One of the first indicators of potential trouble in your home will come from the detection of a specific, noticeable smell that is hanging in the air of this environment. The smell can range in severity in each area of your home, as well as vary in odor depending on where the source is present and what the source of the odor is within this indoor space. When you begin to dive deeper into the smell and experience longer exposure to the scent, the distinctive odor of mustiness will become apparent which is often times correlated to the growth of mold within the home – which will begin the concerns and frazzled solutions to find it and eradicate it from inside the environment. However, although most people associate musty smell with mold growth, this is not always the case and in some instances the source of this odor can come from the beginning stages of mold called mildew.
The musty smell of fungus growth in your home will lead a homeowner into identifying that something is not quite right within their environment, as there is likely a foreign invader developing in the very space you call your home. Could it be mold or something less scary like the development of slight mildew? Often times homeowners will quickly jump to the conclusion of mold being the culprit, but that may actually be the work of mildew that has slowly crept into your house – a far less ominous and worrisome household fungus growth.
In this article we are going to discuss the key differences between mildew vs mold smell indoors in your home and learn the best homes remedies for musty smells within this environment.
Is it Mold or Mildew
The identification process of determining if the odor produced in your home is caused by mold or mildew can be difficult to distinguish between, as they both will produce the same unmistakable odor of musty odors. Mold and mildew are both a part of the fungi family and live off of moisture in the air. The primary difference between moldy and musty odors is in the strength of the smell, as mold usually produces a stronger odor as opposed to mildew growth in the environment.
Additionally, the smell produced in the home may be followed by the presence of discoloration on the surfaces of your home such as walls, ceilings, floors, etc. If you start to see the discolored growth of mold on these surfaces in your home than you will need to call a mold remediation specialist in to effectively remove the mold presence which will halt the production of that unwanted mold odor in the air.
Is Mildew the Same as Mold?
A very commonly posed question by most people that are stuck dealing with either mold or mildew within their indoor environment, is whether mildew and mold are the same? There are many similarities between mildew and mold, as they are both funguses that can produce odorous compounds and elicit certain health effects from exposure in an indoor environment. However, mold will often times produce a far worse adverse reaction in the environment and to human health upon exposure.
Mildew is typically described as a specific type of mold that has flat growth that remains on the surface where it can be easily removed. The color of mildew growth can range from white, gray, or yellow and it usually develops on moist, warm areas. According to CetainTeed, mildew will likely cause a similar allergic reaction to that of mold, however, since it’s easier to remove from a home the threat is far less to the environment than mold growth.
Whereas mold is often considered as a threat to an indoor environment that can produce unfavorable reactions in the space of a home. As we discussed earlier, mold will produce a very strong odor of moldy scent in the air that will likely be the first indicator of its growth in the indoor area. During the growth of mold, it will start to form on the surfaces in your home leaving behind a noticeable discoloration that comes in a variety of colors from bright reds to dark, swampy greens.
Can You Smell Mold or Mildew
The short answer is yes, you can smell both mold and mildew – and they will produce a very similar moldy/mildew odor in the air of the impacted environment. The odorous compounds produced from each of these indoor funguses can be a result of different characteristics such as VOCs produced or mycotoxins that will elicit the odor into the environment. It is important to remember that when you are smelling a musty odor in the air, this means that you are inhaling compounds produced by the mold or mildew – and this will also include the inhalation of the reproductive seeds produced by these funguses in the airspace.
What Does Mold Smell Like
When it comes to the smell of mold in your home, the smell will develop and result in a moldy odor that will rapidly spread throughout the airspace of the environment. The difference between mold and mildew is the strength of the odor that it emits into the air that will change the overall environment and smell in a home. As the mold begins to produce its odor the main cause of this is due to the mVOCs, VOCs, or mycotoxins that are potentially produced from the mold and into the air. The odors produced from these chemical compounds will often be described as an earthy or meaty smell, similar to the smell of rain. Generally, these odors will persist until the mold source is removed from inside the indoor environment and the use of air purification is integrated into the enclosed space.
House Smells Musty but No Mold…
My house smells musty do I have mold? Oh wait, the smell of mold hangs in the air, yet you do not see any presence of this fungal growth in your home. Why does my house smell musty but there is no mold growth in the indoor environment? There can be many reasons as to why you smell a strong mold presence in the home without any visible traces of this growth and this can be due to odorous culprits around your home that are producing a sour mildew/mold odor like washing machines, bathroom showers, or even under sinks in your home that can become moist and attract mildew and/or down the line mold.
Mildew odors will develop in a home and they will spread through the air, in pipes, inside walls, or hide in other parts of your home to trap the odorous compounds within the environment. Although mold odors are typically stronger than mildew odors, the two smells are often interchangeable and will still create an unwanted aroma throughout the indoor space. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant in your home to assess areas that may become susceptible to potential mildew and/or mold growth due to humidity and moisture levels within the area.
Home Remedies for Musty Smells in Homes
The detection of musty smells within your home will usually stir a chain reaction that will include the assessment of mildew/mold growth in the environment, along with the implementation of fungus removal solutions and air quality solutions to aid in the mitigation/removal of the putrid musty odors swirling within the indoor air. When it comes to the process of removing fungal growth from your home’s surfaces, it is recommended to hire a mold remediation specialist that is trained and able to effectively and safely remove the mold presence from within this indoor space.
However, although the mold remediation specialist will proficiently remove the mold/mildew from the surfaces of your home, they will do little for the removal of the reproductive mold spores circulating in the air, the VOCs and mVOCs, and even the noxious musty odors produced from these chemical compounds produced from the fungus. Therefore, utilizing home remedies for musty smells and potentially toxic VOCs in the air emitted from mold will be necessary to restore an indoor environment back to optimal conditions following this fungal growth.
House Mold Air Filter
The production of mold and mildew odors in a home can be the result of microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) that are known as chemicals that are created by mold’s various biological processes. And as mildew and mold begin to form in the environment it will start to emit this odor throughout the space and leaving a lasting impact on the entire environment. One way to combat these mVOCs and other odorous compounds emitted by fungus growth in your home is through an odor control house mold air filter like the EnviroKlenz HVAC Filter.
Traditional home air filters work to remove bacteria and particles like dust and dander to keep your home’s air cleaner and your vents debris-free. Although the removal of these airborne mold pollutants is important, most HVAC filter are simply made for the masses and are not designed to neutralize and remove VOCs and other toxic and noxious vapors from the indoor air. Whereas, the EnviroKlenz HVAC Filter is made with proprietary, safe earth mineral technology that is capable of capturing and destroying harmful compounds that would otherwise aggravate the sensitivities of those exposed. In addition, the earth mineral technology will also break down and neutralize noxious odors, especially those musty/moldy odors produced from mildew and mold growth in the environment.
Best Air Purifier for Mold and Mildew Odors
Additionally, an air purifier may also be utilized in situations where there are strong mildew/mold odors in an environment where mold was growing due to its multi-capability to neutralize odors, eliminate potentially toxic VOCs, and collect and destroy mold spores collected on a HEPA filter within the purification device. What is the best air purifier for mold and mildew? The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model is an air purifier that combines Advanced EnviroKlenz® technology for toxic and noxious chemical and odor removal with HEPA filtration and ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVC) to remove airborne particulates and allergens and inhibit the growth of captured microorganisms (such as bacteria, mold, and viruses).
The two-stage EnviroKlenz Air Purifier process contains the first stage EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge w/ the earth mineral technology to work to capture, contain, and neutralize noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from the air. The second stage is a hospital-grade HEPA filter that is capable of capturing and removing fine particulate matter smaller than 0.3 microns in size at a 99.99 percent efficiency. Strategically located between these two stages of filtration are two ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVC lights) that shine on top of the collected mold spores residing on the HEPA filter to provide a high efficiency of kill to the collect microorganisms.
Mobile UV Air System
✓ Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ UVC lamps are continuously shining on the collected organisms with high efficiency of kill and destruction