Breaking The Mold

Surrounded by water and fields, and prone to storms and floods, Long Island is a haven for toxic mold and mycotoxins, which can trigger allergies, respiratory illnesses and serious infections. Rick LaPierre, president of the National Association for Moisture Management, explains the most effective—and safest—way to get rid of it.
ROSS BLECKNER “Specific and Anonymous” 96” by 60” (229cm by 152cm) oil/canvas 2002 Copyright: Ross Bleckner Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York 2002

By Fernanda Niven

FERNANDA NIVEN: What is the best way to protect a house from mold?

RICK LAPIERRE: First of all, mold is not our enemy. If mold were eradicated from the planet, we’d all be dead. You just don’t want the mold [levels] to elevate indoors. What most people don’t realize is that you can have a house that looks phenomenally clean, and the owners are sicker than a person who lives somewhere with mold all over the wall. Why? Because the mold isn’t really making you sick—it’s the levels of mycotoxins [toxic substances produced by molds]. And that’s going to be the problem. And if you have Lyme disease or an [autoimmune] illness and you’re in a mold environment, my hat goes off to you—it’s like getting knocked out by Muhammad Ali.

FN: Can you explain what is different about the kind of remediation you do?

RL: There are two types of remediation. Traditional remediation, which is 95 percent of the remediation work in the U.S., does not work—it can actually make the problem worse, plus it doesn’t get rid of the mold completely, so you’re going to have regrowth.

Bioremediation, which is what I do, uses an enzyme wash to get rid of those toxins. Our wash, TM-100, is a proprietary blend of enzymes that are on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” list. It is an organic-based product that remediates toxic molds growing on surfaces and in the air. Basically, I’m using nature against nature. It “digests” everything—mold, mycotoxins, bacteria and odors.

FN: Can bleach get rid of mold?

RL: No. bleach is 90 percent water, so you’re just giving the mold a way to grow.

FN: What’s the best thing to do if you if you have an ongoing health issue or suspect that your house might have mold?

RL: You need to find someone who can take the time to find out the source of the mold. If you have had a water incident of any kind that went on for more than two or three days, you will have an elevated mycotoxin issue and an elevated bacteria [problem]. That’s because when someone asks, “Did you have a flood?” people think “No,” not realizing that a leak can be just as big a problem.

Also, get your air conditioners serviced annually, and create airflow in your house. I also would recommend getting a fan and an air purifier. For more information on TM-100 enzyme wash, go to