Tips For Treating And Testing For Mold
WHAT is that Moldy Smell ?!?
Musty odors can be caused by a number of things in your home, but, are usually an indication of mold and mildew. A combination of moisture, poor air circulation and lack of sunlight will allow mold and mildew plus that terrible odor to grow. The related “bad smell” is caused by mold and mildew fungi building up and releasing foul gasses. Molds and mildew cause that familiar “old” smell because they release a gas that gets into fabric, carpet, curtains, and furniture.
The smells given off by mold at certain stages of their growth and reproduction are called Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). This mixture of various chemicals released by the fungal organism as it eats, grows, and multiplies would be “mold farts.” Once the smell has permeated the area it can be difficult to remove.
Removing the Smell
Controlling the mold smell means removing the mold. Air fresheners, disinfectant sprays, and common household cleaning products may temporarily cover up the smell but they won’t really get remove it. Scented candles, incense, and potpourri are some other ways people sometimes attempt to disguise the musty odor of mold but are only temporary. The only effective method of mold odor control is to remove all household mold. Of course, removing mold is not only important because it will improve the smell of your home; mold can cause medical problems in sensitive people.
Tips for Controlling Mold
- Use baking soda (with or without vinegar) to kill mold and deodorize naturally.
- Keep humidity levels low, no higher than 50%.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation with exhaust fans that vent outside your home in kitchen and bathrooms. (Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside.)
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Use hard tile in bathrooms or basements with a lot of moisture.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
Testing Your Home for Mold
When you notice a musty odor in your home, let your nose help you search your home for mold. Most types of mold spread quickly from one area of the home to another so be thorough. Mold often grows in places where it’s not easily seen such as under carpeting and floorboards, above ceiling tiles, inside walls, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts.
You can purchase mold test kits at many home improvement stores, but professionals can more accurately test your home since mold tests are very sensitive in order to provide accurate results. Several types of mold tests sample either the air or on surfaces, and in order to get accurate results you need to know which type of test to use and where in the home to conduct the test. A certified mold tester can help you find mold you might otherwise miss.
Most certified mold testers are actually engineers and they are highly trained professionals. Not only do they know how to properly conduct mold tests, but they know how to interpret the results and can tell you what levels of mold are expected in your area and what levels are potentially harmful to your health.
Minnesota’s base 24Restore can evaluate the damage, assess the best method of removal, and provide cleanup. The technicians will stop mold causing moisture at the source, then remove, clean up and restore damaged parts of your home or business to like new condition. Twenty-four-hour emergency support is available at 612-255-9578.