Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?

Picture of : Sub floor pictured, After hardwood floor had been removed in order to perform proper structural drying and odor remediation

Sub floor pictured, After hardwood floor had been removed in order to perform proper structural drying and odor remediation

Musty odors in residential structures typically indicate mold growth, but not always.

Generally, when people detect “musty” odors they are smelling microbial volatile organic compounds otherwise known as MVOC’s. When mold is in a “growth cycle” many species of mold emit  MVOC’s, this is typically what is detected in the structure. Normally, excessive: moisture, humidity or water are necessary in order for mold to proliferate. This is the reason why we perform extensive water intrusion assessments, which includes the use of infrared thermography, high-quality precision moisture detection instruments and other detection processes.

It is critical to understand that the lack of a musty odor does not indicate the lack of mold being present, it simply indicates that you may not be smelling or detecting mold in a “growth cycle” which is emitting  microbial volatile organic compounds. Many scientists believe that structures can be more dangerous to humans when mold is NOT  in a growth cycle, because the mycotoxin levels can actually be higher because the mold is aggressively trying to proliferate, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC, Canada’s equivalent of our FHA organization).

Air sampling is a useful diagnostic tool to determine if there maybe a mold problem or not.

Recently, we performed odor remediation and structural drying in a rental house.  The tenants had concerns about musty odors. Two weeks previously there had been a water loss and an emergency response company performed drying operations and indicated they had dried the hardwood floors properly; however, the inexpensive moisture detection equipment that was used was capable of only detecting moisture at a depth of up to 1/2 inch maximum; the hardwood flooring was 3/4 of an inch thick, needless to say that the sub-flooring underneath the hardwood flooring we believe had never been dried properly which led to microbial activity and subsequent musty odors. One of the “takeaways” we hope you gain is: that the use of inexpensive equipment & marginally trained personnel can lead to very costly consequences. The odor remediation processes that we performed took longer to complete then the structural drying work we performed. The hardwood flooring had to be removed completely in order to perform odor remediation and additional structural drying, see pictures below.

Picture of : Sub floor pictured, After hardwood floor had been removed in order to perform proper structural drying and odor remediation

Sub floor pictured, After hardwood floor had been removed in order to perform proper structural drying and odor remediation.

 

picture of 2 moisture meters

2 different moisture meters we use pictured.

Written by Tom Talen

 

Tom Talen

Violet Frog team member

Water Intrusion Repairs – A Customer’s Perspective

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
violet frog

Paying it Forward – Happy Holidays!

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
professional house mold remediation contractor

How To Know If You Have House MoldDo You have Mold in Your House Roswell, , Marietta, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Atlanta, Woodstock, Fulton county, Cobb county, DeKalb county.

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Picture of mold on framing lumber

Structurally Drying Homes and Buildings

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
I think I have a mold problem in my house What should I do Violet Frog Roswell Alpharetta

I think I have a mold problem in my house. What should I do?

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
ACAC Certification, Mold Remediation Certification

ACAC Certification, Mold Remediation Certification

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
professional house mold remediation contractor

Do You have Mold in Your House Roswell

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Can I Use Chlorine for Mold Abatement

Can I Use Chlorine for Mold Abatement?

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Picture of: Mold colonies visible on the wall

Mold Testing – A Customer’s Perspective

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
How do I know if my home has mold

Can my house make me sick? Marietta Georgia

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
picture of surface mold test

Water Intrusion Repairs & Mold Testing

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Picture of black mold

How To Select a Good Mold Remediation Contractor

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Air sampling picture

Do Mildew Odors Mean I Have Mold?

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
professional house mold remediation contractor

How To Know If You Have House Mold

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?
Water Intrusions and Roof Repairs

Water Intrusions and Roof Repairs

Does a “Musty” Odor Indicate I have a mold problem?