Stop Mold

Is There a Way to Stop Mold?

Blue Cheese is made with moldWhat do you usually think when you think of mold?

“Yuk”!

Then you begin thinking of ways to stop or get rid of it

But there are types of mold that are good, and some that are extremely important to us:

  • We use mold to create some types of cheeses like Brie, Gorgonzola or Blue cheese.
  • It is used in brewing beer.
  • We use is to make penicillin.

Unless you are allergic to these things, the mold in them is perfectly safe.

Unfortunately, all molds are not created equal, and there are many that are harmful, especially when they grow undetected in your home or at your place of work.

The problem with mold

Mold spores drift through the airMold finds it’s way into your home as tiny spores drifting through the air. (Think of how a dandelion spreads.) As they land on surfaces such as carpets, wood, insulation, wallpaper and other organic surfaces they can begin to grow.

If our homes have moisture or high humidity along with a warm environment, we provide mold with the perfect conditions for growth and reproduction of more spores – re-starting the cycle.

In the Seattle area, with our humid fall and winter seasons, mold is a constant threat, especially in our bathrooms and showers.

One family I know has a small bathroom off their master bedroom that has just one little window and no ventilation fan. Their ceilings and walls, no matter how often they clean them, are constantly covered with mold. Once it starts is spreads quickly.

This family, like many others wonders, can we stop the mold?

Although we can never totally get rid of mold spores, there are ways that we can control it’s growth.

Because mold thrives on moisture, when we control that, we make it much more difficult for mold to grow indoors.

  • Monitor your home’s humidity: Moisture meters can be purchased at many hardware stores.
  • Steam adds to humidity to cause moldHave proper ventilation: Make sure your laundry, your showers and your stoves are vented to the outside.
    • It’s also a good idea to run your kitchen ventilation fan while running the dishwasher.
  • Keep good air flow in your home: 
    • Keep doors between rooms open as much as possible for good air movement.
      • It’s even helpful to open closet doors.
    • Open your windows occasionally, even in the winter to let fresh air in.
    • Don’t keep your furniture pushed up against the walls.
  • If you love houseplants, add a little Taheebo tea as you water them, it will help keep mold from starting in the warm, moist soil.
  • Check you roof and attic: If you have a leaky roof, mold will start growing in your attic.
  • Don’t store firewood indoors.
  • Repair any plumbing leaks.
  • Make sure your crawl space is well insulated and ventilated.
  • Vacuuming regularly helps remove mold spores.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t panic, but don’t wait either.


Remove Mold

Are You Worried About the Dangers of Mold?

Have mold remediatedCertainly mold growth in your home is very undesirable, but there really isn’t any reason to be afraid of it, unless you don’t have it properly taken care of.

Mold is sneaky, it can start growing in places you can’t see and remain undetected for a long time. The important thing is that when it is discovered that the situation is taken care of quickly, correctly and permanently.

The process of removing mold is called:

Mold Remediation

The term remediation simply means: to remedy, or remove something bad or defective, correcting a fault. In this case, the something “bad” is mold.

Using the right procedures and products, mold can be removed from your home or office and you can once again breathe easier knowing there is no further danger.

Mold removal is a process

If you think you may have mold in your home…

  • Inspect for moldThe 1st step is to have certified inspectors thoroughly inspect your home.
    • They will look in places you might never consider looking.
    • They will give you a report of their findings and a detailed proposal for remediation.
  • Next, the area in question must be contained.
    • Rooms must be isolated.
    • Areas like vents, ventilation ducts, cold air returns and other openings must be sealed off.
  • Then the mold is treated, preferably with EPA-registered products, which are designed to fight contamination.
  • If there are items or materials that cannot be remediated, they must be removed and discarded.
    • Such things as drywall, carpet, upholstery, cabinetry or padding
  • An extremely important part of remediation is the clean up. It’s essential that all debris and hard to notice particles are properly cleaned up and removed in order to properly complete the process.
    • HEPA vacuuming is a must.
  • Next, an EPA-registered anti-microbial product should be applied to prevent regrowth.
  • Finally, another complete inspection should be held to make sure that all mold has been removed and all areas have been treated with the anti-microbial.

Mold Solutions NW is a full service mold solutions provider with IICRC certified inspectors.

This is the proven process that we follow, a process that will provide you with peace of mind so you can breathe easier.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t panic, but don’t wait either.


Mold Prevention Guide for Seattle Residents

Wouldn’t You Rather Prevent Mold Than Deal With It?

Prevent mold before it starts to grow - Mold Solutions NWBenjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

This is a concept used in countless aspects of our lives, prevent it rather than deal with it.

Nothing could be more true than when you’re talking about mold and mildew. Although they are a part of nature, they’re a part of nature that we don’t want in our homes.

Considered a fungus, mold and mildew are insidious, and once they begin they can not only be toxic, but hard to remove as well.

How are they harmful?

As the mold grows, it produces microscopic spores that travel through the air. The harm comes when they are inhaled, which gives them the opportunity to grow and thrive inside our bodies, especially in the lungs, which can cause respiratory problems.

How can mold be prevented?

In order to prevent excess growth in our homes, we need to understand what mold needs to grow and flourish.

Like most other living organisms, mold needs:

  • Oxygen
  • Food – Organic matter is what mold uses for its food source.
    • Plants
    • Food
    • Fabrics and carpets
    • Wood
    • Paper
    • Wallboard
  • Proper temperature – Mold grows best at between 40°- 100° Fahrenheit.
  • Moisture High humidity or excess water and moisture.

Control mold and mildew growth:

Keep in mind that when materials get wet and stay wet, they begin getting moldy. Once it has begun, mold can grow very quickly and very quietly, before you are even aware of it.

So it seems the key to preventing mold growth is to either prevent or repair water problems.

Water problems can be caused by:

  • Unrepaired leaks in the plumbing or from a damaged roof.
  • Landscaping that is too close, thus holding moisture too close to the outside of the home.Prevent mold by not watering your house - Mold Solutions NW
  • Watering your home when you should just be watering the lawn.
  • Excessive humidity caused by:
    • Condensation on the windows
    • Shower fans that aren’t used
    • Firewood stored inside the home
    • Too many houseplants
    • Excessive usage of humidifiers
    • Not using the exhaust fan over the stove
    • “Line” drying your clothes inside
    • Excessive cooling from the air conditioner

If there is water in your home that is not supposed to be there, remedy the situation to prevent further or future mold growth.

If you think you have a mold problem…


Black Mold Removal in Seattle

What Causes Black Mold?

Black MoldConsidered one of the most toxic molds, black mold is also one of the most common types of mold found in homes today, and is often called “toxic black mold”.

Black mold typically grows where there is a combination of:

  • High humidity
  • Dark, dank areas
  • Areas that have neglected water damage
    • Can be caused by leaks or floods
  • Organic materials for it to feed off of

Extreme, but perfect examples of this are the homes that were flooded and abandoned in New Orleans when hurricane “Katrina” hit.

Because the homes were so badly damaged and under water for so long, the residents moved away, giving black mold the perfect breeding ground. The walls, ceilings and floors were totally covered in black mold, leaving the homes uninhabitable.

You don’t need a hurricane or other disaster to create the conditions for black mold to grow. You can have leaky pipes, a leak in the attic, blocked rain gutters that cause water to seep into your walls or a minor flood in the basement. If the problem and the damage goes undetected and untreated the toxic mold growth will begin.

What makes black mold toxic?

Mold reproduces and spreads by creating spores which travel through the air. As they land on surfaces that have the right conditions, they begin to grow and spread. They in turn create more spores, and the cycle continues.

If, when black mold spores travel through the air, they are inhaled by someone, they can settle in the lungs and bloodstream where they can grow and reproduce.

What are the symptoms of black mold poisoning?

A person who may have black mold poisoning may experience symptoms that are similar Symptoms of toxic black moldto a cold such as:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing

They may also experience strong occurrences of allergy symptoms and asthma.

Toxic black mold syndrome can become a horrible illness, and unlike a cold, these symptoms will not go away by themselves, and will often end up as respiratory issues.

Like your symptoms, black mold in your home will not go away on its own – both you and your home need to be treated by professionals.

Don’t put it off, contact me right away if you suspect you have black mold growing in your home – your health depends on it!


How Do You Know if You Have a Mold Problem?

Do You Think You Have a Mold Problem?

Mold problems stir up allergiesHow do you know if you have a mold problem?

  • Are there places in your home that smell musty or earthy?
  • Do allergies seem to be acting up and getting worse?
  • Does someone’s migraine headaches seem to be flaring up more frequently?

These are some of the clues that might lead you to think there is mold growing in your home. Although they don’t mean that you positively have mold, they are pretty good indicators.

If these signs appear, don’t ignore them, look around and see what you can see.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Look for areas that might have excess moisture or water damage.
    • Condensation from your windows can cause moldHeavy window condensation can be a problem, as the moisture builds up, it can drip on wooden window sills or puddle next to wall board.
    • Walls, ceilings and wood work might have stains or water rings.
    • Carpets may feel damp most of the time.
  • Look for actual mold growth.
    • It often appears as a harmless water stain that may appear fuzzy.
    • It may have various texture appearances such as cotton, velvet or granular.
    • It can be a variety of colors from white to gray to yellow, brown or green.
  • Look in, behind and under.
    • Behind furniture
    • Under sinks, carpets and other flooring
    • Look in cabinets

If you have looked everywhere you can think of, don’t give up, it’s probably in places that you can’t get to. That’s when you should call a mold remediation company.

If you think you have located the mold, the next thing that needs to be done is to test for the type of mold that is growing, the risk factor to your household members and how what the extent of your problem is.

This is not something that most people know how to do, nor should they. Remember mold can be very toxic. Again, this is when you should call a mold remediation company, they will know how to take care of the situation and help keep the extent of further contamination to a minimum.

If you think you might have a mold problem