<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Mold Remediation - Green Remediation: Bamboo Flooring and Eco Friendly Paint





Property Remediation


This is a section I had not planned to write, but I believe my experiences will help others.

When the house flooded, it was the part I like best that was damaged.  The house is a very ordinary house, mostly lacking inspiration and imagination.  I thought this could be added at my leisure, like the once a year when spring fever hits.

The oak floors happened to have been superbly installed.  Oak floors are normal in houses in this part of the world and I hated to see so much beautiful wood hauled off to a dump, but it had warped significantly.  I hated even more to have more trees sacrificed to replace the floors.  I am, after all, a passionate environmentalist.

I researched each measure taken, probably spending more time than most people would on such decisions.  I ended up with bamboo floors and not just bamboo but bamboo flooring that is made with environmentally sensitive people in mind.  In case the terminology is new to you, "environmentalist" and "environmentally sensitive" do not mean the same thing.  An environmentalist is someone with a concern for the environment and planetary ecology.  An environmentally sensitive person often has chemical sensitivities that limit his or her ability to adapt to normal spaces.  These people have to be careful of the building materials, furniture, and cleaning agents in their personal living spaces.  I was not at the outset of my journey suffering from such sensitivities.  I had just finished a seven-week trip in which I adjusted easily to various hotel rooms and restaurants, but I am also a health care professional and recognized that prolonged stress can affect anyone's elasticity and capacity to adapt.  This is basic knowledge in my world, and I perhaps add a few unique twists to what is general knowledge by recognizing the link between the sense of smell and the adrenal glands.  The more stress we are under, the more sensitive we are to odor.  A point can come for anyone in which there is no more resilience.  Very good adaptogenic herbs relieve some of these symptoms, but the cure, as always, is to eliminate the causes, not treat symptoms.


I have birds and needed to replace my floors with something that did not require sanding and varnishing.  The dust, noise, and vapors would have put the birds and me over the edge.  Bamboo is not a wood.  It's a grass.  It grows very fast and when mature tends to fall and crush younger growth so it has to be harvested to protect the new growth.  It comes in two colors, natural and amber, sometimes called "carmelized."  I chose natural because it is light, very clean looking, and it reflects sunlight in a manner that is endlessly entertaining to me.

I ended up with prefinished flooring.  It costs more at the supplier and less to install so it comes out about the same as the one that requires finishing after installation.  Prices vary quite a bit, but it is comparable to oak.

If anyone wants to explore bamboo, the two suggestions I would make are: (1) find out what is used to laminate the bamboo, and (2) open all the boxes of flooring outdoors and dispose of the plastic and cardboard.  These are sprayed with horrible chemicals before being shipped from China so even if the flooring is "eco safe," the containers are not.

For the record:  I used something called Timbergrass from Bainbridge Island.


To lay the floors, the baseboards had to be removed (actually, the kitchen cabinets, appliances, and everything had to be removed.)  When the baseboards were put back, they were full of marks from pry bars and they did not fit exactly where they were before.  This meant everything needed to be painted . . . and there would be more vapors.

Once again, I researched my options and found there are eco paints with very low VOCs.  I picked the color and left the contractor with detailed instructions (which he didn't follow) about the paint and my birds.  I came back to a nightmare.  He had bought the cheapest paint he could find because he could not understand that the paint would affect not just me (and I was gone for all of 2-3 days) but my birds and me for years to come.  I felt terribly betrayed and violated.  So, I had to do more research, this time to see if painting on top of lousy paint would mask any of the odor.  I decided to give it a try.  It helped a lot.

If I had it to do over again, I would not only have bought the paint myself instead of just picking up a chip at the designated store, but I would add colloidal silver to paint to see if the paint had higher fungicidal properties than without the silver.

For the record:  I used Benjamin Moore's Eco Spec paint.


When remediating or remodeling, the goal for most people is to improve the property, not necessarily to increase the monetary value but to enhance one's enjoyment and appreciation of the home.  What I have discovered is that with each carefully considered measure, the house has become less adversarial.  It has been an irritating place, not only because of the stress of the flood and insurance company but because so many unconscious construction materials were used.  If you have a chance to go more green, you will notice the difference immediately and be glad for the extra effort you spent on cleaning up your living space.


Ingrid Naiman
27 November 2005

Sacred Medicine Sanctuary



Notice:  The material on this site is based on the personal experiences and research of Ingrid Naiman, the site owner.  While every effort has been made to present accurate information, neither the site owner or web service provider claim the material will prevent or cure any medical condition, and no responsibility for the application of the information on this site is assumed by the any of the parties providing the content on this site.  None of the statements made on the site are intended to replace the services of health care or mold professionals.

Disclaimer: The information on this site has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.