firsthand from your own personal life problems. Let's learn from the 3,500 homes that Brandon has worked on. And those are families. Those are 3,500 families, right, that you've helped.

And those are lessons that we can learn. So let's learn from other people's really negative and sometimes the darkest moments in their lives. Cause it is not just a weekend like, oh, let's get rid of the mold this weekend. Okay. I'll go to Disney world or whatever Disneyland or whatever. And I see Universal Studios. I'm going to go to Universal Studios in Orlando and I'll be back. And then my house will be done. It's usually six months to a year or more of health problems

before figuring it out and then talk insurance, testing, dealing with insurance, finding a good company, then you're on the wait list for the company and then finally they're doing the work and it could be weeks and weeks of work. 

One of my guests who I've had on the show twice, Trina Hammack and it's a great interview. The first interview she gave was about how they bought a house in California and they moved in and she proceeded to get so sick because the house had hidden mold that she had to buy a tent and for six months she lived in a tent. Can you imagine having to pay a mortgage but you're like you're homeless? She could not enter the house. She got so sick but all her belongings were now covered in mold spores until she found this. That's how I learned about Green Home Solutions because they came in and they removed all the mold and then they sprayed the enzyme that breaks it down and everything.

Then it took her six months. So for her, it was six months before she could enter her home again, because that's how long it took for her to find the company. But mold problems, when you have it, isn't just like get rid of it in a weekend. And it's health problems that could last for months or years. So let's learn from Brandon and all the past experiences. Let's prevent it. So let's get the free book. So that's moldebook.com. Let's get the free book and learn.

This is the manual. You should print it out, give it to your friends. This is the manual that all our homes should have come with. This is the manual that, real estate agents should give this ebook to their clients. Because it's like, we weren't born with these manuals, but like, let's learn from the past. Let's learn from the experiences of others. And that is the manual that houses should come with. 

And builders should have it, contractors, real estate agents should have this, should go by these tips and also teach them to their clients. I think that would really go far to have a real estate agent hand this to people and make them aware. And that would really give them credit. So that's a free book. So thank you for gifting that to us. Now you have a course that you created and it is less than $40, which so worth it. Tell us about your Healthy Home Guide Course and that is found on your website moldsolutions.com

Brandon Faust (1:34:48.988)

Correct, so it's moldsolutions.com/healthyhomeguide. And it gets into the importance of air quality and what are some of the products that you could be using in your home that are also going to be a lot safer and for cleaning and products that are effective but are not having that same chemical makeup that could expose us to various VOCs. But also how to keep the home clean and dry because at the end of the day that's what causes the trouble. So that's the healthy home guide is basically that sort of experience of what products to use to keep the home as clean and healthy as possible. 

So yes, there's the free download and then there's the course aspect of it as well. So it's about two and a half hours. You go at your own pace, of course, but I, it's definitely eye opening in regards to really what products to use and how to keep your your indoor air quality in your home as safe as possible.

Ashley James (1:35:50.866)

So those are both for like prevention. If someone suspects mold in their house, would they also benefit from that course?

Brandon Faust (1:35:58.402)

Of course, because at the end of the day, if it's there, you have to handle it and you have to handle it the right way. So I do not consider mold to be a do it yourself project, really. And even with people that are certified and professional, it's still the wild west. It's still something that you have to really vet your people.

And another resource that I like to talk about that is a free resource is a Facebook group called Mold and Toxins Healing Your Home and Body. In this Facebook group, it's got probably 25,000 people in it at this point in time. It's pretty big, but the lady who started it, she is not a professional remediator, but she ended up taking the same class that I took. So there's only about 50 of us nationwide that have done this class. You would have thought it would have been a lot more, but it really, this kind of goes to show that the number of remediators that really are taking this to heart and taking it seriously, it's not that much because I can tell you there's 50 mold remediation companies and, Pinellas County alone where I'm located, but nationwide there's not even 50 that have done the course on remediation for sensitized individuals. So this is a course that was put together by the president of the National Organization for Remediators and Mold Inspectors in partnership with a fellow by the name of Michael Pinto, who's an absolute genius when it comes to proper remediation. So they did this certification for remediation for sensitized individuals.

And the lady, Kendra, who runs the mold and toxins healing your home and body, that group, although not a professional remediator, really knows her stuff and has put together a ton of free resources for somebody to make sure that if they do have mold, how do you properly handle it? How do you vet the company? How do you vet the mold inspector? What are your options?

And I think that it's an infinitely valuable place to go if you're wondering like, okay, how do I prevent mold? And then if I have it, how do I get rid of it? And how do I find the right company, the right inspector, and the right team to really ensure that my home is free and clear as possible from mold and its byproducts?

Ashley James (1:38:47.104)

Nice. So tell us, because obviously listeners are all around the world, but if they happen to be in Florida, what areas do you serve?

Brandon Faust (1:38:55.510)

So we really primarily focus on the greater Tampa Bay area. So of course, Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, we'll go as far south as Sarasota, but I've gone all the way down to Miami for a remediation project. Just depending on the scenario, depending on the situation, we have a lot of some of the best clinics, really in my opinion, some of the best clinics in the world for treating mold toxicity here in the, Pinellas County, Tampa Bay area. So a lot of times they have people that fly in and we have flown out to homes to help them with their mold issues.

So, it just kind of really depends on the scenario but you want somebody who really does know their stuff and is going to do a very, very thorough job, especially when it comes to anything like if you're mold sensitive and it's debilitating, you have to have to have the right team working together to get your home up to a point where it is free and clear. Now, that same level might not be necessary for everybody. But at the same time, I would not underestimate the impact that mold can have.

Even if it doesn't seem like you're impacted or your family is impacted, there's still potentially long-term problems that can result from mold exposure. So you also really need to think with that as well.

Ashley James (1:40:30.988)

How do you know you have mold? What would you say are the early, early warning signs? Besides like, wow, what's that black stuff on the wall? Like what are the early warning signs? Like headaches for me are a big thing. I guess the smell of what people call mildew or it's musky. I'm sorry, that's mold. So if you think something smells musky or mildewy, that's mold. But what early warning signs that we don't necessarily realize early warning signs.

Brandon Faust (1:41:04.866)

Well, let's say you're starting to wake up with joint pain and you're not used to that. Even if you are 65 or whatever, if you didn't have these environmental triggers, how long could we live? How good could you feel if you weren't overloaded with toxins? So, I would say you have to really know yourself and know your body and what are the non-optimum sensations that are starting to take place and there's no real explanation as to why that is. Because that's really what's taking place is there is some sort of an allergic reaction, and in some cases it's similar to a poisonous reaction, like if you get bit by a snake, you can definitely tell the pain of getting bitten, but then there's a poison going through your body. 

So that's the type of thing that you have to be aware of, is that you could be exposed to a poison. And if there's a rapid degeneration, or there's a rapid decline, that's something that I would absolutely be looking to, an environmental trigger. Or let's say you are in your home, you're feeling one way, you go on vacation and you're in a different place and your body is starting to feel better and it's starting to recover, and then you come back home and now all of a sudden you're not feeling well again. 

Well, that's another massive sign. So, of course, there's the visual aspect of it and knowing what to look for in terms of the pattern. A lot of people, when they see the beginning stages of mold, they say it looks like little mold spores, right? They call it, oh, look at those spores. Well, if you're seeing mold you're not looking at spores you're seeing the beginning stages of colonization or germination. A mold spore is seven microns. The human hair is seventy microns.

Ashley James (1:43:09.449)

Yes, you're not seeing spores. But you're inhaling them and they're getting into your bloodstream, they're getting into your brain, like that's mycotoxins. If you're breathing in spores, that's unhealthy.

Brandon Faust (1:43:24.731)

So the mycotoxins are 0.1 micron. So you literally could fit 700 of those on the tip of a human hair. So you're absolutely not going to see them. And that's why I'm such an advocate of, air sampling is a very small slice of the pie when it comes to building an indoor air quality profile, because the current system for testing the air is using a spore trap. So they basically take this little circular device, they put it on a suction pump, and they run it for five minutes, send it to the lab, and the lab tells you whether or not there's elevated levels of mold spores, right, compared to an outside air sample. The problem with that is that they are only collecting spores. They do not collect mycotoxins, and if they do collect them, the microscope doesn't pick up the mycotoxin. It requires something far more sensitive to determine how many mycotoxins are present.

So it is one of those things where it gives you data that can be valuable, especially if it's elevated. If you have like 4,000 aspergillus penicillium in your home, and I really don't care what the outside air sample says. Let's say the outside air sample is 10,000 and you have 4,000 in your home. Somebody might say, well, the 4,000 is not that big a deal because outside is higher. No, if you have that much aspergillus penicillium floating around in your air, it's going to make you sick, it's going to cause reactions, it's not good for you. 

So you want to do something to, number one, the source may be outside, but you still need to figure out how to detox your air if it's inside at those levels. But there's other spores where even if there's like one or two, those spores are considered to be of a more toxic variety, but that is a little bit misleading because let's say you do have black mold, which is Stachybotrys, and you have one or two of those spores. That could call for, well we need to locate where it's at and actually properly remediate it. Now the biggest reason why is because that type of mold comes from a water intrusion issue. So there's most likely a leaky pipe. There's most likely some sort of continual water source coming into your home. So you need to find out what the actual water source is for that particular type of mold. 

Whereas aspergillus penicillium is what would be referenced as a dry mold, meaning it can form without a continual water source, the water source being the humidity alone.So a wet mold requires a certain moisture content in the material, like 90%, whereas a dry mold can start growing at just 60% relative humidity which is the amount of water droplets that are in the actual air. So a lot easier for it to start growing and contaminating your home. 

Ashley James (1:46:26.067)

Yes, and with the fan on in my bathroom, I got it on Amazon years ago and I absolutely love it. I highly recommend everyone get one. It detects humidity in the air and the temperature and I have that in my bathroom and it gets into the 70% and this is with the fan on after a shower. It's in the 70s humidity. 

If I didn't turn the fan on, it stays that way all day. Like you turn the fan on before you even turn the shower on and leave it on for a good half an hour or longer after you've had your shower or open the window and leave it open for a while because you want it below 60%, like you said, 60 or lower. You don't want to create the environment in your home for mold. Like, a slow drip under a sink, that could cause black mold where there's a water leak somewhere. But it is more scary to think about those molds that aren't so obvious, right? It's just, you've got an area in your home and it could be a crawl space. It could be the attic that is like moist, warm, and not circulating air. It's just accumulating.

Brandon Faust (1:47:43.803)

Actually, I had a guy, professional golf player, who was sick for over an entire year and was basically not able to function and operate. His game was off and he thought he was just declining at a very rapid rate. So I said, Bob, let me come and check your home and see what's going on. And I got to his master bedroom and started looking around, got a flashlight going, and every surface in his master bedroom was covered with a thin white film. And that's actually Aspergillius at its beginning stages. So he didn't like it cold. He liked it warm. So he didn't turn his AC on and didn't realize that he was basically poisoning himself because of his humidity levels and the amount of microbial growth. He came from the West Coast of Florida and didn't really understand the climate and how much of an impact that it has. So similar to that, like I had another lady that I helped another family, one of the top ranking doctors in all of Florida and I won't say his name, but one of the top ranking doctors in all of Florida and his wife was completely sick, like debilitated sick. Three boys, they had moved to Florida from the West Coast and she was living in an older home and there was something about the home that wasn't sitting right with her, which is probably the HVAC. So, in her nature, she opened up the doors and windows in what she was doing without realizing it was making the problem so much worse because the mold that was there was now getting enough water from the humidity levels outside coming into the home because hot will move to cold, just like wet will move to dry. So depending on your climate, when you open the windows and doors, you might be inviting a bunch of moisture and mold spores into the home.

And then you end up with overgrowth where it's all over everything. So they didn't realize that. So we had to get them out of that house, because they were renting that house at the time, but it actually came from her actions. And not knowing, like it may have started with some of the stuff in the home, but she was exacerbating it by like a hundred times by opening the windows and doors in the summer

It really is so important to understand the climate that you're living in and what will contribute to microbial growth. So when you have the wet mold, yes, that's a water intrusion issue. When you have dry molds, that's a humidity issue. Being able to understand the difference, because if you have a bunch of microbial growth on shoes, purses, clothes, couches, that pretty much tells you it's a humidity-driven mold. Otherwise, why would it be on these different surfaces?

Now, you could also have a little bit of a curve ball where it's because you have let's say you have a pipe that is broken and adding moisture to the environment. So now you have not only a wet mold, but you now have set off a dry mold explosion because of that moisture level remaining high, even though the source may be a broken pipe that's leaking, it's adding to the relative humidity. So that would be kind of the worst case scenario, right? But these are all things that your mold inspector or your mold remediator really should be aware of.

Ashley James (1:51:44.829)

That really blew my mind, the idea that opening the windows can make it worse, just depending on the humidity, because that's my first go-to instinct, like open up the windows, like let the natural air in, hopefully the air quality outside is better than the air quality inside, and let's all air it out. But depending on where you live, that is the worst thing you could do if you have the beginning stages of a mold somewhere in your home.

You got to keep the humidity down. And again, it depends on region and time of year. I remember being in Chicago in the summer once, it was sunny and it was a hundred percent humidity. And I was like, this is insane. It was so muggy. And then again, I was in like August in Orlando and it was beautiful skies and it was a hundred percent humidity, not raining. It's a hundred percent humidity. I'm like, I feel like I'm breathing water. It can get pretty intense.

And then there's areas like Nevada where I used to live and there was carpeting in the bathroom because it's so dry there. Doesn't mean you won't get mold. There's definitely mold everywhere. But you just have to know especially when you're moving from to a new area where you're not you're not used to or you don't know these things. You've got to ask around. You got to learn about how it works in your area. Talk to locals. How do they prevent mold in their homes? What do they do? And I love the idea of just having that simple $20 device that reads the humidity levels so that you can keep watch of it. And maybe you do need to get a dehumidifier. That makes a huge difference. It also raises the electric bill, so you've got to be vigilant to get the fan on whenever you're cooking, whenever you're in the bathroom, anytime there's something that's increasing moisture in your home. Even if you're doing the laundry and it kind of gets moist in the laundry room, turn the fan on, get that out of the house.

Brandon Faust (1:53:46.307)

And let me throw you another little curve ball, right? So putting on the fan is a huge plus point. It's something that you should do, right? It's absolutely a positive. But if you leave it on for too long, it can be detrimental. Why? Because you're actually putting the home under negative air. So if it's properly done, it should be ventilating outside. So if that fan is running too long, and that's where most people don't realize this, that if let's say you're cooking, you put on the vent hood, or you are in the bathroom and you leave it on, you've now created a negative air situation where the air inside is being blown outside, so air needs to be pulled from another location. Well, let's say you have mold behind the walls and you don't know it, then you can bring it into your house. And that's exactly what, that's what happened to me. 

When I was in 2019, I had a pain in my chest that would not go away. I had fatigue. I was having a fever at least once a month. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I took an air sample in my master bedroom. It was totally fine. It was clean. I had sanitized my house earlier. The levels looked great. I had popped a baseboard in one of the areas of the master bedroom that I was a little suspicious of. Nothing, no problem.

Okay, still sick. I took a physical mycotoxin test with at the time, which was Great Plains Laboratory. Now that's Mosaic. Did the mycotoxin test, came back at a high level. So high was like five to 50, and I was at 1,240. So at least my body was detoxing. So it was getting rid of it, but I couldn't keep up. So the amount of mold that I was being exposed to, I couldn't keep up with the level of detox needed.

So that's when I was taking the Spanish black radish, like popping them like candy. So I thought, it's from going into other people's moldy homes and it may have played a factor, but then six months later, my AC overflows and I had continuous flooring throughout my house. So I'm removing all the continuous flooring, get to the master bedroom, pop a baseboard on the other side of the room. And I knew exactly what I was looking at. It's a mold called Ketomium. It's a highly toxic mold.

So then I started to look behind the wall and sure enough, two feet up was another mold called Aspergillus penicillium. So these two molds were literally fighting it out in my master bedroom. I thought I was in a safe zone and it was literally a biological warfare zone. And once I got rid of it, did the full remediation process, did the micro cleaning, did the sanitization, did all of that, within three weeks, all of my symptoms went away.

Ashley James (1:56:36.989)

So whenever you had a fan on, like in the bathroom, is the bathroom like off the bedroom? Was it like, so yes, master bathroom. You're doing the good thing you're supposed to do, but it creates negative pressure. And so it's going to pull from the easiest source. The easiest source happened to be through the floorboards and the wall and your, the cracks in the master bedroom. And it was pulling it right into your face. 

So maybe we open a window somewhere in the house, open a window, a crack, so when we're turning the fan on, it's pulling clean air, hopefully from outside, rather than from somewhere in the home where there's mold. Bad that you had that experience, good that you figured the root cause. And think about how many people who don't have your knowledge base live years in that suffering. And then they go to doctor after doctor after doctor, put on drug after drug after drug and get sicker and sicker. And this is so common.

Brandon Faust (1:57:47.528)

I went to three doctors myself, right? One of them said I needed EKG. Another doctor said I had lyme disease. Another doctor said I had an autoimmune disease. And hey, maybe there was truth in some of that. Fortunately, my heart was great, but I had a pain in my chest. So that was the first place that they were directing me. But it didn't solve it. And I was literally like six Spanish black radish at every meal popping it, and that was the only thing that would give me any sort of relief at the time, so it was a serious situation and it was like stopping me from being able to work, especially when the fevers were coming and I thought I was sick and the fatigue. So there's a lot of this type of stuff that, you just don't know what's actually causing it.

Ashley James (1:58:39.882)

And this is in the home of someone who is highly knowledgeable about mold, right? Like this happened and you're very diligent and it's kind of scary to think that this happens in the house of someone who is highly, highly diligent, knows what they're doing. And just think about the people that don't know what they're doing, right? Like how much mold is living in the floorboards and living behind the paintings and behind the walls and in the HVAC. It's pretty creepy, but if you're experiencing health problems and doctors can't figure it out or every doctor says it's a different thing. The thing with those doctors though is like every hammer looks like a nail. They're going to hear the symptoms and go, oh, it must be this thing that they're an expert in like lyme disease.

Sure, it’s a swer of weird symptoms so we could kind of say, okay, lyme doctor says it's lyme disease, autoimmune doctor says it's autoimmune disease, heart doctor says it's heart problems, right? And that's the problem with mold exposure is that it mimics a lot of other chronic health issues.

Brandon Faust (1:59:50.002)

And that's why the testing is so crucial, but it's also understanding and knowing how to read the test because let's say a person's in a moldy environment and they take a mycotoxin test, right, which is normally a urine test, and then they don't show up with any sort of mycotoxins. Well, that's actually not a good sign, that's a bad sign, because most likely they're not detoxing. So their body is holding onto it. 

So you need to actually know somebody that understands the way it works. Find people that are knowledgeable. And how do you read it? How do you interpret it? So that's also a crucial element is really knowing what to look for. 

And also same thing goes with mold inspectors. Like for example, there was one place, I remember it was early on, where I was experimenting myself wanting to get an understanding of these different tools that I had in my tool belt. And I did an air sample in a room that was full of stachybotrys chartum, that's black mold, that's a technical term for black mold, and I put the pump on a ladder and was running it for five minutes, and then I took a swab just to verify a direct sample on the black mold, did that on the roof, came back with like, 100,000 mold spores of stachybotrys on the swab, and the air sample came back completely clean.

Ashley James (2:01:22.046)

That's my fear. Someone's going to pay $400 for air samples and it comes back clean, but they still suffer. We're like, well, we rolled out mold. I don't know. I guess it's an autoimmune condition. So put me on all these autoimmune suppressants and steroids or whatever. 

Brandon Faust (2:01:38.452)

That's why it is so important, truly, to know the different testing methodologies and know that there's not one that is absolute. So there's combinations that help to cover all the ground. One of them, which I've actually heard a lot of good things about, is like a mold-sniffing dog, believe it or not, which happens to be the cutest of all the solutions of all. But they come and they go through the points and it's got probably twice as effective or three times as effective as the air sampling. Air sampling's like 70% inaccurate where a mold sniffing dog is like 90% accurate. So, that's where knowing kind of what are the different testing methodologies and modalities that are available. 

There's the direct sample which is probably the most effective if you know where to look and where to find it because you're putting the actual swab to the growth and you're getting a clump of it, sending it off to the lab to confirm that it's an issue. The mold sniffing dog is a great way to go. The immunolytics, the Petri dishes, they have a time and a place, but keep in mind every place is probably going to have some mold spores, so you really have to follow the instructions. You have some of the more sensitive testing, like the dust sampling, et cetera, that gives you a good idea of whether or not there's mold in the house or there has been mold in the house and the mycotoxins. Real-time lab does a mycotoxin test, that you can do a urine sample, and also a Swiffer sample on the dust of the home, as long as you're following the instructions. And then there's nothing that really beats an experienced inspector that is health-centric that knows where to look, what to look for. Is going in the attic. If you have crawlspace under your home, going in the crawlspace. Is willing to do like cavity samples where they are testing behind walls. If there's any sort of area of suspect water intrusion. They walk the perimeter of the house. They're looking all around for any sort of water intrusion issues where the water's not flowing outside. 

So all of these things have to be taken into consideration when you're trying to determine whether or not mold is an issue because it can be hidden. It can be in places that you wouldn't normally look. But, if you or somebody you love is in a home and they feel poorly in the home that they're living in and they go away for a couple weeks and they start to feel better, I immediately would look into mold as a possible cause.

Ashley James (2:04:22.300)

This has been truly enlightening. I really hope that this interview helps just thousands and thousands of people. Cause if people who listen to the show are wanting to get their health taken to the next level. And a lot of people wait until they have some symptoms before they start, they're motivated to listen to two hour long podcast about holistic health. So I hope this reaches everyone that needs to hear it. 

And what you're doing is amazing. This level of education needs to get out there. Like it is ridiculous how this is the hidden epidemic in our homes so that most of our homes are on some level poisoning us. And whether it's off gassing of formaldehyde. I have several interviews about that but my favorite one I think is with Andy Pace, it's episode 453. Where we go into some pretty crazy stories and understanding just how toxic our air quality is. And this is without mold. Now, mold is a big issue in any area, in any climate. It can happen. And it happens even in the homes of the most knowledgeable people we see with Brandon. Now, I'm curious, though, in 2019 when this happened, your health was greatly affected. What about your family? Did it impact their health at all?

Brandon Faust (2:05:49.742)

It was very minimal and I think it goes back to that concept of like, let's say you have a cup, right? And you're emptying it daily. But once you get it to a point where it's overflowing and it's not emptying or the water is going too fast into that cup, that's when you have the mess, right? So I was never getting a chance to detox. So I was going into moldy homes by day. In a moldy home by night, right? Sleeping and being exposed and not realizing how much of a toxic load I was taking on.

Ashley James (2:06:31.084)

Yep. We had an RV, a really nice one. And it's really hard. This is kind of a movement. I don't know if you've noticed the last five years, like it's kind of a desirable thing to live in a van down by the river. It wasn't when we were younger. But now, those are some life goals, like just own a van and live down by the river. A lot of people are living in various types of vehicles by choice, and it's a lifestyle, whether it be a van or a 46-foot RV. Mold is a huge issue as well, because it is a vehicle. I learned very quickly.

That it is not a home on wheels. It is a car. The temperature changes rapidly. Moisture accumulates on the windows and mold grows almost immediately on every single window sill and you have to constantly have dehumidifiers running and fans running. And that mold can grow in the corners and it takes over. So a lot of people are living in RVs and not aware of the things that they need to do. Do you have any advice for those who are living on the road?

Brandon Faust (2:07:51.449)

Ironically, we have an RV as well, right? And it was sitting for probably three or four months. And then I went inside to take it on the road. I had a mold bloom in the RV. So it was pretty intense to kind of walk into that and see it, you have to kind of don your proper personal protection equipment, PPE, face mask, HEPA VAC the whole place, wiped it all down. It had a air scrubber going while we were doing it. And then at the same time, after all of that was done, I did the whole home sanitization process with the fogging, the dry fog, and it was fantastic afterwards, and it didn't come back. 

So it's really a matter of like making sure that you are taking the proper approach. And you may be able to do a certain slice of that pie, but for example, the dry fogging is something that requires special equipment and special product, but there's a company out there that is actually pretty economical and they do a sanitization process, it's called pure maintenance, and their fogging system is superior. It's a phenomenal fogging system.

And the thing that it does is it replicates the actual method that spores and mycotoxins travel, which is through the air, and it lingers long enough that it actually destroys airborne mold spores. And mycotoxins, it may be floating around, it helps to dissolve it. So what I would say on that is that if you ever get like a car full of mold or an RV full of mold, or a home full of mold for that matter, especially if it's humidity driven, you can get somebody to come in that's a professional to clean it all up, remove it, but then I would always recommend bringing in a company that really knows how to do the dry fogging and is using a product that is highly effective, like pure maintenance, and get that done. 

Sofor example, cars, I had a similar thing. I made a massive mistake. I left my window open in my truck and a sort of freak storm came in and it was like I didn't realize I had left my window down and my truck smelled so bad and it was almost a brand new truck. It was like a year old and it smelled so bad, musty and whatever else and I ended up doing the fogging in my truck and it totally handled it.

So it's also a matter of knowing where to go to find somebody that has the capability to do a dry fog treatment where you're pushing in particles. It's a pressurized system that is pushing these tiny microscopic particles that are 10 microns, 7.5 microns, into the nooks and crannies of the space. Now, would I ever go with doing demolition-free mold remediation? No. But would I always do a whole home sanitization after remediation project with dry fog? Yes.

Ashley James (2:11:26.679)

Very good to know. And this fog, I guess it just depends on the company. I'd want it to be non-toxic and because you're living in the environment, but the one that you use is safe, is non-toxic. I know Green Home Solutions is safe, but is there companies out there that use a chemical in their fog machine that is unhealthy?

Brandon Faust (2:11:46.211)

Of course, so you really need to make sure that they have an angle that is a non-toxic angle. And really what are you looking for? I would always look for reviews, right? I would always look at reputation. I would always look at their information and their knowledge. Because when somebody calls me up and talks to me about it, or talks to some of our staff at Mold Solutions, they know pretty rapidly that we know what we're talking about, right? 

So Green Home Solutions, if they have good reviews, then the chances are they really know what they're doing. So what do their reviews look like? What does when talking to them in terms of their success rate and their ability to get a home free and clear, right? Because we always, always end up passing the clearance testing, like always.

So it's a matter of can they do that and not just like an air sample, but a rigorous test from somebody who is using more intense testing methodologies.

Ashley James (2:12:57.217)

Love it. Brandon, is there anything you didn't get to say? I love doing this after like a two hour interview. I'm like, just want to make sure. Is there anything left unsaid? People are usually like, no, I told you everything. And then I told you a bunch of stuff I didn't expect to tell you. But is there anything else you want to say? Is there any stories that you didn't get to share or anything that you really want to make sure that you leave us with?

Brandon Faust (2:13:25.790)

It really is important to understand indoor air quality and how important it is to the lives that we live and the people that you love. Like making sure that they are doing well and that they're succeeding and that they're in the environment where they can actually thrive. That goes along with not just your homes, but where you work, the schools that your kids are going to, colleges, the university dorms. 

If you're renting. Renting is rough, especially when the landlords are not taking proper responsibility for the impact of mold. Some of the worst situations I've ever seen have been in apartments or even hotels. Like I went down to Cancun a little over a year ago and as soon as we walked into the room, the musty smell hit me so hard. And I was like, okay, my family and I are not going to be staying in this room. But after being in the room, 10 stories lower, right, which seemed to be better. By the time we were done with that trip, we were all sick.

So, potentially like I don't want to be over the top on this stuff. And the fact that I've kind of become this guy, it's kind of like, I can't believe it. I was a guy that was like, there's no need for a mold test, eight years ago or whatever it was, right? And now I literally have the purification device in my HVAC, the UV light, the two purifiers. I sanitize my home once a year, right? Plus I have a standalone purifier like I have the proactive versus the passive. I have both. I have the passive HEPA filter and the proactive, ionization UV germicide, high-tech air purifier. I have all of it because I know the impact that it can have, not only through firsthand experience, but also from my son, and also all the people that I've helped and dealt with. I know it is not something that should be ignored. It really, there needs to be healthy respect for mold and our air quality. And it's not just mold, it also is bacteria that follow similar principles. So that's where making sure you understand all of that in terms of protecting yourself and your family is really crucial.

Ashley James (2:16:02.968)

And so renting and vacations, big deal to pay attention. But also if you buy a condo or if you buy like a townhome or a duplex where your house is sharing a wall with someone else. Like that's another thing to be aware of, especially in condo buildings where someone else's leak can be your mold disaster, right? Or someone else can have a mold disaster and that's going to affect you too. Then it becomes like the problem with the neighbor who has a tree that's branches like leaning over into your property, right? It's like, well, it's your tree, but I don't want to pay to have the branch removed, but it's your tree. And so it's like, it's your neighbor's mold, but it's making you sick. And this is something we have to be aware of. 

I had that happen in Cancun. We walked into the room and it was all inclusive resort, beautiful view. We walked to this room and it was like, just hit me. And I turned right back around. It might have been the same thing. It's like an all-inclusive resort. Might have even been the same one. I didn't even walk in the room. I turned right back around. I said to the bellhop, nope, going back downstairs. I said, give us a room. Might have been the same room. Luckily, it didn't make us sick. The next room we got. But I also had that experience here in Washington. We rented a cabin out by the ocean shores. There was black spots. It was definitely mold. They were like, okay, well, we're going to come in to spray it while we're living there for the weekend. They're like, we're going to come in to spray it with our bleach later. I'm like, the heck you are. Because if you spray it with bleach, it only makes it worse for your health. So that's a big no-no. And they definitely did not get a five-star review. Let me tell you that. 

So yes, this is something we have to be aware of. And we have to be diligent because we're protecting our health, because this can impact your health for a long time, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, this can exacerbate them. And it's like the quality of your life. So it matters. It's just like, buy organic as much as possible because it matters, because you matter, because your cells matter, and choose to live in a mold-free environment, or as little mold as possible because you matter and your family matters. 

Okay, my last question. Let's say someone has had mold in their home. They get their home remediated or they move, maybe because it was a rental. They brought their belongings with them. Their belongings don't have visible mold on them, but everything they own has the potential to like, basically, they're bringing the spores, right, with them. What do you say to that?

Brandon Faust (2:18:52.932)

Well, there was a home on Clearwater Beach. It's a $2 million home. And this was three, four years ago, so I don't know what it is now, but it was massive and it was beautiful. And it was, believe it or not, the vacation home. And the woman of the house she would go to antique shops and she bought this one cowhide piece of footstool. Right, it was a cowhide footstool.

And she put it in the closet, which was the size of a room for many people. And two and a half months later comes back and there is mold all over the house. And they're trying to figure out what happened. Well, you go into the closet and the closet was ground zero. It was like a full moldy bloom in that particular closet. So the mold spores actually came from the footstool.

And then because of the HVAC being on but not functioning correctly, it was on but it was not pulling water out of the air. So it was flash cooling is what it's called, where it was the HVAC was too large for the home. So it would cool it off too rapidly and not pull enough water out of the air so it remained humid and there was enough water that the spores on the footstool had a perfect environment and completely took off. So the answer is yes, you can cross contaminate another place by bringing in spores and if the climate and the environment is good or right for that particular scenario, yes, you could wind up with cross contaminating in a full mold bloom.

Ashley James (2:20:46.620)

Wow. Now if she’d had that my little $20 device that I have in my bathroom, it's the thermometer that also reads the humidity levels. If she’d had that and she walked and she knew what she's looking for. She walked into her house and she measured the humidity of like that closet and that the bedroom and the living room. Would it have read really high? Like what did it read over 60% even though she had the HVAC on?

Brandon Faust (2:21:09.404)

Yes, definitely, for sure. And that's what you're looking at.

Ashley James (2:21:12.340)

So this is something we can watch for. Like if you're buying homes, you could travel with your, what is it called, the device that reads humidity? 

Brandon Faust (2:21:19.616)

A hygrometer. They call it a hygrometer is the correct word for it. But there's smart devices as well that hook up to your phone to tell you what is going on in your house. If there's any sort of toxins, pathogens and things along those lines, they will pick up certain levels of elevated counts it's like a particle counter. So they'll pick up things that are microscopic, but they also will pick up your temperature and your humidity levels as well.  You're trying to do everything possible to ensure that your climate, your environment, your home is not conducive to mold growth. And that requires data.

Ashley James (2:22:07.592)

Yes. Right. Exactly. So if you're like looking at places to rent or buy, it would be good to walk into the environment and see what is the humidity of each room. Because if everything's working right, like the furnace is on or the AC is on or whatever. And it's 60 plus percent humidity in areas of that house, run in the other direction. That's not the house for you or that's not the apartment for you.

Brandon Faust (2:22:38.965)

Because it could be hidden and the growth could be there. I had one lady who had migraines for years. She couldn't figure out what was going on. And this was just like accidental, it was by luck. So she asked me, please take off your shoes when you come into my home. No problem. So I'm walking around the room, I'm walking around the house, checking everything out. I get to the master bedroom, my shoes are off, she's got carpet and I just felt a little bit of dampness on the bottom of my feet. And I looked under her bed and she had slats, wood slats, on the bottom of her bed that were covered in white fuzz, all under her bed. And what was happening is the slab which is that concrete tends to be somewhat porous, so there's capillary action that can take place. And it pulls moisture up through the concrete. And now it's damp enough that the wood close to the concrete is moist enough that it's this raw wood, and she had a massive colony of aspergillus under her bed. And that was what was causing the issue. 

Ashley James (2:23:58.371)

The migraines. If she had not been like me, like Asian, Canadian. I don't know what other cultures, but like we take our shoes off. You take your shoes off. You do not go into someone's home with your shoes on. And oh, man, I've had that before. You walk through carpet and all of a sudden you feel a wet spot. You're like, what? And you wouldn't have felt that if you had shoes on. So, yes, that's detective work right there.

Thank you so much, Brandon. I feel like this has been so helpful for so many people discovering the hidden dangers that every house is susceptible. Everyone. It could happen to anyone. It could happen to you multiple times. It could happen to anyone. And we all need to be aware of it. And it happens in cars, too, like surprisingly. One of my past vehicles was a Ford F-150. I love that truck. The insurance company AllStates was great to us. It was totaled by mold. They paid it off. They cut a check and said this vehicle is totaled because of mold. So a rat had chewed through some of the wiring. This is the silliest thing that Ford has ever done. They made it out of edible soy, which is, I guess, toxin-free, and that's good, but animals love eating Ford trucks because there's components in Ford trucks made of soy. And it's edible, edible car. 

And so, it chewed through the vapor barrier, the seal between the engine block and the cabin which start letting the moisture in and then couple that with having a toddler who like leaves food little crumbs everywhere. Just made the entire cab like three inches of fuzz. I have pictures somewhere. It was wild. It was wild. I was like, I'm not even opening that door I'm not even going in there. The entire steering wheel was covered in fuzz. The dash was covered in fuzz

It was bad. Nothing. You could not recover anything from that car, but I've seen it before I've seen it several times with several vehicles. That it can get really bad. You got to get little like dehumidifier sort of packets that suck up the moisture. But yes, so we have to be we have to be diligent.

Thank you Brandon! This has been amazing and your website of course moldsolutions.com or   ten years ago you could go to moldsolutionsusa.com

I love that. And then check out the healthy home guide, which is less than 40 bucks, totally worth it to do that course. Check out the free ebook moldebook.com. I think everyone should have that printed out and in every home in the world should have it. Thank you so much for coming on the show. This is great. If you ever have anything else you want to share, any new breakthroughs in the world of mold come back on. We'd love to hear you. We'd love to have you back.

Brandon Faust (2:27:18.513)

Absolutely. I really appreciate the interview and very comprehensive. It's fantastic. It's what people need to hear about it because it's an issue. 

Ashley James (2:27:28.795)

Yes. And thanks for doing the work you do. You're definitely saving people's lives and increasing the quality of life. So keep at it. Awesome.

Brandon Faust (2:27:34.737)

All right, thank you.

Ashley James (2:27:36.343)

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Brandon Faust, moldsolutions.com. It's pretty amazing and kind of scary to think about. But also I would rather definitely know this information for the future, like when purchasing a home or choosing an apartment to rent. You've got to know this information and definitely share it with those you care about, because there's loved ones in your life who are going to buy a house one day or rent a condo apartment one day and this could really save them. 

I have several friends who've had major chronic health issues. They've had to work very hard to overcome because of mold in their environment, and even a short term exposure of a few weeks, or like being on vacation, can last months. And that is just quality of your life. That is priceless, right. You can't get that back. So this information is absolutely gold. 

Remember, my book is coming out I'm so excited February 1st and you can go to learntruehealth.com and in the menu there on learntruehealth.com you'll see a link to go buy the book and when you buy it, make sure you take a picture of you holding it, or you could take a selfie with it and post it to the Facebook group or post it to social media. Send that to me. You can send that to me at support@learntruehealth.com and I would love to send you a gift bag as being part of my launch party, the first 50 listeners who joined the launch party and share with me and share on social media that they got the book. I'd love to send you my big gift bag to celebrate with you. I'm very excited and then, ongoingly, as you go through the book, I definitely want you to jump into the Facebook group because we're going to share going through the different challenges and the things we learned. It's going to be a lot of fun to participate together and see all of the listeners participating in the book. 

It is meant to help you wherever you are in your health journey, take it to the next level and create daily habits that make you crave wellness and habits that last a lifetime, that build you up and strengthen you no matter how busy you are in life. So I can't wait for you to check out my book Addicted to Wellness. Go to learntruehealth.com February 1st to purchase it. Go to the menu. Select it right there and it'll take you to Amazon. Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener and for sharing this podcast and my book with your friends and family. Have a fantastic rest of your day. 

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine

 

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