The musty smell that is harbored within your home’s walls can be the cause of several factors residing in the environment and/or conditions that are present in the indoor space. Although most people’s initial thought is that musty smells only come from mold development in the environment, this is simply not the case. Therefore, we are going to go in-depth into the areas in your home that may be prone to this potent odor and the causes behind this musty odor smell in the space.
In this article we are going to learn more about musty odors; where they develop in a home, what causes the musty smell to begin in the environment, and the best home remedies to deploy for musty smell removal in your home.
What is Musty
A musty smell that permeates in your home is something that we know the smell of but don’t understand the causes behind this smell. One thing that is well-known, however, is the mildew and/or mold growth in a home will be one of the main sources that will elicit this odor inside of your home and thus it is among the first thing that homeowners look for around their indoor environment when the smell develops. Although mildew/mold is a contributor to the musty smell that can take place in your home, there are other additional causes in a home that can also help in the production of this odor in your air space. The other contributors of musty odors in a home can include chemicals and bacteria that are present in your home’s environment that will overtime create these odors in the air.
The indoor environment’s conditions can also play a major role in the acquirement of a musty odor within the air space. Whether the indoor space contains optimal air flow, ventilation, temperature, and humidity levels will play a critical role in the smell that is embedded throughout the entire environment. Therefore, this is why most times home’s that experience a musty odor are ones that have been unmaintained or vacant for a long duration of time that do not meet the necessary conditions for reducing musty odor development in the air.
What Does Musty Smell Like
The musty smell that you may be smelling inside of your home is an odor that is often described as having a stale, moldy, or damp odor – and usually impaired by mold or mildew. This odor takes time to develop inside of a home and is usually caused by dampness and moisture that is present within the environment. If you are living in the indoor environment where the musty smell is potent within you may find that due to your heavy amounts of exposure to this smell it may lead to your inability to even smell the mustiness in your home. When this happens, it is best to step outside and breathe in fresh air for a few minutes and then come back inside the environment to help you smell the noticeable difference between the two air’s smells.
House Smells Musty but No Mold
Have you ever experienced a musty smell in your home without any mold growth present in your home? Well, if you have and you have gone to the internet for help with this mysterious musty smell then you will find that there are many homeowners that have dealt with this same problem that are looking for answers to this musty smell problem. The musty smell inside of your home can come from a range of conditions/items/sources in this environment such as humidity, temperature, and air flow/ventilation which all contribute to the musty odor and the containment of this smell inside of the air. In addition, certain chemicals that are present within the home can also emulate the same aroma of mustiness in the air, such as certain VOCs that are released off of building materials and furniture in the home.
What Causes a Musty Smell in a House
As we have discussed previously, mildew/mold presence in a home is not the sole culprit behind the unwanted odor of musty smell in this environment – as there are many other causes that can be producing this odor in the air. Some of the most common causes of a musty smell in a home will include the following;
- Water Leaks: A water leak that occurs indoors can come from plumbing leaks, air conditioning units, or other drainage hoses and pipes found throughout the home that could experience a buildup of moisture that will begin to slowly leak into the environment.
- Laundry Drains & Front Load Washers: Washing machines are used nearly every single day and with the use of water this can be a key place for musty odors to develop gradually, overtime. Front load washers, in particular, are known for its ability to retain water in the different nooks and crannies in the machine such as the rubber gasket seal that can result in mold and bacteria growth in this area – this will aid in the production of a musty smell.
- Windows: The windows inside of a home may also be an area where musty odors can form, and this is due to the condensation buildups that can over time develop into mold/mildew which will produce the musty odor in the air.
- Hidden Water Damage: There are always risks of water damaging occurring in your home in places that are not easily detectable – this can include rugs, carpeting, and behind wallpaper. As the water damage progresses further it can result in the musty odor that can easily adapt into mold/mildew.
Along with these sources of musty odors, the smell can also form inside certain areas of your home from specific causes in these small spaces. Below we are going to learn more about why musty smell develops in ac units, bathrooms, and basements.
Musty Smell in AC
The heat is slowly creeping its way into your home, resulting in a humid, muggy feeling to accumulate in the air of your indoor environment. It is time to turn on your AC to help combat this humidity and heat that is making its way indoors, however, as you turn it on your struck by the strong smell of mustiness flooding the air. What could this musty smell be caused by in your ac system? Well, most likely it is the development of mold and/or mildew within this item in your home. This can be a big problem because the air conditioner will rapidly spread the air throughout the entire environment, which can lead to a musty odor infiltration inside the whole home.
Musty Smell in Bathroom
Musty odors in a bathroom is a common issue that a lot of homeowners will experience due to the high moisture levels that are present in this small, enclosed space. This distinct smell can come from towels, floor mats, and even curtains that may be found in the bathroom that have accumulated moisture within the fabric. Additionally, a bathroom can be an ideal place for mold to grow and thrive which can create that unpleasant aroma of mustiness in the air of the environment.
Musty Smell in Basement
The basement in a home is a place that most homeowners infrequently visit, if at all during their average day. This is usually due to the conditions present in this environment – dark, humid, moist, and generally uninviting due to the raging odors permeating from the air of this space. All of these conditions allow for the perfect environment for mold to blossom and aggressively spread within and thus the musty odor will be detectable in full force when you are exposed to the air of this indoor space.
Home Remedies for Musty Smells in Homes
When it comes to the removal of the musty smells harbored within your home, you may try everything you can think of with no alleviation of this odor in the air. What’s next? Depending on the strength of the musty odors in your home, you may have to turn to other solutions and home remedies to rid the smells from the air space for good. These home remedies can include the intake of fresh air within the environment, increased air flow, and the help of an air purifier for musty smell removal.
Let in Fresh Air
One of the easiest ways to help filter out and remove musty smells that are hanging in the air of your home is by opening windows and doors and letting fresh air fill the indoor space. What happens is when you have a home that has restricted ventilation it will create an accumulation of pollutants, chemicals, and odors in the air that will need to be flushed out with fresh air by opening these windows and doors. This will also help to alleviate the level of these pollutants, along with mitigating trapped odors like musty smell in the home.
Increase Air Flow
Along with poor ventilation in a home, restricted air flow may also be an exacerbating cause to the musty odors in your home. Air flow helps to push out the stagnant air and remove it from the space, replacing it with fresh air. Thus, if you find that the odors and/or pollutants are increasing in your air, it may be time to consider adding fans to the space – especially important, is using ventilation fans to help in this odor removal process in your home’s air.
Air Purifier for Musty Smell
An air purifier is another great resource that can be used in a home or other personal indoor environment to help improve the indoor air quality while also removing pollutants and odors from the air. The OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is a great air quality solution when it comes to removing odorous smells from the air space. This revolutionary air purifier uses a patented earth mineral technology that is effective at capturing, containing, and neutralizing a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from the air – including the musty odors that can be found in a house, along with other household odors. In addition to the use of this earth mineral technology for odor and chemical neutralization, the OdorKlenz Mobile Air System also contains a HEPA filter for fine particulate removal larger than 0.3 microns in size at a 99.99 percent efficiency.
Simply place the OdorKlenz Mobile Air System in your home, moving it from room to room (wherever the odor problem resides) to remove the chemical and odors in the environment, quickly and effectively.
Mobile Air System
✓ Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ Safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and PECO air purifiers