Could That Smell Mean Water Damage Cleanup?

Even if your home had experienced some water damage and you thought you had cleaned it, you might have more work to come. After repairing all visible damage, if there is a musty odor in your home, it is probably the result of mold. To properly clear the odor and deodorize your home, the affected area will need to be opened up, dried out so that the mold can be properly removed and remediated. So you probably have more water damage to clean up ahead. 

What Is That Smell?

The distinct smell can be described as musty, damp, stale, earthy, a locker room, or even like rotting vegetation.That scent you is not “just” mold; it is a byproduct of the chemical compounds released at different stages of the mold’s growth.

That specific odor is decay off-gassing from biological growth. The actual things you smell are microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOC), organic chemicals that evaporate into the air. The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are largely unknown, although exposure to mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.  

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that odor is not a reliable test for indoor air quality. Note that although humans have a keen sense of smell,  everyone’s body is different. Some people can easily smell moldy or musty odors in dry places, while others cannot detect it. 

Don’t rely solely on your nose. For example, water-damaged drywall has a musty smell, while wet fiberglass can have a different rotten eggs smell– like sulfur. If you see or suspect hidden water damage, call the Rumsey team to investigate. 

But Is It A Sign Of Damage?

That characteristic mold and mildew smell indicates that mold spores have colonized in an area with poor ventilation- in basements, closets, or bathrooms. Mold will flourish when the conditions are right: presence of  mold spores, a surface to grow on, warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture.

It’s the moisture that is the “cause” but it’s the food source supporting the growth that is the worrisome “effect.” Unfortunately, that food is the organic material in your home: wood, paper, sheetrock. You are smelling the destruction of the building materials on your home. So the smell of mold is an indication that excess water has caused problems beyond what you can see. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that if you can smell and see mold,  a health risk to people and animals may be present. You need a qualified water damage clean up team to come find the source and repair the damage. 

Mold vs Mildew

People often use the words interchangeably. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold fungi are airborne spores that can float harmlessly from outdoors to indoors. Mold grows in modest quantities everywhere. It only becomes a problem to you when excess moisture allows an abundance in your home. 

The term mildew describes certain types of mold that grows flat and remains on a material’s surface. It grows where moisture levels are high: damp closets, shower walls, window sills. No matter what you call it, if you see discoloration or smell odd odors, call for help. 

If You Need Water Damage Clean Up In Augusta

Often water damage is more extensive and the materials are wetter than they appear to be. Get some expert advice if you suspect water damage in your home.  Rumsey Construction and Restoration has been serving South Carolina with superior construction and disaster restoration services for over thirty years. 

Rumsey Construction will develop a specific plan for your situation for the most efficient cleanup process. These Columbia water damage cleanup specialists wll use the latest specialized equipment to evaluate, repair, and restore your home. Call the office. The water restoration team is available right now to help at any time. Here you can chat live, get a quote, or see a portfolio of before/after photos.