What Does Black Mold Smell Like In A Home
Before I begin speaking on the dangers of black mold in a home, let me first introduce myself. My name is Victor Coppola- I am a building biologist at GreenWorks with decades of indoor mold and air-quality testing experience. I have come across countless homes that contain different types of molds throughout my career. But to me, black mold has always been the most concerning.
On many occasions, I have visited other peoples homes and caught the old musty scent of a black mold infestation. And when I inform the homeowners of this black mold smell, they often tell me, Its alright. It has been there for some time, and we are ok with it.
Not to burst their bubble, but a black mold smellis a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy place to live. As much as people might try to minimize the severity of a mold growth issue, nobody enjoys waking up to the smell of black mold in the morning and more importantly, it is extremely dangerous to your health.
But what exactly is black mold?
The idea of a black mold can be misleading. Black mold is a nickname used for a type of toxic mold called Stachybotrys that can range from greenish-black to oily-black in color.
In addition, black mold is categorized as toxigenic, not poisonous. When you say toxigenic, it means that although the molds arent outright harmful, they can produce toxins .
So, what exactly are the dangers of black mold, and how can you smell it growing in your home? Lets discuss.
A Killer Smell: Mold Toxin Destroys Olfactory Cells In Mice
Mold seems ubiquitous: it permeates spaces made damp by leaking water lines, faultyroofs, or storm flooding. Although no one contests that itsslimy presence is a general nuisance, its related adverse health effectshave been the subject of some controversy. Now researchers at MichiganState Universitys Center for Integrative Toxicology havefound that a toxin produced by the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum can damage nerve cells key to the sense of smell, at least in the nosesof mice . The study is the first to probe how inhaling black mold toxins affectsnasal passages.
Other researchers have previously reported links between S. chartarum exposure and human health effects including upper and lower respiratoryillnesses. There is also evidence of an association between exposureto fungi in a damp indoor environment and effects such as asthma symptomsin sensitive individuals. However, in a recent Institute of Medicinereport, a panel of experts concluded that there is limited or insufficientevidence to determine whether an association exists for othersuggested health outcomes such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neuropsychiatricsymptoms, skin symptoms, and immune diseases.
Does Mold Smell Sweet
Categories Home Improvement
Molds are very common and they can be easily found near us. However, sometimes they hide in the basements, walls, air vents, crawl spaces and other hard to find places and as a result, we cant detect them easily.
But the quicker way to check for mold is to rely on your olfactory senses because the most useful weapon for early mold detection is your sense of smell.
Recommended Reading: Remove Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
Side Effects Of Black Mold
There are common side effects associated with the exposure to black mold. These symptoms are closely related to those of a respiratory response and include signs such as:
- Chronic coughing
- Chronic fatigue
- Persistent headaches
Prolonged exposure to black mold can lead to more severe health effects that can be dangerous to your overall well-being. More serious symptoms to look out for can include:
- Bleeding in the lungs & nose
Read Also: How To Remove Mildew From Ceilings In Bathrooms
How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
Whatshould You Do If You Think You Smell Mold
If you suspect mold is present but do not see mold or have an active leak, the next step is to test for mold. You can choose from a variety of DIY options or hire a professional mold inspector.
Since the smell is a sign that mold is actively growing in your home your next step after testing is to remediate the mold problem as soon as possible.
Also Check: How Do You Clean Mildew Off Of Leather
How Does Black Mold Smell
Some people say they can smell black mold before they see it. The odor associated with black mold is often described as musty, earthy, or mildew-like. If you notice a strong, dank odor thats not necessarily unpleasant but isnt familiar either, it might be coming from black mold sporesand your first step should be to contact the professionals at Mold-B-Gone for advice on next steps.
Is The Smell Of Mold Harmful
Thesmell of mold is often noticed before its presence is made visually evident.This is where the problem lies. By the time you smell the mold, your health mayhave already been impacted.
MVOCs cancause symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. MVOCs may alsoirritate the eyes and the mucus membranes of the nose and throat. Ourunderstanding of MVOCs is still limited but the consensus is that they do havethe potential to cause significant health issues.
Beyondthat, if you smell mold it also means you are inhaling mold spores andabsorbing them through your eyes and skin. This can cause a wide variety ofhealth issues as well.
Recommended Reading: Black Mold On Ac Vents
Is Your House A Victim Of Black Mold
Houses that have been flooded or have poor roofing are very prone to black mold, especially when thesehouse issuesdont get resolved right away. So, you might notice the musty odor of black mold if your house has a history of flooding or roof leaks.
Even if your home hasnt suffered any water damage, you may still have black mold growth hiding in your home. Black mold odors might lead you to dark, moist places of a house where mold commonly grows. This includes areas such as inside attics, cabinets, bathrooms, and other enclosed places.
Is A Home Safe After Black Mold Removal
If proper procedures are done during the mold remediation process, the building space will be safe to move back into in regards to toxins produced by mold. This includes the removal of not only mold-contaminated building materials but construction dust and airborne mold spores.
Every jurisdiction has different regulations when ensuring mold removal was done correctly.
A common occurrence after the work is completed for a third party mold inspector be called in to perform a clearance test.
A clearance test can involve a visual inspection as well as sampling to ensure the removal of all contaminated building materials. Any remaining building materials are correctly sanitized.
Also Check: Rashes From Mold
What Does Mold Smell Like
Mold has an odor that can be described as wet and musty. The foul odor can resemble the smell of decaying food or garbage.
Keep in mind that mold can often look different and smell a little different depending what type of mold and what type of surface it is growing on.
But think back to your high school locker room after gym class.
Remember that horrible combination of stinky socks, sweaty people and just overall yuckyness? That’s another synonym for what mold can smell like.
Here are two easy ways to get a more exact idea of what mold smells like:
Trust The Experts Trust Proclean
Our highly-trained, certifiedmold removalprofessionals follow a proven, step-by-step process to make your home or business safe again.
First, we visually inspect the area to find any potential mold, tracing it to the source if possible. Then, our team contains the affected area and removes moldy, non-salvageable, porous material and implements negative air pressure technology to keep harmful mold spores from traveling from the air to your lungs.
Next, we utilize advanced HEPA filtered vacuums to help eliminate mold on non-porous surfaces, then set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters.
Finally, we ULV fog with a powerful antimicrobial solution to ensure that we treat the deepest, darkest corners of your home then, we clean and sanitize the remaining salvageable contents as necessary.
The moment you notice mold, you must act. Even a small amount of mold in the home can multiply quickly, and its entirely possible that there is more existing mold than what meets the eye.
today to ensure the safety of your home and health of your loved ones within it.
Don’t Miss: Getting Rid Of Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
What Causes Black Mold
Jerry S. Pasadena CA.
All Molds grow in a damp wet environment, without moisture, mold cannot grow. We are big Believers here at the Twin Home Experts, to detect the moisture source always on every job if it has not been sourced yet.
If you hire a mold removal company, make sure they include that, as you dont want to spend money on removal, then it return in days or weeks
How To Get Rid Of The Mold Smell
Getting rid of the mold smell in a home home can be accomplished by a process known as mold remediation. Mold remediation will get rid of the odor by not only removing the mold damaged materials, but also sanitizing the home through a process called micro-cleaning.
In most cases, this will need to be done by a licensed professional. Here’s a great guide to determine whether you need mold remediation or you can do it yourself.
Once mold remediation completed, the odor should be gone.
If the smell still lingers within the home it could indicate all the mold has not been removed.
Dead mold spores can house itself in your carpets, mattresses and other furnishings which may need to be treated or discarded.
Your clothes in most cases can be put in a traditional laundry machine. Sometimes it may be necessary to put the clothes through two cycles.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
How To Get Rid Of Mold Smell
You should avoid the temptation to tackle mold smells with scented cleaners and air fresheners. Its easy and inexpensive, but it also happens to be very ineffective. Cleaners and air fresheners may temporarily cover up the smell of mold, but they wont solve the problem or stop the growth of mold.
The size of a mold colony will likely increase if all you are doing to address mold odours is to cover them up with scents. And while mold smells can be supressed with air fresheners, the harmful health effects of mold cannot. So while you cover up the problem with artificial scents, you will continue to be exposed to hazardous mold spores.
The only way to get rid of mold smells for good is to eliminate the mold colonies causing them in the first place. For large colonies covering more than 10 square feet, Health Canada recommends hiring mold remediation professionals.
However, for small colonies, it is possible to remove them safely and effectively on your own, so long as you have all the proper equipment and take the appropriate precautions:
How Bad Is Black Mold Really
You don’t want mold in your home. Black, green, orange, yellow no matter the color, it’s all undesirable. Yet you don’t necessarily have to panic if you see it growing on your walls or windowsills. Because while mold can negatively affect your health, and sometimes dramatically, you may suffer no ill effects at all from mold exposure.
Mold is a type of fungus, and it’s everywhere indoors, outdoors and even in the air. That’s not too surprising when you consider there are more than 100,000 types of mold in existence, and possibly even millions. Mold gets into homes and buildings through open windows, doors, vents and ductwork. It can also attach itself to your clothes or pets when you’re outside, so you inadvertently bring it indoors with you.
Once indoors, mold grows wherever there’s a lot of a lot of moisture. That’s why you’ll often see mold around leaky windows or pipes, or on drywall after flooding. It also grows easily on paper and on fabric, carpet, upholstery, insulation and even in dust.
Read Also: Remove Mold From Leather With Vinegar
Whatexactly Causes Mold To Smell
Back to those mycotoxins. The smell associated with mold derives from mycotoxin gasses, which are called microbial volatile organic compounds . Some molds and mycotoxins produce different MVOCs depending on conditions such as how much moisture is available and what material the mold is growing on. However MVOCs are only produced at all when mold is actively growing. This is because MVOCs are the waste products created by mold as it grows.
How Long Does It Take To Remove Black Mold
Armen D. Glendale Ca.
The time it takes for Black mold removal, is all dependent on how severe the growth is, the location of it, what caused the mold to grow in the first place, sewer wastewater, or freshwater leak.
We have removed black mold in 4 hours for lite contamination, and up to 4 days for severe contamination.
Having the proper certified black mold removal agents makes the removal process safe and very effective.
Also Check: What Kills Mold On Leather
How To Find Hidden Black Mold In Your Home
by Lisa | Sep 11, 2019 | Mold |
Do you suspect you have mold hidden in your home? Whether you can visibly see mold growing or can smell an unpleasant earthy odor, mold is a common problem in houses with water damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, a black mold test can be performed on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold, what toxic variety it is, and what should be done about it.
What Kind Of Mold Has A Sweet Smell
Mostly the toxic or fatal molds like black molds contain a sweet smell. These particular species of molds release gaseous compounds as byproducts of fungal metabolism in the air that cause the sweet, musty kind of smell.
Though they are not poisonous, they are toxigenic because their spores affect the lungs and cause respiratory problems. They can cause allergies and severe illness to the children and weaker people.
Don’t Miss: Ultraviolet Light Mold Removal
Are Mold Smells Harmful
On their own, mold smells arent especially harmful. However, they are an indicator of a mold problem, which could be a threat to your health if left unaddressed.
Depending on the species of mold, the amount of spores youre exposed to, and the duration of exposure, mold can cause a number of health problems. The symptoms of mold exposure can be mild, such as headaches, nausea and minor irritation in eyes or lungs. Mold symptoms can also be very serious, causing potentially fatal allergic reactions, cancers, lung infections and other serious health issues.
Because the health risks of mold exposure range from mild to life-threatening, its best not to take any chances. Eliminating all sources of mold in your home is the surest way to protect yourself from the toxic effects of mold.