A mouldy odour in your home indicates that something is wrong. It’s critical not to dismiss it and take the necessary steps to mitigate the problem. The only way to get rid of the odour is to find the source of the moisture.
Mould can cause allergic reactions such as runny noses, sneezing, eye and throat discomfort, and asthma. It can also cause more serious infections in people who have weakened immune systems. Mould grows in the home due to a water or moisture intrusion problem. Opening windows or using air fresheners won’t completely remove the mould or odour. These low-cost treatments may temporarily conceal the odour, but the mould problem must still be addressed.
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To grow, mould requires the presence of mould spores, a growing surface, temperature, darkness, oxygen, and moisture. Moisture, the final piece of the puzzle, is the most critical.
A musty smell doesn’t always mean mould. You may smell a stale odour if you haven’t cleaned your ducts in a long time or keep moist items in your closet. That musty smell is created by chemical compounds, released by the mould at different phases of its growth.
So the first step is to determine the source of the moisture. Water stains, puddles, condensation, and, in extreme cases, a wall that feels squishy when touched are all warning signals to keep an eye on. Mould prefers to hide in dark places, so perform your investigation with a flashlight.
If you notice mould, you should get professional assistance from a mould removal firm or a licensed specialist. Mould can also be detected in your house by having an interior air quality test performed by a certified home inspector. Air samples are collected both inside and outside the residence and sent to a certified third-party laboratory for analysis. A detailed written record of the quantity and kind of spores will be included in the lab report.
Home inspectors may use an infrared thermal imaging camera and a moisture meter to see if there is any water damage between the walls, floors, and ceilings. Water damage is a common cause of mould growth.
Mould can grow as a result of a minor leak from a number of sources. It could be due to a water heater or plumbing leak, or rain getting in through a basement window. If the base of your vanity cabinet appears damp or distorted, you may have a minor leak in the pipes or a clog that is causing a leak. Even a small leak might result in a bad odour and wasted water. Check for moisture behind the toilets and behind the sink.
Examine your foundation for cracks. If you see a significant crack, you should be concerned about water getting into your home. The idea is to keep water from getting too close to the foundation. If your basement has a leak, you should address it right away. If you find a crack in your foundation, mark it with some tape. Return to see how things have progressed in a few months. If the cracks aren’t spreading, they can usually be filled with an epoxy injection or expandable foam.
It is necessary to divert water away from your windows. It’s a clue that your home has a moisture problem if you find water accumulating around your windows, or if they’re damp or leaking. Inspect the area for signs of dampness and bubbling paint.
If you want to add a larger egress window to your basement, you’ll almost probably have to put some of it below grade. If you don’t plan for effective water drainage, you’ll have a lot of problems with damp windows.
If water is coming toward or pooling adjacent to your foundation walls, you most likely have some house grading issues. Water should always run away from the house with adequate grading.
Cleaning your air ventilation systems should be done on a regular basis. Always make sure to inspect the filters and intake systems of your HVAC system for any signs of mould growth. If you don’t already have a ventilation fan, get one installed. Make sure to turn on the exhaust fan for at least 30 minutes after cooking or showering. I also suggest wiping away any excess water and closing the shower curtain to allow it to dry.
If the air isn’t properly exchanged through good ventilation, you will likely have poor indoor air quality. Water or moisture intrusion problems can also lead to mould and mildew problems. Mould grows in damp conditions so if you notice a musty odour in your home or basement, get it checked out.
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