A man with asthma sneezes after being exposed to mold.

What Does Mold Smell Like?

Does mold have a distinct smell? Do you recognize it as soon as the odor hits? These are our questions that our team at My Pure Environment here all of the time. That’s why we wrote this blog post. We are here to help you identify that mold smell. Keep reading!

Here’s How to Identify the Mold Smell

We tell our clients that mold often smells musty or earthy. We’ve even heard some people compare it to the scent of rotting wood or wet socks. That said, it’s a lingering and unpleasant odor that doesn’t go away easily. 

But what causes it?

The mold smell is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) — gasses released by mold as it grows.

Why Mold Has Such a Distinctive Odor

Mold loves growing in damp and dark places where it can break down organic material like wood, paper, or fabric. 

The breakdown process releases MVOCs, which, as we discussed, are the gasses responsible for the mold smell. And did you know that these compounds can be harmful if inhaled over a long period? That’s why understanding the distinct mold smell is important for identifying mold growth in your home or business.

What Are Some Areas of My Property Where I Might Notice a Mold Smell?

Mold will grow and proliferate anywhere there’s moisture. That said, some places are more common. Check for mold smell in:

  • Bathrooms: Leaking pipes, wet towels, and poor ventilation create optimal conditions for mold growth.
  • Basements: These areas of your property usually have higher humidity and are more likely to experience water leaks.
  • Attics: Roof leaks and poor ventilation often cause mold growth in attics.
  • Kitchens: Sinks, refrigerators, and dishwashers are all sources of moisture.

If you detect a mold smell in these areas (or anywhere else), it’s time to act. Ignoring a mold problem can lead to health problems and property damage.

Tell Me About the Health Risks of Mold

Mold exposure can cause health issues. That’s especially true for people with preexisting allergies or respiratory challenges. Watch for these symptoms:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Skin rashes
  • Severe asthma symptoms

Long-term exposure to mold can cause serious health problems.

Take These Steps If You Notice a Mold Smell

Take immediate action. Our My Pure Environment mold techs suggest:

  • Find the Source: Take some time to search for visible signs of mold, such as black or green spots on walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Improve Indoor Ventilation: It’s time to improve airflow in your home by opening windows and using fans.
  • Control Moisture: Fix any leaks and consider using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels throughout your property.

If you find mold, My Pure Environment doesn’t recommend trying to clean it on your own. You’ll just spread the invisible spores all over your property. 

Instead, call us for our dry fog mold remediation services. We’ll destroy it and keep it from returning in the future. 

My Pure Environment Is Ready to Help

Knowing the mold smell helps you protect your property and family. It’s a clear indicator that mold is growing. For more tips or to schedule your mold remediation service with My Pure Environment, contact our office today.

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