Blog Articles About Mold Solutions


How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

Mold is dangerous because it can cause allergic reactions, irritation of the eyes and skin, and in serious cases, even death. It’s important to get rid of mold as soon as you see it because if left untreated, mold can spread quickly. The longer you wait to treat a mold problem the more likely it will be that you have to replace your home’s carpeting or flooring.

Mold also causes damage to walls and other structures. It can weaken walls and cause them to crack, and it can eat away at wood floors. If you have a mold problem in your home, you should contact a professional immediately for help.

Because mold is both damaging and dangerous to property and people, it’s important to pay attention to any evidence that it might be growing in your office or home.

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

As a general rule, mold will start to grow within 24 hours of humidity being introduced into the air. When it comes to water damage restoration, time is of the essence. If you wait too long before calling a professional for help, the mold and mildew may spread beyond repair.

Mold spores can spread rapidly and easily through the air, and they can survive practically anywhere. They are especially common in areas where there is a lot of moisture or humidity, such as bathrooms and basements. Mold spores can also be found in some foods, like peanuts or peanut butter.

Mold can start spreading almost immediately and quickly develops a strong colony. A few spores are all that is needed – in the right conditions mold can spread as you watch!

As such, it does not take much time for mold to grow and spread. Mold is a serious health hazard, and if you have mold growing in your home, it should be dealt with immediately.

Inside homes, mold spores are found in dust, on counter tops and in the air.

Mold can grow on almost any surface indoors, including drywall, carpeting, wallpaper or wood surfaces. It is important to eliminate indoor mold growth because it can cause health problems for people who breathe its spores.

If you have a moisture problem in your home that has caused mold growth, it is important to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem as soon as possible.

Too much water is the culprit

Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, from flooding to leaks in pipes to too much humidity in the air.

It doesn’t take large amounts of moisture to cause water damage; accumulation of condensation on windows or an undetected drip from an under counter pipe is all that’s necessary. The perfect environment for mold growth has been created.

Mold grows fast

Once water damage has occurred, there is a small window of time, 24-48 hours, before mold will begin to grow, and once it begins it spreads quickly.

As you can see from this brief time lapse video of a 2 week time span, mold grows rapidly once it begins.

Should I Remove Mold Myself or Call a Professional?

If you believe you can remove the mold yourself, it is important to realize that there is a risk of contamination. While the use of a HEPA vacuum may help reduce this risk, you will still likely have exposure to mold spores when removing the mold and cleaning up.

Mold removal professionals have the tools and resources required to evaluate a mold problem and take the necessary steps towards solving it. Therefore, while doing it yourself may seem like the logical thing to do, you should always consider enlisting professional help.

For this reason, we recommend hiring professionals for most types of cleanup. If your situation is especially dangerous, such as if you experience symptoms (heart palpitations or breathing issues), call 911 immediately. Do not risk your safety because of personal bias towards trying something yourself. It’s always best to leave it to the pros!

What Happens If I Don’t Remove Mold?

If left untreated, mold can cause a variety of health problems. Fungi including mold release mycotoxins which are dangerous to humans and pets. Common symptoms that come from exposure to toxic molds include headaches, fatigue, respiratory issues, skin irritation and blisters.

When is the right time to remove mold?

If you’ve discovered water damage from a leak or flood in your home, get in touch with us right away. Usually these issues are not left unattended for long periods of time as it can result in further damage due to humidity and bacteria. In most cases, if you find water leaking anywhere including around plumbing fixtures like sinks or toilets, then there may be some dampness that results.

To make sure your walls don’t start growing mold and mildew too quickly, have the moisture removed immediately by installing a dehumidifier. This device will help pull any excess moisture out of the air so mold doesn’t gather and grow on those surfaces as well!

A dehumidifier is an easy way to prevent additional damage when repairs are being made. Preventing more than just damaging walls – did you know that molds also can cause respiratory problems for children who suffer from asthma? Make sure you stay safe inside your own home – contact us today!

How does mold grow indoors?

Mold grows indoors when there is water damage, leaks or a roof leak. Mold spores are everywhere and can grow in any damp area. The mold needs warm, wet conditions to grow. These conditions are often found inside homes because of plumbing leaks or condensation from air conditioning units that drip into walls and ceilings. Mold needs moisture to grow, and it can grow on almost any surface.

How do I know if I have mold in my house?

Mold can be seen with the naked eye, but you may not always see it right away. Mold often starts out as a small spot that slowly grows over time. You might notice a musty odor or find discolored areas of paint, wallpaper or carpeting. You might also see stains on your walls or ceilings where water has leaked through the roof. If you see any of these signs, you might have mold in your home.


Brown Mold in Seattle?

What Do You Know About Brown Mold?

BrownMold-MoldSolutionsNWThere is a lot of discussion about black mold and its dangers, but there isn’t a lot said about brown mold, and although it’s a fairly common type of mold many people may not have even heard the term.

Brown hairy mold, or Stemonitis, is called that because it has a brown furry appearance. Although it’s not typically as toxic as black mold, it can still affect the health of people who have weak immune systems, respiratory problems and allergies. Its existence should not be ignored.

Where is Brown Mold Found?

WetnessFromLeaks-MoldSolutions NWLike other molds, brown mold thrives in damp dark places. Wherever there’s a leak or repeated wetness that seldom dries out, that’s where you’ll find it.

A common place for growth can be found in one of the wettest places in our homes – the bathroom. Water gets under the floor tiles, where it remains damp, and before you know it you have mold growth. By the time you see it on the tiles, there is probably a lot of damage done to the sub-flooring. This is one very good reason why carpeting in bathrooms is not a good idea.

Kitchens are another common breeding place for brown mold. If your refrigerator or your dishwasher has a leak that goes unnoticed, mold growth will begin.

One family had a dishwasher that had an undetected leak. Brown spots began appearing from the underside of the linoleum tiles before the homeowners knew there was a problem. Once the dishwasher was removed and the tile lifted, they were able to see the sub-floor was full of mold, rotted and needed to be replaced.

Signs of Mold Growth

Being able to see the growth is not the only way to detect a mold problem.

  • Mold gives off a musty odor – you may be able to smell it whenever you are in the area of the growth.
  • If you ever see mushrooms growing on the inside of your home, it’s pretty certain that you have hidden mold and very likely damage from rot and insects.

If you have found, or even think you have mold growing in your home or business, it’s important to have it removed correctly and thoroughly. Don’t take a chance of spreading the spores by trying to remove it yourself…call an expert to remediate the 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.

 

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Can You Get Mold Out of Clothes?

Mold in Clothes

MoldyClothes-MoldSolutionsNWDealing with moldy clothes isn’t typically what we do, but it’s an issue for many people, and can be a sign of further problems.

Just like organic materials around your home, ie. walls, carpets, flooring or ceilings; if conditions are just right, mold can begin growing on your clothing and shoes, especially if they are made of of organic materials such as cotton or cotton blends. If there is too much moisture in your home, if clothing is left sitting while wet, (swimsuits and towels, or sweaty clothes from a workout), or if they aren’t thoroughly dried after washing, your clothing becomes a breeding place for mold spores. They just need the right conditions, (moisture, warmth and a little darkness), and within a few hours mold will begin to grow.

How do you know if your clothes are moldy? They will be discolored, black or green and will have a distinct musty smell.

Because of too much moisture…

If you find mold growing on your clothing, shoes or bags in your home, you can be pretty certain you have a moisture problem in your home. You can try to clean your clothes or throw them away, but unless you deal with the excess moisture, mold will continue to grow.

Places where mold can be a problem is in dark, damp basements, in closets and under sinks.

One young woman was constantly getting migraine headaches and couldn’t understand why. One day while looking through her bedroom closet she discovered black mold growing on the walls and floor, and it had spread to some of her clothing. After checking a little further, she discovered that her closet, which was on an outside wall of her home had a leak. Once she had the leak repaired and the mold properly removed, her headaches went away.

Can you clean mold from your clothes?

Mold is basically digesting your clothing if it has begun to grow on it, and it leaves a stain where it has been, so the longer it grows the larger the stain, the less you’ll want to use the clothing and the harder it will be to remove the stain and the smell.

If the mold hasn’t been growing too long, there are some products that will help remove it from your clothing:

  • BleachMoldyClothes-MoldSolutionsNWWashing them in a detergent that is designed to kill mold
  • Baking Soda
  • Bleach – can help lighten stains
  • Vinegar – helps remove the smell of mold
  • Borax – doesn’t emit toxic fumes

Be sure to wash the items in hot water and run through 2 complete wash cycles. A great way to make sure the mold has been killed is to line dry the clothing in the sun, where the sun’s ultraviolet rays will not only help to fade the stains, but will work to kill the mold as well.

If you have mold growing on your clothing, your home might have a mold problem, if you do…

 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.

 

 


Solve Your Allergies Seattle Problem – Symptoms Caused by Mold

Does Mold Cause Allergic Reactions?

Mold Allergies - Mold Solutions NWDo you feel like you are “doomed” to live with cold symptoms forever? Is it one of those seasonal colds  or sinus infections that you just can’t get rid of?

  • You’re sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Congested
  • You have watery itchy eyes
  • You have constant postnasal drip
  • Irritated throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritated Skin

Maybe it’s not a cold or sinus infection at all…maybe you have a mold allergy. Mold allergy symptoms are frequently thought to be cold symptoms, the big difference is that cold symptoms eventually go away – mold symptoms remain as long as you are exposed to mold spores.

 

Does Mold Affect Everyone the Same?

Not everyone has an allergic reaction, but those who do can become very uncomfortable, even to the point of becoming very ill. In fact, if you’re someone who suffers from asthma, exposure to mold may cause your asthma symptoms to get worse.

People who are at the highest risk of health problems especially allergies from mold are:

  • The very young
  • The elderly
  • People who already have respiratory problems such as asthma, other allergies or emphysema
  • Weakened immune systems such as people going through chemotherapy, those who have HIV, and those who have had organ transplants.

 

How Does Mold Make You Ill?

Mold is a living organism (a fungus) that grows and reproduces as tiny, microscopic spores are formed and released into the air. As the spores land on a surface that offers them what they need to live, moisture and organic materials for food, they can begin to grow.

Because mold spores are always in the air around us, whether we are inside or out, they can find their way into our bodies naturally as we breathe. This usually isn’t a problem unless the mold spore levels are too high when our bodies start reacting in the form of allergies or illness.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that just don’t seem to go away, you should examine those places where you spend a lot of time, home or work, to see if there is mold growing there.

 

Locating Mold – Where to Look After Experiencing Symptoms?

  • Mold on Ceiling - Mold Solutions NWWhere there might be water leaks
  • Where there may have been flooding
  • On your walls or ceilings
  • In your carpet or behind your wallpaper.
  • In your basement or crawlspace

Mold can grow in your walls or ceilings especially if the external wall has a crack (or multiple cracks) that collects moisture whenever it rains.

Painting over mold is never a good idea, the only way to stop it from reappearing is to remove it first, and sealing all cracks that are collecting water.

 

What about leaks?

One family had a leak from their dishwasher they weren’t aware of. Over time, the linoleum on their kitchen floor started turning gray. As they investigated and found the leak, the mold on the linoleum and on the plywood flooring became evident and had to be replaced.

If left unattended, mold will still linger on, causing allergies even when the source of the moisture has gone away. If there were small children in the house in the above mentioned case, the floor would have been a source of allergens for years to come – if not for a mold inspection and testing run.

 

Mold in Ventilation Shafts And Air Ducts

Another big issue is that you might be living in an older building which has air ducts that are not cleaned regularly, or at all. Air ducts are ventilation infrastructure that is supposed to guard the building against stale air but dust, pollen, and even bird feces and feathers all pile up in ducts over the years.

Combined with moisture, the end result is not pretty at all and could potentially pose a health hazard, not just as a mold-spreading machine.

Even defunct, without a spinning blade at the end, air ducts can be dangerous and have air flowing through them via draft currents or strong winds. Once a strong wind “activates” all of the piled up dirt in an air duct, all rooms that feature an air duct are at risk of becoming a cause for various allergies as everything that’s piled up in the shaft will now disperse across the rooms.

HVAC ducts can be particularly nasty. Cleaning both the filter in the HVAC unit itself and the ducts will get rid of mold. Mold only needs warmth and moisture, so keep this in mind.

 

Symptoms That Get Worse When the AC Turns On

If you or others start showing allergy symptoms whenever the AC is turned on, your #1 suspect should be dust and mold spores. If there’s a noticeable musty odor as well, there’s a high chance it’s not just dust, but actual mold growth you’re dealing with. Dispersed like this, mold can cause headaches, skin, nasal and throat mucosa irritation, nausea and other more serious symptoms.

You can always go to an allergy specialist doctor to check if it’s dust (which is 90% comprised of human skin, by the way), seasonal pollen, or the mold growth that’s causing the allergic reactions. The worst scenario is if you have multiple allergies and a weakened immune system.

 

When Do You Need to Call an Expert in Seattle?

For allergies and disease symptoms, contact a doctor immediately and get your symptoms in check. If left unattended, allergy symptoms can get out of hand and influence your day-to-day life, mood, routines, work capability and cost you more in the long run.

Regarding the mold, you may need an expert to locate and determine the extent of the problem.

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.

 


How Can You Get Rid of Bathroom Mold?

How do you remove mold in the bathroom?

Bathroom Mold - Mold Solutions NWMold has plagued people down through the ages, you can even read about how to properly handle mold in the Book of Leviticus in the Bible.

Because, unlike plants, mold (which is a fungus) does not make its own food, it depends on organic materials to sustain itself and grow. It’s sole purpose is to help dead bugs, trees, and leaves to decompose. Can you imagine a world where mold isn’t doing its job…it would be covered with all kinds of dead stuff that hasn’t been broken down and returned to its natural state in the environment.

So as long as mold is outside, doing what it’s intended to do, everything is fine. But the minute mold spores enter our homes, and it does every time a window or door is opened, it begins to grow and destroy the things we don’t want it to, like our walls, ceilings, draperies, paint, wallpaper, carpets, and because it can be toxic, our health.

Mold in the Bathroom

One of the easiest places for mold to get started is in your bathroom where it will often find excess humidity, dampness and plenty of organic material to feed on.

If mold needs organic material to feed on, why do you find it growing on non organics like bathroom tile, windows or mirrors? Because, if a non porous surface is not cleaned regularly, oils can build up on them, which mold can feed off of.

Surfaces such as these can be easily cleaned with disinfectants, and if your bathroom has a tendency for mold growth, frequent cleaning is a must. If it’s not cleaned off immediately, because it grows so fast, mold can move to walls, ceilings and flooring where real damage will begin.

Tips to control mold in your bathroom:

  • Bathroom Fan Helps Stop Mold - Mold Solutions NWDecrease humidity by always using ventilation when showering or bathing.
    • If your bathroom doesn’t have an exhaust fan…get one installed, and at the very least, open windows.
  • Clean surfaces on a regular basis with a product that will kill the mold.
  • Do not have carpet installed in your bathroom. Several years ago it was a trend to carpet your bathroom, but obviously with all the wetness and moisture in the air, it’s not such a good idea.

If you find mold growing on the walls and ceilings in your bathroom, there is probably a deeper problem that needs to be addressed, and this type of mold growth will need stronger measures than a disinfectant to remove it permanently.

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.