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Hi everyone,

Me and my wife bought this home almost two years ago in May. Around February (9 months later) I began feeling dizzy, disoriented, had very shaky muscles, and very fatigued all the time. Ever since then I have been unable to shake these symptoms. Sometimes I have good days, weeks, months, and other times I have bad days, weeks, months. I began wondering if it had anything to do with the house itself. The house is in a heavy Bentonite area that has a engineered wood flooring in the basement that hangs from the foundation, and that all rests on two cassons. In the crawl space beneath that wood basement floor I found this:

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/6645/imag0164ns.jpg

I would say 50% of the rocks in the crawl space look like that. Some is white, and fluffy looking and reflects when I shine the flashlight on it, and there is that other white cake-looking substance.

I should note the previous owners said they had a small moisture problem in the basement that they corrected by adding a fan to one of the ventilation tubes that go into the crawl space. We have been in the house 2 years now and I have diligently checked the sump pumps and that crawl space and it has indeed been dry as a bone.

So my question is - Is that stuff mold? Being that it is in the crawl space under the house is it possible that it could be affecting my health? Should I do something to kill it/eliminate it?

Thank you!

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It's not mold. It's dried mineral salts left behind from moisture evaporating off the earthen surface in the crawl.

Ask yourself why you think you are reacting to mold when you have literally been breathing the same mold spore the media calls toxic every day you've lived on this planet.

By the way. Those symptoms? I've had 'em for about two years now. I jus turned 61 and had to finally come to the realization that I'm not as young as I used to be.

Go to a doctor and get a full physical.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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1: The stuff in your pictures isn't mold. However, mold might be present down there.

2: The soil in your crawlspace should be completely covered by a plastic vapor barrier.

3: The crawlspace should be vented to the outdoors and not into the basement. (If, by chance, it is.) The ventilation should take the form of vent openings in the sidewalls, located near the corners. You should have about 1 square foot of vent opening for every 150 square feet of crawlspace area.

4: The crawlspace *looks* dry because all of the water is evaporating into the air. Once you cover it with plastic, you will find, almost immediately, that the soil is quite damp. All of that damp is presently evaporating into the air and at least some of it is getting into your house. It's also the reason why you have efflorescent salts on your soil. If moisture wasn't evaporating, the efflorescence wouldn't be occurring.

5: If anything in the crawlspace, including mold, is causing your physical symptoms, installing a vapor barrier and proper ventilation will help.

6: I'm not a doctor and I can't diagnose your physical symptoms. However, so far, medical science has not been able to demonstrate a tie between the presence of mold in a residential setting and any kind of toxic reaction in humans. Allergic reactions, certainly. Toxic reactions, not so far (unless, of course, you eat the stuff). The popular media presents a very distorted view of mold in homes. They seem to take it for granted that a spot of black mold will cause all kinds of horrible toxic reactions. There is no scientific basis for this portrayal.

If you're sick, see a doctor.

Don't believe any of what you hear about mold in the media.

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