Have you noticed a musty, stale, or pungent smell in your home? Does it smell like rotting wood? If so, this common smell could mean you may have mold in your home. Mold can accumulate in homes due to a variety of factors, most often a lack of ventilation as well as moist, humid areas.
In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of a musty smell in your house.
What are the causes of musty smells?
While there can be several causes for musty smells in homes, the most common cause is mold. Other causes may include cigarette or cigar smoke or poor airflow. This is because growing mold releases compounds known as Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). These compounds release that musty odor. Musty smells can occur in various rooms throughout the home, but they’re often found in moist and warm areas.
Where is Mold found in homes?
Bathrooms are a common place where mold spores are found. This includes tiled showers, under sinks, toilets, or even on the walls. Another common place where mold hides out in the kitchen, in areas such as the fridge, under sinks, or near microwaves or stoves. Lastly, mold in basements is another common culprit, as many basements are dark and warm.
There are several causes of musty odors you may smell in your home, such as:
Wet clothes that are left unattended can make your home musty.
Carpets that absorb moisture
Mattresses and bedding
Wet dish sponges
Mold grows when certain optimal conditions in the environment are met. Most molds need four things to grow, including warm temperatures, an organic substrate to grow on, the presence of mold spores, and moisture. While most of these are out of your control, you can control the moisture in your home to help eliminate the growth of mold.
Mold and mildew are often incorrectly used interchangeably. As you look for mold, look out for a slimy or fluffy substance. If it appears powdery, it may actually be mildew. Mildew is usually gray or white, while a mold is usually green, blue, or black. Mold often causes a stronger smell than mildew, hence the musty smell in your home. It is possible that your home has both.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
If you smell a musty smell in your home, it is important to have your home inspected for mold promptly. Without finding the source of the mold, it is difficult to address the problem.
Prolonged mold exposure can cause a variety of health risks, so don’t delay! Some common symptoms of mold exposure include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, or nasal irritation.
When mold is left untreated for prolonged periods, it can also cause allergy-type symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, skin or eye irritation, and a sore throat. People with high-risk conditions or compromised immune systems should be especially concerned about mold exposure.
What to Do: Removing Musty Smell from the Home
Have you noticed a musty smell? First, open the windows to encourage airflow. Opening your windows can help to get rid of the musty smell in the house. You may also wish to turn on any fans. The next step Is to deal with any potential moisture issues. Moisture attracts the growth of mold and mildew. Therefore, you must address any moisture problems first to tackle mold in the home.
You may also want to consider using a dehumidifier, which can help remove moisture and dry out the space. This can help to move the musty smell out of the home. In some cases, the cause of a musty smell is due to old carpets which have retained moisture. Professional carpet cleaning services may help to improve the smell. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to consider replacing the carpet.
In addition, homeowners should address any leaks that may be causing the musty smell. This may include roof leaks, window or door problems, or damaged pipes. Any area of moisture is going to attract mold to grow. Painting the walls can also help you soak up that musty smell.
There are many ways you can attempt to remove the musty smell from your home. However, these methods are often not as effective as professional mold remediation. WeDry USA can help you assess affected areas of mold that may be causing a musty smell in your home with a mold inspection. We have professional-grade equipment and safety techniques to safely address the mold throughout your home. Call us for a quote today!