What Is Mold and Why Does It Smell Musty?
You may not learn about the mold problem in your building until you hear complaints about the irritating musty odor. Some people think that the smell actually comes from tiny particles of mold in the air or from mold spores. Neither are true. Odors from molds are caused by mycotoxins, which are gases released during the digestive process of some molds.
What Is Mold?
Molds are fungi, just like mushrooms. Some scientists think the mycotoxin production from certain types of molds is actually an adaptation developed to protect the molds from animals and insects. Nobody is sure how many varieties of mold live on our planet because they are so abundant, living wherever oxygen and moisture are found, even in Atlanta, GA. Since molds exist abundantly in our environment, it's just about impossible to keep them out. Here are a few ways the spores can enter a building:
• On pets and clothing
• Through windows and doors
• Via cooling, ventilation, and heating systems
The problem is when mold spores land in a hospitable environment, one with organic material, moisture, and oxygen. That is when the mold begins to grow and form colonies. As it grows, it consumes organic material as food, producing that familiar musty smell.
How Can You Prevent Mold?
The best way to prevent molds is to make sure you are not providing a welcome environment for their growth and development. You can manage your building's environment by reducing humidity with ventilation systems and dehumidifiers, fixing leaky areas from pipes or roofing, and proper remediation of water damage.
When you do follow that musty odor to the source and discover mold in your building, at least you can count on professional mold remediation specialists to clean up the problem. During the cleaning process, professionals use HEPA air filtration equipment and containment procedures to reduce further spread of mold spores inside your building. This cleanup process will prevent mycotoxin production, making the environment more hospitable to your human building occupants again.
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