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What Does Mold Smell Like and How Do I Detect it in Toronto?

Posted in Mold, on March 18, 2022

One of the first signs of indoor mold growth is the smell. Mold’s recognizable, musty odour is the most common trigger for mold inspection in Toronto. At SafeAir, we’ve walked into countless homes, attics, and basements and had our noses alert us to mold before we’ve even pulled out the tools for mold testing in Toronto. But the smell isn’t the only warning sign you might experience, and it’s not always present. Today, we’ll explain what mold smells like and why early detection is the key to a safe and healthy home. 

What Does Mold Smell Like?

Mold has a distinctive scent that is easy to recognize once you know what it is. Some of the adjectives we like to use when describing the smell of mold include:

  • Earthy
  • Musty
  • Rotten wood
  • Dusty

This smell is created as the mold grows and emits scent molecules called MVOCs (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds). These smells may increase, decrease, or change as the mold grows and gains or loses strength, but regardless of how strong or what it smells like, the vast majority of people describe the smell of mold as unpleasant. 

What Does Mold Look Like?

Scent is only one way to detect mold growth. Another common trigger for mold testing in Toronto is seeing discolouration or visible mold growth in your home. 

There are thousands of different species of mold, which makes visual diagnoses tricky. Mold can grow in a rainbow of colours: red, green, black, blue, brown, or yellow are common. It can also have different textures and appear slick, furry, smooth, wet, or slimy. 

To make it even more difficult to identify, mold doesn’t like to announce its presence — it prefers to grow in hard-to-reach areas where you can’t see it, like inside walls or underneath heavy furniture or carpets. This is where mold inspection becomes invaluable — with our professional tools and knowledge about mold habitats and growth patterns, we can sniff out mold no matter where it’s growing or how well it’s hidden. 

How Professional Mold Testing Can Help

If you’re worried about a musty odor or have problems with humidity, excess water, or want peace of mind, SafeAir’s mold testing and inspection services can help. 

Professional mold testing takes an in-depth look at your whole home to locate hidden mold colonies or areas at risk for mold growth. We use specialized tools to take air samples that can alert us to the presence of mold spores as well as other common indoor air quality pollutants, like asbestos, lead dust, VOCs, and more. 

What to Do When You Find Mold

The first thing you should do when you find indoor mold growth is to get help. Mold is a living fungus, and it will continue to grow and spread unless it’s professionally treated. While there are plenty of DIY mold removal instructions on the internet, SafeAir doesn’t recommend going that route — there’s more to mold removal than a little bleach or vinegar. 

We strongly recommend professional mold inspection and remediation because mold can have powerful effects on human health — some species are even toxic. Disturbed mold colonies can spread hundreds of thousands of spores in the span of a few seconds, risking new infestations in other rooms. 

Mold spores are also easy to breathe in and affect the eyes, nose, mouth, and skin. For people with asthma or other chronic lung conditions, mold can even be deadly — so careful, safety-focused mold inspection is a must. 

SafeAir has been helping homeowners with mold inspections in Toronto for well over a decade. We’re committed to helping root out mold infestations and help you improve the indoor air quality of your home for a healthier, safer, and more comfortable living environment. To learn more, reach out to our team through our contact page. 

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