Blog Articles About Mold Remediation

Is There a Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold vs Mildew Difference

Image of Questions about mold and mildew - Mold Solutions NWMany people use the terms mold and mildew synonymously, substituting one for the other, which causes confusion, because we wonder if they are the same or if there is a difference.

They are the same, but they are different…does that clear things up?

Like so many things in life, they have various similarities and various differences.

Let’s talk about the similarities between Mold and Mildew

  • Both are types of fungus and spread by spore movement
  • Both can be found growing in damp warm areas
  • Both produce allergens and can be toxic and cause health problems
  • Both can be found growing on a variety of surfaces
  • Both move and spread easily and freely
  • Both are always with us…they’re everywhere
  • Both give off a musty smell

What are the differences?

  • They are different in color
    • Mold is found in a variety of colors, from black to green to orange and even blue
    • Mildew is normally gray or white and can change color as it matures
  • They are different in appearance or texture
    • Mold is often thicker, it can be slimy or fuzzy
    • Mildew is either powdery or downy
  • Mildew can be spread by animals or even be transported on your clothing or shoes
  • Some molds serve a purpose, they can be used in the production of penicillin or cheese
    • There aren’t any good uses for mildew
  • Mildew is more predominantly found on fabrics, paper and showers
    • Mold is more typically found in walls, on ceilings and on food, in attics and crawl spaces
    • Moldy food should never be eaten

Whatever their similarities or differences, it is unhealthy for you to have them growing in Image of Trash moldy food - Mold Solutions NWyour home or any place where you spend several hours a day.

If you have mold on your food, throw it away.

Most people don’t have the knowledge or resources to remediate mold safely and permanently, so if you have mold growing on your walls or ceilings call a professional to assess the damage and eliminate the problem.

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.

Are You Living With Mold? It’s More Likely Than You Think

Could You Be Living With Mold?

Your child could be exposed to mold at school - Mold Solutions NWBecause we know that mold spores exist virtually everywhere, we should each be asking ourselves if we could be living with mold.

Chances are pretty good that each of us comes into contact with mold several times a week, and we probably don’t even realize it. But coming into contact with it isn’t nearly as bad as if we are living with it.

Where we live…

Although our houses are the predominant places we “live”, we also have to consider the other places we “live” or spend a large part of our lives. Mold can be found in:

  • Homes & Apartments
    • Mold will be found growing in attics, crawlspaces, under sinks and in closets and drawers.
    • When mold is found in apartments or rental houses, the issue really becomes who is responsible for the cost of remediation.
  • Schools
    • It can be found on walls, in restrooms, showers and kitchens.
    • When mold growth is too great, it will impact the comfort and health of staff and students causing fatigue, nausea, or even increasing asthma attacks.
    • All schools can experience mold problems, but older schools and schools located in areas of high humidity are at higher risk.
  • Businesses and offices
    • Currently, there are no OSHA standards for what are acceptable levels of mold spores in the workplace, but the effects on health should be reason enough for business owners and managers to prevent or remediate mold growth.
  • Mold can grow in your hair - Mold Solutions NWEven in your hair!
    • I read an article the other day that talked about people who wore their hair in dreadlocks. The article commented that dreadlocks require a proper amount of maintenance which includes special products that allows the hair to continue to grow and entangle. However, if there is too much maintenance and too much product, the hair may not thoroughly dry out, and mold and mildew will begin to grow.

What should you do?

If the mold problem is in our home, the solution is easy, hire a mold inspector to locate the growth and what is causing the problem, then get it remediated.

But if the mold issues are in a school, an apartment or a business it gets a little more complicated. A mold inspector still needs to be hired, but it’s not up to you as an individual to do that. So I would begin by talking to administrators, managers, apartment owners and business owners to get the process started. Don’t ignore the problem because you are not in direct control of the situation, keep talking to people until you have found the person who can get things done.

Luckily, if the mold is in your dreadlocks, you don’t need an inspector, you may just need a haircut.

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.

What are the Dangers of Mold Spores?

What are Mold Spores?

Without mold, leaves would be slow to decompose - Mold Solutions NWIf it were possible for mold spores to remain outside, we wouldn’t worry about them quite as much, because when they are outside they are actually performing an important function.

Unfortunately, they don’t remain outside, they come into our homes and businesses continuously.

Mold is a fungus that benefits the environment by breaking down animal or plant matter which is slow to decay, such as:

  • Leaves
  • Wood
  • Food

Without the help of mold, we would be overcome with leaves and wood, that needs help to decompose.

But that’s outside…inside, mold spores are not helpful.

Mold spores inside our homes

Mold spores have one function; to breakdown organic materials. So whether they are inside or out, they seek out moist, nutrient rich surfaces where they can grow and produce more spores.

In our homes some of their favorite breeding grounds are:

  • Poorly ventilated or insulated attics and crawl spaces
  • Continuously moist wood caused by condensation on windows or leaks under sinks
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Carpets

Mold Spores Cause Health Problems

Because symptoms of mold exposure are so similar to the common cold or allergies, many people don’t realize they are having a reaction to mold.

Mold exposure can cause headaches - Mold Solutions NWKeep in mind that colds and seasonal allergies don’t last for 12 months of the year.

So if you are experiencing such symptoms as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, wheezing and even chronic headaches for prolonged periods of time, you are possibly feeling the effects of mold exposure.

For some, the exposure is more dangerous; it can trigger asthma attacks, other respiratory problems, predominantly affecting infants, the elderly and people who have weakened immune systems or respiratory conditions.

Usually when the mold is remediated, people who have these symptoms recover just fine, but there are people who have been exposed for too long and have never fully recovered.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as these and you’re in the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma, give me a call for a free assessment…so you can breathe easy!

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider, who can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

Fungus Removal in Seattle

How to Remove Fungus in your Home?

Mold Spores are everywhere - Mold Solutions NWLet’s just start off by saying that mold is fungus, which makes up 25% of the earth’s bio mass, and is considered ubiquitous or omnipresent –  it’s everywhere.

So, when we talk about removing mold, we must realize that it can never be totally removed or eliminated. It’s just not possible to have a total absence of mold spores.

There are no standards or guidelines when it comes to fungal samples, there are no levels which are considered typical or permissible.

But if you can see or smell mold growing in your home or business, it is unacceptable…it presents a potential health risk to people who consistently breathe the air.

Mold Should be Professionally Remediated

Many people think they can remove mold themselves, and not hire a professional, but the truth is…they can’t.

If the mold is on a non-porous surface such as glass or tile, it is generally easily removed.

But, if it is found growing in walls, ceilings or carpets, the only way it can be remediated properly is by hiring a professional who can assess the degree of contamination and infestation. Then, using the correct tools and products, they will either treat, or in some cases where treatment is ineffective, they will remove the item or the part of it that is untreatable.

In the future

Unfortunately, bringing professionals in to do the job doesn’t insure that you won’t have a mold problem sometime in the future.

Mold Spores are always in the air - Mold Solutions NWWhenever the situation is right (a warm, moist environment), mold will begin to grow again. Remember, it’s spores are in the air, they’re always in the air.

The best thing you can do to keep your mold spore concentration levels down is to keep excess moisture in your home at a minimum.

  • Fix leaks
  • Run ventilation fans
  • Make sure your attic and crawl space are well ventilated
  • Handle water damage quickly and thoroughly

Water is the problem and mold is the symptom.

If you are in the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma, give me a call for a free assessment…so you can breathe easy!

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider, who can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

Can You Use Bleach To Remove Mold?

Bleach won't kill mold - Mold Solutions NWMany people think that all they need to do to kill mold once and for all is to use bleach. This works just fine if the mold is on a non-porous surface such as glass, bathtubs or kitchen countertops (why would there be mold on the counter where food is prepared?).

Many of the new mold removal products, which are becoming more and more popular, contain bleach as an active ingredient. Again, this is fine on hard, non-porous surfaces.

The problem is, people think bleach will kill mold that is on everything…walls, ceilings, carpets or upholstery. This  is a false assumption.

Killing Mold

Mold is a living organism, with roots that grow into its food source. Therefore, the process of truly killing mold is to kill its roots, which is easier said than done.

You would think that because bleach is liquid, that it would soak into wood based materials, but the properties of bleach prevent it from doing so. Which means you may bleach the color of the top of the mold, but it’s roots go untouched, and continue to grow.

Facts about mold and bleach

Mold thrives on water - Mold Solutions NWMold loves moisture (water), bleach is made up of 95% water. It is recommended that you use a beach solution of 1part bleach and 10 parts water. This won’t kill the mold, and it may even encourage its growth!

We’re simply handing it what it needs to survive.

One of the problems with mold are the toxic spores that it sends into the air, bleach sends toxic gases into the air – both of which we inhale.

It seems to me that using bleach to try and kill mold is only compounding the problem.

More cold hard facts:

There are times when mold has taken over and is so bad that it can’t totally be remediated or removed. So whatever it’s growing in (you notice I didn’t say on), must be totally cut out and removed. It’s very difficult to remediate mold from such things as wallboard.

If you have a mold problem, the best way to insure its total removal is to call a qualified mold inspector and solutions provider to test and remove properly and thoroughly.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider, who can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.