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What Does Black Mold Smell Like?

What Does Black Mold Smell Like?

The odor of black mold is evident even before it starts showing. This article explains what it smells like, so as to ensure that its presence is detected and eliminated as soon as possible.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Jan 30, 2018
Kitchen Floor Cleaning
Black mold is one of the most dangerous forms of fungal growth that one can have inside the house. Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra is a type of fungus, which grows in moist, damp places in the house, and is toxic in nature. It not only ruins the aesthetic beauty of your house, but also poses several health hazards to the occupants. A peculiar musty odor announces its growth long before you can actually see it. It is such a deadly form of fungus, that many people choose to vacate their homes, when none of the mold remediation methods works. It is important to know how it smells, as it can be of great help in detecting the presence at earliest. This may allow you to undertake measures before it spreads to other parts of the house.

Detection of the Odor

This form of blight thrives on organic material on the surface of walls, under carpets, behind drywall, inside insulation, etc. Its excreted product is what lends the typical, moldy odor to a room. When asked how black mold smells like to them, some people compare it to rotting wood or paper. Some others report it as smelling like cedar or dirty wet socks. In any case, wet, musty, and stale are some of the adjectives that best describe its smell.

It can be possibly detected by this peculiar odor. Whenever the air you are breathing in feels stale and damp, in spite of open windows, you should immediately look for signs of mold growth. The room where it is present, smells different from other rooms. Interestingly, people become used to this musty smell pretty quickly. This may prevent any early attempts of remediation, as home owners do not take any measures unless they witness how the mold has ruined their home. Often, your nose will react even before you can smell anything. Irritation inside nose and sneezing are some of the warning signs. When the mold grows large enough to be seen, it occurs in ugly, black patches.

Elimination of the Odor

The smell of black mold can be removed only when all the mold spores in the room are eliminated. You can get rid of the growth with bleach solution. However, this method works only for smaller, confined places.
  • Scrub off loose mold spores from the surface with a wire brush. Collect them in a plastic bag, seal it, and dispose it off.
  • Vacuum the room, so that loose spores do not enter other rooms.
  • You can even consider isolating this room from the rest of the house by using plastic sheets and masking tape so that the spores do not fly off.
  • Clean the infested area with bleach solution. Allow it to dry on the surface for some time, before rinsing it off with water.
  • Let the area dry completely, as dampness may further encourage mold growth.
If you have a very severe mold infestation inside the house, it is best to call professional remediation services. Moreover, to eradicate this problem forever, prevent any seepage of water in the house. Check all the plumbing lines and fix them, if found faulty. Ensure proper ventilation in the house. Allow ample sunlight in the room, as light and heat kill mold spores. Keep the windows open, at least for some time of day, so that fresh air enters the room, and minimizes the smell to some extent.