Category: Fungus Posts


Weakened Immune Systems and Mold

Is Mold Exposure Dangerous to People With Weakened Immune Systems?

MoldandHealth-MoldSolutionsNWThe answer to that question is a resounding “yes”!

Although continuous exposure to mold growth is hazardous to everyone, the level of risk for people with weakened immune systems is definitely higher than for those who are healthier.

By inhaling or simply touching mold or its spores, allergic reaction may be experienced, and for those who suffer with asthma, mold can increase the asthma attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have weakened immune systems are more likely to get mold infections, which could lead to hospitalization or even death.

Who is at a higher risk of mold infection?

  • People who have cancer.
    • People undergoing chemotherapy.
  • People who have had organ transplants and are on medication that typically weakens the immune system.
    • People who are on antibiotics.
  • People who have aids.
  • People born with weakened immune system issues.

Because mold is a fungus, and reproduces by emitting its tiny spores into the air, another term for mold infection is fungal infection. As the spores are inhaled, they make their way into your lungs which is where most fungal infections begin.

Protecting Yourself From Mold Infection

Obviously, mold exposure can be a real health hazard and is a situation that should not be ignored. There are signs of mold growth that you can recognize:

  • Black Mold - Mold Solutions NWBlack or white spots growing on walls, ceilings, under wall paper or on furniture.
  • A dank musty smell – you can’t always see mold…it can be found lurking under counters, behind furniture, inside the walls, but you can often smell it in areas that it’s growing.
  • Mold can grow just about anywhere there is a lot of moisture or humidity, a nice warm temperature and little sunlight. Some of the most common places it’s located are bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and basements.

You can control mold in your home by:

  • Making sure you have good ventilation and air flow.
  • Repair leaking plumbing right away.
  • Don’t let condensation from your windows build up on your windowsills…dry them off right away.
  • Keep furniture a few inches away from the walls to encourage good airflow.
  • Always run the exhaust fans in your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.
  • If there has been flooding, even minor flooding, be sure it is dried thoroughly immediately…mold can begin to grow in about 24-48 hrs.

Symptoms of fungal or mold infection may include: headaches,  difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, skin rashes and congestion. Unfortunately these are symptoms for many other conditions, so oftentimes they get ignored because “they’ll go away soon”. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you have a weakened immune system, you may want to consider the idea of mold exposure, especially if there have been signs of mold growth in the home.

The first thing you should do is have trained professionals inspect your home for mold, and get their recommendations on how to remediate it. Removing the problem in your home may not be the only solution to get rid of our symptoms, consult with your doctor who may have anti-fungal medication.

If you think you have a mold problem:

Contact us  – Mold isn’t always easy to see, but 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.

 

 


Mold in Shower

Is Mold in the Shower Dangerous?

Mold in the Shower - Mold Solutions NWWe’ve all seen and shuddered at the development of mold on shower tiles, around shower doors and in the caulking round the base of the shower. In a place designated for our cleanliness, it just seems wrong that mold would be growing there.

But of all the places in your house, the bathroom, and more specifically the shower, provides some of the best conditions for the growth of mold.

Mold needs a moist, warm place to grow and thrive…what better place than in your shower, it’s the perfect breeding ground.

But is this type of mold dangerous to your health?

Types of Mold

There are two types of mold that are considered toxic and harmful to your health:

  • Stachybotrys
  • Memnoniella

The type of mold typically found in your shower or bath is Cladosporium, which feeds on soap scum, and as a rule is not considered toxic.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t address the problem and get rid of the mold, because some people who are extremely sensitive and who may already have pre-existing respiratory problems may experience intensified symptoms.

It’s unhealthy to live around and breath in the spores of any type of mold.
All mold is a fungus, why would you want any of it growing in your home?

Removing the mold

It’s much easier to remove the mold from a solid piece of tile or shower surround by using a nice stiff brush and a good disinfectant, than it is to remove it from grout or the caulking around the doors and the floor.

Cleaning Mold - Mold Solutions NWWhen you do clean the mold from the walls, always protect yourself by using gloves, having good ventilation and never combining chemicals.

To clean the mold from the caulking, you will probably need to remove all caulking, clean the area well, and then let it totally dry before applying a new bead of silicone.

If you have mold growing on other porous, organic surfaces in your home, such as walls, ceilings, carpets or wood, you will not be able to “clean” it up safely, thoroughly and permanently yourself.

Give us a call for a Free mold assessment


Mold and Pregnancy

How Does Mold Affect Pregnancy?

Pregnancy and Mold - Mold Solutions NWMore and more people are coming to the understanding that exposure to mold can cause many health issues, especially for young children, the elderly and those who already have respiratory problems.

With that in mind, the question now is will mold negatively affect your pregnancy and your unborn child?

Unfortunately, there has not been a great deal of research done on this topic. There has been animal research that has shown there are risks of birth defects if the animals have eaten moldy food, but nothing has been determined about airborne mold exposure.

Is It Coincidence?

There have been many women who, during the time of their pregnancies were exposed to mold for extended periods of time, either experienced miscarriage or had a child born with a birth defect. But science has not validated the idea that these situations were caused by or linked to mold exposure.

What we do know…

We do know how mold can affect those of us who have already been born.

  • We know that mold is a fungus and is around us all the time.
  • We know that it’s good for the outside environment, but not for us.
  • We know that it grows by sending out tiny spores into the air we breathe.
  • We know that continuous exposure to these spores can cause health problems:
    • Increased asthma attacks
    • Mold Can Cause Eye Irritations - Mold Solutions NWEye irritations
    • Allergic reactions
    • Coughing
    • Sneezing
    • Wheezing
    • Respiratory problems
  • We know that mold should be removed as soon as possible

Our Conclusion:

It may be a coincidence, but we really don’t know. Even though there is no research that proves mold exposure is harmful to your unborn child, why take chances?

Protect yourself and your pregnancy, have the mold remediated


Dangerous Mold

How Dangerous is Breathing Mold

Mold Decays Leaves - Mold Solutions NWFall is fast approaching, which means leaves are falling and decaying, and people are having allergy and asthma attacks.

The decay is caused by mold doing it’s job, feeding off the organic plant matter and turning it into organic compost.

When this natural cycle occurs outside people with allergies can become very uncomfortable, but when mold is growing and feeding off the organic materials in your house, it is not only uncomfortable, but can become dangerous.

About Mold:

Mold is not like typical plants that produce their food by means of photosynthesis, mold is a fungus that must find its food to survive, and it will find it in dark, moist, warm places…that’s where fallen leaves, over ripe fruit and your water damaged wallboard comes in.

As mold finds its food source, the process of decay and destruction begins.

How Mold Grows

Your home can be the perfect environment for mold to grow, like you it likes nice warm places with moist air. And like you, it will thrive when conditions are just right.

As mold grows, it spreads by sending out tiny seed like spores that travel through the air looking for the same conditions. This process happens rapidly, in fact if you have had water damage and haven’t thoroughly dried out everything that got wet, mold will begin in about 24 hours.

Some molds produce mycotoxins, which are dangerous to human beings, and are all but impossible to destroy. If we have mold in our homes, when we breath the air, we are also breathing in the mold spores and possibly dangerous mycotoxins.

Possible Health Problems Related to Mold:

  • Mold Can Cause Health Problems - Mold Solutions NWRespiratory problems – trouble breathing, allergies and asthma
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sinusitis
  • Digestive Problems
  • Depression
  • Aching joints

If you’re experiencing poor health symptoms that you can’t explain, you might want to consider the possibility of mold exposure.

We are not intended to coexist with mold in our homes – call us for a FREE mold assessment.

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