Blog Articles About Mold Symptoms


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


What does it take for Mold to Grow in Seattle?

How Does Mold Grow in Seattle?

How Does Mold Grow - Mold Solutions NWMany people are amazed when they discover that they have mold growing in their home.

The problem is, they’re not thinking of mold in the right way…they equate it with dirty living conditions. You can have a very clean house, and still have mold. It’s not about the dirt, it’s about mold spores that colonize anywhere there is moisture, oxygen and organic material for them to feed on.

Mold spores are extremely tiny and invisible to the naked eye, but the damage they can do is not. Once mold gets started, it doesn’t take long to take hold and begin the damage.

Damage from mold

If you’re wondering what type of damage mold can cause in your home, ask the victims of Hurricane Katrina and most recently Hurricane Sandy.

The news talks about power outages, shortages of gas, no food, no water, injury and evacuations. What you don’t always hear about is the destructive force of mold.

Once any type of water damage occurs, you only have 24-48 hours before mold begins to grow. If you can repair and stop the damage right away, you probably don’t need to worry. But in natural disasters where homes are evacuated and flooded, it’s unlikely that homeowners will not be able to return soon enough to stop the damage.

For homes (or any other buildings) that were left standing in water after the storms, mold will be their largest enemy. By the time people were able to re-enter their homes after Katrina, mold was growing everywhere and the homes were beyond repair.

But it doesn’t take a hurricane for mold to begin growing, it only takes a leaky pipe, too much condensation or lack of good ventilation.

Tell tale signs of mold

Water Damaged Home - Mold Solutions NWIf your home, office or school has experience any type of water damage, be on the look out for signs such as these:

  • Water stains
  • Musty smell
  • Discolored walls or ceilings
  • Warped floors

Mold doesn’t go away on its own…if your home has had water damage that has encouraged mold growth, don’t try to deal with it yourself, you could actually make matters worse – call trained mold inspectors and remediators. They know how to solve your mold issues safely and without spreading the spores so they can start again.


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.


Is Breathing Mold Dangerous? Read This If You See Any Mold

How Harmful is Breathing Mold?

Mold Decays Leaves - Mold Solutions NWFall is fast approaching, which means leaves are falling and decaying, and people are having allergy and asthma attacks.

The decay is caused by mold doing it’s job, feeding off the organic plant matter and turning it into organic compost.

When this natural cycle occurs outside people with allergies can become very uncomfortable, but when mold is growing and feeding off the organic materials in your house, it is not only uncomfortable, but can become dangerous.

About Mold:

Mold is not like typical plants that produce their food by means of photosynthesis, mold is a fungus that must find its food to survive, and it will find it in dark, moist, warm places…that’s where fallen leaves, over ripe fruit and your water damaged wallboard comes in.

As mold finds its food source, the process of decay and destruction begins.

How Mold Grows

Your home can be the perfect environment for mold to grow, like you it likes nice warm places with moist air. And like you, it will thrive when conditions are just right.

As mold grows, it spreads by sending out tiny seed like spores that travel through the air looking for the same conditions. This process happens rapidly, in fact if you have had water damage and haven’t thoroughly dried out everything that got wet, mold will begin in about 24 hours.

Some molds produce mycotoxins, which are dangerous to human beings, and are all but impossible to destroy. If we have mold in our homes, when we breath the air, we are also breathing in the mold spores and possibly dangerous mycotoxins.

Possible Health Problems Related to Mold:

  • Mold Can Cause Health Problems - Mold Solutions NWRespiratory problems – trouble breathing, allergies and asthma
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sinusitis
  • Digestive Problems
  • Depression
  • Aching joints

If you’re experiencing poor health symptoms that you can’t explain, you might want to consider the possibility of mold exposure.

We are not intended to coexist with mold in our homes – call us for a FREE mold assessment.

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

 


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