Blog Articles About Allergies


How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful in Seattle?

Is Mold Exposure Harmful in Seattle?

Mold SporeSome people are more sensitive to mold than others, but no matter what your sensitivities are, everyone should limit their exposure to mold.

Mold is actually a fungus and can be found indoors as well as outdoors. Although there is not an exact count of how many different types of mold there are, it is estimated that there may be from tens of thousands to as many as three hundred thousand.

As most of us know, mold thrives in damp, warm, humid environments. They reproduce and spread by creating microscopic spores that go unseen by the naked eye. These spores travel through the air, and when they land on a surface that has moisture, they can begin to grow.

Because the spores travel through the air, they can be inhaled, and if a person inhales large quantities, their health may be impacted.

Mold may cause health problems

Mold exposure can lead to several health complications. There are several ways people can avoid too much exposure. Remove visible mold as soon as you notice them. The application of hot soapy water can wash away the pores. Experts can apply bleach to clean the surfaces. Porous surfaces tend to attract mold. It is good to discard any wet porous materials in a home. Carpets and insulation materials can develop mold if they are not kept dry.

Ensuring the home is dry can play a great role in keeping mold away. If mold does develop, it is essential to get a professional who can remove them as fast as possible. Family members can face health complications if the pores are left to stay in the air for long.

Molds not only produce allergens, which cause allergies, but they can also produce toxic substances, which may lead to sensitive people developing symptoms.

The most common health problems caused by mold, whether by the actual mold or by the mold spores, are allergic reactions.

Symptoms of mold exposure

Depending on the person, these symptoms may be manifest immediately or even after a period of time has passed since the exposure.Mold can cause allergies

  • Skin irritations – possible rashes
  • Itchy, watering red eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Possible asthma attacks
  • Migraine headaches

Aches and pains

When the body is exposed to toxins, the body will react by activating the immune system. Common symptoms people face after they have been exposed to mold include aches and pains. Children and older adults will even become worse when they are left to inhale high levels of mold. Quick action should be taken to remove the molds as fast as possible. Children and infants can become restless if the home is full of pores. Comfortable environment can make homes habitable and comfortable.

Changes in mood

Family members will not be happy after they are exposed to mold. The pores will be suspended in the air, making it hard to breathe. It is good to take necessary actions and remove the mildew. Experts know the right steps they can take to remove the mold so that family members can enjoy staying at home.

Headaches

When people breathe pores, they tend to experience headaches. Getting quick help from doctors is necessary. The pores react differently when they enter people. Some people can experience severe complications. It is essential to get an expert who can analyze the air condition. Sometimes the mold can enter the home from outside. If your neighborhood has let the walls develop moisture and have pores, then having an air purifier can reduce their levels. Other symptoms of exposure are memory loss and nosebleeds.

Allergy and irritation

Mold can lead to allergies and irritations. When the spores enter the body, they trigger allergic reactions that can lead to several symptoms. Some of the signs that people experience after they have been exposed to mold include the following:

Runny or blocked nose

The pores lead to allergic reactions that can cause inflammation of the inner lining of the nose. The body will then react through the production of mucus. If your family members tend to have runny noses, then it is good to get an expert who will assess the air condition and determine whether there is a high level of mold.

Watery and red eyes

The allergic reactions can lead to red eyes. The watery red eyes are caused by too much exposure to mold. The allergic reaction in the body tends to affect different organs of the body. The eyes can contact the pores as they are suspended in the air and lead to red eyes.

Dry cough

Inhaling the mold pores can make one develop a dry cough. There is a need to assess the room’s air quality if people start developing a dry cough. When people are exposed to allergic reactions, they tend to react differently. The dry cough can be among the signs you have been affected.

Skin rashes

Kids can start developing skin rashes after being exposed to high pore levels from the mold. The pores tend to cause allergic reactions that are manifested on the skin. There are several measures family members can take to avoid the exposure and even stop the skin reactions.

Sore throat

After a runny nose and dry cough, some people can end up developing a sore throat. The sore throat is caused by allergic reactions where the cells in the throat are inflamed. The condition can be controlled if the necessary measures are taken to reduce pores’ concentration in the air.

Sinusitis

Some people develop sinusitis. If you notice black coloration on your walls, then you develop sinusitis, then it is essential to ensure you get the mold assessment. Maybe your home has developed high levels of mold that make it hard for family members to enjoy their free time.

Wheezing

Some people experience wheezing. An inflamed air passage causes the sound. The allergic reaction can act on the walls of the air passage, making it hard to breathe. The problem can worsen if not tackled fast. It is good to get professionals to tackle the problem before it is too late. The exposure is known to worsen asthma in people who suffer from health complications.

Shortness of breath

In severe cases, people can experience shortness of breath. The condition is caused by inflammation of the windpipe. The problem can become worse. Many home homers take necessary measures to reduce the accumulation of mold pores in their homes. Some people have an allergic reaction that can lead to severe complications.

Depending on the type of mold, even more severe symptoms, such as fever and difficulty breathing, may be caused in some people who are extremely sensitive or vulnerable.

One young woman who is prone to migraine headaches began having the headaches recur more and more frequently. Then she noticed that during the weekends, when she wasn’t at work, the headaches were gone.

She worked in a retail store that was located in a very old building where she discovered large of amounts of mold growing. Luckily the business was relocating, and once they had moved, the frequency of her headaches went away.

People who suffer from asthma have an especially hard time when they are exposed to mold. Because they have breathing issues already, mold can affect their upper respiratory system, making it even more difficult for them.

People at risk of mold exposure

People who stay at home for long hours are at high risk of developing severe mold complications. They include infants and children. Infants have not fully developed their breathing systems. When they are exposed to mold, it can affect their health. Children and older adults tend to spend a lot of time indoors, and they are at high risk. People who suffer from allergy-related health complications such as asthma are at high risk. The condition can become worse in people with a weak immune system.

Can mold lead to breathing problems?

Mold can affect the breathing system. People who have asthma can experience the worst cases. There are documented cases where people have experienced shortness of breath. There is a need to take action and control the levels of mold. People with preexisting lung conditions can be at high risk if left in areas with high mold levels.

How mold affects the body

Mold leads to allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to the pores. When the offering particles enter their bodies, the immune system overreacts, leading to itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and even shortness of breath.

What happens when you inhale mold spores?

When some inhale the pores, the immune system overreacts, leading to allergic reactions. The allergic reactions can lead to several health complications. It is advisable to avoid exposure if possible. Getting mold removal services is very necessary.

Mold removal experts

We offer mold removal services. Our experts can carry out a mold inspection and recommend the best removal techniques. It is good to get the mold removed and prevented from coming back. Our experts are known to employ the latest technology to remove the mold. Call us today.

 

If you think you have a mold problem…


Is Mold Exposure Dangerous to People With Weakened Immune Systems?

Weakened Immune Systems and Mold

MoldandHealth-MoldSolutionsNWThe answer to that question is a resounding “yes”!

Although continuous exposure to mold growth is hazardous to everyone, the level of risk for people with weakened immune systems is definitely higher than for those who are healthier.

By inhaling or simply touching mold or its spores, allergic reaction may be experienced, and for those who suffer with asthma, mold can increase the asthma attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have weakened immune systems are more likely to get mold infections, which could lead to hospitalization or even death.

Who is at a higher risk of mold infection?

  • People who have cancer.
    • People undergoing chemotherapy.
  • People who have had organ transplants and are on medication that typically weakens the immune system.
    • People who are on antibiotics.
  • People who have aids.
  • People born with weakened immune system issues.

Because mold is a fungus, and reproduces by emitting its tiny spores into the air, another term for mold infection is fungal infection. As the spores are inhaled, they make their way into your lungs which is where most fungal infections begin.

Protecting Yourself From Mold Infection

Obviously, mold exposure can be a real health hazard and is a situation that should not be ignored. There are signs of mold growth that you can recognize:

  • Black Mold - Mold Solutions NWBlack or white spots growing on walls, ceilings, under wall paper or on furniture.
  • A dank musty smell – you can’t always see mold…it can be found lurking under counters, behind furniture, inside the walls, but you can often smell it in areas that it’s growing.
  • Mold can grow just about anywhere there is a lot of moisture or humidity, a nice warm temperature and little sunlight. Some of the most common places it’s located are bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and basements.

You can control mold in your home by:

  • Making sure you have good ventilation and air flow.
  • Repair leaking plumbing right away.
  • Don’t let condensation from your windows build up on your windowsills…dry them off right away.
  • Keep furniture a few inches away from the walls to encourage good airflow.
  • Always run the exhaust fans in your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.
  • If there has been flooding, even minor flooding, be sure it is dried thoroughly immediately…mold can begin to grow in about 24-48 hrs.

Symptoms of fungal or mold infection may include: headaches,  difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, skin rashes and congestion. Unfortunately these are symptoms for many other conditions, so oftentimes they get ignored because “they’ll go away soon”. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you have a weakened immune system, you may want to consider the idea of mold exposure, especially if there have been signs of mold growth in the home.

The first thing you should do is have trained professionals inspect your home for mold, and get their recommendations on how to remediate it. Removing the problem in your home may not be the only solution to get rid of our symptoms, consult with your doctor who may have anti-fungal medication.

If you think you have a mold 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.


How Clean is the Air You Breathe in Your Seattle Home?

Seattle Indoor Air Quality Guide

BreatheCleanAir-MoldSolutionsNWThere is all kinds of talk about the outside air we breathe…is it clean; is it free from such things as the toxic emissions from cars, manufacturing pollutants or even outdoor burning?

But have you ever considered the air you breathe in your home where air quality can be just as toxic or worse and detrimental to your health as those things we have mentioned above?

Sources of indoor air toxins:

Although you are usually not aware that you are breathing in toxins in your home, believe it or not, they can be found in every room. They can come from:

  • Your pet
  • Your fireplace
  • Space heaters, water heaters and furnaces
    • Many of our appliances release gases and particles that we breathe every day
  • Cleaning products
  • Dust mites
  • Carpet
  • Plastics
  • Certain building materials
  • Mold spores

Just as you can suffer from chronic illness, your home can suffer from chronic poor air quality…sometimes called “Sick Building Syndrome”. Although that may sound funny, to people whose health is affected by it, it’s no laughing matter.

Bad air quality can cause:

  • Cold symptoms that won’t go away, such as coughing and sneezing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Frequent and lasting headaches
  • Asthma -If you already have asthma it will increase your symptoms

These conditions affect the elderly, the very young and those who already struggle with some of these issues the most.

How to improve the air quality in your home

Regular cleaning is a great way to improve the condition of your home’s air. Although frequent dusting and vacuuming is important, it’s also important to have your furnace and your air ducts cleaned regularly.

Use your ventilation fans whenever you’re cooking or showering. Good ventilation in your home can help eliminate humidity issues which help cause dust mites and mold growth. If your home seems to always have high humidity, using a dehumidifier can be very helpful.

PreserveAairQuality-MoldSolutionsNWChoose your cleaning products carefully. Beware of those that might contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including ammonia and bleach. Choose products with low or no VOCs and avoid aerosols and other sprays.

Keeping your pets clean can help reduce allergy causing dander.

No smoking in the house.

Grow live plants in your house. There are several plants that can help remove the pollutants that fill your air: The Peace Lily, Dracaena, English Ivy and Areca Palm to name a few.

If you think you have mold that is causing poor air conditions in your home, it may cause serious problems if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

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.

 

 


Could Mold be Hiding in Your Home? Learn How to Find Out

Mold in Your Home

HidingMold-MoldSolutionsNWAll too often, when a home has mold problems, the mold is found hiding in places you don’t often look at. By the time its presence is detected, it has had a chance to really take hold and do damage to your home and possibly your health.

It can hide:

  • Under sinks around leaky pipes
  • Between walls
  • Under carpets or other flooring
  • In damp basements
  • Around your window sills
  • Even in your furnace
    • Mold can grow in the areas of your furnace’s duct work where dust collects. Then as you turn on your furnace and warm air begins circulating through your house, so do the mold spores that have begun growing.

If mold is hiding…how do you know it’s there?

Mold is not only ugly to look at (it can be pink, green, gray, white or black), but it has a distinctive odor. If you have ever smelled moldy food from the refrigerator, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a dirty, musty, moldy, unpleasant smell. It can often be smelled before it can be seen.

These odors are a strong clue that mold growth has begun, and it’s something that should not be ignored.

Another indicator that you have hidden mold in your home is if one or more persons develop cold like or allergy like symptoms such as sneezing, runny or itchy eyes, nasal congestion or a runny nose.

If these are symptoms you already experience, it may cause you to think this is normal. But if your symptoms are worse when you are in your home or business and they ease up or go away when you leave, it is more than likely that your symptoms are brought on or made worse because you are being exposed to mold.

Other signs of mold…

  • How Does Mold Grow - Mold Solutions NWPeeling, cracking or bubbling paint
  • Peeling or discolored wallpaper
  • Walls that bow or bulge
  • Walls or surfaces that always feel damp
  • Discolored or stained walls
  • Continuous condensation around windows or pipes

Mold can be a serious problem if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

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.

 

 


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.