Why and how your customers should get rid of it

Why does mold smell and what does it mean to your customers? Contractors are often asked about how they can get rid of musty smells in a home. To help them understand the solution, it’s useful to explain why the problem is happening.

Molds grow best in warm, damp, humid conditions.

That musty smell usually comes from basements, attics, crawlspaces, or other areas that lack proper ventilation and humidity control. Homeowners often find mold growing on paper products, books, cardboard boxes, and ceiling tiles. Mold will also thrive on wood, drywall, carpet, fabric, upholstery, and even dust.

Mycotoxins give off that musty odor

Molds spread and reproduce by making spores. It is during that growth and reproduction stage that mold produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). While many of these gasses are odorless, some, called mycotoxins, give off that musty odor, which is a sign that remedial action is needed.

Mycotoxins can cause a wide range of medical problems such as difficulty breathing, migraines, sinus infections, sore throats, bronchitis, pneumonia, depression, joint pain and inflammation, digestive problems, even depression and exhaustion.

CDC recommends professional mold removal and improved ventilation.

Recognizing that molds in the home can cause health issues, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) provides useful information about how to handle it.

Depending on the extent of the mold problem, they recommend hiring a mold removal professional. The CDC says "a professional contractor will be able to safely remove the mold, ensure that all the mold is removed, identify the source of your moisture problem, and recommend the best course of action to reclaim your basement space.”

The CDC also notes the importance of improved ventilation in areas like the basement explaining that “basement ventilation increases air circulation in your home and allows air to escape outdoors while bringing fresh air inside the home. The best basement ventilation systems generally use a combination of an exhaust fan and air dehumidifier/purifier. The condition of your basement and your needs will help determine which system is right for you, and discussing the situation with a basement contractor will typically land you on the answer. To completely eliminate musty and moldy odors, though, some kind of basement ventilation is mandatory.”

You can read more facts about "Mold & Your Health” on CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) at https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm.