Odor Identification: Is It Mold?

March 11, 2020 • Maintenance Tips

odor identification

Mold And Odor Identification 

You may be concerned about a suspicious odor that you’ve noticed within your home. You may be wondering, where is this odor coming from? The answer is, there is no straightforward answer. Odor identification can feel like a difficult task when you don’t know where to start. It could be a variety of things, with varying severity. Maybe someone forgot to take out the trash and it left a lingering odor. Or perhaps it could be something more serious such as mold or moisture damage. As mentioned many times in the past, mold can give off a distinct, musty odor. The easiest way to identify an odor would be by process of elimination. First, figure out what the odor is not coming from. This will help to vastly narrow down your search.


Determining The Source Of The Odor 

Odor identification is different than other issues you may find in your home because it is not visible. In most cases, you have to use your other senses to figure out where the odor is coming from. While sometimes it may be an obvious source such as visible water damage or smoke, for the most part it is not that simple. You may even have concerns about determining whether or not you should be looking for mold and not knowing where to start. Once you identify the source of the odor, you can move forward with odor removal. Here are some methods to help make the process easier when attempting to identify an unknown odor.

conflicting odors can hinder odor identificationRule out existing odors. Things like air freshener, food, or smelly trash can impede on your search for the odor. Odor identification can be somewhat tedious as it is. When there are other odors conflicting with the specific one you are looking for, it can lead you in the wrong direction. This will extend your search for the true odor source. Do yourself a favor and rid your home of any conflicting odors to make the search a little easier.  

Use your sense of smell. This may seem like the obvious solution, but it is the best place to start. Narrowing down areas that have a stronger odor than others is a good way to determine where the odor is coming from. However, there may be some instances where your entire property is engulfed in an odor. If that is the case, you may have a bigger issue on your hands such as mold or moisture damage. 

Pay attention to areas that experience a lot of moisture. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are areas that tend to experience more moisture than others. The steam given off from these activities can make these spots more prone to moisture damage and mold. This makes them prime suspects when on the hunt for the source of an odor. Keep an eye on these areas during odor identification.

Check uncommon areas. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during odor identification is to overlook an area that could be hiding something. Ensure you are checking in areas you may not have thought of previously. Behind your furniture, inside closets, and corners are areas that are commonly overlooked. It is better to have checked an area and not found anything than vice versa.  

After following these tips, you should have narrowed down your odor identification search by a good amount. Once you’ve determined the source of the odor, you can move forward with odor removal. If you’ve found that the source of the odor happens to be mold, it will not be as simple as spraying some air freshener. Contact a professional mold remediation company in your area to assess the area.


odor identification process may uncover mold damage in your home Mold Remediation & Odor Removal 

Most mold remediation companies offer odor removal as part of the remediation process. It comes with the nature of the job. Once the mold is gone, the odor usually goes with it. You may feel like you want to take extra measures for odor removal in the days following your mold remediation. If that is the case, feel free to use air fresheners again, or maybe crack a window open to get some fresh air flowing. Mold odors can be rather unpleasant, and odor identification can seem like a frustrating task that will never end. As previously mentioned, the fact that odor identification is generally not a visual process makes it seem more intimidating. However, it is well worth it once you finally determine the source of the odor and you can get back to normal life. 

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