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Mold Fungus: What Does It Smell Like?

When it comes to mold fungus smells, some of them are quite distinctive

With mold fungus smells, you'll definitely know that something isn't right. You may associate the smell with a musty odour - like in the basement or attic space. Or you may experience something more unpleasant - like the odour from rotting wood. In any case, if it smells like mold then it probably is mold. This is mainly because mold produces an MVOC gas (microbial volatile organic compound). If you do notice mold fungus smells in the home, it's time to identify the source.

What does it mean if you notice mold fungus that smells?

Mold is tricky - you can often smell it but not see any traces. That's because it grows in hidden places - inside the wall cavities, underneath the carpeting, and throughout heating/ventilation ducts. If there are noticeable mold fungus smells in the air, then chances are you're inhaling some compounds being dispersed by the mold. And while most of the compounds are non-toxic, they can still perpetuate a variety of symptoms. Some of us will experience sinus congestion, throat irritation and even migraine headaches. Others may have no symptoms other than the smell.

Depending on the source, mold fungus smells vary

The "microbial volatile organic compounds" that are diffused by mold can vary according to the species of the mold. As well, depending on where the mold has infiltrated, this too can have an impact on the smell. Naturally, wood and drywall and carpeting will all smell differently. In some settings mold might interact with another organism and produce it's own unique smell. The point is, if you smell something "moldy" or "musty" then it's a sure sign that something is not right - and it's time to inspect the premises, and isolate the source and extent of a potential infiltration. 

With mold fungus smells, it may be time for action

The only way to mitigate mold fungus smells is to find and remove the mold. In the short term, air fresheners or household disinfectants might get rid of the smell, but this is purely a cover up. The only effective treatment for mold is to remove the source. Needless to say, proper removal does more than just eradicate the foul smell. Proper removal of mold ensures that the source of the mold is effectively remediated, and that no traces are left for re-infiltration. And while you might decide that a DIY approach is money saving, a professional approach is much more preferable.

Professional mold testing, removal, remediation

Mold removal, particularly with larger infiltrations, is best left to professionals. These are experts who will remove BOTH mold AND mold spores. Professional mold removal technicians are well trained and experienced, always remediating a mold infiltration in a safe and hygienic manner.

Ideally, mold technicians should be IICRC-Certified. This is the industry standard for high quality cleaning and restoration. The results should be company guaranteed - results that are effective, long lasting, and without any undesirable side effects. Work should be done right, the first time.

In many situations, suspected mold will require an assessment before any removal. Here, a mold hygienist is the ideal individual for an evaluation that is accurate. A thorough evaluation will also ensure that an effective action plan is implemented, especially if the mold turns out to be toxic.

If you smell mold in any part of the home, it's a sign that action should be taken. Left unattended, the potential for further deterioration is real. Worst still, a superficial solution will only mask the situation. The best approach is a professional approach - when it's done right the first time.

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What Our Clients Say


Janice Martin

I am going to be the owner of the house we wanted thanks to Matrix. I just wanted to personally thank you so much for putting a rush on the work and making this happen! I was so worried I was going to lose this house so thank you so much for saving it for me! I will recommend your services to anyone I come across that may need them!


Cameron Williamson

Thanks for the professional work. We were going to deal with the mold removal ourselves and realized it was a bad idea. Your crew really knows what they are doing. Our place is spotless – and they even gave us some good household tips. I have no problem in recommending Matrix.


Robert Lee

Thank you for coming to the rescue. I didn’t quite know how dangerous asbestos could be, but I knew it had to be removed completely and properly. Thanks for the professional touch – I feel much better now that the house is clean and safe. I hope I never have to use this service again.