Have you ever wondered what type of mold smells like skunk? It is a common confusion since most mold smells musty or smoky. But different types of mold have particularly different colors and odors. Skunk odor is a very unpleasant smell that lingers indoors for a long time. You might even have to try different ways to eliminate the odor once you clean the mold.
What Does Mold Smell Like?
The best terms to describe how mold smells are musty or earthy. But it varies with the type of mold since some molds might smell different. You can smell mold mostly if you are really close to the substance or if it grows in a large area. The sensitivity to smells differs from one person to another. Some may find it more irritating and could even be allergic to mold. You may find it either nauseous or even enjoy the musty odor.
What Kind of Mold Smell Like Skunk?
A skunk smell is quite similar to rotten eggs or spoiled cabbage. Certain mold types emit an odor identical to this. These mold varieties give an unpleasant odor like that rotten eggs or smelly socks. The stinky smell in mold comes from Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). The skunk spray contains thiols or sulfur-based organic compounds, which cause the pungent smell. These odors have similarities in causing various symptoms, including headaches and nausea.
What to Do if You Smell Mold in the House?
The first thing you need to do if you smell something bad inside the house is to find the source. Then you can identify whether your house is infected with mold. It usually happens if mold grows in a part of the house which you don’t usually access. But in most cases, you will find where mold grows before you can smell it. If you smell a bad stench, check for wet spots and the pipelines. Mold grows well on soaked wood, wet carpets, and moist walls. Check your bathrooms, laundry room, and basement for signs of dampness and mold growth.
Once you locate the mold, you should take the necessary action to prevent the growth. If not, mold can spread through the air to affect various parts of the house. Clear it off with a bleach solution or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Wear safety gloves, glasses, and a mask to prevent possible risks from mold spores.
What if You Smell It but Can’t See Any Mold?
Sometimes, you might smell mold but wouldn’t bother to find the location to clear it off. This negligence is not a good idea since mold in the house can cause various health issues. Black mold creates mycotoxins that can harm humans and other mammals. It causes various discomforts such as stomach cramps, pain in the intestines, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea, pain in joints. Asthma, sneezing, migraine, brain lesions, rashes, and skin conditions are also among these. Mold spores can even cause anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, or brain fog.
Is a Skunk Smell in the Basement Dangerous?
As you are already aware of the health risks mentioned above, having smelly mold inside the house is quite dangerous. Most people are worried about the bad smell but don’t care about cleaning the mold. Removing the bad smell includes getting rid of mold, which itself is a win-win situation. Make sure to keep your basement dry to prevent creating breeding grounds for mold.
If you cannot find any mold inside, but there is a lingering skunk smell in basement, it might be due to a broken sewage line. The sewage gas leaks into the house through small cracks in the pipelines. If this is the case, you should immediately call a professional plumber to fix the sewage lines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Toxic Mold Smell Like?
Although mold is mostly known to have a musty or smoky smell, it can have different other odors. The smell comes from the chemical compounds present in the mold. Mold may smell like rotten plants, decaying dead animals, or even skunk spray. Black mold is considered to be toxic as it causes high health issues. Prolonged exposure to black mold causes coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, and breathing difficulties. People with existing respiratory issues could experience long-term health consequences.
What Smells Like Skunk but Isn’t Skunk?
If a skunk-like odor comes through your vents, you are more likely to have a gas leak in your HVAC system. This smell is from mercaptan, a gas odorant that resembles a skunk’s spray. This indicates that the gas leak is hazardous and can place you and your family in danger. So, if you suspect a gas leak in your house, open the doors and windows to prevent it from building it up inside. Do not turn on any switches or electrical appliances. Evacuate all your family members and pets before calling the local authorities.
How Do I Get the Lingering Skunk Smell Out of My House?
It is frustrating to have your house smelling like skunk even after you clear the source of the smell. Place a bowl of vinegar in each room and leave it there for a day or two until the skunk odor is gone. Take care to keep these bowls out of reach of kids and pets. You can also bowl some vinegar in a pan on the stove for about 2 hours. This should remove the bad odor quickly from the house. But the smell of vinegar will linger inside the house for a day or two. Changing the filters of the air conditioners, heaters, and furnace prevents the bad odor from coming back into the house.
A skunk odor coming from a damp area of your house points at one thing, which is mold. This fungus can even grow in your HVAC system if it has excess moisture. Dirty filters often smell damp like mold. Open the doors and windows in your house to allow air circulation and bring in adequate sunlight. This naturally prevents the growth of mold by eliminating the humid air. You can keep the basement dry even if you don’t have a dehumidifier. Keep your family safe from the harmful health issues caused by mold and mildew.