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As a house owner or renter, you need to be mindful of the air quality that comes into your house. A well-ventilated house keeps a home energy-efficient, safe and healthy. When moist air enters your house and combines with air, then moisture will condense and form a liquid. In other words, moisture turned into a liquid when coming in contact with an old book or wood in your house can produce a musty, irritating smell. To avoid a moisture problem, ensure a good ventilated house.
If your house smells so musty or moldy there is a chance of having leftover mildew or mold lying around your house and this can happen due to the lack of ventilation or the level of humidity in your house is high. The musty smell from the rain is sometimes so annoying that you wouldn’t want to stay at home.
In other words, the term ‘musty’ can be said to be a stale odor from either your old books in the library or the growth of mildew around your house. Mold grows on dark surfaces that are warm, moisty and feel of oxygen and are produced from microbial volatile organic compounds. House smells musty due to the release of some chemical compounds. The MVOCs (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds) are industrial chemicals that have a very low threshold odor which is easy to smell. In most cases, the odor is so strong that it produces symptoms like; headache, dizziness, nasal irritation, fatigue, nausea
Mildew is a fungus that produces a musty smell and it is stinkier than mold. When mildew touches the surface of an area, it forms a thin layer on the surface. For instance, when our bathroom is filled with water and we didn’t clean or wash the water away, it will leave a bad musty smell that can be choky.
Causes Of A Musty Smell
Musty smells are attributed to many factors causing it;
- It can be from a cigarette; when you smoke indoors, it leaves a long-lasting odor in your home. All the appliances, carpet, your clothes, closet soaked in the bad odor the cigarette is leaving behind. Whether your house is old or new, ensure that you did not smoke indoors because this might damage your door wall. Smoking cigarettes or nicotine leaves mitigation in your house.
- Lack of airflow; airflow is important in every home, we all need to rent or build their apartment in a well conducive environment to keep our house fresh.
- Spill and Messes; this can occur from our pets. A pet keeper should be very careful and make sure he keeps his pet clean at all times. Pets urine needs to be well cleaned because the odor can stay for years if not well cleaned.
- Mold and mildew; drooled pipes, ripped roofs can all add to the musty smell in your home. It leaves moisture which when combined with filthy air can lead to mildew growth or mold. Mold and mildew can hide inside the carpet, bedding, mattresses so it requires a thorough cleaning.
- Laundry drains and front load washers; Front-load machines clutch water at the bottom of the system. In this case, the stagnant water will leave a bacteria growth leading to musty smells in your laundry area. In most cases, improper installation of the machine may also add to the way the water stays at the bottom of the machine. Sure sure your front-loading machine is well installed and properly clean.
- Windows; If windows are not properly installed, rainwater can leak inside the house through the window by splashing water from rainfall. In most cases, when we install a cold window in a warm room, it can lead to mildew growth which can cause a musty smell.
- Refrigerators and freezers; mold grows on the sweaty nooks and crannies of freezer and refrigerator door gaskets. Regular cleaning of the refrigerator can reduce the amount of musty smell in it.
- Plants; as we all know that indoor plants add to the amount of airflow that comes into the house, it can also cause a musty smell if we overwater our plant. Remove all the dead or dry leaves from your indoor plant to reduce the musty smell.
- Food and beverages; there’s always remnant on the can of our food and beverages containers. If you keep them inside the recycling bin for long without thrashing them out, it will leave a musty smell in our house. In some cases, food crumbs build-up and form mold after a long time.
- Bathroom; Bathrooms produce the highest number of mold in our homes. Check all the bathtubs, toilet sink, the tiles that cover the shower for any leakage.
- Bedroom; Though the bedroom may not smell you have to check the mattress, windowsill, and bedroom plants if there is any growth of mold.
How To Get Rid Of A Musty Smells
Identify the source of the musty smell
Check all the dark, damp, and warm places like crawlspaces, attics, basements, and bathrooms. Molds also affect material full of loopholes such as gas, wood, drywall, carpet, cement, and sheetrock. Source of mold can also be from leaking pipes, appliances, and roof so identify the damaged area that can cause a musty smell.
Remove the source of the musty smell
Remove all the sources they may cause a musty smell. Repair all the leaking areas in your house and fix the damaged appliances to prevent further smell.
Dry out the affected area and remove damaged materials
Remove all the affected materials such as carpet, rug, mattress, drywall from your house to dry. There are some companies and appliances that specialize in general home cleaning jobs so you can as well contact them for a good repair of the affected area. You can also call a licensed plumber to fix your damages pipe or get a vacuum cleaner if you think of doing it yourself.
Ventilate And Deodorize The Area
A well-ventilated house keeps a home energy-efficient, safe and healthy. When moist air enters your house and combines with air, then moisture will condense and form a liquid. In other words, moisture turned into a liquid when coming in contact with an old book or wood in your house can produce a musty, irritating smell. To avoid a moisture problem, ensure a good ventilated house. After a thorough cleaning, you can also add an air freshener in your room. If the odor still persists, try making a baking soda paste and scrub the affected area thoroughly and allow it to dry.
Prevention is the key to a fresh, so try your best to take proactive measures that will keep your home fresh. Regular maintenance and the use of a dehumidifier will help wipe out all the damp surfaces that may cause musty smells.