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Sick House?

March 20, 2012

We live in an old semi-detached house at the foot of Bukit Timah Hill.. the house actually is on a very gentle slope.. love the air here specially in the morning and late evenings. The park/playground is green and beautiful.. its the closest thing to home.. Most Singaporeans and residents live in HDB or condominiums but a few (like us) still stay in landed properties like this.

I cannot say this enough, that this house was a blessing to me and my family, as at the time I was pregnant with Zarah (about the same time when I accepted Christ), I prayed hard and fast, that the Lord guide me to a house wherein I can raise my child as wholesomely as possible. It is a 3 room rectangular semi-detached row house..unfurnished and very bare. No fancy ceilings, chandeliers, no built in cabinets. Just the bare necessities. We love the neighbors, the environment (we are at the foot of Bukit Timah Hill).. lots of opportunities for early morning walks .. I love everything about this small estate….except perhaps the feeling that there is “something” in the house that makes us unhealthy and the interior of the house is thread bare..

I never paid attention to the state of the house (whether it is “sick or not”) until Nanay was diagnosed with Cancer and zarah started getting this alternate dry/runny nose and red itchy eyes… which our naturopath said could be due to mold or fungi and maybe something that they frequently get infected with in the house. He said, I have done a good job in strengthening their immune syste, but its most probably more effective to remove the culprits once and for all..Our naturopath referred me to a mold specialist, who came in to test only the humidity level in each of our rooms, for which he declared is normal. However, at the time when he made the test, our aircon units were just replaced.. so am sure the vents are quite clean and the aircon units were effective in controlling the humidity in the air. He did not inspect the ceilings or the walls though, as would a real mold expert like the following would perhaps do:

“Singapore is a hotspot for mold. Why? because Singapore have a very high humidity level and can even reach up to 95% and prone to mold/fungi growth. Because Singapore is very near the equator and surrounded by bodies of water. Mold thrives in hot humid climate”

one of the mold inspectors responding to me via email, says:

Dear Lanie,

Thank you for calling mold busters,
As spoken, we understand that you suspect mold growth
present in your rented apartment.

Our minimum mold inspection charges is S$150.
The procedures of the inspection as follows:
– Visual assessment of mold
– Thermal scanning of house infrastructure for defects
– Perimeter check using RH equipment
– Identifying the sources of mold growth
– A detail report with remediation recommendations (if necessary).

We also provide Air Sampling test (optional at client’s request) to
ascertain the concentration of mold spores and species of mold
present in the premises.
Although only some mold are toxicgenic, all mold are allergenic.
Hence with high concentrations of mold count, it may pose
health hazard if not remediated.

Our air sampling test price is as follows:

Initial sampling test (1 sample test) S$250.00 nett
Subsequent sample test S$100.00 nett (next sample test and so on)

The air samples will be sent to US laboratory for analysis, results
will take 8 working days. Thereafter a report will be submitted to
client along with the necessary recommendation.

What if I just move house? Move to an HDB or condo perhaps?

1. HDB can be cheap? not quite. so not an option for me at the moment
2. Condo units (haven’t really tried looking for one yet, but am pretty sure is outside of my reach

We have viewed a few HDB units already, but everytime I view an HDB unit I feel more convinced that we should stay in our current place and move only when I can buy my own flat.

But what about the mold issues? Can you believe that I actually prayed to God to ask even about this seemingly mundane issue? thought the Bible would have nothing to say about Mold and Mildew…

Last week, I blogged about my spiritual hunger, that state wherein I know that I am at a loss without that intimate relationship with God… I was wondering, where I would turn to about issues such as mold and mildew not even mainstream doctors give a damn…Mold inspection services can also cost an arm and a leg.. so I want to make sure I am making the right decision before I park my money to things such as mold inspection and mold removal..

I flipped through my Bible, silently praying that the Lord guide me to the answers to my questions (questions that I cannot even form yet on my head).. then I saw it.. Leviticus 13.. its so simple it does not need any further interpretation…

Leviticus 13:47-59
Regulations About Defiling Molds

47 “As for any fabric that is spoiled with a defiling mold—any woolen or linen clothing, 48 any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather— 49 if the affected area in the fabric, the leather, the woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a defiling mold and must be shown to the priest. 50 The priest is to examine the affected area and isolate the article for seven days. 51 On the seventh day he is to examine it, and if the mold has spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather, whatever its use, it is a persistent defiling mold; the article is unclean. 52 He must burn the fabric, the woven or knitted material of wool or linen, or any leather article that has been spoiled; because the defiling mold is persistent, the article must be burned.
53 “But if, when the priest examines it, the mold has not spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather article, 54 he shall order that the spoiled article be washed. Then he is to isolate it for another seven days. 55 After the article has been washed, the priest is to examine it again, and if the mold has not changed its appearance, even though it has not spread, it is unclean. Burn it, no matter which side of the fabric has been spoiled. 56 If, when the priest examines it, the mold has faded after the article has been washed, he is to tear the spoiled part out of the fabric, the leather, or the woven or knitted material. 57 But if it reappears in the fabric, in the woven or knitted material, or in the leather article, it is a spreading mold; whatever has the mold must be burned. 58 Any fabric, woven or knitted material, or any leather article that has been washed and is rid of the mold, must be washed again. Then it will be clean.”

59 These are the regulations concerning defiling molds in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean.

Oh Lord, thanks for your guidance, thank you for being concerned about the most mundane things in our lives. what we should eat, what should we use to heal our sickness and how we should deal with things that defile us on a physical level and spiritual level. I know Lord that your message today, is not just about Mold and Mildew in our Clothes and Houses, but also the mold, mildew and black spots in our soul and whole being..that while we are trying to clean our environment and heal our bodies physically, we also strive to heal our spirits…for the meantime Lord, please help me find the right mold inspector (one who will thoroughly inspect the house for free- knowing that we are not exactly cash rich and are just getting by due to cost of cancer treatment – even if it is non-conventional)…a mold removal specialist who would only charge us for the materials they need or will not cost us an arm and a leg. I remember Lord, that You have answered our prayers before for a pro-bono nurse to help monitor Nanay’s health during her 40 day fast.. Lord this time, we are asking for your Grace again to help us go through this..

Lord continue to guide me in maintaining a good relationship with my landlord, that he will be cooperative and help in bearing the cost of repair.. specially in replacing badly damaged roofs, water pipes and the kitchen windows, as well as the actual mold removal. Please help him realise that mold and mildew can cause his properties to quickly deteriorate and that it causes sickness to his tenants. May he also help to remove mold & mildew in all of the other landed properties he is renting out (specially the one that Kuya Andy – a thymus cancer patient, is currently staying in).

On our part, we will also get rid of a lot of old furnitures and other stuff that could be breeding grounds for mold, mildew and fungi. In the same way, that I would try to remove the annoying attitudes that I have, which could infect other people at home, in my workplace and my community. In the same way, that I would be cleaning my internal body (the house of my soul & spirit), through fasting and getting rid of internal fungi/toxins.. Help or direct me to someone who can help to inspect my sould & spirit and guide me to another round of renewal. Without Your help Lord, I know that I would not win this fight.

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