Does Your Garage Smell Moldy?
Updated: Apr 27
If you have a moldy smell in your garage (and it’s not coming from that old refrigerator) you probably need a mold inspection. Mold can quickly infest garage ceilings, walls, and insulation, especially if there’s been any flooding or roof damage. And besides making structural damage worse, mold also has adverse health effects—if you smell mold in your garage, then it’s time to investigate further.
Is Mold in the Garage Dangerous?
You might not spend a lot of time in the garage, but if a damp, musty odor is starting to bother you, there could be some dangerous mold lurking about. The more mold spreads, the more dangerous it becomes. If it’s eating away at your garage walls, ceiling, or insulation, it’s going to cause some costly damage. And if it’s a type of mold that produces mycotoxins, like aspergillus or black mold, it could cause serious health problems as well.
Here are three reasons why mold in the garage is dangerous:
1. Mold Can Cause Further Structural Deterioration
Although mold isn’t likely to make your garage collapse, it can still cause some serious structural damage. Mold can feed on anything organic, including building materials like plywood, two-by-fours, and the paper backing on drywall. If there’s already been water damage or structural damage, mold is only going to make the problem worse and more expensive to repair.
2. Mold Can Spread to Your House and Car
Because its spores travel on the air, it’s easy for mold to leave the garage and colonize other parts of your home or even your car. Mold can grow anywhere that it finds enough moisture and some biomatter to feed on. A spill on your car’s carpeting or a leaky kitchen sink could provide the perfect environment for more mold to grow.
3. Mold Can Cause Health Issues
Repeated exposure to mold can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms and complicate other illnesses. Depending on the type of mold, it could even have toxic effects. 1 out of every 4 people is sensitive to mold, so if you have symptoms like red, itchy eyes and a runny nose or dry cough, you might be allergic to mold.
What If I Have Black Mold in My Garage?
The most common places we find black mold in garages are the ceiling, insulation, and drywall. Black mold especially likes to eat paper—like the backing on drywall and cellulose insulation. Usually, there’s water damage to blame. Leaks in the garage often aren’t as high a priority as leaks in the house, but leaving them unrepaired will only invite toxic mold to grow.
How to identify black mold in the garage:
A musty odor
Tiny, dark spots on walls and ceilings
Discolored patches with a slimy or fuzzy texture
The only safe way to remove black mold is with professional mold remediation. If you attempt to clean black mold yourself, you’re only putting your health at risk. Without the proper equipment, safety gear, and training, you might only spread the mold spores around more and make the problem worse. Don’t take the chance—our mold removal experts can solve the problem for you.
How to Protect Your Garage Against Mold
Repair Leaks Immediately—Never ignore leaks in the garage—whether it’s a damaged pipe or a missing roof tile, get leaks repaired right away to prevent mold.
Replace Damaged Drywall—Because it is highly porous, it’s virtually impossible to remove mold from drywall. You’ll need to get any damaged drywall replaced by a certified contractor.
Check for Water Damage Regularly—Perform seasonal inspections to make sure you don’t miss any water damage. It’s also a good idea to check for damage after heavy rains or windstorms.
Get a Roof Inspection—A leak in the roof is one of the top causes of mold in the garage. Damage like punctures or warped flashing can let water leak into your garage walls, ceiling, and insulation. Periodic inspections will help you catch damage before leaks can form.
Get Rid of the Mold in Your Garage!
If you have a moldy smell in your garage, call My Pure Environment for a free inspection. We’ll investigate your home and garage for signs of a mold infestation, and advise you on your next best steps toward getting rid of mold for good. Call 408-741-9878 for mold removal in San Francisco, or schedule your free inspection online today.
Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 7/1/2022.