One of the telltale signs of the presence of mold is allergic reactions, seeing mold growth, water leaks, and condensation. However, you may be wondering does mold have a smell and what does mold smell like? First, yes, it does smell. Second, it is an unpleasant and musty smell that is distinguishing.
Other than releasing microscopic pores that are undetectable by the human eye, mold release gases called MVOC or microbial volatile organic compounds. So, even if you can’t physically see the mold, you may still be able to smell it. Since mold can grow in places you may not be able to see or even access, smelling mold is a signal that you are inhaling spores that can be harmful to your health.
Symptoms of inhaling mold
It can be dangerous if you’ve identified mold by smell but not by sight. This is because you may experience symptoms and not be aware that mold could be the cause. Being aware of the many negative consequences of mold exposure will help you put a stop to the exposure before your symptoms worsen. Some symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Sinus infections
- Difficulty breathing
- Digestive issues
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Sore throat and irritation
- Chronic fatigue
- Red eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Coughing and wheezing
- Respiratory problems
Getting rid of mold for good
Mold eradication is best left to the professionals. Doing so guarantees a thorough and complete job and no repeated exposure during the cleaning process. However, if you are determined to go the DIY route, there are a few cleaning items that will be essential to your success. Since the repeated exposure can make you increasingly ill, its best to use gloves and protective eyewear throughout the process.
An effective cleaning solution can be created right in your own home using a cup of bleach for every gallon of water. The area and surfaces will have to be completely cleaned to ensure that all mold is eliminated. Also, all surfaces must be completely dried to guarantee no further mold contamination. Additionally, cleaning all filters, vents, and ducts is crucial. These are often found in air conditioning systems and humidifiers that increase the spread of harmful mold spores that can keep you sick over the long term.
Other items to be aware of are mattresses, drywall, and carpets that are more difficult to clean. This is where it is necessary to include professionals. They will have special equipment to reach hard to see areas that may be harboring dangerous mold. When working with harsh chemicals, always be sure to fully ventilate the area.
Tips for mold prevention
Now that you’ve cleaned out the pesky mold, you want to make sure it never comes back. Some ways to prevent mold from returning are:
- Regular cleanings in areas where mold is likely to grow like bathrooms, showers, and damp rooms
- Keep all walls and surfaces dry
- In cold and wet weather or seasons, keep all rooms dry with warmth and good ventilation
- Always use fans in damp areas like bathrooms, showers, and kitchens. Avoid adding rugs or carpet in these rooms, as they are breeding grounds for mold
- Regularly check pipes, gutters, and air conditioners for leaks and water damage.
Taking these steps regularly will ensure that your mold issues never return.
Test your home for mold
Testing your home for mold should be done before and after a thorough cleaning of your home. You can test your home for molds using mold kits. Again, we recommend using a professional to test your home. The increased sensitivity and accuracy of their methods will ensure whether your home is still infested with mold or not. Certified mold testers are highly trained professionals and understand how to analyze the results to determine the best approach to mold eradication for your home. However, DIY kits are available as well.