Blog Articles About Mold
Are You a Victim of Sick Building Syndrome?
What Can Mold Do to You?
Because 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
- 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
- Nasal irritation
- Coughing and sneezing
- Breathing difficulties
- Asthma attacks
- Skin rashes
- Eye and throat irritation
- Migraine headaches
- Chills or fever
- Aching muscles
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.
How Does Mold Grow in Seattle?
Many 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
If 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.
What Could Cause Your Breathing Difficulty?
Respiratory problems, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing can be caused by any number of things, it could be caused by:
- Something as simple as a cold
- Lung Cancer
When the problem is allergies, the symptoms could be caused by pollens, dust or mold. When mold is the culprit, it can increase the intensity and frequency of all of the illnesses or conditions listed above.
Real life example
This is a communication between a client and me in regard to a respiratory problem from a tenant.
Thank you for having me out to your client’s home to figure out what might be causing some of their respiratory issues.
I am not a medical professional, but in the course of my mold investigation I did notice that the level of humidity in their apartment is on the high side, possibly creating an environment conducive to organic growth.
There was some evidence of organic growth under their mattress, but nowhere else was anything visible. There are some other factors too that might be contributing and I have listed them out and thoughts on ways to keep these things in check in the attachment.
I believe that if the tenants give some consideration to the ideas in that attachment as well as you possibly providing them with a dehumidifier to keep moisture content of air down, (between 40 and 50% is what we want to see, higher than that creates conditions for mold growth). There may be some dust issues there as well, which can create allergic reactions for folks and is easily rectified.