Blog Articles About Mold


How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

How Long Before Mold Starts Growing?

Image of Mold Grows Fast - Mold SolutionsNWBecause mold is both damaging and dangerous to property and people, it’s important to pay attention to any evidence that it might be growing in your office or home.

Too much water is the culprit:

Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, from flooding to leaks in pipes to too much humidity in the air.

It doesn’t take large amounts of moisture to cause water damage; accumulation of condensation on windows or an undetected drip from an under counter pipe is all that’s necessary.The perfect environment for mold growth has been created.

Mold grows fast

Once water damage has occurred, there is a small window of time, 24-48 hours, before mold will begin to grow, and once it begins it spreads quickly.

As you can see from this brief time lapse video of a 2 week time span, mold grows rapidly once it begins.


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 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


What’s the Best Way to Fight Mold in Seattle?

How do you Fight Mold?

Image of How Can You Fight Mold? - Mold Solutions NWObviously the best way to fight mold is to prevent it from ever getting started in the first place. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

We can’t run and we can’t hide, mold spores are not only insidious, but they are everywhere and always with us.

During the winter months, especially in the Seattle area, mold can become a real problem as furnaces are turned on, doors and windows are closed and humidity levels increase. These are indoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Are we safe during the summer?

That being said, you might think that during the summer months mold would die, but that isn’t the case. During the summer months we experience hot humid days; these are outdoor conditions that encourage mold growth.

Whether in the winter or the summer, excess humidity in our homes is mold’s best friend. It has been estimated by George Tsongas, a Portland State University professor emeritus, that nearly 1/3 of the homes in the Pacific NW have mold or mildew problems.

One out of 3 homes is an extremely high number, and unfortunately, most of those homeowners don’t even realize they have mold. Once you have it, it doesn’t go away on its own. It will probably be necessary to contact a mold inspector and professional remediator.

If you don’t have mold, or you have had remediation, to keep mold from beginning or coming back, it is absolutely imperative to control the moisture in your home.

An instrument called an hygrometer can check the humidity levels, which should be kept below 50%, although most of us are more comfortable when they are lower than that.

Suggestions to lower humidity

  • Always use exhaust fans in your kitchens and bathrooms.
    • Image of House Plants create humidity - Mold Solutions NWThese fans should vent to the outside.
  • If your home has naturally high humidity, you could purchase a dehumidifier.
  • Keep in mind that too many house plants can cause higher humidity as they give off moisture.
    • Just remember how humid it felt the last time you were in a greenhouse.
  • Never store firewood in your house; as it dries it gives off moisture.
  • Leaky faucets should be repaired.

If you think you have a mold problem, don’t wait, give us a call…

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma
We can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.

 


Should You Use a “Mold Test Kit” to Identify Mold?

Are Mold Test Kits Effective at Identifying Mold? Image of Mold test kits aren't helpful - Mold Solutions NWIn an effort to save money, many people invest in Mold Test Kits for the home. Some kits advertize results in 48 hours, while others go so far as to say that in 5 minutes you can swab and and have results.

After hearing these types of claims, a well known phrase comes to my mind: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

The other thing that comes to my mind is: Are you going to risk possible health problems by using a 5 minute mold test kit?

Unfortunately I need to tell you that most of these kits are a waste of money, especially when you will probably end up hiring a mold inspector anyway.

A waste of time and money

  • Although these kits can give you a few answers, some that you most likely already know, they can’t provide the whole picture.
    • Basically they test only for the presence of mold…mold is always present, so this is not new or helpful information.
    • When the mold test indicates the presence of mold, it doesn’t mean you have a mold problem.
    • These kits, because they will almost always test positive for mold, strike fear in the hearts of homeowners who now think they have a mold problem, when they don’t necessarily have one.
  • Mold kits do not inspect the entire home or building.
    • Image of Mold Inspectors locate the problem - Mold Solutions NWMold inspectors, using their expertise of building construction and problematic situations that encourage mold growth, will examine the structure inside and out, looking for such things as:
      • Poorly ventilated attics and crawl spaces
      • Cracks in the foundation that can allow moisture in
      • Leaks in plumbing
      • Condensation, excess humidity
      • Inadequate outside drainage that doesn’t move water away from the house.

Here is what I think…

As a certified mold inspector, I recommend that you do not waste your efforts on mold detection kits. Not only do they provide you with information that you already know, but they won’t identify what the problem is that started the mold and how to effectively resolve the issue.

Mold Solutions is a full service mold solutions provider for the Seattle Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Everett, or Tacoma
We can remove the threats to your health and safety caused by mold.