How to Get Rid of Musty Odors

January 11, 2023


There's a sign that your house or carpets smell musty; however, you may need to know the best method to handle it. It could be from an old home that has a musty smell following rain or a known smell in a particular region There are many kinds of reasons for smelly odors and, fortunately, there are plenty of options!

Read to learn the best way to eliminate the musty smell in your home and bring it back to the freshness of your home in no time.

Why is my home smelling musty?

Mildew and mold smell strong and pungent, similar to decaying wood's scent. It is most commonly smelled in areas where mold spores can colonize in a quiet environment, such as closets and basements and in areas with plenty of moisture, such as bathrooms.

If your clothes or home is smelling musty, it's likely there is mildew or mold that is hiding. Although other factors -- such as inadequate ventilation or excessive levels of humidity could make a musty smell more prominent, they usually aren't the main reason for the smell.

Although the word "musty" often brings to mind an old library or grandmother's attic, mold and mildew can be found everywhere, even the modern apartment or homes. In essence, all that is required for mold to flourish are the existence of mold spores, a substrate to grow on, warmth, darkness, oxygen, and humidity.

The final component -- moisture is the most problematic. When the other elements of the environment combine with condensation, humidity, or water leaks and mold develops, it can be quite a challenge.

As the mold grows, forms then spread it releases gasses known as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). The musty smell you're smelling isn't "just" mold but is due to chemicals released by various stages of mold development.

Can odors cause health effects?

Chemicals that produce odors could cause health issues. Most of the time, people will experience an odor, not at the level of air pollution that could cause health issues. In addition, different people aren't all equally sensitive to chemicals and might not be affected in the same manner.

If someone suffers adverse health effects are dependent on a variety of aspects, such as the type of chemical, how much it is present in the air and the length of time that the exposure lasts, as well as whether or not the person that smells the chemical is suffering from any specific sensitivities. Odor-related health issues generally disappear quickly after the smells are gone.

Odor isn't a valid method to assess the risk of adverse health consequences. The smell will be evident for certain chemicals at lower concentrations, and the risk of health-related effects is minimal. For other chemicals, like carbon monoxide, there is no smell at any level, and there is no warning that individuals are exposed to harmful levels.

In certain situations, smells are a good indicator of the presence of something that needs to be addressed. For example, issues with mold, sewage backups, and gas leaks inside the house are all detected through their smell, even though they cannot be observed.

How to remove this musty smell?

Find out the cause of the smell of musty:

As we've seen that the most frequent reason you'll notice a musty odor at home is due to the presence of mildew or mold. Also, since the microbial volatile organic compound (MVOCs) released by mildew and mold have a very low threshold for odor so a smelly one does not mean there's a lot it.

Before you attempt to cover up the smell, you should take the time to check for areas of mildew or even mold. Some areas you could need to look for evidence of mold in your home are:

  • The kitchen: There are many areas within the kitchen that mold can use to grow, which is why you should inspect thoroughly. Examine the inside, beneath the refrigerator, under your sink, and even inside your microwave stove.
  • Your bathrooms: moist with warmth, the bathroom can be like heaven for mold spores.
  • In the bedrooms: Your bedroom may not appear to be the ideal location for mold to flourish; however, it's quite likely.
  • Basement, attic and garage: because you will likely spend little time in these areas of your house. These rooms are likely to be dark, damp, and warm.

Repair any leaks of water or issues with moisture.

You can do the cleaning you want to do, but if you fail to do anything to correct any water leaks or water-related issues, you'll be back to starting from scratch. The CDC confirms this, stating, "Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding."

After you've determined the source of the smell lingering in your home, you can decide if it is something you can tackle yourself or if it makes sense to engage a professional to complete the task. If you're renting, note that leases typically require the landlord to pay for repairs.

Cleanse the mildewy or moldy area thoroughly

If you have found areas where there was mildew or mold, it is necessary to conduct a thorough cleaning in the affected area (in addition to identifying the cause that was the cause of the growth and remediating that). Here are some suggestions to deal with mildew and mold.

You can eliminate the musty smell in basements, offices, and homes with Ozone Generators. The OdorFree Ozone Generator is a great smell eliminator for musty odors. Ozone is delivered straight to the odor's problem and can oxidize the stale unpleasant odors commonly found in damp areas or areas with poor air circulation.


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