Q: Lately, I notice a musty smell whenever I go into my basement. What’s causing the odor and most how do I get rid of it? A: That unpleasant, musty smell—some people describe it as akin to a wet dog—in is the calling card of mold and/or mildew. The spores of these ubiquitous fungi drift through the air until they find the damp, dark, and warm environment that allow them to multiply and thrive—conditions common to basements. Although the majority of mold species found inside homes aren’t harmful to humans, some people are allergic to the spores and develop symptoms that include a stuffy or runny nose, headache, fatigue, coughing or wheezing, and itchy or runny eyes after spending time in a mildewed or moldy room. Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly called black mold, is linked to more serious symptoms, including chest tightness and difficulty breathing, a burning sensation in the nose and throat, dizziness, headache, and trouble concentrating. Luckily, however, black mold isn’t nearly as common as less toxic types. These fungi feed on organic materials, which include wood, many types of fabric, paper, and even some glues. Given enough time, mold can heavily stain your walls, floors...