Blog Articles About Mold Remediation


Why is Mold Dangerous

Why is Mold Exposure Dangerous?

Dangerous Mold - Mold Solutions NWWe all experience a little mold every now and then, mainly on food that has been left too long in the refrigerator. But, unless you eat it (who would?), that isn’t the mold that can be dangerous to our health.

It’s the mold growing under your sink, in your attic or crawl space, hidden in dust or maybe out of sight within your walls, that can cause you harm.

How does mold get started?

Mold lives on organic materials such as paper, fabric or wood. These materials, along with moisture and a cool, humid temperature provide everything mold needs to live, grow and reproduce.

Mold is a natural part of our environment, and has an important job to do…outside, where it breaks down and helps dead things, such as leaves and wood decompose. If it would remain outside, there would be no danger.

The problem occurs when the mold begins to reproduce and send off microscopic spores into the air. These spores enter our homes and other buildings whenever we open a door or a window and whenever we or our pets enter. There is really no way to keep them out, which is not a problem unless they find the conditions we have spoken of above to start living, growing and reproducing.

What is the danger of mold growth in your house?

Aside from the fact that mold will destroy walls, clothing, furniture and carpet if left unremediated, mold can be dangerous to your health. It doesn’t affect everyone the same, but some people are at great risk from mold exposure.

Although, infrequently, mold can be absorbed through the skin, but typically, mold spores enter our bodies as we breathe. They find their way into the warm, moist areas of our nasal passages, our lungs and other areas of our respiratory system, causing such symptoms as:

  • Mold Dangers - Mold Solutions NWSymptoms similar to cold, flu or allergies
  • Respiratory problems – especially for those who already have asthma and other respiratory weakness
  • Sore throats
  • Tired and achy muscles
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

The very young, the elderly and those already suffering with respiratory or autoimmune problems are at the highest risk.

Unexplained illness, musty smells or or stains on walls or ceilings can be clues that you might have a mold problem.

If you have any reason to believe you have mold growing in your home, remember how dangerous it can be to your health, and hire professionals to come and assess the situation, and remediate it in a safe and thorough way.

 


Types of Mold

Are All Types of Mold Dangerous?

Types of Mold - Mold Solutions NWIt’s amazing to note that there are over 100,000 different types of mold that we co-exist with, which makes it all the more understandable to realize that mold is everywhere and is always with us.

And although we shudder when we think about living with mold, many of its species are harmless and serve an important purpose in our environment.

Along with the harmless mold, there is also the toxic type, which can cause health issues, some of which are quite serious. When toxic mold spore levels are low, there is not much risk to your health, but when the levels increase you may experience such symptoms and illnesses as:

  • Headaches
  • Increased asthma symptoms
  • Infections
  • Respiratory problems
  • Rashes

The elderly, the very young, and people who already have pre-existing conditions such as auto-immune deficiencies or respiratory conditions are especially affected.

The 3 Major Mold Groups:

These mold groups are the most common and are the ones that will jeopardize your health.

  • Allergenic mold – Typically this type of mold will not cause severe illness, but rather cause scratchy throats, irritated eyes and nose and skin rashes.
  • Pathogenic mold – This mold can cause infections and more severe health issues especially for people who have HIV, Auto-Immune Disorders or who are currently having chemotherapy treatment.
  • Toxic mold – This type of mold actually produces toxins that are harmful. Luckily they are rare, because they have been linked to cancer and in rare cases, death.

Toxic Molds

Black Mold - Mold Solutions NWThere are 2 types of toxic molds:

  1. Stachybotrys, which is more commonly called black mold. (Just the name sounds ominous!) Because it is difficult to find, which gives it the opportunity to easily grow and reproduce, black mold is extremely dangerous. Unlike other molds whose spores float easily through the air, when black mold spores are damp, they become sticky making them harder to detect with air quality sampling. A lethal toxin, it has been known to be fatal to animals and cause extreme health conditions in human.
  2. Memnoniella, like Stachybotrys, is a contaminant and also thrives on organic, wet materials such as fabrics, wood, and wallboard. Their toxicity and danger are also very similar.

If you are experiencing health issues that you can’t explain, or you think you have toxic mold growing in your home, you should contact a certified mold inspector and remediator to assess your situation.

Because mold is so easily spread, and you’re not trained to locate, recognize and remediate mold, it’s probably not a good idea to tackle the job yourself

 


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.

 


What does it take for Mold to Grow in Seattle?

How Does Mold Grow in Seattle?

How Does Mold Grow - Mold Solutions NWMany people are amazed when they discover that they have mold growing in their home.

The problem is, they’re not thinking of mold in the right way…they equate it with dirty living conditions. You can have a very clean house, and still have mold. It’s not about the dirt, it’s about mold spores that colonize anywhere there is moisture, oxygen and organic material for them to feed on.

Mold spores are extremely tiny and invisible to the naked eye, but the damage they can do is not. Once mold gets started, it doesn’t take long to take hold and begin the damage.

Damage from mold

If you’re wondering what type of damage mold can cause in your home, ask the victims of Hurricane Katrina and most recently Hurricane Sandy.

The news talks about power outages, shortages of gas, no food, no water, injury and evacuations. What you don’t always hear about is the destructive force of mold.

Once any type of water damage occurs, you only have 24-48 hours before mold begins to grow. If you can repair and stop the damage right away, you probably don’t need to worry. But in natural disasters where homes are evacuated and flooded, it’s unlikely that homeowners will not be able to return soon enough to stop the damage.

For homes (or any other buildings) that were left standing in water after the storms, mold will be their largest enemy. By the time people were able to re-enter their homes after Katrina, mold was growing everywhere and the homes were beyond repair.

But it doesn’t take a hurricane for mold to begin growing, it only takes a leaky pipe, too much condensation or lack of good ventilation.

Tell tale signs of mold

Water Damaged Home - Mold Solutions NWIf your home, office or school has experience any type of water damage, be on the look out for signs such as these:

  • Water stains
  • Musty smell
  • Discolored walls or ceilings
  • Warped floors

Mold doesn’t go away on its own…if your home has had water damage that has encouraged mold growth, don’t try to deal with it yourself, you could actually make matters worse – call trained mold inspectors and remediators. They know how to solve your mold issues safely and without spreading the spores so they can start again.


Toxic Mold

How Severe are the Dangers of Toxic Mold?

Mold Danger - Mold Solutions NWAccording to Dr. Mercola, the dangers of toxic mold can be far more damaging than even pesticides. He also sites statics that suggest that up to 40% of our schools and 25% of our homes have levels of mold that are harmful to people.

In the Seattle, WA area, it’s not surprising that, considering the heavy moisture content in the air, there would be a heavy concentration of homes reporting mold growth. But what is surprising is that even in drier areas of the country, mold is still a problem.

Toxic Mold Health Issues

We have all heard that mold causes such symptoms as sneezing, coughing and increased respiratory issues, but there are more serious possibilities that aren’t talked about as much.

Please watch this brief video of a family that had extreme health problems. Problems you can avoid if you will be on the lookout for signs of mold in your homes, schools or businesses, and when you find it, have it remediated immediately!