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Old 07-08-2008, 11:28 PM
 
84 posts, read 190,707 times
Reputation: 54
Default Mold, Colds, and Insects? Questions about Seattle Life.

Okay, so I've heard of the infamous Seattle Freeze. I've heard of S.A.D. due to the overcast skies... but what about mold, colds, and insects?

Does the constant moistness of Seattle weather cause even newer homes to be infested by mold (at least more than dryer states)? Does a person get sick from allergies to mold more often in Seattle? Does mold happen because of homes being flooded due to the rain/drizzle? Are homes more apt to be flooded?

Do children and adults get sick due to constantly getting colds from the cool Seattle drizzle? How many times a year? Can this be avoided by staying indoors more? What about all the people who say they go outdoors despite the weather? Do they get sick with colds more often?

And I've heard of major insect problems in the South, how about Washington? Does the constant drizzle keep insects away or are they as prevalent as any other state?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Especially from California transplants. From what I've gathered from this board, CA gets less insects than most other states.. I was wondering if this applies to the PNW as well? CA transplants, can you tell me if Seattle gets more or less insects than CA in comparison?

As a family, we've decided to move to Seattle within the next couple of years so I feel, the more prepared we are, the better. Thank you for everyone's help!!!

Last edited by SugarHazard; 07-08-2008 at 11:29 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Washington
327 posts, read 1,019,383 times
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-Mold can be a problem, and is probably the most serious of the issues you raised... Some homes have mold problems, which can cause people to get sick. I personally haven't had too many problems with it though.

-I think the majority of flooding is caused by rivers that overflow.

-In terms of critters...Western WA don't have as many poisonous spiders or snakes as CA., But we do have BIG slugs!

All in all, I don't think you have much to worry about; or maybe it's just because I'm used to it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:51 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
15,439 posts, read 13,027,725 times
Reputation: 4674
Yes, mold IS a problem for many people (including myself).

Yes, flooding can be a problem (and has been for me).

Bugs are generally not a problem at all. I've lived on both the East Coast and the Midwest and both had FAR more bugs than we have here in Seattle. It's not even close. Slugs indeed are a pain however if you have a garden.

Ken
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 9,677,463 times
Reputation: 1150
I'm from California (all over but raised in Los Angeles, Westchester Area)

And we are moving back to Calif. And to answer your question about getting sick - YES! The first year I was here I was SO SICK. I had never had a sinus infection before and the cold moist air literally put me in the ER (yes the hospital!) 3 times.

My body was constanly waiting for it to warm up and it just never does here. I like dry warm air. WHenever I or my kids get sick we put them in warm air (heaters in rooms). They get those seal coughs. And yes, I do keep myself and the kids indoors most of the year. It is 50 degrees (or much less) and cloudy and misty drizzle for 10 months!! Seriously.

I think as a California transplant you really really need to look at your lifestyle. What do you do when it's cold, moist and 50 degrees out? Stay indoors?? Or do you push through it and have your kids outside playing in it?

I feel trapped in my house the majority of the year. We need SAD lights throughout the house because it is so dark in Seattle (dark clouds the majority of the year)

Our quality of life has totally decreased. We used ot hike and bike and camp year round, now it's just July & August.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: WA
432 posts, read 1,240,488 times
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I have mold allergy too. The two places it's a problem are doing yardwork- (mold is everywhere under leaves and even pruning ivy makes me sick) or living in a house with poor air circulation.

My current house is dry and has no mold problems. My last house had baseboard heat and mold grew behind the couch and around the aluminum frame windows and I had constant sinus probs.

You can find dry houses without mold. You need to be careful and make sure before you rent or buy and you should be OK.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:36 AM
 
1,992 posts, read 4,310,650 times
Reputation: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarHazard View Post
Okay, so I've heard of the infamous Seattle Freeze. I've heard of S.A.D. due to the overcast skies... but what about mold, colds, and insects?

Does the constant moistness of Seattle weather cause even newer homes to be infested by mold (at least more than dryer states)? Does a person get sick from allergies to mold more often in Seattle? Does mold happen because of homes being flooded due to the rain/drizzle? Are homes more apt to be flooded?

Do children and adults get sick due to constantly getting colds from the cool Seattle drizzle? How many times a year? Can this be avoided by staying indoors more? What about all the people who say they go outdoors despite the weather? Do they get sick with colds more often?

And I've heard of major insect problems in the South, how about Washington? Does the constant drizzle keep insects away or are they as prevalent as any other state?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Especially from California transplants. From what I've gathered from this board, CA gets less insects than most other states.. I was wondering if this applies to the PNW as well? CA transplants, can you tell me if Seattle gets more or less insects than CA in comparison?

As a family, we've decided to move to Seattle within the next couple of years so I feel, the more prepared we are, the better. Thank you for everyone's help!!!
It doesn't flood like the midwest where you get 5 inches of rain in one sitting. In my opinion, it doesn't rain nearly as much as our reputation would have you believe, it is more the gray cloudy skies that that you have to deal with. A lot of times it will look like it's going to rain all day for several days straight, but there will hardly be any precipitation. Other days it can mist/drizzle all day. It's not like the movie Sleepless in Seattle where it is a hard steady downpour the entire time.

Mold is a problem for some people, but it's no different from other allergies, if you are allergic you will have issues with it, otherwise you will be fine.

I have one child with another on the way, and the only problem we have run into is ear infections. I believe the moisture in the air can increase the risk of getting ear infections, but there are remedies available (antibiotics, and in extreme cases tubes can be inserted to drain the ear). Just like L.A. where every other kid has asthma from all the particulates in the air, you will have to deal with environmental hazards wherever you live.

Not everyone feels trapped when it's 45 degrees and cloudy out. It certainly doesn't stop me from taking my 2 year old out for walks or other activities. But then again I didn't grow up in a California climate. The weather here is definitely the most hotly contested topic on this board, with opinions all over the place. Citygirl seems to be an extreme case where she keeps her house at 80 degrees and has to wear 5 jackets during the winter, even with our mild winters.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 10,925,157 times
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In over 20 years here, I've never seen mold. That's probably because I have heat on in the winter (for the cats, even if I don't need it), I keep windows open a lot or a little ALL year long including the coldest days, and I houseclean but not ferociously or compulsively because I don't enjoy housecleaning. In both Seattle and Bellevue homes, I've never seen mold, so I've never had any mold allergy reaction. In my experience, keeping air flowing in every room, or even near every room, has prevented mold.

Flooding occurs at many rivers, streams and creeks during the flooding season, which is usually November and December, and at locations that are downhill. In the very rainy months, November and December, the rain flows downhill, and so will mud if some loosens from the hillside. I bought my home deliberately away from any hillsides and have never seen any flooding. Being on a bit of a rise should allow any heavy rainfall to drain away from the building.

I've never heard of children or adults here "constantly getting colds" during the winter. Colds result actually from lack of nutrition, sleep and happiness -- in other words, a weakened immune system -- and aren't really a direct result of weather. Lots of people here do outdoor activities, such as hiking, bike riding, rock hunting, etc., during all weathers, and don't get sick. It's cooler here than in most of the U.S. -- we're above the 47th Parallel after all -- and appropriate clothing takes care of that.

Not as many insects here as back east. If you have screens that fit on your windows, you'll be fine. The slugs mentioned are in gardens and forests, not in homes.

I agree with the poster Toughguy that the misery described by Citygirl is definitely an extreme case. AND if, like her, you cannot live in conditions other than hot dry air, and you think cool moist air is dangerous, then you really should reconsider moving to western Washington. Millions of people flourish here in our climate, and you could too, but you must decide that for yourself.

Last edited by allforcats; 07-09-2008 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:48 PM
 
819 posts, read 1,840,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allforcats View Post
The slugs mentioned are in gardens and forests, not in homes.
And on the sidewalks and in your driveway...

Yuck...watch out you don't step on one.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:56 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
15,439 posts, read 13,027,725 times
Reputation: 4674
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabeaTexan View Post
And on the sidewalks and in your driveway...

Yuck...watch out you don't step on one.
Yeah, we had an old tomcat that was so fat, lazy and laid-back that one morning I noted a slug-trail of slime that led across the patio, over his back and continued across the rest of the patio out to the grass.

Ken
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
2,993 posts, read 1,397,111 times
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Colds aren't caused by the weather, you catch them by having the virus passed to you from someone else. When I worked outdoors (driver) I almost never got sick. I changed careers and started working in an office building and got colds more often. Had children and get colds even more often - children, especially elementary age are little mobile bio-weapons factories. A sinus infection like CityGirl72 had is something completely different, not everyone gets them but they can be aggravated by the cold damp weather.

Mold is definitely more of an issue here than in drier climates. If you have a well sealed house it's not that big a deal. If you have an older house that gets condensation anywhere, you'll probably have some mold to deal with.
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