Why Does Mold Smell?
How Do I Know if It’s Mold?
How do you tell the difference between mold and a weird stench? Here are three signs you have mold in your building:
- The scent doesn’t go away when you open windows or run fans.
- The air smells damp even when the windows are open.
- You’re sneezing all the time when you’re in a specific area.
Why Does Mold Have an Odor?
The aroma doesn’t come from the fungus spores themselves, but rather from something called microbial volatile organic compounds. Some MVOCs are waste products of growing mold, including mycotoxin gases. MVOCs’ odors depend on how much moisture is around and the material the mold is growing on.
Stachybotrys, commonly called black mold, smells like cat urine and freshly cut grass. Chaetomium has an earthy or damp odor. Other species have scents like anything from baking bread to stinky socks to wet dog.
What if I Find Mold?
These funguses can hide in walls, carpets, and insulation, coming from water leaks or damp weather. You can help keep mold damage out of your building by:
- Keeping humidity levels low
- Fixing leaking pipes, roofs and windows
- Cleaning and drying a space after flooding
- Properly ventilating laundry, cooking and shower spaces
If you do find signs of mold, such as that musty odor, make sure the spores can’t migrate into other parts of your building. Put up plastic tarps to enclose the space and use HEPA air filters to keep the air clean. Don’t try to clean up mycotoxin contamination yourself. Instead, work with a mold remediation company in Country Life Acres, MO. Professionals have the proper equipment to get rid of the damage safely.