What is mold?"
Mold is a fungus and there are literally thousands of types of mold that can grow in a home. Some types are not dangerous, but many are. Black mold is by far (in our humble opinion) the worst.
The WA State Department of Health publishes a great mold brochure titled "Got Mold?" It answers many questions for people researching mold in a home. The information below is gleaned from our own personal experiences, and is meant to provide a layman's perspective regarding mold. It has not been endorsed or approved by any regulatory agencies. Please do not rely on the information below. Seek professional help first.
Why mold is dangerous
Mold cam make you or your family very ill in a variety of ways. They can cause allergies, headaches, asthma, runny noses, irritations, bed sickness, and a lot of subtle ways that may be blamed on something else. Sometimes the mold grows undetected and occupants will experience mold-like symptoms but not be able to draw the connection.
Visual observation is the best method for detecting mold. But if none is visible but it is still suspected then it is advised that a mold expert be brought in. This expert can bring moisture meters and other test equipment to test for the presence of mold in a home or apartment — even behind a wall!
If you have even the slightest inkling your home may be contaminated with mold you are advised to contact your landlord or county health department. Oftentimes the testing can be done at low or no cost.
How mold can make you ill
Mold is "sporific" (our own word!) — meaning the easiest and most common way mold can affect your health is to breath air-laden spores into your lungs. Imagine mold growing on a wall or window sill and as someone walks in and out of the room they open and close doors and window blinds and generally disturb the air with their movements.
Even the slightest jiggle can release mold spores into the air. If you happen to breathe that contaminated air you can develop one or more of the many symptoms attributed to mold. We were once bed-ridden for a whole week after attempting to clean mold from an aluminum frame window and not knowing what we were doing. Get the facts first!!
How to get rid of mold
If you have a fair amount of mold it isn't even worth trying to clean it up. Get a specialist in there to do the work. If you have a little bit of mold it may be possible for you to clean it up yourself. What constitutes "a lot" or "a little" is open for debate. Our feeling is that typically any mold area larger than a quarter should be dealt with by experts.
If you have just "a little" bit of mold and want to clean it up there are several methods available that can be researched on the web. Most people head for the bleach. And bleach is certainly a great product for killing mold. But we found an approach we prefer much better.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
That's right! Two ingredients common to most kitchens make an excellent armada for fighting and cleaning mold.
- Fill a spray bottle with vinegar. Do not dilute. Spray the affected area lightly with the vinegar. You do not want to get close to the mold with the spray bottle because the force of the spray may release mold spores in the air for you to breath.
- Wipe the wall mold and vinegar off the surface that is contaminated. You can use a sponge or paper towel but when you get done with a swipe make sure not to give the sponge or towel a flick with a wrist. This can also launch spores into the air.
- Empty the spray bottle and fill it with a heavy solution of baking soda and water.
- Spray the solution over the affected area and wipe clean. Baking soda will kill mold strains also.
- Spray the solution over the affected area and DO NOT wipe clean. Allow the solution to dry. The water will evaporate and leave the baking soda. The baking soda will absorb any future moisture AND keep mold from re–appearing in that spot again.
If you have any questions or concerns about mold in your home, we will be happy to do our best to answer them. Please keep in mind that we are NOT experts. We have not received any training in mold. Our only knowledge is from personal experience. We will gladly share our knowledge and experience, as long as you do not rely on it. You should always seek the advice of a trained and licensed professional before attempting to remediate mold.
We also perform a variety of other construction and maintenance projects including: drywall repair, water damage restoration, flooring, and painting.
Finally, you can reach us by calling (206) 900-9006 or sending us an email.