Blog Articles About Mold Remediation


Signs of Mold

Does Your Home Exhibit Signs of Mold Growth?

Signs of Mold - Mold Solutions NWLike many people, you may have mold growing in your home and not recognize the signs that it has become an unwanted resident, or as they used to say in the “old west”, it’s squatting on your property.

The problem is, by not being aware of, or ignoring the signs of mold growth, you open the door of destruction. Active, growing mold will destroy walls, wood, upholstery, carpets and worst of all, it can destroy your health.

Although not everyone’s health is affected by mold, it has been known to cause everything from allergy symptoms to rashes to extreme respiratory problems.

Recognize signs of mold

  • Mold Not Always Visible - Mold Solutions NWYou can’t always see mold, it could be hidden inside your walls or behind your wallpaper, but you may be able to smell it.
    • Maybe you have noticed as you move from one area of your home to another, certain places have an earthy or musty smell, and even after cleaning the area the smell doesn’t go away.
  • When mold is visible, it may look like black spots on your walls, or it could be white and fibrous looking, or sometimes a grayish brown.
    • If you have wall paper, it may look like pink, orange or purple discolored spots.
    • If you can see the mold, that also means there could could be larger colonies growing out of your sight.
  • If you or someone else in your home are experiencing health issues that are unexplainable or seemingly untreatable, you may be feeling the effects of mold growth. It’s important to note, that your symptoms seem to go away and you feel better when you are away from home. Such symptoms as:
    • Dizziness
    • Chronic headaches
    • Sore throats
    • Cold-like symptoms
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Skin rashes
    • Trouble with your memory or concentration
  • Signs of water damage, such as water stains, that may have been caused from leaky pipes, or peeling paint, condensation, flooding or even a leaky roof.

If you recognize any of these signs of mold growing in your home, remember how destructive it can be to your health and your home. Hire a professional to come and assess the situation, and remediate it in a safe and thorough way.


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.


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.