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.

 


Why is Condensation a Problem?

Condensation Problems Can Cause Mold Growth

Condensation - Mold Solutions NWCondensation occurs when warm water vapors, such as steam, turn into small droplets of water as it comes into contact with a surface that is cooler.

It’s never a good thing when a homeowner discovers condensation in their home. A little moisture on your windows or even your walls doesn’t seem like it could be too important, but condensation is a sign of problems, either now or in the near future.

There is even some condensation you may not see, because it can accumulate on fabrics, carpets or even clothing and is absorbed, leaving the item damp.

Why is it a problem?

Because it originates inside your home, it has been called “The enemy from within”.

When condensation forms and is allowed to continue, meaning the reason for its existence isn’t dealt with, it can cause destruction in your home that can be very costly:

  • Structural damage to your roof
  • Warped wood
  • Wood rot
  • Peeling or blistering paint
  • Energy loss
  • Mold growth and damage

Which is the Biggest Problem?

In my opinion, the damage to your home, your belongings and your health caused by mold growth is the biggest problem that condensation can cause.

Mold thrives on warm damp surfaces. As the moisture from condensation, that takes place on a regular basis, remains, organic surfaces absorb the dampness. Mold spores, that are always floating in the air, have the opportunity to take hold and begin growing and reproducing.

You may think that the moisture on your windows won’t effect other parts of your home, but if the moisture is allowed to remain, it is the prelude to mold.

The Key to Condensation Control…

Control your humidity level:

  • Open Window Prevent Condensation - Mold Solutions NWMake sure your attic and crawlspace is ventilated properly
  • Periodically open your fireplace damper and your windows to improve ventilation
  • Keep warm, moist air out of the house by always using ventilation fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Don’t “air” dry your laundry indoors.
  • Use a dehumidifier

When you realize that even your breath can cause condensation, I would say overall, good ventilation is the key.

 If you have a condensation problem, chances are  you also have a mold problem…


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

 


Sick Building Syndrome

Are You a Victim of Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick Building Syndrome - Mold Solutions NWYou may be wondering if this is a made up term or if it’s real, but believe me, it is very real. Health issues and syndromes may be caused by buildings.

Buildings, such as homes, schools, churches and offices can become toxic, and cause what is called Sick Building Syndrome or SBS. SBS is an environmental illness or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity manifested by a variety of symptoms in people who inhabit these spaces.

Symptoms of SBS

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Irritation in eyes, nose and throat

You can see by the types of symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose this syndrome, but one thing that can give you a hint into what the problem might be is if after leaving a building, you get relief.

Causes for Building Toxicity:

  1. Chemical contaminants which could be anything from vehicle exhaust to adhesives for upholstery, cleaning agents or pesticides.
  2. Biological contaminants such as pollen, viruses, bacteria or mold.

Mold is everywhere around us, it’s part of our natural environment, but when it takes hold and grows uninhibited in the spaces we “live” in, it can cause many health issues, even more than the ones listed above.

Interesting Facts About Mold

  • Mold has been known to cause over 30 types of health problems.
  • Penicillin is created by purified mold.
  • Health Issues Caused by Mold - Mold Solutions NWMold is the great wood destroyer: It destroys more each year than the combined destruction of fire, termites or floods.
  • Mold can survive and thrive on just about any surface.
  • People who suffer with chronic sinus infections are usually exposed to mold growth.
  • Mold likes dark, damp humid areas for growth.

With the knowledge that approximately 50% of homes in the United States are affected by mold, it stands to reason that many of us could face the possibility of being exposed to mold and the risk of Sick Building Syndrome.

If you or someone you know is experiencing unexplainable symptoms such as the ones mentioned above, you should have your home, or possibly another building where you spend a great deal of your time, inspected.

Contact us for a Free Mold Assessment