mold smellsIt’s been said that the best way to spot mold is to simply follow your nose. Some people are more sensitive to mold and they can detect the presence of mold simply by walking into a room. They may react to the smell of mold with an immediate allergic reaction.

So what actually makes that mold smell?

That distinctive mold odor is caused by volatile compounds that are produced by mold and released into the air.These compounds are known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). MVOC is the waste product created when mold is actively growing. Because of their strong and unpleasant odors, mVOCs is the source of the moldy or musty smell associated with mold growth.

Exposure to mVOCs has been linked to a variety of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. It can also irritate the eyes and the mucus membranes of the throat and nose.

If you notice a moldy smell indoors, it is always important to investigate the source as quickly as possible.  Often a moldy smell is the only clue that it exists. Don’t ignore the odor if you cannot see or find a source. The longer the problem is ignored, the worse it will become. Mold testing is advised.

If you notice allergic reactions increase when you’re at home but lessen when you go out, then it’s likely you have a mold issue. If you find that your allergies are worse in other buildings, such as your workplace, then it’s possible that place has a mold problem.

In either case, ‘the nose knows’!

H&H Environmental Construction and Consulting provides professional  mold testing and removal services for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call us at 888-250-6653 if you suspect a mold or mildew problem.

 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at