Blog Articles About Air Pollution


How Clean is the Air You Breathe in Your Seattle Home?

Seattle Indoor Air Quality Guide

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.

 

 


Types of Mold

Are All Types of Mold Dangerous?

Types of Mold - Mold Solutions NWIt’s amazing to note that there are over 100,000 different types of mold that we co-exist with, which makes it all the more understandable to realize that mold is everywhere and is always with us.

And although we shudder when we think about living with mold, many of its species are harmless and serve an important purpose in our environment.

Along with the harmless mold, there is also the toxic type, which can cause health issues, some of which are quite serious. When toxic mold spore levels are low, there is not much risk to your health, but when the levels increase you may experience such symptoms and illnesses as:

  • Headaches
  • Increased asthma symptoms
  • Infections
  • Respiratory problems
  • Rashes

The elderly, the very young, and people who already have pre-existing conditions such as auto-immune deficiencies or respiratory conditions are especially affected.

The 3 Major Mold Groups:

These mold groups are the most common and are the ones that will jeopardize your health.

  • Allergenic mold – Typically this type of mold will not cause severe illness, but rather cause scratchy throats, irritated eyes and nose and skin rashes.
  • Pathogenic mold – This mold can cause infections and more severe health issues especially for people who have HIV, Auto-Immune Disorders or who are currently having chemotherapy treatment.
  • Toxic mold – This type of mold actually produces toxins that are harmful. Luckily they are rare, because they have been linked to cancer and in rare cases, death.

Toxic Molds

Black Mold - Mold Solutions NWThere are 2 types of toxic molds:

  1. Stachybotrys, which is more commonly called black mold. (Just the name sounds ominous!) Because it is difficult to find, which gives it the opportunity to easily grow and reproduce, black mold is extremely dangerous. Unlike other molds whose spores float easily through the air, when black mold spores are damp, they become sticky making them harder to detect with air quality sampling. A lethal toxin, it has been known to be fatal to animals and cause extreme health conditions in human.
  2. Memnoniella, like Stachybotrys, is a contaminant and also thrives on organic, wet materials such as fabrics, wood, and wallboard. Their toxicity and danger are also very similar.

If you are experiencing health issues that you can’t explain, or you think you have toxic mold growing in your home, you should contact a certified mold inspector and remediator to assess your situation.

Because mold is so easily spread, and you’re not trained to locate, recognize and remediate mold, it’s probably not a good idea to tackle the job yourself

 


Can Asthma be Linked to Mold?

What should you know about Asthma and Mold?

Image of Mold increases risk of asthma - Mold Solutions NWAsthma is a disease that has no boundaries. It can affect the old as well as the young; affecting the lungs, it makes it difficult to breathe for millions of Americans. It is incurable, chronic and can be life threatening.

Here are some interesting statistics:

  • Asthma rates have tripled during the last 20 years, and many can be directly linked to mold exposure
  • Mold contributes to poor indoor air quality, which is the cause of 94% of all respiratory problems
  • 35% of all adult onset asthma patients can be attributed to workplace mold exposure
  • Thousands of lawsuits over mold are filed every year

Asthma in a nutshell…

Inside our lungs we have small tubes through which air passes called airways. The airways of an asthma sufferers are typically inflamed and swollen, which makes them sensitive to things and situations such as illness, weather, smoke, dust, and many other pollutants.

These “triggers” cause the airways to create extra mucus and become even more swollen making breathing extremely difficult and the person then has what is called an asthma attack.

The role of mold

This is where mold enters into the picture. As we know, mold is a fungus that is always present indoors and out. As it grows, it reproduces by growing tiny spores that are expelled and travel through the air until they find a damp, warm place to take root and begin growing and producing even more spores.

Mold Infected Airways - Mold Solutions NWThese mold spores contribute to poor air quality in our homes, businesses and other buildings. As people who suffer from asthma breathe in spore infested air, their airways become irritated and breathing becomes difficult, sometimes almost impossible.

Everyone, but especially people who have asthma, should avoid prolonged and constant contact with mold.

If you have recently developed asthma, or your symptoms seem to be increasing, you should consider the idea that you are being exposed to mold, and it’s making you sick.

Make sure your environment is healthy and safe for breathing…Call us right away for a Free Assessment.


How Do You Find The Source of Mold in Your Seattle Home?

How to find the source of mold?

Mold is frequently found when people are remodeling their homes. Because it is often necessary to work with and around the house’s structure, signs of mold that would not normally be seen become very visible.

One such homeowner in the Seattle, WA area began a remodeling job on their home and discovered a great deal of mold growth in their crawl space.

I think you’ll find these before and after pictures very interesting.

Before our team did their job:

Image of Mold on Joists and Walls - Mold Solutions NWThis is what one typical crawl space looked like, the mold was caused by a lack of proper ventilation. We work with the best insulation companies in the State; they come in and extract the insulation and put the correct ventilation in, sealing ducts if necessary to further diminish moisture getting into the crawl space.

Then after we do our job, they come back in and replace insulation up to code, making sure you get any available rebates from your energy company and saving you big bucks on your future energy bills!  And you also get peace of mind knowing your indoor air quality is much cleaner because of our team efforts!

Protecting the air you breathe

Image of Protecting your home from mold spores - Mold Solutions NW

Have you ever noticed when you bite into a powdered donut, the powder flies everywhere!  Kind of like when you disturb mold, the spores like to fly everywhere, and we like to keep that under control and make them go where we say. Tough on mold, easy on the environment.

Our Team

Image of Mel the Mold Lady - Molds Solutions NWWe are proud to say that all of our remediators are certified. Its dirty work but someone has got to do it!

But really, each of our team has got to pass a rigorous certification program, we don’t hire just just anyone, plus they all wear the proper personal protective  equipment.

Our Tools

Image of HEPA vacuum and filter - Mold Solutions NW

After containment, we vacuum every surface with specialized High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuums, designed specifically to capture mold spores. Then we scrub and treat with a fungicide, then apply a stain remover, then finish off with an anti microbial which deters future mold from being able to grow. We can warranty the areas we treat for ten years!

The Finale

Image of Free from mold - Mold Solutions NW

Happy Healthy crawl space …so you can breathe easy!

 


How Does Mold Affect Children in Seattle?

What is the Effect of Mold on Children in Seattle?

Image of Mold increases risk of asthma - Mold Solutions NWPeople are more concerned today than ever about pollutants in the air, about the environment and the effect these two things have on them, and especially on their children. And we should be concerned.

One of the environmental and air quality issues that should be at the top of our list is mold. Because mold spores are always around us, the chances of long term exposure is high. It just takes the right environment for mold to take hold and start growing, growing in places you may never think to look at.

Along with the elderly and those with existing respiratory problems, children, especially young children, are one of the most likely groups of people that mold can have an adverse effect upon. Some of the problems that young children can develop from mold have been known to last throughout their entire lives.

What are the problems?

Just the smell of mold puts a child at risk for respiratory problems, especially asthma. In fact it has been estimated that the odor can increase their risk of asthma by 2.5 times. If, because of family genetics, meaning their parents have a history of allergy or asthma, not only are they more prone to developing these conditions naturally, but the presence of mold in their home or school will increase their risk.

This makes total sense when you consider that as mold grows, it emits a gas into the air, which is what we are smelling. Then combined with the fact that mold spores, which are allergens, traveling through the air are inhaled, sensitivities can develop.

What is asthma?

To begin with, asthma is incurable, it can be treated and managed, but never totally cured.

The disease affects the airways that allow us to breathe. The air passages of an asthmatic are inflamed and swollen, making them very susceptible, whenever allergens are introduced, to become even more swollen and narrow, restricting the passage of air, causing:Image of Asthma causes trouble breathing, coughing and wheezing - Mold Solutions NW

  • Tightness of the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing

Young children’s bodies, especially their immune systems, are still developing, they’re not physically prepared to deal with the negative effects of continuous mold exposure, the damage it can do may be with them for a lifetime.

What is the quality of the air that you and your children breathe on a daily basis?

If you have mold, or even think you have mold in your home, don’t risk future health of  your children. The smart thing to do is call a mold inspector to determine if and why you have mold growth and then remediate it.

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.