Category: Mold Remediation 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 Facts

What are the Facts About Mold?

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.


Mold is Dangerous

 Mold is Dangerous…True or False?

Mold is Dangerous - Mold Solutions NWA couple of online forums have people asking about the dangers of mold, and it’s very interesting to see all the different answers that are given.

Keep in mind, none of these answers come from professionals, but some get it right and some are really far off base. Their answers range from:

  • People tend to make too big a deal about mold – wrong answer
  • Mold is not always visible – right answer
    • Mold can be growing behind your walls in your crawl spaces or in your attic
  • Mold is not dangerous, it’s part of life – right and wrong answer
    • Mold is a natural part of life
    • It has been proven that black mold can be very dangerous to your health
  • Mold is airborne which means you can inhale it – right answer
  • You can easily clean up mold with water and bleach – wrong answer
    • Bleach is mostly just water, mold loves water…so unless it’s surface mold, bleach is not a good treatment
  • Not all molds are toxic – right answer
  • Exposure to toxic mold can cause respiratory problems, fevers, headaches and chronic fatigue – right answer
  • Molds are usually not a problem indoors – wrong answer
    • That is just the reverse of the truth; growing outdoors, mold is usually not a problem

Who do you trust?

It seems to me that if you think you have a mold problem in your home or business, forums comprised of non-professionals might not be the best place to get information.

Toxic mold can be extremely dangerous to your health…if I thought my home had mold issues, I would want to talk to someone who is trained and certified in mold detection, remediation and prevention.



 

At Mold Solutions NW we know what we are doing…Give us a call

 


Mold Inspector

Is It Necessary to Call a 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

What’s 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.