Why Odors Come and Go
A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc.
Have mold odors or other smells that seem to come and go? Need help with sick building syndrome, building related illness, mold, or allergies? Call us for a mold inspection, and mold testing, or an IAQ investigation by our certified mold inspector and IAQ consultant serving Palm Beach, Kendall, Coral Springs, Coconut Grove, Delray Beach, Plantation, Weston, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, Davie, and Aventura.
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Though odors coming and going sounds strange, it is common and easily explained.
1) When gases heat up, they expand, thus when the sun heats up a wall, the air and odors in that wall will expand and may push air and any unusual odors that are present in the wall out of the wall. For example during an air quality investigation at a bank in Key Largo, hydrogen sulfide fumes (sewer gas) would expand in the ceiling void and enter the bank teller areas below, this would primarily occur during the warmest parts of the hot days because the fumes and air in the ceiling void would expand on such days.
2) When the wind blows, it often blows outdoor air into the attic via soffit vents. This causes attic air to be forced into the wall below the attic, and this in turn causes the air inside the walls to be forced out through outlers or other openings. During one mold inspection in West Palm Beach Fla on a windy day this phenomon was quite evident. Whenever the wind was blowing outside, foul moldy odors blew out of a hole rusted through the guest bathroom tub enclosure.
3) An AC unit turning on can pull air out of the walls around the AC return. This was found during a mold and home inspection in Boca Raton, when the Ac unit would pull mold odor out of the laundry room each time the AC turned on. It also occurred at a trailer near in barefoot Beach Cove near Vero Beach when the AC would pull fish like odor out of an overheating breaker panel.
4) When an AC turns on, it may push moldy air out of moldy ducts or out of the interior of the moldy AC unit itself. This condition is found every week, as AC unit mold is extremely common.
5) Manufacturing processes in another section of a building may be in effect at certain times of the day or week. When the process stops, the odors may dissipate overtime as as was the case at a large printing facility in Martin County.
6) When rain occurs, hidden leaks are more likely to occur. These leaks provide moisture for mold growth and metabolism. This in turn causes the mold to release mold odors known as microbial volatile organic compounds or Mvoc's. When dryer conditions prevail, mold goes dormant and mold odors are not produced in abundance. If fact at A Accredited Mold Inspection Service in West Palm Beach Fl we often notice that the phone does not ring as much when it is dry. The phone rings more often a few weeks after heavy rain storms start. First the storms brings rain water into buildings via hidden leaks, then weeks after the rains start the mold grow in peoples walls and starts producing odors. The phone starts to wring more a few weeks after rains. However as soon as the rain starts to fall many outdoor molds seem to start releasing spores immediately, this can be seen under the microscope when analyzing outdoor air samples. Also mold odors can be smelled immediately during or after rains while hiking in the woods or walking near wet mulch in front of homes on rainy days.
Below are several reasons why odors come and go.