Blog Articles About Health


How to Detect Mold Problems in a New Home or New Construction?

Why Would a New House Have a Mold Problem?

Image of Mold Problems in new construction - Mold Solutions NWYou would think because your home was purchased when it was brand new that you wouldn’t have to deal with mold problems. In fact, for most new home owners, this is probably one of the last things on their mind. Instead, they are focusing on window treatments, landscaping and wall decor because they think they are safe…this is a new home you know!

Incidence of mold occurring in new homes is growing rapidly. In fact, the issue of mold in new construction could become the asbestos or leaded paint issues from previous eras.

Why is this happening?

  • Image of Mold Inspectors locate the problem - Mold Solutions NWMany attribute part of this problem to the fact that there are areas in a newly constructed home that cannot be inspected easily. Such places as:
    • Around the floor joists
    • The area above your crawl space
    • Within the stud cavity

It’s easier to detect mold in living areas than it is in foundational areas.

  • Newer homes are also being build much “tighter” than were the homes of the past, which means there is less air flow, keeping more moisture inside and giving mold fertile territory to begin growing.

Home Construction Mistakes

Another problem that newer homes have is when construction errors occur, and they do, because even the best of us makes mistakes.

There was a show on a Home Improvement Chanel on the other night that featured a young family with 2 young sons, a toddler and an infant, who had recently moved into a new home.

Both children became very ill…stomach aches, coughing, runny noses and even vomiting. Then the parents began experiencing bronchial problems as well.

One day after it had been raining, the mother noticed some water coming in one of the upstairs windows in the baby’s bedroom. Because the walls and the carpets were so wet it occurred to her there might be a mold problem.

Due to the fact the windows didn’t have a good seal and the moisture barrier wasn’t installed correctly, water had consistently been entering the house, and sure enough they had mold, in the carpet and on the wallboard, not just in that room but in several other areas also.

Image of Leaving until the mold is remediated - Mold Solutions NWBecause they didn’t know how widespread the mold was, the family moved out until they could get the mold removed and the house put back together by professionals. Mold had made this entire family very ill.

Don’t assume that because you are in a new home that you couldn’t have mold problems. Remember too that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

For your peace of mind and the safety of yours and your family’s health, if you think you have a mold problem, give us a call, and have it remediated properly.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma areas


Can You Paint Over Mold?

Is It a Good Idea to Paint Over Mold?

Image of Don't just paint over mold - Mold Solutions NWIf you have mold growing on your walls, don’t be tempted to “just paint over it” hoping that will get rid of the problem for you…it won’t. What seems like a good idea is really an effort in futility.

Although there are paints designed to inhibit mold or mildew growth, they are not designed to stop it once it has begun.

Mold must be killed, you can’t just cover it because before you know it, it will resurface right through that new coat of paint, cause it to peel and continue to grow and destroy.

Mold Survival

Like all living organisms, mold survival depends on moisture and food, and the food it focuses on is your home. Finding organic materials in your home, such as wood, fabrics, insulation or wallboard, it begins the process of decomposition, which is what it does best.

When mold is outside, it’s decomposing characteristics can be very beneficial, but when it has the opportunity to reside in your home, it can be very destructive as it weakens your home’s structure or destroys furnishings.

Other Dangers

Mold is not only dangerous to your home, but can also create health risks as its tiny spores circulate through the air and are inhaled, which can be especially bad for the elderly, the very young or people who already have respiratory problems. Some of the problems it can cause or increase are:

  • Problems breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Symptoms that resemble the flu
  • Even learning disabilities

Controlling Mold Growth

You can’t get rid of all the organic materials in your home, but you can control the moisture that encourages mold to begin in the first place.

  • Image of Good ventilation helps prevent mold growth - Mold Solutions NWOpen windows as often as possible to increase good airflow in your home.
  • Repair leaks of all kinds – it only takes about 24-48 hours for mold to begin growing, the sooner you repair your leaks the better.
  • If you have had water damage of any kind, especially to carpets, fabrics or upholstery, be sure to to not only get them dried and cleaned as soon as possible – don’t forget the short period of time it takes mold to start.
  • Check your attic and crawl space to make sure they are well ventilated and have good airflow.
  • Always use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms to vent excess moisture outside.

For your peace of mind and the safety of your health and home, if you think you have a mold problem, give us a call, and have it remediated properly.

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

 


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.

 


How Do I Know if I Have Mold in Seattle?

What are signs of mold in your house?

Image of Frightened about the thought of having mold - Mold Solutions NWBecause they understand the health risks, thinking they might have mold in their home can be a frightening thing to many people. It would seem the solution is relatively easy, just get rid of it – problem solved. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.

First of all, discovering the presence of mold in your home isn’t as easy as you might think.

Yes, there are times when you can see it, but maybe even more often, there are times when it’s hiding, lurking in places you can’t or seldom look at like back in the dark corners of an under sink cabinet, or in the padding of your carpet or even in your drywall.

Mold is called a Filamentous fungus and is considered a parasite.

Mold can grow anywhere it has a food source (any organic materials), moisture or high humidity, and a little time (if conditions are just right, it doesn’t take much time at all for mold to begin growing).

What are the signs of unseen mold?

Mold smells…mold is considered a microbial volatile organic compound that releases gas while it’s growing which is where its odor comes from. When it is growing in enclosed spaces or in high concentration, the odor is much more noticeable.

If everytime you enter your home or a certain room in your house, you get a whiff of “musty”, chances are good that you have mold.

Keep in mind that in addition to the fact the smell develops slowly over a period of time, because you live in your home and you’re there a great deal of time, you could get used to the odor and not recognize it’s presence.

Health issues are another good indicator that you have mold.

Mold can make you sick…Although mold exposure doesn’t have the same effect on everyone, for some, it doesn’t take a great deal of exposure to cause health problems, especially for infants, the elderly and people who have respiratory or autoimmune disorders.

Some of the symptoms might be:

  • Image of Mold can cause health issues - Mold Solutions NWBurning, watery or reddened eyes
  • Nasal or throat irritations
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chronic headaches

The difficulty using these symptoms as mold indicators is that they are so similar to cold and flu symptoms. If these symptoms persist and don’t go away it’s evidently not a cold.

If you have any indication of mold in your home, give us a call, don’t put your health at risk.

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.

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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.