Blog Articles About Mold Prevention


Is Mold Exposure Dangerous to People With Weakened Immune Systems?

Weakened Immune Systems and Mold

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.


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.


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

 


What’s the Best Way to Fight Mold in Seattle?

How do you Fight Mold?

Image of How Can You Fight Mold? - Mold Solutions NWObviously the best way to fight mold is to prevent it from ever getting started in the first place. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

We can’t run and we can’t hide, mold spores are not only insidious, but they are everywhere and always with us.

During the winter months, especially in the Seattle area, mold can become a real problem as furnaces are turned on, doors and windows are closed and humidity levels increase. These are indoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Are we safe during the summer?

That being said, you might think that during the summer months mold would die, but that isn’t the case. During the summer months we experience hot humid days; these are outdoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Whether in the winter or the summer, excess humidity in our homes is mold’s best friend. It has been estimated by George Tsongas, a Portland State University professor emeritus, that nearly 1/3 of the homes in the Pacific NW have mold or mildew problems.

One out of 3 homes is an extremely high number, and unfortunately, most of those homeowners don’t even realize they have mold. Once you have it, it doesn’t go away on its own. It will probably be necessary to contact a mold inspector and professional remediator.

If you don’t have mold, or you have had remediation, to keep mold from beginning or coming back, it is absolutely imperative to control the moisture in your home.

An instrument called an hygrometer can check the humidity levels, which should be kept below 50%, although most of us are more comfortable when they are lower than that.

Suggestions to lower humidity

  • Always use exhaust fans in your kitchens and bathrooms.
    • Image of House Plants create humidity - Mold Solutions NWThese fans should vent to the outside.
  • If your home has naturally high humidity, you could purchase a dehumidifier.
  • Keep in mind that too many house plants can cause higher humidity as they give off moisture.
    • Just remember how humid it felt the last time you were in a greenhouse.
  • Never store firewood in your house; as it dries it gives off moisture.
  • Leaky faucets should be repaired.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t wait, give us a call…

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.