Blog Articles About Humidity


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 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.


What are the Real Facts About Mold?

Mold Facts That Everybody in Seattle Should Know About

Mold Facts - Mold Soutions NWIf you look throughout the internet and through various news articles, you can find a lot written about mold, how it grows and its adverse affect on people.

You can especially find a lot of information about it in conjunction with the victims of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.

Those people didn’t have a chance at preventing mold from taking over their homes; because they had to be evacuated for extended periods of time, and because mold growth begins within 48-72 hours after water damage occurs, they were destined to have mold infestations.

It doesn’t always take a natural disaster for mold to begin…

Here in the Seattle Washington area, yes we have our share of flooding, but we also have a lot of moisture in the air all the time; moisture without ventilation is a formula for mold growth.

Of course there are other ways for mold spores to find the moisture they need in order to begin growing: plumbing leaks, condensation, leaky roofs or or blocked rain gutters.

What you should know about mold:

  • Mold Smells - Mold SolutionsNWMold grows in colonies that give off a musty odor.
  • There is a certain amount of mold in every home or building…it can never be eliminated because it is a natural and necessary element of nature that enters your home everytime a door or window is opened or someone comes in.
  • Mold can become dormant, but will not go away on its own, it needs to be removed (remediated).
  • The presence of mold doesn’t affect everyone, but for so many, mold exposure is from mild to extremely deadly to their health, especially, the very young, the elderly and those who already have respiratory problems.
    • Mold has been known to cause over 30 health problems.
    • It is the airborne spores, that when breathed in, cause illness.
  • Not only does mold like moisture, but it prefers to grow where there is no light.
  • Not all molds are dangerous – penicillin is actually derived from mold.
  • Mold can grow in the duct work of your heating system.
  • New homes are just as likely to have mold growth as old homes.
  • Mold growing on non-porous surfaces such as glass or ceramic tile is easily cleaned with detergent and water – but when mold is growing on walls, ceilings or wood you should probably hire a professional remediator.

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 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.


What Mold Does to You

What Can Mold Do to You?

Open Door to Mold - Mold Solutions NWBecause mold spores are always in the air, everytime you open a door or a window, you’re inviting mold into your home. It’s unavoidable. Spores can also enter your home through your air conditioning or heating systems and on the bodies of your pets as they come and go.

You wouldn’t think that something so tiny as these microscopic spores could cause the damage they are able to, but because they are the reproductive cells of mold, their reason for existence is to multiply and continue their life cycle.

Food for Mold

Their means of growth is to attach themselves to anything organic in warm, damp, humid conditions:

  • Walls, ceilings
  • Wood  and wood products
  • Drapery, upholstered furniture
  • Paint
  • Carpet
  • Even household dust

Once they have accomplished this task, it only takes between 24-48 for growth to begin. When this happens, mold begins digesting whatever it is attached to, and if left alone will destroy it and whatever else it spreads to. More spores are then created, and the cycle continues.

Mold Destroys More Than Your Home

Mold can destroy your health, especially if you are someone who has respiratory conditions, immune suppressed conditions, if you are elderly or very young. It can cause:

  • Allergy symptoms
  • Congestion
  • Nasal irritation
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Asthma attacks
  • Skin rashes
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • What Mold Does to You - Mold Solutions NWMigraine headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chills or fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Nausea

As you can see from this list, because mold symptoms can be attributed to any number of  conditions, it is often difficult to diagnose that what you’re experiencing has been caused by toxic mold. For this reason, many people have become very ill from mold exposure.

If you or someone in your home is experiencing chronic symptoms that can’t be attributed to a physical condition or doesn’t respond to treatment, you should consider having your home inspected for mold. Mold is not always visible to you because it can grow in places you don’t necessarily look at frequently, if at all.

Call a professional, trying to handle a mold problem on your own can make the situation worse by inadvertently spreading it. A professional mold remediator will locate the cause of the mold, then safely and thoroughly get rid of it for you.