Breathe Clean Air

How Clean is the Air You Breathe in Your Home?

BreatheCleanAir-MoldSolutionsNWThere is all kinds of talk about the outside air we breathe…is it clean; is it free from such things as the toxic emissions from cars, manufacturing pollutants or even outdoor burning?

But have you ever considered the air you breathe in your home where air quality can be just as toxic or worse and detrimental to your health as those things we have mentioned above?

Sources of indoor air toxins:

Although you are usually not aware that you are breathing in toxins in your home, believe it or not, they can be found in every room. They can come from:

  • Your pet
  • Your fireplace
  • Space heaters, water heaters and furnaces
    • Many of our appliances release gases and particles that we breathe every day
  • Cleaning products
  • Dust mites
  • Carpet
  • Plastics
  • Certain building materials
  • Mold spores

Just as you can suffer from chronic illness, your home can suffer from chronic poor air quality…sometimes called “Sick Building Syndrome”. Although that may sound funny, to people whose health is affected by it, it’s no laughing matter.

Bad air quality can cause:

  • Cold symptoms that won’t go away, such as coughing and sneezing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Frequent and lasting headaches
  • Asthma -If you already have asthma it will increase your symptoms

These conditions affect the elderly, the very young and those who already struggle with some of these issues the most.

How to improve the air quality in your home

Regular cleaning is a great way to improve the condition of your home’s air. Although frequent dusting and vacuuming is important, it’s also important to have your furnace and your air ducts cleaned regularly.

Use your ventilation fans whenever you’re cooking or showering. Good ventilation in your home can help eliminate humidity issues which help cause dust mites and mold growth. If your home seems to always have high humidity, using a dehumidifier can be very helpful.

PreserveAairQuality-MoldSolutionsNWChoose your cleaning products carefully. Beware of those that might contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including ammonia and bleach. Choose products with low or no VOCs and avoid aerosols and other sprays.

Keeping your pets clean can help reduce allergy causing dander.

No smoking in the house.

Grow live plants in your house. There are several plants that can help remove the pollutants that fill your air: The Peace Lily, Dracaena, English Ivy and Areca Palm to name a few.

If you think you have mold that is causing poor air conditions in your home, it may cause serious problems if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


Mold in Your Home

Could Mold be Hiding in Your Home?

HidingMold-MoldSolutionsNWAll too often, when a home has mold problems, the mold is found hiding in places you don’t often look at. By the time its presence is detected, it has had a chance to really take hold and do damage to your home and possibly your health.

It can hide:

  • Under sinks around leaky pipes
  • Between walls
  • Under carpets or other flooring
  • In damp basements
  • Around your window sills
  • Even in your furnace
    • Mold can grow in the areas of your furnace’s duct work where dust collects. Then as you turn on your furnace and warm air begins circulating through your house, so do the mold spores that have begun growing.

If mold is hiding…how do you know it’s there?

Mold is not only ugly to look at (it can be pink, green, gray, white or black), but it has a distinctive odor. If you have ever smelled moldy food from the refrigerator, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a dirty, musty, moldy, unpleasant smell. It can often be smelled before it can be seen.

These odors are a strong clue that mold growth has begun, and it’s something that should not be ignored.

Another indicator that you have hidden mold in your home is if one or more persons develop cold like or allergy like symptoms such as sneezing, runny or itchy eyes, nasal congestion or a runny nose.

If these are symptoms you already experience, it may cause you to think this is normal. But if your symptoms are worse when you are in your home or business and they ease up or go away when you leave, it is more than likely that your symptoms are brought on or made worse because you are being exposed to mold.

Other signs of mold…

  • How Does Mold Grow - Mold Solutions NWPeeling, cracking or bubbling paint
  • Peeling or discolored wallpaper
  • Walls that bow or bulge
  • Walls or surfaces that always feel damp
  • Discolored or stained walls
  • Continuous condensation around windows or pipes

Mold can be a serious problem if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


Mold Allergies

Are Your Symptoms Caused by Mold Allergies?

Mold Allergies - Mold Solutions NWDo you feel like you are “doomed” to live with cold symptoms forever? Is it one of those seasonal colds  or sinus infections that you just can’t get rid of?

  • You’re sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Congested
  • You have watery itchy eyes
  • You have constant postnasal drip
  • Irritated throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritated Skin

Maybe it’s not a cold or sinus infection at all…maybe you have a mold allergy. Mold allergy symptoms are frequently thought to be cold symptoms, the big difference is that cold symptoms eventually go away – mold symptoms remain as long as you are exposed to mold spores.

Does Mold Affect Everyone the Same?

Not everyone has an allergic reaction, but those who do can become very uncomfortable, even to the point of becoming very ill. In fact, if you’re someone who suffers from asthma, exposure to mold may cause your asthma symptoms to get worse.

People who are at the highest risk of health problems from mold are:

  • The very young
  • The elderly
  • People who already have respiratory problems such as asthma, other allergies or emphysema
  • Weakened immune systems such as people going through chemotherapy, those who have HIV and those who have had organ transplants.

How Does Mold Make You Ill?

Mold is a living organism (a fungus) that grows and reproduces as tiny, microscopic spores are formed and released into the air. As the spores land on a surface that offers them what they need to live, moisture and organic materials for food, they can begin to grow.

Because mold spores are always in the air around us, whether we are inside or out, they can find their way into our bodies naturally as we breathe. This usually isn’t a problem unless the mold spore levels are too high.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that just don’t seem to go away, you should examine those places where you spend a lot of time, home or work, to see if there is mold growing there.

Look in places

  • Mold on Ceiling - Mold Solutions NWWhere there might be water leaks
  • Where there may have been flooding
  • On your walls or ceilings
  • In your carpet or behind your wallpaper.
  • In your basement or crawlspace

One family had a leak from their dishwasher they weren’t aware of. Over time, the linoleum on their kitchen floor started turning gray. As they investigated and found the leak, the mold on the linoleum and on the plywood flooring became evident and had to be replaced.

You may need an expert to locate and determine the extent of the problem.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


Dry Water Damage Quick

How Quickly Does Water Damage Need to be Dried?

Water Damge - Mold Solutions NWWhen most people think of water damage, the first thing that pops into their mind is damage from floods. Floods are devastating, and happen only periodically…but there is water damage that happens frequently, is more common place than floods and can cause a great deal of damage.

  • Leaking pipes
  • Recurring condensation
  • Frozen pipes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Overflowing toilets, sinks or tubs
  • Leaking shower stalls

Whether the water damage comes from one source or another really doesn’t matter, unless it is dried out completely and quickly it can result in damaged carpets, flooring and furniture, all of which can lead to costly repair bills.

Another damaging side effect of water damage…

Mold growth is another by-product of water damage that hasn’t been dried out soon enough or thoroughly enough. Not only will mold damage your possessions, but it can damage your health as well, causing or increasing respiratory problems, headaches and other illness.

I keep saying how important it is to dry things out as soon as possible because mold can begin to grow in a very short period of time, between 24-48 hours. And once it starts, it can spread rapidly.

Prevent Mold

The best way to prevent mold is to go to the root of the problem, find out where the water damage is coming from and eliminate the source and get things dry.

If the damage is larger than you can handle, you should contact professionals who will come in and take care of things properly.

One family had just moved into their brand new home. They had installed a Jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom and decided to let their children be the first to use it. With their swimming suits on, the water heated, they were ready to take the “plunge”. Just as they were climbing in, they heard a loud “pop” and the water level began going down. Some of the plumbing had broken, and 500 gallons of water emptied out onto the master bedroom floor, then down through the ceiling into the kitchen and from the kitchen if flowed into the crawl space.

The homeowner quickly called a water damage restoration company who told him to immediately rip up all the carpeting and carpet pad and toss it outside. Several fans were set up inside the home to help with the drying out process, carpets were cleaned, dried and stretched and insulation from the crawl space had to be replaced.

Water Damage Can Start Mold - Mold Solutions NWAlthough the family couldn’t avoid all the damage, they were able to avoid the beginning of mold growth and the damage it would have caused.

Once water damaged is discovered, acting quickly can help you prevent the onset of even more extensive damage.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 


Bathroom Mold

How Can You Get Rid of Bathroom Mold?

Bathroom Mold - Mold Solutions NWMold has plagued people down through the ages, you can even read about how to properly handle mold in the Book of Leviticus in the Bible.

Because, unlike plants, mold (which is a fungus) does not make its own food, it depends on organic materials to sustain itself and grow. It’s sole purpose is to help dead bugs, trees, and leaves to decompose. Can you imagine a world where mold isn’t doing its job…it would be covered with all kinds of dead stuff that hasn’t been broken down and returned to its natural state in the environment.

So as long as mold is outside, doing what it’s intended to do, everything is fine. But the minute mold spores enter our homes, and it does every time a window or door is opened, it begins to grow and destroy the things we don’t want it to, like our walls, ceilings, draperies, paint, wallpaper, carpets, and because it can be toxic, our health.

Mold in the Bathroom

One of the easiest places for mold to get started is in your bathroom where it will often find excess humidity, dampness and plenty of organic material to feed on.

If mold needs organic material to feed on, why do you find it growing on non organics like bathroom tile, windows or mirrors? Because, if a non porous surface is not cleaned regularly, oils can build up on them, which mold can feed off of.

Surfaces such as these can be easily cleaned with disinfectants, and if your bathroom has a tendency for mold growth, frequent cleaning is a must. If it’s not cleaned off immediately, because it grows so fast, mold can move to walls, ceilings and flooring where real damage will begin.

Tips to control mold in your bathroom:

  • Bathroom Fan Helps Stop Mold - Mold Solutions NWDecrease humidity by always using ventilation when showering or bathing.
    • If your bathroom doesn’t have an exhaust fan…get one installed, and at the very least, open windows.
  • Clean surfaces on a regular basis with a product that will kill the mold.
  • Do not have carpet installed in your bathroom. Several years ago it was a trend to carpet your bathroom, but obviously with all the wetness and moisture in the air, it’s not such a good idea.

If you find mold growing on the walls and ceilings in your bathroom, there is probably a deeper problem that needs to be addressed, and this type of mold growth will need stronger measures than a disinfectant to remove it permanently.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.