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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Does Mold Smell So Musty?

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Why Does Mold Smell So Musty? Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

Molds can hide out of plain view, but their stink gives them away. A musty odor escapes from behind walls where colonies grow and gives you your first clue you’ve got a problem. You’re smelling the evidence of a mycotoxin in your air.

Why Does Mold Smell So Musty?

How Molds Work

Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows just about everywhere in Thornton, CO. It spreads when its spores land in an environment suitable for supporting growth:

  • Wet, damp, or humid climates
  • Organic materials like wood, dust particles, or drywall
  • Undisturbed areas

In the natural environment, molds help to break down organic material and speed the decomposition process. In your home, they destroy the host material and degrade your air quality.

How Your Nose Works

Many mistakenly believe the moldy odor comes from the spores themselves. It’s a reasonable assumption, but that is not how the human sense of smell works.

The olfactory nerves in your nose send sensory signals to your brain when gasses evaporate close to them. Mold spores are not gasses, and like rocks or metal, they do not themselves have a smell. Your nose smells the esters in the air.

How Molds Release Gasses

During different stages of growth, a mold colony digests food, reproduces, and expires. These natural processes produce byproducts. The mold releases a foul gas along with its mycotoxin.

Your nose picks up on those gasses, and your brain interprets the information as a musty odor. Humans instinctively know to separate harmful odors from pleasant scents. The smell of the mold tells you something is wrong even if you aren’t specifically aware mycotoxins are present.

How Experts Respond to Mold

By the time you detect the musty odors, it’s likely you have an infestation on your hands that requires professional mold remediation services. An expert should evaluate the condition of the mold to determine how far it has grown and what steps are necessary to remove it.

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