Blog Articles About Crawl Space Ventilation


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.

 

 


How Quickly Does Water Damage Need to be Dried?

Dry Water Damage Quick

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.

 


How Can You Get Rid of Bathroom Mold?

How do you remove mold in the bathroom?

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.


Is It Necessary to Call a Mold Inspector in Seattle?

Do You Need to Call a Seattle Mold Inspector?

Mold Inspector - Mold Solutions NWDo you know what mold looks like?

Do you know all of its hiding places?

Do you recognize its odor?

Do you know how to safely treat it?

Do you understand how dangerous it can be?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then there is probably no need for you to call a mold inspector.

But just keep in mind, mold is often hard to see, can be dangerous to your health, won’t go away if left untreated, and can be difficult to remediate without the proper knowledge and tools.

Hire a Mold Inspector when…

  • You have had a flood or water damage…you only have 24 hours after the damage has been caused before mold begins growing
  • You smell a musty odor that you can’t find where it’s coming from, and no amount of cleaning makes it go away
  • You’re going to purchase a home, new or used
    • Even new construction can have mold growth
  • You have a leak that has been active for 24 hours or more
  • You notice water stains on your walls and ceilings
  • Your paint is bubbling up or your wallpaper is discolored
  • Your foundation is cracked or there is seepage into your basement or crawl space

Mold  Inspection Companies

Hiring a mold inspector can save you time and money.

Mold Inspectors Save Time and Money - Mold Solutions NWTime because they know where to look, and Money because they will let you know if cleaning up the mold is something you can do.

If your mold problem requires professional remediation, they know how to do the job safely by isolating the affected area tp prevent mold spores from spreading to other areas, and by proper removal of damaged materials and thorough cleanup once the job is done.

They also know how to do the job effectively, by applying an anti-microbial to prevent the return of mold.

At Mold Solutions NW, we are so confident of our treatment, we offer a 10 year warranty.


How to Remove Mold in Seattle?

What is the Best Way to Remove Mold?

Mold Removal - Mold Solutions NWOver the years, and especially recently, there have been many products and “home remedies” developed to remove mold. But the truth is, unless the mold you want to get rid of is growing on food in the refrigerator or on a non-porous surface such as tile or glass, removing mold is a more serious issue than a “home remedy” can fix.

The mold that homeowners and business owners need to be concerned with is the type of mold that feeds on organic materials and moist warm air. It usually begins with water damage to your home or business from:

  • Natural disasters such as Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina
    • But they don’t have to be large disasters, they can occur on a smaller scale, such as one company that was located in Redmond, WA, had their office flooded with only about 2″ of water when a storm drain backed up. By the time the water was finally removed, and the carpets dried ( about 2 days) mold had begun growing on the walls around the baseboards in several places.
  • Sewage backup
  • Leaks in the plumbing or from the roofs
  • Too much humidity…homes or other buildings that are not well ventilated and allow moisture to build up
  • An overflowing bathtub, shower or sink that hasn’t been dried immediately or thoroughly
  • Dark, damp crawl spaces or basements

Once this type of mold growth begins, the best and safest way to remove it is to have it professionally done by trained, certified mold remediators.

Why hire a professional?

To begin with, a trained mold remediator understands the serious health issues and damaging effect on your home mold can have if left either untreated or treated improperly.

  • They know how to locate mold that may be hiding in places you might not think to look.
  • They also locate the source of the excess moisture that has encouraged the growth to begin with.
    • It is a waste of time to remediate the mold, if the problem that has caused it is not addressed.
  • Remove Mold Safely - Mold Solutions NWThey understand the importance of totally isolating the contaminated area so that as they work, mold will not travel to other areas and begin growing there.
  • When possible, the affected areas will be treated with a professional strength mold remover. But if the mold can’t be remediated in that way, the contaminated materials will be removed, bagged and sealed and discarded.
    • In the example of the business above, the damaged wallboard had to be cut out and replaced.
  • Using a HEPA vacuum, the entire job site will be cleaned from all debris.
  • The affected area is then treated with an anti-microbial that is non-toxic and non-VOC emitting to prevent the mold from returning.
  • A final inspection is completed to make sure all signs of mold are gone and that all materials used in remediation are disposed of.

These are the processes that Mold Solutions NW use to guarantee your safety and good health. We offer a 10 year warranty for your peace of mind.