What Is That Smell?

Before blaming family members or clients for not showering, take a minute to assess your brick and mortar structure.  Recent studies back that unpleasant indoor odors can be largely blamed on high humidity.  What you smell may be the result of a lack of proper ventilation and dehumidification.   One of the largest challenges of home and business indoor environments is the ability to properly manage the air flow and moisture inherent in them.  Overlooking this can lead to a problem which will materialize right under  your nose – the creation of a space perfectly suited as a breeding ground for unwelcome living organisms – like mold spores which can easily form thanks to the perfect storm of moisture, food, and air.

The building industry agrees, and has begun to modify its practices to alleviate the problem.

Until about ten years or so ago, each component of the building industry worked separately on construction projects.  Each trade focused on their own specialty, and paid no attention to the fact that all of their different materials and installation practices might have a direct impact on the space as a whole system, and that every component positively or negatively worked with one another.

The root cause for organism build up and the resultant musty smell is water.  Whether water is present due to conditions of, say, recent flooding, or perhaps lack of fresh air into a space, or even over or under sized mechanical systems (such as your air conditioning unit), water is the culprit.  With all the time spent indoors, it’s never been more important to look how water can adversely affect air quality than now.

Recently built homes along with newer remodeling projects are constructed much tighter thanks to better building practices, but the resulting cocoon cannot breathe.  Contractors do not understand the importance of actual mechanical ventilation, and underestimate or ignore the use of components which can control the amount of fresh air brought into the home.  Newer ventilation components are necessary to take the place of the cracks and leaks found in older structures – and as undesirable as those flaws may sound – actually allowed for some fresh-air flow.

Older homes certainly aren’t exempt from problems.  In fact, far from it.  Mold and odors thrive in damp crawl spaces, under-ventilated attics, leaking foundations, and unventilated bathrooms.  The resultant musty smell from any of those can linger all season long.  If that’s the case, it’s important to de-humidify, whether using portable or duct mounted equipment, especially in warm weather.  Our area calls for such equipment to run all summer long for the best results.

All is not doom and gloom.  Through proper testing, design, and control we can now eliminate excess moisture.  Using fresh air ventilation systems and ducted dehumidifiers we have been able to eliminate musty smells due to water and organism build ups from homes and businesses.  In most cases, we totally eliminate the airborne pollutants and unpleasant scents using RGF Germicidal lamps.  The lamps are installed in all instances of direct flood damage because they have such an exceptional track record of success.

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