Why Your Building Smells Like Mold
A mold smell that you can't find the source of can be frustrating for property owners. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify and eliminate the problem.
How To Eliminate Mold Smell
The characteristic fungus smell caused by the presence of mold or mildew is the result of gasses, called microbial volatile organic compounds, that are produced when molds reproduce. Not all MVOCs have an odor, but mycotoxins are responsible for the musty smell of mold. Eliminating the odor involves getting rid of the mold.
1. Identify Sources of Mold
Sometimes the source of a mildew smell is obvious. You may see patches of green, black, brown, pink, grey, or white mold or mildew growth on surfaces such as walls, ceilings, windowsills, and carpets. Other times, mold is more difficult to locate. Check hidden areas with high moisture, such as under sinks and inside HVAC vents. Mold can sometimes grow inside of walls or other places that are difficult to check. An infrared camera can be useful for detecting hidden mold and moisture.
2. Get Rid of Mold and Mildew
You may be able to remove small areas of mold or mildew by scrubbing with diluted bleach or using cleaners specifically intended for removing fungus. However, for larger jobs, you may need to contact a mold remediation company in Ogden, UT. The mold that is behind walls or beneath surfaces can be difficult to remove with do-it-yourself solutions. If you don't remove all of the molds, it is likely to come back.
3. Let in Some Fresh Air
Open some windows and doors to get the air circulating. This can help remove musty odors and may assist with drying out wet areas.
4. Use Odor Absorbers
If you still have lingering odors after mold removal try using odor absorbers or ozone machines to remove odors from the air. If the smell persists, you may still have hidden mold somewhere.
5. Eliminate Excess Moisture
Prevent future mold problems by controlling sources of moisture. If your property is located in an area with high humidity, install dehumidifiers. Make sure any industrial equipment, kitchens, showers, and other areas that produce moisture have proper ventilation. If there is any standing water in your building, remove it with a wet/dry vacuum. Have your HVAC system inspected and keep it regularly maintained to avoid accumulations of moisture in the vents and other areas. Repair leaking plumbing, roofs, appliances, and equipment promptly.
6. Use Mold-Resistant Products
You can reduce your chance of future mold issues by using mold-resistant products whenever you replace existing materials or construct new buildings. Mold-resistant drywall, sheetrock, and paint can help prevent mold growth in and on walls. It is particularly beneficial to use these materials in areas that tend to have high moisture levels.
If you are noticing a mold smell, you probably have mold, even if you can't see it. The key to getting rid of the smell is to get rid of the mold. Because mold isn't always easy to find, you may need to utilize special equipment or hire a professional to perform an inspection.