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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What it Means if Your Building Smells Like Mold

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall, the phrase MUSTY ODOR Commercial mold damage

If you’ve noticed a musty odor or mildew smell in your building, that’s a sure sign that mold colonies are actively growing somewhere in the building. To understand why it’s helpful to know a little about the way mold functions and how it produces that distinctive “mold smell.”

What Mold Needs To Grow

Indoors or outdoors, the air in Clear Lake, TX, is always full of tiny mold spores. These tiny spores are generally harmless. They won’t begin to grow and colonize unless and until they come into contact with a source of moisture and a food source. Mold doesn’t need a large amount of water: The moisture in a slice of bread can be enough. Just about any material can serve as a food source, including:

  • wood
  • drywall
  • cloth
  • soil
  • plants
  • paper
  • food scraps

Mold that is growing on a surface is actually consuming that surface as a food source. When mold consumes building materials, like wood or drywall, the materials eventually begin to rot and to become unstable.

Where The Mold Smell Comes From
Once mold spores settle onto a food source where moisture is present, they begin to grow and multiply. Mold releases gas-like compounds into the air as part of its digestive process. Some of these compounds have a strong, distinctive fungus smell, although some are odorless. Mold only releases these compounds when it is actively growing. If you smell mold, it means mold is eating away at your building.

How To Stop the Mold Growth
Finding and eliminating the moisture source is the key to stopping mold growth. A mold remediation specialist can use a thermal imager and other equipment to locate leaks that are hidden from view, such as behind walls.
Never ignore a musty or mildew smell in your building. That smell means mold is actively growing nearby. Mold spreads rapidly. If you notice a mold smell, schedule a mold inspection as soon as possible.

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