Radical Health Rebel

25 - The Deadly Dangers of Mold with Tim Swackhammer

January 30, 2023 Leigh Brandon Episode 25
Radical Health Rebel
25 - The Deadly Dangers of Mold with Tim Swackhammer
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Tim Swackhammer gives the low down on the dangers of mold in the home or workplace, what diseases it can cause, the dangers of dealing with mold yourself, how to effectively remove mold from the home and also the dangers of Radon gas in your home. This could be great episode for someone who has tried everything to overcome a health challenge without success.

We discussed:
3:58

Tim's background

8:38

What health problems do mold cause?

17:36

What is mold?

18:53

How do you know if you have mold in the home?

26:59

What procedures are required to fix a mold/moisture problem in the home

46:01

What are the common causes of excess moisture in the home?

57:06

How to find the moisture problem in the home

58:32

What is Radon gas and how does it affect health?

1:05:30

Should you use bleach on mold in the home?

You can find Tim @:
Main Website - https://www.moldmedics.com/
Franchising Website - http://moldmedicsfranchising.com/
Facebook - www.facebook.com/MoldMedicsPGH
Instagram - www.instagram.com/mold_medics
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNXYpoegOAKdUC3_AcaPCPQ
Twitter - www.twitter.com/TheMoldMedics

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You can find Leigh @:
Leigh website - https://www.bodychek.co.uk/
Leigh's books - https://www.bodychek.co.uk/books/
Eliminate Adult Acne Programme - https://eliminateadultacne.com/
HEAL THEM Education Programme - http://healthemeducation.vhx.tv/
Radical Health Rebel YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@radicalhealthrebelpodcast

[00:00] Tim Swackhammer: I mean, a lot of it is what you would expect. It's very respiratory based, so it's coughing, it's asthma type symptoms. It is sinus. It can begin to impact your sinuses, runny nose, sneezing. A lot of times if you go into a home that's been that has a significant mold issue, these are things that you can start to notice pretty much immediately, but then also homes that have less significant issues, but you spend a long time in them and you've got that exposure over time. That chronic exposure. That's where you can really start to notice a lot of these things. And these are things that tend to be pretty universal. It can trigger multiple chemical sensitivity, where they begin to react to chemical products that are in kind of everything we surround ourselves with now. Chronic inflammatory response syndrome, variety of different issues, where basically their body just begins to react very strongly and negatively to a whole variety of stimuli. And it can almost act like almost like an immune issue in the way that it presents. So there's a whole variety of different issues that can come about related to mold, but also because it weakens so many different aspects of your system, it can begin to exacerbate other issues that you have going on.

[01:24] Announcer: Welcome to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with your host, Leigh Brandon. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a five star rating and the warm review. Your opinions are important and your ratings help grow the podcast and help educate people to lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling, and happy life. If video is your thing, please check out the Radical Health Rebel YouTube channel, where you'll find fun, bite sized clips from each episode. And now, here is Lee, the radical health rebel, with this week's podcast.

[02:04] Leigh Brandon: Tim Swackhammer. Welcome to the Radical Health Rebel podcast. Thanks for coming on the show.

[02:09] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate the time.

[02:12] Leigh Brandon: It's great. The first thing I have to do, Tim, is congratulate you on your surname Swackhammer. Where does that come from? I'm guessing it's German.

[02:20] Tim Swackhammer: German originally, and it was butchered a few different times on the way over.

[02:25] Leigh Brandon: Cool. Yeah. So, yeah, well done for such a great name.

[02:30] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, it's not one you come across very often, that's for sure.

[02:33] Leigh Brandon: I'd certainly not heard of it before, but do you know the origins of it?

[02:38] Tim Swackhammer: Not extensively. My uncle is very into the genealogy and everything. He was able to trace it back, at least. The slack hammer side has been in the country for quite a while, but couldn't really get beyond more or less our local area.

[02:54] Leigh Brandon: It sounds almost like a blacksmith type name.

[02:57] Tim Swackhammer: That's always been kind of the assumption.

[02:59] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. My family name, we believe is a farming name, like from branding cattle.

[03:08] Tim Swackhammer: Okay.

[03:08] Leigh Brandon: We're not sure, but that's what we think it might be anyway. So today's episode is entitled the Deadly Dangers of Mold with Tim Swackhammer. And we all know that mold in our homes is not good for us, but it's apparent to me that many people do not realize the extent of the damage that a moldy, home, car.

[03:29] Leigh Brandon: Or workplace can do to your health.

[03:33] Leigh Brandon: It's also even more of an issue in today's world as the electromagnetic radiation from our electronic devices has also been shown to greatly increase the potency of mycotoxins, the toxins excreted by fungus. So I'm really looking forward to this conversation, Tim, to delve deep into the world of mold, its dangers and what we can do about it. So to kick things off, Tim, can you share with the audience a little about you, your background, your professional education and your career to date?

[04:03] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, absolutely. So my background is a little bit interesting and it's pretty different from a lot of others in the space. I do not come from really a contracting or environmental health background or anything along those lines. I actually got into this through the business side of things. So I'm a second generation entrepreneur. I grew up with my father being involved in a number of different businesses, some franchises, some other ones, and started working for him at a chain of dollar stores that he had at six or seven years of age and just learned work in the register and all that. And just it definitely gave me a different perspective than a lot of other people and gave I guess whenever you're exposed to that kind of stuff as a child, you can kind of go one or two ways. You either fall into it and become kind of obsessed with it or you want to rebel against it and want nothing to do with it. And I fell in the former category there and so basically went through graduated high school, went on to college, pursued a degree in criminology for both my undergrad and my master's, except at the time. That's something that I was interested and passionate about and really just love learning. But really as I got more exposure there, it was clear that that wasn't a career path that I wanted to follow. So ended up while I was in college, we had opened up a couple of different wireless stores through a business that my father was involved in and it changed and evolved into a family business. So we grew that business and really just started to want to get away from just having everything all or all of our livelihoods invested in just one business. So we started to diversify, get into some other stuff, stumbled onto a home service brand that we got involved in that didn't really work out. But with that I saw kind of from the outside the opportunities within the mold and indoor air quality space. And particularly coming from my background with sales and customer service, I really saw that there was a lot of good contractors in the space, but there wasn't anybody who's really focusing on providing, number one, an excellent customer experience that was something that was severely lacking. And then number two, I noticed specifically with indoor air quality issues, there were a lot of people that are very much affected by health, or their health is very much affected by mold. And most of the restoration industry, at least in the states, is very much focused on insurance work. So if you have a flood, you have a fire, any sort of water damage, those kind of things. The restoration company really partners with the insurance company to come and restore the home, get it back to restoration and get it back to the way it was before whatever damage occurred or whatever loss occurred. But what we identified was there was a lot of people who were experiencing mold issues, either lingering from experiences like those, or just from defects in the home, not proper maintenance of the home, problems with the building construction or building science, all these kind of issues that could really be impacting their health. And number one, most of the restoration companies weren't interested in dealing with those issues. And two, a lot of these people who had more significant health problems related to indoor air quality issues, they weren't really interested in learning about the people and what their specific needs were. They were very focused on just the property itself. So I always make the joke, and my wife loves to make this joke, that I don't have a hobby, but my hobby is researching other hobbies and she's definitely onto something there. I'm very much a researcher, I love to learn. And when we started mold Medics, I really just kind of dove in head first to learning as much as we possibly could about not just mold issues, but specifically toxic mold and people's experiences with these issues. And what have they found as far as remedies that have worked, what has not worked for them? And really, how can we customize our approach to really be the ideal solution for these clients?

[08:23] Leigh Brandon: Okay, that sounds really interesting. So I guess the best place to start would be from the research that you've done, what would you say are the main sort of health repercussions of being around any kind of mold?

[08:42] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, so there's kind of two categories. The first is the more or less universal ones, and I use that term very loosely because every person is different, every person is unique, their immune systems are unique, and their responses, their sensitivities are unique as well. So nothing is truly universal. But there are definitely some things that are a lot more common. And then there are some health implications that can happen to individuals that have a greater sensitivity to mold, either from their individual biology or from a past exposure that has left them more exposed to mold issues. So on the universal side, a lot of it is what you would expect. It's very respiratory based, so it's coughing, it's asthma type symptoms. It is sinus. It can begin to impact your sinuses runny nose, sneezing. A lot of times if you go into a home that's been, that has a significant mold issue, these are things that you can start to notice pretty much immediately, but then also homes that have less significant issues, but you spend a long time in them and you've got that exposure over time. That chronic exposure. That's where you can really start to notice a lot of these things. And these are things that tend to be pretty universal. Again, everybody is unique, but they definitely present in most cases sooner or later. Then on the other side of things, you do have individuals that have sensitivities and unfortunately, there's a number of different I've heard a number of different numbers thrown around. There's not a lot of really great research in this space. There's starting to be a lot more, which is great. But what is there right now is relatively confounded. There's some conflicting information. A lot of the traditional medical establishment is barely starting to kind of dip their toe into this end of things. But there's a group of people say it's one in five, that do have a greater, greater degree of sensitivity to mold issues and they can experience much more significant issues. So ranging from skin problems, it can trigger multiple chemical sensitivity where they can begin to react to chemical products that are in kind of everything we surround ourselves with now. Chronic inflammatory response syndrome, variety of different issues where basically their body just begins to react very, very strongly and negatively to a whole variety of stimuli. And it can almost act like almost like an immune issue in the way that it presents. So there's a whole variety of different issues that can come about related to mold, but also because it weakens so many different aspects of your system, it can begin to exacerbate other issues that you have going on.

[11:45] Leigh Brandon: So we're talking so respiratory, we're talking skin. It can worsen other issues. It can make other sensitivities more intense if you like. Are you familiar with Doug Kaufman's work?

[12:04] Tim Swackhammer: The name is not ringing a bell, but to be frank, I am terrible with names.

[12:07] Leigh Brandon: Okay. He wrote a book, or a series of books, but the volume one is called The Fungus Link. And he basically suggests that every disease known to man is caused by fungus. I'm not too sure that I agree with what he's saying, but he goes through in his book and explains many, many conditions that fungus can cause. One of them that he talks about is cancer. Now of course, that's an issue that's very prevalent and obviously is one of the major causes of fatalities in the world. The other thing that I think I've seen in my own practice with, I mean, I use the terms mold and fungus interchangeably. I'm not sure if you think that's okay or not, but I do tend to use them interchangeably. But the other thing that I tend to see a lot is fatigue, and quite severe fatigue when people have fungus in the system. Fatigue, brain fog, and a lot of the symptoms that people come to me with, you potentially could be caused by fungus, but then they might be caused by other things as well. But I guess the point that both of us are probably trying to make is that a lot of conditions potentially can be caused by mold in your home. And it's certainly been my experience that when you remove someone from a moldy environment and you clear fungus out of their body, that they do kind of return to let's call it optimal health. Again, yes.

[13:54] Tim Swackhammer: And that's been very much in line with our experience. If you hear me treading kind of carefully around some responses, I very much like to stay within my core competency. And if I feel myself venturing out from that, I'll generally decline to comment because I want to make sure if I'm speaking, I'm speaking on something and I'm very well informed on. And that being said, we really do tend to focus more on the issues, causes and resolutions for these issues. And I remain very much adjacent and very much interested in the health side and the person side and what we can do to help improve those problems.

[14:36] Leigh Brandon: That's completely understandable. Just to kind of elaborate on the point of Doug Kaufman, he actually says that cancer is fungus, not just that it causes cancer, that actually cancer is fungus, which is quite an interesting comment.

[14:54] Tim Swackhammer: It is.

[14:55] Leigh Brandon: There are some people that they just say, no, that's completely untrue. Some people say, yeah, that's completely true, and there's other people in the middle say, well, it could be true.

[15:04] Tim Swackhammer: I think it's definitely something very interesting, something I'll for sure do some more research on because I'm very curious about it. I mean, my kind of gut reaction is I think it's a very interesting idea and it's something that because anytime we're talking about environmental issues in general, it does get very difficult to really unwind the confounding that exists between the environment and the individual's health. And again, whenever you get into so much of the individual responses to stimuli like mold, it makes it very challenging to identify how much of it is an individual versus universal type of experience there.

[15:52] Leigh Brandon: If we're talking about someone's environment, we're talking about their epigenetics. There are a lot of people that believe again, we're kind of talking about cancer again, but a lot of people believe that cancer is a genetic disease. But then there are other people that say, well, your genes don't really do much. They get told whether to turn on or to turn off by the environment, which is what we call epigenetics. So I think the one thing probably.

[16:21] Leigh Brandon: Everyone can agree on.

[16:22] Leigh Brandon: It's important that you have an environment around you that's as healthy as possible.

[16:27] Tim Swackhammer: Yes, absolutely. And I think with that too, I'm always hesitant anytime somebody says everything is one thing or another. I think we are way too interconnected. There's too many different systems at play at any given time to point and say, this one thing causes everything. I think. Can it influence? Absolutely. But I think there's always going to be a myriad of different factors that can influence things. And that's what makes things so interesting. It's the randomness, it's the chaos of life.

[17:03] Leigh Brandon: And interestingly, I did have that discussion in episode three of the podcast with Paul Linda's, which was entitled The Root Cause of Cancer. And he actually knows Doug Kaufman reasonably well, and he talks a little bit about the discussion that he had with Doug Kaufman about fungus and cancer. So if anyone wants any more, wants to delve in deeper into that, you can always look back at episode three.

[17:25] Leigh Brandon: It's interesting.

[17:26] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, I guess before I go into the next question, what might be useful is what would be your definition of mold?

[17:37] Tim Swackhammer: So mold is I mean, you mentioned earlier using mold and fungi interchangeably. Mold is a type of fungi. It's a classification. All fungi's are not molds, but all molds are fungi. So really, whenever we talk about mold, it is a microorganism that grows. It's challenging because mold does provide a useful aspect of the circle of life. So mold in nature is designed to break down dead plant material. That's its job. That's its purpose. It needs to exist. It needs to do that. If it didn't, whenever you went outside in the spring, you'd see leaves piled up everywhere and dead trees, and it would never break down and become part of the earth. So the problem is we generally build our homes out of dead plant material. So whenever we're doing that and we're providing that food source for mold, all we have to add is water. And then we can create issues inside our homes. It can be a good thing. And mold is going to be everywhere. It's really about controlling our exposure to it and making sure that we're not trapping ourselves inside a box with significant levels of mold.

[18:49] Leigh Brandon: Which leads me on nicely to my next question. How does someone know if there is mold in the home? Or I guess I should say, a significant amount of mold in their home.

[19:00] Tim Swackhammer: So it can come about a variety of different ways. So customers will contact us sometimes it'll be because they are in the process of buying or selling a property and there's been a home inspection or they notice something in the course of that where visually they were able to identify an issue. A lot of times, especially a lot of our more sensitive clients will contact us because they're feeling something. They're feeling that reaction they notice. A common story we hear is they'll feel like garbage in their home. Then they'll go on vacation somewhere else for a couple of weeks and they'll feel great. And then they'll come back home and they'll feel like garbage again. And that's enough for them to draw the connection, hey, maybe there's something in my home that's really causing this. But whether it's a visible issue, sometimes it's an odor that tends to be a very prominent one, because that musty odor is a telltale sign of a mold problem, regardless of exactly why. Generally they'll either contact us or they'll contact partner of ours that does environmental testing to confirm or identify. Okay. Do I have a mold problem? And if so, where is it coming from? And that can be done through a variety of different testing methods to help identify if there is a mold issue, how significant is it? And there's all kinds of different testing methods from surface sampling, for instance, which is, hey, I see this discoloration. Let me take a sample of that and identify. Is it mold growth or is it something like effluorescence where that can go hand in hand with mold but isn't mold, so they can send that out to the lab and test for it. We're big proponents of air testing, or air cell testing, where they'll actually take a sample of the air inside the home, compare that to the air on the outside of the home to really identify, okay, are the types of mold that are present on the inside similar to the ones on the outside? And are the counts similar? Because again, molds everywhere. You're never going to get no mold in your air. So what we want to see is that the levels on the inside of your home are comparable to that on the outside.

[21:07] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, that makes sense. Is it possible that, for instance, where I live now, I've got no indication that there's any excessive mold anywhere? I feel good. Is it possible that there is still a problem here?

[21:27] Leigh Brandon: Possible?

[21:27] Tim Swackhammer: Yes. I would say likely is not so much. If there's zero indication whatsoever, it's fairly unlikely. The one thing I will say is you do got to be careful about things like nose blindness. Sometimes people you get accustomed to the smells around you, so you may not think there's an odor, but then you have friends or relatives that come over that don't live there and they immediately go, what's that musty smell? What's going on there? Sometimes people aren't necessarily the most observant, and that can definitely be an issue, and there can be issues that are harder to identify. But yeah, there's very seldom would I say that somebody who had a thorough inspection of the home and everything looked clean, that there's actually something hidden going on with absolutely no smell indications, no visual indications, no known history of water damage. And that's why typically, anytime we start to investigate for a client, one of the first things we will do is go through verbally and just try to identify as much as we can about the history of the property to identify. Are there potential issues and if so, where would they be? Because the last thing we want to do I mean, the only way to be 100% certain there is zero mold in a property or zero active growth in a property would be to rip everything down to the studs and thoroughly inspect everything. And obviously that's not a practical practice.

[23:04] Announcer: You're listening to the Radical Health Rebel podcast.

[23:09] Leigh Brandon: Are you regularly suffering from painful bloating of wind that could be smelly and embarrassing? Are your bowel movements not as they should be, either constipation or diarrhea, or possibly alternating between the two? Do you find the pain is bad enough, but the bloating and cramps make you feel awful and are affecting your everyday life? Do you sometimes feel you can't eat properly because of the wind, bloating, and pain? And has your doctor told you that you have IBS but unable to help find you a solution? Do you feel right now that you simply don't know what's causing your symptoms and whatever your doctor has suggested hasn't worked and you feel frustrated that you're still far from having a normal, flat, comfortable tummy? Have you invested a lot of time, energy and money into improving your symptoms and don't wish to waste any more? Do you feel frustrated and depressed and don't feel like you can take part in all the activities you enjoy and sometimes have to cancel attending events because of the way your tummy feels? Do you fear that if you don't get this sorted, you could end up with a much more serious gastrointestinal disease? If so, what would help you right now is to understand the root cause of your digestive condition. Rather than continuing to try to mask the symptoms with over the counter or prescribed medications. You need help understanding how factors such as nutrition, gut health, stress, and toxicology affect the digestive system and how to optimize these factors. You need someone who can advise, motivate, and support you every step of the way, someone who has walked the path before and taught many others to do the same. What you need is my overcome your digestive issues program. My Overcome Your Digestive Issues program can help you in the following ways I will help you understand the root causes of your digestive problems and teach you how to approach the condition holistically via expert advice on nutrition and lifestyle factors that overcome your digestive issues. The program will start by ensuring you are on the right diet for you based on your genetics or metabolic type, and one that avoids the foods that are known to exacerbate. Your condition will go on a journey step by step, learning all the necessary lifestyle changes required to achieve a flat, comfortable, pain free tummy. Each weekly, 30 minutes coaching session will include advice, support and guidance specifically tailored to your needs and at a speed that is right for you. Once you're eating right for your metabolic type, you will begin to see changes in how your tummy feels. And we will also uncover all the necessary blocking factors that you may have. And you'll be taught how to reduce, replace or eliminate all the factors that are causing your digestive problems.

[26:02] Leigh Brandon: Ultimately, this program will enable you to achieve a flat, calm and comfortable tummy every day for the rest of your life. For more information about how to improve your gut health and to claim a complimentary no obligation gut health consultation, please go to www dot bodycheck Co. UK that's BodyChek and fill in the request form at the top of the home page and we'll be in contact to arrange a convenient time. Now back to the podcast.

[26:33] Leigh Brandon: Got you. In my previous home there was definitely a mold issue and it would be quite interesting after I asked you my next question to see, I got a feeling that what I did probably wasn't a good idea. That leads me on nicely to the next question, which is what are the main procedures to fixing a mold or a moisture problem?

[26:59] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, really, when we're talking about that, we're talking about two different issues. So there's the moisture problem, there's some sort of water intrusion going on or humidity problem, but something having to do with moisture is getting to excess levels in the home and that is triggering mold growth. Mold growth can begin to grow in as few as 24 hours after a water intrusion event, so it can come up pretty quickly. But also it's stuff that can occur over long periods of time with just not really noticing it. Typically like with humidity issues, we see those where there's just excess humidity in the home that the home is not able to properly ventilate and manage. And over time that causes an issue that just gets worse and worse and worse to the point where somebody finally notices it. Those can be some of the hardest ones to identify because again, you just get used to your environment, you get that nose blindness and you just kind of get immune to it. So immune to observing it, I should say. But going back to it as far as practices and what should actually be done to resolve first the water issue, that's going to be completely dependent on how is moisture getting in. And that's something that can be very complicated because there's a myriad of different issues. I mean, we see everything very commonly. We see a lot of foundation issues. So where people have water coming in from the exterior foundation, seeping in through their basement or crawl space, and then getting into the home, you can obviously have pipe leaks. Any issues with your plumbing system, issues with your HVAC system, any sort of air conditioning is going to have condensate that's going to come off if that needs to be properly managed and dealt with. If that's not, that can be a big source of mold. Really, anywhere that you have water introduced in your home, it can be a problem. And things like some of the most interesting and most challenging ones to identify are ones that are not based on actual water, but based on that humidity or airflow issues. So things having to do with insulation improperly or aged windows where they're allowing a lot of air in, that can create some very interesting situations just depending on the environment on the outside of the home as you hit different temperature discrepancies. Right now I'm in Pittsburgh and it is five degrees Fahrenheit, which inside my house it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take. Humidity is very high inside the home compared to what it is on the outside. So just those temperature differentials have the potential to create significant issues. So there's a whole variety of different ways that we can have water problems that can create a mold issue. And depending on what those are, they'll need to be dealt with obviously very different ways. But that's something that a good mold professional should at least help identify. Why is the mold problem there in the first place and what are the underlying water issues now when it comes to resolving the mold problem itself, really, there's a few core steps. Everybody's process is likely to be a little bit different, but there's a few core steps that are going to exist in any good remediation plan. The first one should always be containment. And this is really where we are isolating off the area that we're going to be working on, the area where the growth is from the remainder of the property. So we're setting up plastic barriers with poly sheeting. We're making sure that everything is as airtight as we can get it. And same thing with any HVAC duct work. Want to make sure that's all isolated. And we're really trying to get that as contained off as we can because during the next few steps, we're actually going to make the problem a bit worse before we make it better. And so we want to make sure the containment is as solid as we can get it. And then we're going to set up mechanical controls to help prevent cross contamination as well. This is generally going to be airstrubbers or negative air machines to basically put the area that we're working on under negative pressure. And really what that does is no matter what kind of containment we do, it's never going to be 100% perfect. There's always likely to be some air leakage. But if we can isolate that area and put it under negative pressure, if there are any gaps in that containment, it's going to be pulling air from the untreated area into the area that we're working on. Rather than moving air from the working area out into the remainder of the home. So regardless of what we're doing, that should always be the first steps for any real removal project or mold remediation project. From there it's going to come down to proper removal of the mold, which is going to depend very much on what surface it's growing on. So in most cases, it's going to be removing the building material. So whether it's drywall sheetrock, insulation, carpeting flooring, what have you, almost always that material is going to need to be removed. With the exception of very nonporous materials, it can be cleaned typically because with a non porous material, the mold is not actually growing into the material itself. It's growing on the dust, on the biofilm that accumulates on that material. So those typically can be cleaned, whereas your porous materials, your natural wood products, all that kind of stuff, most of that is going to be removed after the removal is done. At some point in the process there's going to be HEPA vacuuming. Typically at multiple points in the process where the areas are actually vacuumed with a HEPA filtration level of vacuum. They're also going to be sprayed and wiped down to physically contact remove as much of the biofilm and mold growth as we can. And then generally, once all of the physical cleaning and removal is done, almost every practice is going to end with an application of some form of disinfectant. Just as a really this is one of the ones where it can get very tricky with a lot of different companies. Unfortunately, there are some companies out there that will jump straight to the disinfectant portion and they'll just go in, they'll fog or electrostatic spray with the disinfectant and call it good. And that's definitely not anywhere near enough. But that should be a part of a good remediation plan as the final sort of catch all. No matter how much physical cleaning we do, there's always likely to be something left behind. So that is really what that disinfection steps for. It's just to kind of get that final step, try to get everything up and then typically it will be followed up by a final wipe down to remove any lingering disinfectant or anything that's been there.

[33:46] Leigh Brandon: So is it the disinfectant that you use on the non porous surfaces as well?

[33:52] Tim Swackhammer: Yes, it's generally going to be actually a combination. We typically will not start with a disinfectant. We'll generally start with some form. We have a variety of different products that we utilize, but some form of cleaner degreaser. Because really with that first step, what we're trying to do is physically remove it. We're not trying to kill it. We want to actually remove the biofilm and remove as much of the actual growth as we can. So that's better suited with a cleaner degreaser agent to really kind of break the bonds between the mold or the biofilm. And the surface, and then the disinfectant is more at the end to just kind of treat whatever might be remaining.

[34:35] Leigh Brandon: That's quite interesting because that's pretty much what we do as functional medicine practitioners. When we've got certain microbes in the body that are surrounded by biofilm, we do the same, pretty much the same thing. Probably not the same substances, but the process, the process is exactly the same.

[34:53] Tim Swackhammer: It's so important too. And it's interesting because it really came to light a lot with COVID as well, this whole idea of disinfecting. And it's funny, the electrostatic sprayers that we've been using for years shot up in price 400%, and we couldn't get our hands on basically any of them at the time. But really the whole idea of disinfecting areas just immediately came into the limelight and public started talking about it more and we saw some really terrible practices going on, people that would just go in and literally just disinfect and just fog areas and expect that to really work. And it doesn't. I mean, we always use the analogy with clients. If you go into a kitchen and you cook a big meal and you're going to create a huge mess, you're going to get splatters everywhere depending on what you're cooking. You're going to get oil and grease and all those kinds of things on all the surfaces. You can't just come in afterwards and spray a bunch of Lysol on it and go, okay, I cleaned the kitchen. That doesn't make sense. That doesn't work. And that's the same way whenever we talk about disinfecting, whether it's for COVID or disinfecting for mold, you need to clean the underlying surfaces first. You need to remove the biofilm, you need to remove that material, and then you can disinfect.

[36:10] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, that makes sense. Going back to where I used to live, I'm going back a few years now. So it suffered really badly from mold because it suffered a lot from condensation, which I think partly was due because it didn't have cavity wall insulation. So the walls were very cold. And then you have furniture up against the wall so there's no air flowing through, so you wouldn't necessarily see it unless you pulled furniture out. So for me, the wintertime, and this is what I was alluding to earlier, because I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing the right thing. As soon as I would start to see it grow, I would just get the bleach out and I would just start killing what was there. And at the time, I kind of thought probably not doing the right thing. It's probably not even safe for me to be doing it that way. But I didn't know what else to do. I guess what I was thinking of as well when you were speaking about the COVID situation and people spraying disinfectant around. Well, the other thing is, if you breathe that in, you're now killing all the microbes in your lungs and your nasal cavities, which are part of your immune system. I think they're still doing it in China. But that to me, was absolutely crazy because you're weakening. The one thing that you need to protect yourself against a so called virus right. Is your immune system.

[37:44] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, and that's the best case scenario. I mean, that's assuming you're using a disinfectant. Like, we have a variety of different ones because we deal with so many clients that have multiple chemical sensitivity, they may react to certain products and not to others. So we have a variety of different ones that we use. One that we use very commonly is hypochlorous acid because it's really one of the most I hate to use this term, but natural disinfectants that we can get, it's very easy to produce and it's very effective. And it's got compared to most out there, it's got a very good safety profile. So, yeah, if you breathe that in, at the bare minimum, you're killing the microbes in your system and you're potentially weakening it. But then you go into a lot of the other products that have been used for disinfectants and some of these have very harsh safety profiles. I mean, there was an article, ironically, I think I was reading, it came out in 2019 that was studying it was based on, I believe it was hotel and hospitality workers and high levels of cancer from cleaning materials that they had been using. Because obviously, if you're in the hospitality industry, particularly in, like, a housekeeping setting, you're using cleaners constantly. And even with spray bottles, without using really fogging implementations, they're still breathing a lot of that in. And a lot of these products can be rough. So we always strive to use the products with the best possible safety profile as well as using as little product as we can to be effective at what we're doing.

[39:24] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. I'd imagine your staff are wearing suits and masks and everything else.

[39:33] Tim Swackhammer: Full tievex suits, full mask respirators, organic paper filters, all that kind of stuff.

[39:38] Leigh Brandon: You don't mean the paper masks that have been sold?

[39:41] Tim Swackhammer: No, I generally prefer the cloth masks. You just chop the sleeve off your arm and wrap that around your head and go to town.

[39:51] Leigh Brandon: It's interesting. As well as you're speaking them something it reminded me of something in the local gym where I trained myself in the last two or three years. They brought in a rule, although I think they've technically dropped it, but a lot of people are still continuing with it, is that they've got all these bottles of spray hanging up when you walk into the gym, and you have to spray anything before you use it, and then you have to spray it again after you've used it. And I understand that people mean well, but I actually asked them to send me the ingredients because the skin on my hands when they brought it in because obviously it's. It's on the equipment. Yeah. And the skin on my hands started kind of it. It looks a bit like eczema, but it's not itchy. So I thought, there's definitely something my skin doesn't like.

[40:44] Leigh Brandon: And so they sent me the ingredients.

[40:47] Leigh Brandon: And I researched the chemicals, and about 90% of the chemicals were all toxic ingredients, and it's mainly an antibacterial. And you think, Why are you spraying an antibacterial? Because you're trying to stop a virus, but you're spraying and everyone's spraying it into the air as well. They're spraying it all over everywhere. And some people are still doing it today. They go up to a machine, they spray all over it. They use it for like 30 seconds. They're actually spraying the machine longer than they're using it. I'm really tempted to say to someone, do you realize that's poison you're spraying? And you're spraying it into the air and then you and everyone else has to breathe it in, and you're killing your own microbes that are important for your own immune system, so you're actually doing more harm than good. Yeah, but I don't say anything because I don't think people would understand even if I told them.

[41:44] Tim Swackhammer: And I haven't done the study. So take that for what it's worth. But I would love to take a few different gyms and test them with one group using that method and then another group just taking water with a little bit of soap and just spraying it down and wiping everything that way and see what the differences are. And my guess is you would have no difference in transmission rates between the two, because we know surface transmission hasn't been really much of a thing at all. And even if it was, COVID was painted to be such an engineered, gigantic, horrific, like the virus to end all viruses. And there's obviously some very awful aspects of it, for sure, and I'm not trying to downplay that at all. But as far as viruses go, it's not that hard to kill, it's fairly easy. It's similar to most other coronaviruses that don't live on surfaces for very long. They're killed very easily by UV light. They're killed very easily by pretty much any disinfectant, and they can be removed from the surface very, very easily with almost anything. So I think there was so much that we did that wasn't based in logic, reason or science, but was heavily based in fear.

[43:08] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, for sure. As you were speaking previously as well, you're talking about air conditioning units and it's quite interesting that I think it was last year, I went and looked at a house potentially to move into, because I was looking at having somewhere that I could have my own gym in the house. And it had a big kind of ground floor area and I thought that could potentially work. And it looked really good in the photos, as they generally do, but as soon as I walked through the front door, I could smell mold straight away because it was disappointing, because it did look really nice. Especially from the outside, it did look really nice. And I said to the estate agent, oh, I can smell mold. And she almost looked at me as if to say, and so what? And I was thinking, you clearly don't understand. And I did have a look around, and she was like, what do you think? And I said, well it's a bit moldy. And she's like, well, is that a problem? And I said, well, yeah, you don't want to live in a moldy home. And she went, oh yeah, it's the air conditioning unit, it leaks. And then I looked and you could see there was like a stain down the wall where it had been leaking. And she said, oh, don't worry, they'll paint over that. And I thought, really? Is that all they're going to do? So yeah, so that was a no for me.

[44:34] Tim Swackhammer: Unfortunately, it's very, very common that we see that practice in play jokingly. A lot of the forms and stuff around here called the landlord special of just, oh, there's an issue and just slap a coat of paint on top and good to go. And we know that doesn't work, it's not doing anything. And that's unfortunately, there's a lot of products out there that intentionally or unintentionally can go to perpetuate those ideas. I mean, here if you go to any home center, you can find mold killing or mold resistant paints, things like that, that people think will make that an effective practice. And it's just not it doesn't work the way that people think that it does.

[45:20] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, I actually had that on in one of my rooms where I used to live. And there was mould used to grow on it. It did used to come off easier, but mold still grew on it.

[45:35] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, I mean, many of them are just that they'll have an antifungal antibacterial, just basically a disinfectant baked in with the paint that as soon as you apply it and it dries, pretty much any of the actual killing properties are gone.

[45:50] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, something that you've touched on already. And I'm not sure if there's more to go into, but what are the main common sources of excess moisture?

[46:01] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, so we did hit on those quite a bit. I mean, really, it kind of breaks down into a few different categories. So exterior water infiltration is the first one that's going to be any of your foundation water issues. A lot of these can be maintenance issues that aren't addressed correctly. Old leaky windows, caulking that has been allowed to dry and crack and separate even surfaces. If you have a home that's got like wood siding keeping up on the painting, people think that that's just aesthetic, but it's not. The paint is an essential part to keep water out, keep moisture out. So a lot of those maintenance type problems. Same thing roofing, roofs that are not properly maintained, particularly the flashing around, any sort of protrusions in the roof. So any chimneys or anything like that, that's a very common area. Anywhere you've got two different sources anywhere you have two different surfaces that meet and that needs to to keep water out, that is a very common failure point. So, I mean, those exterior issues are very common. Then we've got what most people think of but is a lot less common and that's your interior pipe leaks, plumbing problems, those kind of things. I mean, they do come up for sure, but in the grand scheme of things, they're definitely a lot more common. And generally they tend to be noticed a lot sooner because almost always they're caused by something that people have done. Occasionally you'll get it. Like, again, today is a very cold day. It'll be caused by somebody leaving a door open and pipes are allowed to freeze, things like that. Or one that we see pretty frequently. Somebody's hanging something in their home and they put a nail or a screw through either a drain or a water line inside the walls. And that again, typically you'll notice an issue pretty quickly there and then the third category would be your humidity based problems and not going to I know I talked to decent bit before, but those are definitely some of the most challenging because they can be a lot harder to both recognize and to problem solve.

[48:16] Announcer: Get the Radicalhealth Rebel at Free head on over to our Patreon channel at www.patreon.com radicalhealthrebel. It's the only place where you can watch full length, completely add and sponsor free episodes of the podcast. Plus, you can join the Radical Health Rebel Patreon community where you can have a say in the podcast. Watch exclusive behind the scenes cliffs as well as early access to the podcast that's Patreon.com forward slash Radicalhealth Rebel.

[48:50] Leigh Brandon: Just a brief interruption to this podcast to talk about adult acne. Now, did you know that 40% to 54% of men and women older than 25 years will have some degree of facial acne? And that clinical facial acne persists into middle age in 12% of women and 3% of men? I know only too well the devastating effects that acne can have on your confidence and your self esteem and how it can easily destroy your social life, your career and your relationships. I know this only too well because.

[49:20] Leigh Brandon: I suffered from severe cystic acne from.

[49:23] Leigh Brandon: Age 13 to 31 over an 18 year period. I visited my doctor on many occasions and his only suggestions were acne creams, harsh cleansers and antibiotics that weren't working and were actually making my skin worse. After 18 years of struggle and thousands of pounds invested in treatments that didn't work, through my professional education, I began to learn that what my doctor had told me was untrue, and that diet was directly related to acne, plus other factors such as food sensitivities, toxicity, hormones, and balancing the body's microbiome. Putting what I had learned into practice, I managed to rid myself of acne over 20 years ago and have been helping others to do the same for well over a decade. By teaching people what Foods calls acne, what food sensitivities each individual has, how to optimize their detox pathways, how to reduce environmental stresses and toxins, and how to balance hormones, especially those related to the mTOR pathway, a major causal factor with acne. I've been able to help many other adults overcome their acne nightmare, too. So if you would like more information on how to overcome your adult acne, please go to www.skinwebinar.com. That's www.skinwebinar.com, where you can also request an Acne Breakthrough call with me to see if you are suitable for my Eliminate Adult Acne coaching program, where you could once and for all learn how to overcome your adult acne. Now back to the podcast.

[51:03] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, I'm not sure the person that bought my previous property, he was renting it out to other people. He wasn't living there. And I'm just wondering what the people that moved in after me would have done. Because you got to have something against a wall. They can't have everything in the middle of a room. And there were two walls that were on the outside of the building, so it was an apartment block, and those walls get cold. I had to dehumidify going 24/7 during six months of the year, and that didn't do the job.

[51:46] Tim Swackhammer: My gut reaction on something like that. And some of those properties are just hard. Like, there's there's some that were built at a time where it is very, very difficult to correct those type of issues. They just weren't built with that really in mind and dehumidification, thankfully. Now, there are some methods to adding insulation into older walls, even though I'm sure if it's that old of a property, they're probably very thin walls, so you don't have a lot of space for it. But there are some ways that you can add additional insulation which can help with those issues. But yeah, there's some properties that are definitely a lot harder to prevent issues than others.

[52:26] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, I mean, as a health practitioner, if I was working with someone that had health issues and they were living in a property like that, my advice would be do everything you can to move. Just move to a property where you don't have that issue. Let someone else deal with the issue. That wasn't why I moved, but it's certainly one of the benefits of moving that I no longer have a moldy home. But I would say to someone, even if you've got a mortgage on that property, rent it to someone else and rent somewhere else yourself. That's not moldy. Particularly if you've got a health problem, because you might find if you're constantly in that environment, your health problem is just not going to get any better. The analogy that I've used before on this podcast is if you imagine you're on a lake in a rowing boat and the boat springs a leak, you've got two choices. This is a health analogy that I often use. You can get a bucket and tip the water out, but you're going to have to continually keep tipping the water out because the water is going to continue coming in. And the analogy that I normally say is, well, that analogy is what the medical system do. They give you a bucket of water and you got to constantly tip the water out, which might be his medication that you got to take for the rest of your life. Whereas as a health practitioner, I teach people how to plug the hole. But when we're talking about mold in the home, you have to do both. You have to tip the water out and you have to plug the hole.

[54:05] Tim Swackhammer: It's something again, thankfully in the States we don't have as many homes that are, I would say similar in that way where we have a lot more new construction. So they typically don't have those same issues, but they've got a variety of different problems. I mean, we see one of the most interesting things as time has gone on, the building practices that we've used have changed pretty dramatically. And for certain periods we did things that we thought were really smart and in hindsight they were and they've continued to be used as building practices. And other times we've done things that in hindsight were really dumb and is not something that we should have continued using. And so much of it is also regionally based because we have to deal with different conditions outside. I mean, if you were to construct a home where I am in Pittsburgh and plop it down in Florida, it would be completely inadequate to dealing with hurricane force winds and the amount of rain that they have. Same thing is reversed. If you take one of theirs and put it up here, it would not work at all in the winter. The installation would be completely inadequate and you'd have a whole litany of different problems. But we do some of these things. I mean, we saw a big issue. There was a couple of different builders around here that for the sake of energy efficiency, homes have been being built more tight, more airtight year after year, which in general is a good thing and it can be great for indoor air quality, but if done incorrectly, it can also be terrible. And they had a practice where they were putting behind the drywall, they were putting a vapor barrier in which vapor barriers are commonly used both in the south where we've got continuous cooling seasons. So they're basically running their AC almost exclusively. And then in places like Canada, they're also commonly used where they're heating their homes almost exclusively. But in a mixed climate like ours, it's a recipe for disaster. Because regardless of where you put it, you're going to have water, you're going to hit condensation, hit dew point at somewhere in there, it's going to hit along that vapor barrier. And sure enough, so many of these homes that had, that had mold growth because humid air in the winter inside the home was just slowly going, penetrating the drywall, hitting that vapor barrier, hitting dew point because it's inside the wall and causing significant mold problems throughout the home. One family in particular, I remember, they only noticed it because at the corner of one of their windows, they started to notice some black on this side of the drywall. And then as we pulled that down and got into it, it was significant and spread much, much further than it initially looked.

[56:54] Leigh Brandon: Yes. So if someone smells mold in their home, how do they find the mold or indeed the moisture problem?

[57:04] Tim Swackhammer: So the first thing I always recommend is take a flashlight and look around. Just go through, particularly, like you mentioned, exterior walls. That's a very, very big one, both for humidity issues as well as for water intrusion problems. So move the furniture out away from the walls. Try to avoid storing things and packing things tightly against walls. The more air you can allow, the better, especially around here. We've got a lot of people that have basements, and they'll use basements for storage, which is fine, but ideally use plastic or use water resistant containers. Don't use cardboard. That's an amazing food source for mold. And they'll have cardboard boxes piled up against the basement foundation walls. So any humidity that gets trapped back there, any water from the outside that comes in, it just finds an immediate food source and is allowed to stay saturated and continue growing. So moving all those things away from the walls, if you smell anything, get back in there, take a flashlight, look as closely as you can. Most cases, especially if you think about areas that don't have a lot of airflow, you'll begin to find something or you'll start to identify it. If you don't, that's when it would be time to tap in a professional. Or if you do, that's likely time to tap in a professional as well. You'll just be able to be a lot more informed, which is definitely helpful.

[58:25] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, that's good advice. And what's radon gas and how does it impact health?

[58:33] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, so radon gas is something I'm really passionate about because unfortunately, it's something that a lot of people are very ignorant of. Now this is something that region, it exists in all 50 US. States and it exists in most parts of the world to varying degrees. Some areas have a lot more significant issues than others because radon is based on their geology. So radon is a radioactive gas. It's part of the decay cycle of uranium. So basically we have uranium in the soil beneath our homes that as it breaks down, it goes through its decay cycle if we go back to high school chemistry. And eventually in that decay cycle, it becomes radon gas. So radon is a gas. It comes up through the soil, through cracks in the bedrock, filters through gravel and soil and everything. Eventually, if it's existing under our homes, it will find cracks in our foundation, it'll find perforations in the foundation for plumbing, all those kind of things, and it will seep into our homes. And the problem is, whenever we breathe in radon gas, it continues its radioactive decay. It decays within our lungs, miss alpha particles that damage our lungs and can eventually cause lung cancer. So it's a significant issue. And one of the biggest problems with it is it is colorless, it's odorless, it's tasteless. We have no way of detecting it whatsoever with our natural senses. So the only way to know if you have a radar issue is to have it tested.

[01:00:07] Leigh Brandon: So is there a specific geographical region that is exposed to that, or is it everywhere?

[01:00:14] Tim Swackhammer: It can be pretty much everywhere. There are definitely some areas based on their geology that are a lot worse. And there are some areas that, based on the type of soil types they have, and everything, tend to have lower levels, but it can exist really anywhere. It's all about the actual makeup of the earth underneath your feet.

[01:00:36] Leigh Brandon: And is there any specific areas that are more likely to have radon exposure?

[01:00:41] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, so, for instance, us has some pretty significant issues. If you look up, you can google US rate on map. For most areas, you can find a rate on map, and it will typically be identified red, orange, and yellow. Red being the highest rate on concentrations, orange being the middle, and then yellow being the lowest. And what you'll see whenever you look at those for, like the US. For example, along the Appalachian mountains and everything. So it's sort of coming down from the northeast, down through Pennsylvania, through the Virginias into Ohio and all that. Down in the Carolinas, you'll see a very strong red streak through there. And then a lot in the northern midwest, you'll see some very, very high concentrations. Generally, once you get into your more southern states, texas, Florida, they tend to be a lot lower. But it can be problematic levels anywhere because it's so locally based. Unfortunately, there's a very common idea that it's very area based, which it is in general. But something we hear a lot is, oh, my neighbor tested for radon, and they didn't have a problem. So that means I don't either. And that really could not be farther from the truth. I was really curious whenever we initially got into it, I tested my house, my neighbor on one side, neighbor on the other side, neighbor across the street next to them, and then across the. Street from them. So I think it was a total of six houses that we tested, all within 100 yards, 100 meters or so of one another. And what we found was radar readings that went anywhere from basically right on the threshold of what the US EPA recommends for mitigation, up to five times the threshold, and some of them being right next to each other. So it's very, very much an individual issue based on your particular home and there's just so many different factors that go into it. The core one being what's the actual geology like underneath your feet, which you have no way of knowing. But then other factors like the construction of the home, the siding choices, all of those can impact how the how air pressure works in your home, because homes are subjected to what's known as the stack effect, which basically your house will act like a big chimney. So air will naturally move up from the lower levels into the higher levels of the home. And what that does is it puts the lowest levels under suction. So the more suction that the lower levels are under, the more they're going to pull in soil gases from the subsoil underneath the home. And that can be a huge factor in how much radon comes into your home and how high the levels get.

[01:03:35] Leigh Brandon: And is there any signs or symptoms that might alert someone to get tested for radon?

[01:03:43] Tim Swackhammer: So eventually you will start to notice again, respiratory issues, so it causes lung damage to sort of asthmatic type symptoms, coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, all of that. But that can take a while to develop. And really whenever we're talking about radon, but any environmental issue, it's exposure over time that's the problem. So it's the fact that we're living in our homes, we're spending so much time in them, more than we ever did in the past. We don't go outside anywhere near as much as we should, COVID somehow made that a lot worse, even though it should have made it better for a variety of reasons. And as we spend this much time in our homes, we're just constantly being exposed to it. And that prolonged exposure is really where the problem comes in.

[01:04:32] Leigh Brandon: So would you suggest that it would be quite prudent for everyone to test their home to raid on?

[01:04:39] Tim Swackhammer: I am a big advocate for that. I would at bare, bare, bare minimum check out throughout your local areas health authority or your nation's health authority, what the radon levels are in various areas. Almost every country that I've looked at, every developed nation has some information on radon in their area. And there's definitely some where it's probably not worth it. But particularly, to be honest, I'm a little ignorant on the EU nations in their individual areas, but I know everyone in the United States, everyone in Canada, 100% should test.

[01:05:17] Leigh Brandon: Got you just going back to mold what would you say to people who they see mold in their home and their solution is to stick on a pair of rubber gloves and rub it down with bleach? What would you say to those people?

[01:05:36] Tim Swackhammer: So I'll start with the most generous version. If it's on a completely non porous surface, if you've got it growing on, say, like sealed porcelain or a lot of sealed tile, those kind of things, metal, glass, anything like that. Like a lot of times we'll see it in bathrooms, for instance, where it's on, you've got like a fiberglass tub and you've got some ground there. Honestly, it's not that terrible of an idea because really what you're doing there is you're cleaning the film that's on top of it, you're removing that and the mold is not able to grow into those surfaces. So if it's a situation like that, go to town, do what you can to protect yourself. I would definitely recommend wearing a mask. The best quality that you can keep the area ventilated. You should have a vent fan in the bathroom.

[01:06:25] Leigh Brandon: So what mask would you recommend?

[01:06:27] Tim Swackhammer: And 95 or better? Yeah, yeah. And 95 for mold is not necessarily the best you can get, but it's the best that most people are going to have common access to. And yeah, I mean, one of those surfaces, turn the open the window, turn the vent fan on, try to get as much ventilation and everything that you can. But if you're doing it in that type of situation, you're probably okay. Same thing a lot of times. We'll see, and I don't spend a lot of time talking about these, but there's a variety of different TikTok videos and some YouTube channels that will focus on mold in other areas, like mold and appliances and things like that. Like around refrigerator seals and coffee makers and all those kind of things. My advice on those would generally be the same because typically where you're seeing it on there, it's going to be on silicone or rubber or plastic, those type of surfaces. Do what you can to ventilate it and keep yourself safe. But in general, those are cleaning. And with most of these types of situations, it is a cleaning and maintenance problem almost exclusively. So if you keep up on cleaning, you keep up on removing the biofilm that exists, you're not going to have a mold problem. It's whenever you neglect that, that those can come up. Now if you're doing that and it's mold on drywall or sheet rock or anything like that, that's definitely not something I would recommend. That's where I would recommend at bare minimum, contact a licensed, regulated mode professional and get their advice on it before you proceed with something like that. Because unfortunately, in some circumstances, you can probably do it and you'll probably be okay. Might not be the worst thing, but there's other situations, like, again, going back to the one where they had the vapor barrier inside the wall, you would very quickly open up a tremendous issue by trying to clean it and do any sort of removal on your own without proper containment. And again, during that removal process, whenever a professional is removing mold, they're removing drywall, they're removing trim, any building material like that, they're doing it under proper containment, proper mechanical controls, and they're using techniques to minimize the creation of dust and how much of it becomes airborne. But the containment and the mechanical controls also help to minimize the dust and keep it under control whenever it is created. Because no matter what, if you're cutting out building material, you're going to create dust, you're going to stir up these issues a lot more. So I mean, if we were able to do a real time monitor of mold levels during a remediation project, they would start out very low whenever it's not being touched. They would skyrocket as we begin the removal process. And then they would go back down and go down to levels lower than they initially were at the end and post the remediation.

[01:09:35] Leigh Brandon: So what would be potentially the danger of someone slapping on some rubber gloves and getting some disinfectant and rubbing down their drywalls? What would be the negative effect of that?

[01:09:48] Tim Swackhammer: So, first and foremost, you're not doing much of anything. You're really not going to kill much of it. Bleach, for instance, it's basically a one to one ratio between the bleach molecules and the mold spores. So you will kill some mold, but that mold can also release mycotoxins as you're doing it, which is why we don't, by default, kill it. We want to remove it. Once the bleach has lost its potency by killing whatever mold it comes into contact with, what's left is tons of water. So you've now fed the mold that's there. And in all likelihood, it's probably not just on the surface. It is likely more significant than that. It's likely going into the building material or coming from the other side of the building material. And you're just now seeing it. This is something we see all the time, is somebody will call us up because they see just a little bit of mold. It'll look like kind of an arc of mold coming up from the top of their baseboard. They're like, oh, I just have a couple of inches. It's not a big deal at all. And sure enough, there's water coming in from behind that wall, whether it be an exterior wall and they've got some sort of water intrusion or something. We remove the baseboard. Baseboard is covered in mold. It's just that, that's where it had finally wicked high enough up the wall that you can see it. And then we cut into the drywall and the cavity is absolutely filled. And what you don't want to do is be in a situation where you go, it's like pulling the thread on a sweater. You just start with something small that you think is innocent and then before you know it, the whole thing is unwound. And you've created a bigger issue because it's almost always done without proper containment. So now everything, you've just taken an issue that was relatively contained and you've exposed your entire home to it.

[01:11:37] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. So what's next for you, Tim?

[01:11:44] Tim Swackhammer: So next for me is we're looking to continue growth for our company, both with our Pittsburgh office, but we started franchising last year, so we currently have one franchisee and we're looking to continue to grow that because I feel what we're doing is really, really important. There's a whole lot of customers that we've been able to help in the Pittsburgh area that I know exist outside of our area, and we want to be able to continue to serve them. So I thought the best way that we can do that is through franchising. It's done amazing things for my family from a business perspective and I think that that's a great opportunity for others that want to get into the industry, want to help people, they can do that and really make a difference.

[01:12:28] Leigh Brandon: Is that just us wide the franchise at the moment?

[01:12:32] Tim Swackhammer: Yes. So right now we're completely in the US. From there we'll see where it goes.

[01:12:39] Leigh Brandon: And are there any particular regions that you think might be a very good business proposition for people?

[01:12:46] Tim Swackhammer: I mean, mold exists everywhere. We're particularly looking at northeast and going down south, so everywhere from Maine to the Carolinas over, I mean, really kind of anywhere, but particularly anywhere you've got mold issues, which is most everywhere in the states and world.

[01:13:09] Leigh Brandon: Probably the only place that might not be too great is Antarctica because there's not many buildings there. Yes, there's not many buildings.

[01:13:17] Tim Swackhammer: Might have a little shortage of customers.

[01:13:21] Leigh Brandon: Awesome. So where can the audience get more details about your program?

[01:13:28] Tim Swackhammer: Yeah, so if you just go to moldmedics.com that'll have all the information about us, or Moldmedicsfranchising.com will take you to details about our franchising opportunities and then you can find us on all the usual social media sites as well. We've really been making an effort to expand our presence, particularly on YouTube. And really a lot of 2021 for us in or excuse me, a lot of 2022 for us. And big focus in 2023 is expanding our education. So making sure that we're trying to get as much great content as we can out to people so they can feel empowered and really a lot more confident whenever they encounter a mold or indoor air quality issue.

[01:14:09] Leigh Brandon: Yeah, that sounds great. Tim, thank you so much for taking your time out today. One of the reasons why I started this podcast is so I can learn from my guests and I've definitely learnt some things from you today, which is great. And to all the radical Health Rebel Tribe, if you know someone that would benefit from watching or hearing this episode. Please make sure to share the love and forward it on to them. After all, the mission of this show is to help people lead a more fun-filled, healthy, productive, fulfilling and happy life. And if you'd like to support the podcast, you can @ patreon.com/Radicalhealthrebel, where you can also receive lots of other exclusive premium content, including unedited, full length ad, free video episodes monthly, ask me anything, Q and A sessions, and discounts on my coaching programs. So that's all from Tim and me for this week, but don't forget, you can join me same time, same place, next week on the Radical Health Rebel podcast.

[01:15:08] Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with Leigh Brandon. You can find Leigh at www.Bodychek.co.UK that's BodyChek.co.UK. Please hit the like button and share on your social media and with someone you feel will benefit from watching this episode. So together we can help them lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling and happy life.

Tim's background
What health problems do mold cause?
What is mold?
How do you know if you have mold in the home?
What procedures are required to fix a mold/moisture problem in the home
What are the common causes of excess moisture in the home?
How to find the moisture problem in the home
What is Radon gas and how does it affect health?
Should you use bleach on mold in the home?