Blog Articles About Condensation


Could Mold be Hiding in Your Home? Learn How to Find Out

Mold 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.

 

 


Why is Condensation a Problem?

Condensation Problems Can Cause Mold Growth

Condensation - Mold Solutions NWCondensation occurs when warm water vapors, such as steam, turn into small droplets of water as it comes into contact with a surface that is cooler.

It’s never a good thing when a homeowner discovers condensation in their home. A little moisture on your windows or even your walls doesn’t seem like it could be too important, but condensation is a sign of problems, either now or in the near future.

There is even some condensation you may not see, because it can accumulate on fabrics, carpets or even clothing and is absorbed, leaving the item damp.

Why is it a problem?

Because it originates inside your home, it has been called “The enemy from within”.

When condensation forms and is allowed to continue, meaning the reason for its existence isn’t dealt with, it can cause destruction in your home that can be very costly:

  • Structural damage to your roof
  • Warped wood
  • Wood rot
  • Peeling or blistering paint
  • Energy loss
  • Mold growth and damage

Which is the Biggest Problem?

In my opinion, the damage to your home, your belongings and your health caused by mold growth is the biggest problem that condensation can cause.

Mold thrives on warm damp surfaces. As the moisture from condensation, that takes place on a regular basis, remains, organic surfaces absorb the dampness. Mold spores, that are always floating in the air, have the opportunity to take hold and begin growing and reproducing.

You may think that the moisture on your windows won’t effect other parts of your home, but if the moisture is allowed to remain, it is the prelude to mold.

The Key to Condensation Control…

Control your humidity level:

  • Open Window Prevent Condensation - Mold Solutions NWMake sure your attic and crawlspace is ventilated properly
  • Periodically open your fireplace damper and your windows to improve ventilation
  • Keep warm, moist air out of the house by always using ventilation fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Don’t “air” dry your laundry indoors.
  • Use a dehumidifier

When you realize that even your breath can cause condensation, I would say overall, good ventilation is the key.

 If you have a condensation problem, chances are  you also have a mold problem…


How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

How Long Before Mold Starts Growing?

Image of Mold Grows Fast - Mold SolutionsNWBecause mold is both damaging and dangerous to property and people, it’s important to pay attention to any evidence that it might be growing in your office or home.

Too much water is the culprit:

Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, from flooding to leaks in pipes to too much humidity in the air.

It doesn’t take large amounts of moisture to cause water damage; accumulation of condensation on windows or an undetected drip from an under counter pipe is all that’s necessary.The perfect environment for mold growth has been created.

Mold grows fast

Once water damage has occurred, there is a small window of time, 24-48 hours, before mold will begin to grow, and once it begins it spreads quickly.

As you can see from this brief time lapse video of a 2 week time span, mold grows rapidly once it begins.


Should You Use a “Mold Test Kit” to Identify Mold?

Are Mold Test Kits Effective at Identifying Mold? Image of Mold test kits aren't helpful - Mold Solutions NWIn an effort to save money, many people invest in Mold Test Kits for the home. Some kits advertize results in 48 hours, while others go so far as to say that in 5 minutes you can swab and and have results.

After hearing these types of claims, a well known phrase comes to my mind: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

The other thing that comes to my mind is: Are you going to risk possible health problems by using a 5 minute mold test kit?

Unfortunately I need to tell you that most of these kits are a waste of money, especially when you will probably end up hiring a mold inspector anyway.

A waste of time and money

  • Although these kits can give you a few answers, some that you most likely already know, they can’t provide the whole picture.
    • Basically they test only for the presence of mold…mold is always present, so this is not new or helpful information.
    • When the mold test indicates the presence of mold, it doesn’t mean you have a mold problem.
    • These kits, because they will almost always test positive for mold, strike fear in the hearts of homeowners who now think they have a mold problem, when they don’t necessarily have one.
  • Mold kits do not inspect the entire home or building.
    • Image of Mold Inspectors locate the problem - Mold Solutions NWMold inspectors, using their expertise of building construction and problematic situations that encourage mold growth, will examine the structure inside and out, looking for such things as:
      • Poorly ventilated attics and crawl spaces
      • Cracks in the foundation that can allow moisture in
      • Leaks in plumbing
      • Condensation, excess humidity
      • Inadequate outside drainage that doesn’t move water away from the house.

Here is what I think…

As a certified mold inspector, I recommend that you do not waste your efforts on mold detection kits. Not only do they provide you with information that you already know, but they won’t identify what the problem is that started the mold and how to effectively resolve the issue.

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.


What are the Dangers of Mold Spores?

What are Mold Spores?

Without mold, leaves would be slow to decompose - Mold Solutions NWIf it were possible for mold spores to remain outside, we wouldn’t worry about them quite as much, because when they are outside they are actually performing an important function.

Unfortunately, they don’t remain outside, they come into our homes and businesses continuously.

Mold is a fungus that benefits the environment by breaking down animal or plant matter which is slow to decay, such as:

  • Leaves
  • Wood
  • Food

Without the help of mold, we would be overcome with leaves and wood, that needs help to decompose.

But that’s outside…inside, mold spores are not helpful.

Mold spores inside our homes

Mold spores have one function; to breakdown organic materials. So whether they are inside or out, they seek out moist, nutrient rich surfaces where they can grow and produce more spores.

In our homes some of their favorite breeding grounds are:

  • Poorly ventilated or insulated attics and crawl spaces
  • Continuously moist wood caused by condensation on windows or leaks under sinks
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Carpets

Mold Spores Cause Health Problems

Because symptoms of mold exposure are so similar to the common cold or allergies, many people don’t realize they are having a reaction to mold.

Mold exposure can cause headaches - Mold Solutions NWKeep in mind that colds and seasonal allergies don’t last for 12 months of the year.

So if you are experiencing such symptoms as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, wheezing and even chronic headaches for prolonged periods of time, you are possibly feeling the effects of mold exposure.

For some, the exposure is more dangerous; it can trigger asthma attacks, other respiratory problems, predominantly affecting infants, the elderly and people who have weakened immune systems or respiratory conditions.

Usually when the mold is remediated, people who have these symptoms recover just fine, but there are people who have been exposed for too long and have never fully recovered.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as these and you’re in the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma, give me a call for a free assessment…so you can breathe easy!

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