Blog Articles About Mold Remediation


Mold and Pregnancy in Seattle – Can Mold Cause Birth Defects or Miscarriage?

How Does Mold Affect Pregnancy?

Pregnancy and Mold - Mold Solutions NWMore and more people are coming to the understanding that exposure to mold can cause many health issues, especially for young children, the elderly and those who already have respiratory problems.

With that in mind, the question now is will mold negatively affect your pregnancy and your unborn child? Are you worried about exposure to mold and pregnancy complications?

Unfortunately, there has not been a great deal of research done on this topic. There has been animal research that has shown there are risks of birth defects if the animals have eaten moldy food, but nothing has been determined about airborne mold exposure.

Is It Just Coincidence?

There have been many women who, during the time of their pregnancies were exposed to mold for extended periods of time, either experienced miscarriage or had a child born with a birth defect. But science has not validated the idea that these situations were caused by or linked to mold exposure.

According to researchers, if a miscarriage happens, it’s most likely not due to external, i.e. environmental factors. Up to 70% of first trimester miscarriages and 20% of second trimester miscarriages occur because of a genetic mistake – an irregularity in the fetus’s own genetic structure, at least according to the March of Dimes.

Can Mold Make You Sick While Pregnant?

Yes, mold has the potential to make you sick regardless of your age, sex, and pre-existing conditions. Prolonged exposure to mold spores is known to cause long-term allergic responses with multiple different places where symptoms can occur: skin, respiratory pathways, lungs, eyes. Anything that obstructs your own intake of oxygen indirectly affects your baby if you’re pregnant.

How does mold affect a baby while you’re pregnant?

There is a 3-5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect in every pregnancy, across the whole population. Studies on mold impact during pregnancy are rare, but animal studies have shown that mold toxins have potential to cause birth defects when ingested. Currently, however, there is no proven risk to a pregnancy from exposure to airborne mold.

Naturally, not much direct research can be done on mold exposure and pregnancy since very few women are willing to risk their own and the health of their child to participate in such studies, and here’s why (quoted from The Lancet):

The thalidomide tragedy in the late 1950s and early 1960s led to the FDA’s expansion of the category of exclusion from that of pregnant women to “women of childbearing potential”. It was not until 1993 that the FDA reversed this policy on grounds that the exclusion of the majority of women from most clinical trials had resulted in a lack of scientific data on the risks and benefits to women of drugs that had been studied exclusively in men.

What we do know…

We do know how mold can affect those of us who have already been born.

  • We know that mold is a fungus and is around us all the time.
  • We know that it’s good for the outside environment, but not for us.
  • We know that it grows by sending out tiny spores into the air we breathe.
  • We know that continuous exposure to these spores can cause health problems:
    • Increased asthma attacks
    • Mold Can Cause Eye Irritations - Mold Solutions NWEye irritations
    • Allergic reactions
    • Coughing
    • Sneezing
    • Wheezing
    • Respiratory problems
  • We know that mold should be removed as soon as possible

Cleaning Mold While Pregnant – Is It Safe?

If you do notice mold growth in your home, our advice is not to clean it yourself. Cleaning disturbs the mold and may release spores into the air, causing health problems and spreading mold throughout the room and beyond. 

Our Conclusion:

It may be a coincidence, but we really don’t know. Even though there is no research that proves mold exposure is harmful to your unborn child, why take chances? We do know that compromised immune systems lead to complications and an increase in various risk factors, so, indirectly mold has the potential to have a plethora of harmful effects. Don’t wait for scientific studies to be over – better safe than sorry!

Mold And Pregnancy – Don’t Risk It, Protect Yourself!

Have the mold remediated by Seattle’s top mold removal experts!

Call us today and schedule an inspection and testing run and we’ll check if you qualify for a FREE inspection.


How does Mold Smell Like? Learn How to Get Rid of Mold Smell

Are You Smelling Mold?

Do you smell mold? - Mold Solutions NWWhat is that foul, musty smell that you notice whenever you enter the house or pass by a certain area? It actually could be caused by a number of things, but more than likely you’re smelling mold.

Sometimes mold is easy to find; you can see it around windows, in the shower, and even growing on your walls. But all too often, mold is growing in places that you won’t easily find.

So don’t think that because you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, if you smell mold, it’s there somewhere, and it would be wise to have it located and remediated.

Where can mold be hiding?

Mold can hide in various places:

  • One lady complained of a musty smell in her carpet near an outside wall. Because the house was built on a concrete slab rather than having a crawl space, they came to the conclusion that it couldn’t be mold. But if you have foundation problems, such as cracks that allow moisture to creep in, you can have mold.
  • Another unseen mold problem occurred on the back side of some kitchen cabinets that had been exposed to too much moisture.
  • Mold can be found behind wallpaper, behind wall paneling and under carpets and other flooring.
  • It can be found in crawl spaces, attics and in the backs of closets.
  • You can find mold on the bottom sides of drawers that are in kitchens and bathrooms where dampness, spills and leaks occur on a regular basis.
  • Mold can be sandwiched between the sub-floor and floor and concealed in wall cavities.

Locating Mold Growth

Can't See Mold - Mold Solutions NWYou could play hide-n-seek with mold for a long time, and possibly never find where it’s growing. In the meantime, you’re giving it a chance to spread, as well as do damage to your home and your health.

If you are smelling musty, unpleasant odors in your home, and you can’t find the source…a certified mold inspector will be able to locate the problem.

Mold Solutions NW is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma.

We can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

 

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How Do Tenants in Seattle Resolve Mold Issues?

What Should You Know About Mold in Apartments?

Image of How do tenants deal with mold issues? - Mold Solutions NWHomeowners and business owners are not the only people who have mold issues. It is not uncommon for a renter or tenant to discover they have mold in their rental home or apartment.

The problem with mold being found in a rental property is determining who is responsible for remediation, which can lead to conflict between landlord and tenant.

If you are a tenant…

Before signing your name on the dotted line of the lease, you always do a walk through to take note of the condition of the dwelling; you look for doors and drawers to work properly, the condition of the flooring and the walls and you check to make sure all appliances are in good working order.

One thing you may not have considered looking for is mold growth, check for:

  • Musty odors and where it seems they are originating from
  • Evidence of water damage, such as stains in the carpets, the walls or ceilings.
  • Discolored laminate on the floors that are near sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers and other plumbing

If mold is found before you sign a contract and move in, the mold cleanup would be the responsibility of the landlord. It would be my recommendation to have it remediated before you move in to avoid any health issues that the mold may cause.

Your responsibility:

Once you have determined that your future home is free from mold, and you have moved in, your responsibility begins.

It’s up to you to:

  • Notify your landlord immediately once you have discovered a water leak.
  • Image of Keep floors vacuumed to reduce mold spores - Mold Solutions NWBecause mold spores are always in the air, keeping your home clean and vacuumed will help remove spores that are waiting for moist humid conditions to begin growing and spreading.
  • Allow fresh air to circulate by opening windows whenever possible.
  • If you have had a leak or water damage, make sure that all organic materials, clothing, bedding or carpets are dried as quickly as possible.
    • Mold begins growing within about 24 hrs, so timing is critical.
  • If you discover mold, contact your landlord right away.

More often than not, a mold inspector or remediator will not be able deal with the tenant, but will need to discuss the problem with the landlord or property owner, which doesn’t mean they are responsible for taking care of the mold – you may need to work together to resolve the issue of responsibility.

If you are a tenant in Washington State, you are covered by the “Residential Landlord-Tenant Act“, which will help you understand your rights and responsibilities.


How Do You Find The Source of Mold in Your Seattle Home?

How to find the source of mold?

Mold is frequently found when people are remodeling their homes. Because it is often necessary to work with and around the house’s structure, signs of mold that would not normally be seen become very visible.

One such homeowner in the Seattle, WA area began a remodeling job on their home and discovered a great deal of mold growth in their crawl space.

I think you’ll find these before and after pictures very interesting.

Before our team did their job:

Image of Mold on Joists and Walls - Mold Solutions NWThis is what one typical crawl space looked like, the mold was caused by a lack of proper ventilation. We work with the best insulation companies in the State; they come in and extract the insulation and put the correct ventilation in, sealing ducts if necessary to further diminish moisture getting into the crawl space.

Then after we do our job, they come back in and replace insulation up to code, making sure you get any available rebates from your energy company and saving you big bucks on your future energy bills!  And you also get peace of mind knowing your indoor air quality is much cleaner because of our team efforts!

Protecting the air you breathe

Image of Protecting your home from mold spores - Mold Solutions NW

Have you ever noticed when you bite into a powdered donut, the powder flies everywhere!  Kind of like when you disturb mold, the spores like to fly everywhere, and we like to keep that under control and make them go where we say. Tough on mold, easy on the environment.

Our Team

Image of Mel the Mold Lady - Molds Solutions NWWe are proud to say that all of our remediators are certified. Its dirty work but someone has got to do it!

But really, each of our team has got to pass a rigorous certification program, we don’t hire just just anyone, plus they all wear the proper personal protective  equipment.

Our Tools

Image of HEPA vacuum and filter - Mold Solutions NW

After containment, we vacuum every surface with specialized High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuums, designed specifically to capture mold spores. Then we scrub and treat with a fungicide, then apply a stain remover, then finish off with an anti microbial which deters future mold from being able to grow. We can warranty the areas we treat for ten years!

The Finale

Image of Free from mold - Mold Solutions NW

Happy Healthy crawl space …so you can breathe easy!

 


How to Detect Mold Problems in a New Home or New Construction?

Why Would a New House Have a Mold Problem?

Image of Mold Problems in new construction - Mold Solutions NWYou would think because your home was purchased when it was brand new that you wouldn’t have to deal with mold problems. In fact, for most new home owners, this is probably one of the last things on their mind. Instead, they are focusing on window treatments, landscaping and wall decor because they think they are safe…this is a new home you know!

Incidence of mold occurring in new homes is growing rapidly. In fact, the issue of mold in new construction could become the asbestos or leaded paint issues from previous eras.

Why is this happening?

  • Image of Mold Inspectors locate the problem - Mold Solutions NWMany attribute part of this problem to the fact that there are areas in a newly constructed home that cannot be inspected easily. Such places as:
    • Around the floor joists
    • The area above your crawl space
    • Within the stud cavity

It’s easier to detect mold in living areas than it is in foundational areas.

  • Newer homes are also being build much “tighter” than were the homes of the past, which means there is less air flow, keeping more moisture inside and giving mold fertile territory to begin growing.

Home Construction Mistakes

Another problem that newer homes have is when construction errors occur, and they do, because even the best of us makes mistakes.

There was a show on a Home Improvement Chanel on the other night that featured a young family with 2 young sons, a toddler and an infant, who had recently moved into a new home.

Both children became very ill…stomach aches, coughing, runny noses and even vomiting. Then the parents began experiencing bronchial problems as well.

One day after it had been raining, the mother noticed some water coming in one of the upstairs windows in the baby’s bedroom. Because the walls and the carpets were so wet it occurred to her there might be a mold problem.

Due to the fact the windows didn’t have a good seal and the moisture barrier wasn’t installed correctly, water had consistently been entering the house, and sure enough they had mold, in the carpet and on the wallboard, not just in that room but in several other areas also.

Image of Leaving until the mold is remediated - Mold Solutions NWBecause they didn’t know how widespread the mold was, the family moved out until they could get the mold removed and the house put back together by professionals. Mold had made this entire family very ill.

Don’t assume that because you are in a new home that you couldn’t have mold problems. Remember too that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

For your peace of mind and the safety of yours and your family’s health, if you think you have a mold problem, give us a call, and have it remediated properly.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma areas