Blog Articles About Prevent Mold


Can You Paint Over Mold?

Is It a Good Idea to Paint Over Mold?

Image of Don't just paint over mold - Mold Solutions NWIf you have mold growing on your walls, don’t be tempted to “just paint over it” hoping that will get rid of the problem for you…it won’t. What seems like a good idea is really an effort in futility.

Although there are paints designed to inhibit mold or mildew growth, they are not designed to stop it once it has begun.

Mold must be killed, you can’t just cover it because before you know it, it will resurface right through that new coat of paint, cause it to peel and continue to grow and destroy.

Mold Survival

Like all living organisms, mold survival depends on moisture and food, and the food it focuses on is your home. Finding organic materials in your home, such as wood, fabrics, insulation or wallboard, it begins the process of decomposition, which is what it does best.

When mold is outside, it’s decomposing characteristics can be very beneficial, but when it has the opportunity to reside in your home, it can be very destructive as it weakens your home’s structure or destroys furnishings.

Other Dangers

Mold is not only dangerous to your home, but can also create health risks as its tiny spores circulate through the air and are inhaled, which can be especially bad for the elderly, the very young or people who already have respiratory problems. Some of the problems it can cause or increase are:

  • Problems breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Symptoms that resemble the flu
  • Even learning disabilities

Controlling Mold Growth

You can’t get rid of all the organic materials in your home, but you can control the moisture that encourages mold to begin in the first place.

  • Image of Good ventilation helps prevent mold growth - Mold Solutions NWOpen windows as often as possible to increase good airflow in your home.
  • Repair leaks of all kinds – it only takes about 24-48 hours for mold to begin growing, the sooner you repair your leaks the better.
  • If you have had water damage of any kind, especially to carpets, fabrics or upholstery, be sure to to not only get them dried and cleaned as soon as possible – don’t forget the short period of time it takes mold to start.
  • Check your attic and crawl space to make sure they are well ventilated and have good airflow.
  • Always use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms to vent excess moisture outside.

For your peace of mind and the safety of your health and home, if you think you have a mold problem, give us a call, and have it remediated properly.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma

 


What’s the Best Way to Fight Mold in Seattle?

How do you Fight Mold?

Image of How Can You Fight Mold? - Mold Solutions NWObviously the best way to fight mold is to prevent it from ever getting started in the first place. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

We can’t run and we can’t hide, mold spores are not only insidious, but they are everywhere and always with us.

During the winter months, especially in the Seattle area, mold can become a real problem as furnaces are turned on, doors and windows are closed and humidity levels increase. These are indoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Are we safe during the summer?

That being said, you might think that during the summer months mold would die, but that isn’t the case. During the summer months we experience hot humid days; these are outdoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Whether in the winter or the summer, excess humidity in our homes is mold’s best friend. It has been estimated by George Tsongas, a Portland State University professor emeritus, that nearly 1/3 of the homes in the Pacific NW have mold or mildew problems.

One out of 3 homes is an extremely high number, and unfortunately, most of those homeowners don’t even realize they have mold. Once you have it, it doesn’t go away on its own. It will probably be necessary to contact a mold inspector and professional remediator.

If you don’t have mold, or you have had remediation, to keep mold from beginning or coming back, it is absolutely imperative to control the moisture in your home.

An instrument called an hygrometer can check the humidity levels, which should be kept below 50%, although most of us are more comfortable when they are lower than that.

Suggestions to lower humidity

  • Always use exhaust fans in your kitchens and bathrooms.
    • Image of House Plants create humidity - Mold Solutions NWThese fans should vent to the outside.
  • If your home has naturally high humidity, you could purchase a dehumidifier.
  • Keep in mind that too many house plants can cause higher humidity as they give off moisture.
    • Just remember how humid it felt the last time you were in a greenhouse.
  • Never store firewood in your house; as it dries it gives off moisture.
  • Leaky faucets should be repaired.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t wait, give us a call…

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma
We can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

 


How to Remove and Prevent Mold on Windows in Seattle?

Is That Mold on Your Windows?

Condensation encourages mold growth - Mold Solutions NWDuring the winter season we experience not only a chill, but also dampness in the air.

With the cold air outside and the warm air inside, with our homes closed up tighter, and our furnaces running, many of us are plagued by foggy windows or even worse, wet windows, better described as condensation.

Condensation can accumulate only in a small area on the window, or it can cover it completely, either way, condensation is a warning that there is too much moisture or humidity in your house.

We all know that too much moisture encourages mold growth.

Mold on your windows

If you have noticed little black spots appearing on your windows, obviously you’re seeing mold. When mold grows on non-porous surfaces such as glass and tile, it’s relatively easy to remove.

But if you’re seeing condensation and mold growing on your windows, chances are it could be growing in other places, places that are not so easily cleaned and it’s more difficult for mold remediation.

Why do homes get condensation?

  • Older Homes are prone to condensation because they weren’t built as well as homes are today…they aren’t sealed up as well which causes drafts. The cold air from the outside enters the home, mixes with the warm humid air of the inside and the the water vapors turn to liquid.
  • Cooking steam can cause condensation - Mold Solutions NWNewer Homes, because they are built better and “tighter” than older homes are less drafty, so you would think that would solve the problem. But actually the lack of draft can contribute to condensation. The moisture in the home is basically trapped because the home is so tight, and when you cook, use moisture creating appliances or showers, excess moisture is created with no where to go.

So whether you have a new home or an older home, it’s possible to have mold growth due to condensation.

Steps to control condensation:

  • When you’re cooking, always run your ventilation fan.
  • Also run the ventilation fans in the bathroom when showering or bathing.
  • Turn your humidifiers off during the winter.
  • Check to make sure both the attic and crawl space of your home are well ventilated.
  • Open your fireplace vent periodically to give excess water vapor an escape route.

If you have a mold problem, the best way to insure its total removal is to call a qualified mold inspector and solutions provider to test and remove properly and thoroughly.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider, who can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.


Do You Have Air Pollutants in Your Home? Learn What To Do

Indoor Air Pollution Facts

Air Pollution is indoors as well as outdoors - Mold Solutions NWWe’re all aware of the many air pollutants we can come into contact with when we are outdoors: smog, smoke, and carbon dioxide to name a few.

We’re also aware of the respiratory health issues they can cause us. So as a society we do everything we can to keep the air we breath as clean as possible.

Are we as cautious in our homes? Are we aware of the indoor air pollutants that we encounter every day?

Time Spent Indoors

As Americans, we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors” – Aileen Gagney, Program Manager for Environmental and Lung Health for the WA American Lung Association.

The air we breathe every day, all day and all night is basically trapped inside our homes, and according to Gagney, it can be even more polluted than the outdoor air. Haven’t you ever noticed how good it feels to open a window and breathe in some fresh air?

Poor Air Quality in our Home Can be Caused by:

  • Cigarette Smoke causes indoor air pollutants - Mold Solutions NWSecond hand smoke
  • Household cleaning products: Bleach, aerosol spray cleaners, air fresheners
  • Paints
  • Formaldehyde
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold

Mold is probably one of the most insidious of all these pollutants, because it’s almost impossible to entirely eliminate its presence in our home. Mold spores are always in the air outdoors, and every time we open a window or a door, they float inside.

When the spores find a cool, poorly ventilated, moist, organic area, they can begin to grow and reproduce more spores which begin to spread through the air…and the cycle continues.

Breathing the floating spores into our lungs is what causes respiratory problems in so many people. Those who have to be especially careful  to avoid mold are:

  • Mold affects the very young - Mold Solutions NWThe very young
  • The very old
  • People with asthma
  • People who already have respiratory problems

Although you can’t totally eliminate mold in your home, there are things you can do to minimize its growth.

  • Keep the humidity in your home at about 40-60% using dehumidifiers or air conditioners.
  • Always run your kitchen fans when cooking or running the dishwasher.
  • Always run your bathroom fans when bathing or showering.
  • Repair leaks immediately.
  • Don’t use carpeting in the bathroom.
  • Be aware of musty or stale smells that could indicate mold growth.

If you think you have mold growing in your home, don’t ignore it, call a certified mold inspector to assess the problem.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider, who can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

Don’t wait until you have mold associated health issues, if your nose and your eyes have alerted you to a possible mold problem.


Stop Mold

Is There a Way to Stop Mold?

Blue Cheese is made with moldWhat do you usually think when you think of mold?

“Yuk”!

Then you begin thinking of ways to stop or get rid of it

But there are types of mold that are good, and some that are extremely important to us:

  • We use mold to create some types of cheeses like Brie, Gorgonzola or Blue cheese.
  • It is used in brewing beer.
  • We use is to make penicillin.

Unless you are allergic to these things, the mold in them is perfectly safe.

Unfortunately, all molds are not created equal, and there are many that are harmful, especially when they grow undetected in your home or at your place of work.

The problem with mold

Mold spores drift through the airMold finds it’s way into your home as tiny spores drifting through the air. (Think of how a dandelion spreads.) As they land on surfaces such as carpets, wood, insulation, wallpaper and other organic surfaces they can begin to grow.

If our homes have moisture or high humidity along with a warm environment, we provide mold with the perfect conditions for growth and reproduction of more spores – re-starting the cycle.

In the Seattle area, with our humid fall and winter seasons, mold is a constant threat, especially in our bathrooms and showers.

One family I know has a small bathroom off their master bedroom that has just one little window and no ventilation fan. Their ceilings and walls, no matter how often they clean them, are constantly covered with mold. Once it starts is spreads quickly.

This family, like many others wonders, can we stop the mold?

Although we can never totally get rid of mold spores, there are ways that we can control it’s growth.

Because mold thrives on moisture, when we control that, we make it much more difficult for mold to grow indoors.

  • Monitor your home’s humidity: Moisture meters can be purchased at many hardware stores.
  • Steam adds to humidity to cause moldHave proper ventilation: Make sure your laundry, your showers and your stoves are vented to the outside.
    • It’s also a good idea to run your kitchen ventilation fan while running the dishwasher.
  • Keep good air flow in your home: 
    • Keep doors between rooms open as much as possible for good air movement.
      • It’s even helpful to open closet doors.
    • Open your windows occasionally, even in the winter to let fresh air in.
    • Don’t keep your furniture pushed up against the walls.
  • If you love houseplants, add a little Taheebo tea as you water them, it will help keep mold from starting in the warm, moist soil.
  • Check you roof and attic: If you have a leaky roof, mold will start growing in your attic.
  • Don’t store firewood indoors.
  • Repair any plumbing leaks.
  • Make sure your crawl space is well insulated and ventilated.
  • Vacuuming regularly helps remove mold spores.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t panic, but don’t wait either.