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Mold growth can have a lot of adverse effects, not only will mold give your home an unpleasant smell, but it will also jeopardize your health. Ultimately, the reason why mold should be taken seriously is its undoubted ability to reduce the appeal of your property. There is often confusion about what mold actually looks and smells like. A lot of people are also confused about how mold grows. This article aims to shed light on everything about mold. We will also answer two important questions: Does mold have a smell? and Can you smell mold?
What Is Mold?
Molds are organisms; they are neither plants nor animals. Molds are a notable part of the fungi kingdom. Contrary to how plants get their energy, mold is not subject to photosynthesis. As a matter of fact, the UV light of the sun suppresses mold growth. Also, molds are parasitic in nature as they eat and digest their host.
The following are some specific features of a mold;
- Mold is a type of fungus
- Sometimes the term “mold” is used interchangeably with “mildew” which is also a type of fungus
- Their mode of spreading is through the air in the form of mold spores
- There are over 100,000 mold species
What Causes Mold Growth And Under Which Conditions Does Mold Thrive?
Mold growth isn’t a supernatural phenomenon; something called a “spore” will develop into the mold itself. In most cases, mold enters your home through open doors, windows, and cracks. While it is impossible to stop mold spores from entering your home due to their airborne mode of transmission, using an air purifier is still the best way to deal with their presence in any space.
Humidity and warmth are the origins of most mold problems. Humid weather that has persisted for a few days often provides the perfect condition for mold to thrive. Bathrooms, kitchens, basement and other areas in the home that provide a damp environment are often exposed to mold the most. Steam from showers, leakage from sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, water leaks in the attic, and moist conditions in the basement provide mold with the required nutrients to grow.
It takes as little as 24-48 hours before mold will start to flourish. One common feature of mold is that it can sometimes be invisible. Many questions that home owners ask are usually based on mold detection, the most common questions include:
- How do you spot the presence of mold in your home?
- Does mold have a smell? / Can you Smell Mold?
- Is mold growth a sign that your house needs renovation?
For an accurate assessment of your mold status, you can subject your home to any of the following tests.
- Surface testing
- Air testing
- Bulk testing
However, of all the questions commonly asked in relation to mold, the most important are: “Does mold have a smell?” and “Can you smell mold?”
Does mode have a smell? Can you Smell Mold?
One of the best ways to discover if mold is present in your home is to do the ole’ sniff test. For those who have perceived what mold smells like, they most likely have not forgotten.
Mold gives off gasses called MVOCs or microbial volatile organic compounds. Some MCOVs do not smell at all, while others produce a strong odor.
Some of the gasses given off by molds have a distinct smell. The smell of mold usually includes a musty unpleasant odor. This musty odor will generally smell similar to a sweaty locker room, wet socks, or decaying wood.
Although musty smells are commonly associated with mold, there are other variations of smells that can be released. Some mold odors can also be sharp. These sharp odors generally smell similar to sour milk or meat.
Our noses can be great detectors of impending danger. If you step into a room and begin to perceive a damp, unpleasant and musty odor, then mold is likely to present.
Adverse Effects of Mold growth
Mold can have a wide range of adverse effects that call for prompt action. Once mold begins to grow and spread, it can be difficult to get rid of. Even though it may not be visible to the naked eye, mold can be thriving in your home. Some of the common health symptoms of mold include:
- Respiratory problems
- Skin inflammation
- Irritation of the mucous membranes
- Damage to internal organs
- Immune system suppression
The Best Way To Tackle Mold In Your Home
As explained above, molds release harmful gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). These compounds will diffuse into the air and saturate any room with an unpleasant smell. While there are various ways to tackle mold, the safest and healthiest method is through the use of an air purifier. Other methods of mold removal usually involve the use of harsh chemicals like bleach, which can be harmful when inhaled.
Air purifiers are an eco-friendly way of dealing with mold growth. An air purifier with a HEPA air filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) will trap 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air. Mold spores are tiny particles that eventually grow into mold. Because mold spores travel through the air, it is important to tackle them with an air purifier that is highly effective. HEPA filters are a proven way of eradicating mold growth in your home or office.
The use of an air purifier will guarantee that mold spores do not spread and produce more mold. An air purifier with HEPA remains the most efficient way of getting rid of mold indoors.
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Speak to a 24/7 Mold Professional in Your Area
Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.