Thursday, May 23, 2024

How To Find Mold Smell In House

An Insect Infestation Can Cause Sweet Smell In The House

How to Find a SEWER SMELL in your house…

Insect infestations are another prevalent source of lovely odors in your home. The pleasant odor is usually associated with larger bug infestations, such as ants, cockroaches, and bedbugs.

Its even been suggested that bedbugs produce a pleasant-smelling oil.

Insect infestations are challenging and should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid further harm.

How To Find And Eliminate Mold

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MOLD thrives in damp places. Often, health experts say, ideal breeding grounds are the insides of walls and ceilings exposed to a recurrent source of moisture from a roof or plumbing leak.

So how do you know if you have mold in your house, and what do you do if you do? “Not all mold is the same, and different people respond to mold differently,” said Dr. Eckhardt Johanning, an occupational and environmental physician with offices in Albany and Manhattan.

Dr. Johanning said that while some people may have no reaction to mold spores inside a home, those who are sensitive to mold can have allergic reactions ranging from mild to life-threatening. “People with asthma, allergies, lung problems and immune-system dysfunction are usually more inclined to experience problems when they’re exposed to mold,” he said.

Jeffrey C. May, principal scientist for May Indoor Air Investigations in Cambridge, Mass., said that a first sign of mold is an allergic reaction that occurs only inside the house. “If someone feels better when they’re away from the house, there’s probably something wrong with the house,” Mr. May said. “If you smell a musty odor, you probably have mold.”

“Home test kits might be good for preliminary screening,” Mr. May said. “But they can’t tell you the source of the mold.”

In fact, he said, the only sure way to eliminate a mold problem is to eliminate the moisture causing it.

How To Eliminate Mould And Musty Smells

Identifying the source of the mould is only part of the battle.

You need to fix the source of the moisture, remove the mould and eliminate all the mould spores including the spores hiding in roof cavities and other difficult to access sub floors.

The only really effective way to do this is through the services of a professional mould removal agency. Mould Cleaning Australia are the go-to mould remediation and removal experts.


With the aid of infrared imagery, humidity, air quality, and dew point temperature readings we can quickly identify any underlying structural issues too.

Our safe mould elimination processes use industry leading products. The two-stage process will eliminate all mould from surfaces as well as eliminating mould spores from the air in your property and from cavities such as ceilings.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Bathroom Ceiling Mold

Clean Your Home Clear Your Mind

As you’re hunting for musty smells, it’s a good time to clear out clutter. Open spaces promote better air flow. Those cluttered, forgotten corners are prime turf for dust and mildew buildup.

If you need some ideas to help you get started, check out Spring Cleaning 6 Steps to a Clean and Organized Kitchen. 6 Ways to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes and Towels includes tips for dealing with musty closets.

Several studies have shown that folks who have too much clutter also tend to suffer from higher rates of depression. I don’t know if this is because they’re too depressed to clean, or the mess makes them depressed. Either way, I figure it’s a win-win to clean up your space. Less odors, and more room to tackle the next project.

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Air Purifiers To Remove Mold Smell And Other Odors

how to find the source of musty odor in the home

Air purification systems are a great way to combat musty odors in the home. Keep in mind that not all air purification systems are the same. Some are better than others.

Air purifiers work by not just covering up odors with some kind of fragrance, but removing the actual contaminents in the air that cause the odor in the first place.

But how does it do that?

Basically, long story short, it uses negative air to take in airborne particles through a serious of filters. The air purifier then traps the contaminents in a filter or destroys it altogether. It really depends on what type of air purifier you have.

These are some of the most common type of air purifiers you can get:

HEPA Filter Air Purifier

This is probably the most common type of air purifier.

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter it works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.

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How To Deodorize A House Affected By Decomposition Odor

One of the most severe smells comes from the decomposition of human or animal bodies. Check out our tips to remove these odors from your home:

  • Dead body odors If the issue involves a deceased person, get professional assistance. After the proper authorities have removed the body, cleaning and decontaminating the fluids come under Occupational Safety and Health Administration , Blood and Other Potentially Infectious Material regulations. These regulations specify the training, equipment, safety issues, and products that must be used to safely remove and decontaminate an area damaged by BOPIM. Professional restoration companies follow these regulations to safely decontaminate areas where decomposition took place.
  • Dead animal odors In case the source of decomposition is a small animal, such as a rodent, the approach is similar to removing pet urine or skunk spray. Wear protective gear first, clean and sanitize non-porous and semi-porous material, and discard damaged absorbent material. Semi-porous and nonporous materials need to be thoroughly cleaned and then sanitized with a disinfectant. Over-the-counter disinfectants are very effective and will result in a clean and sanitary surface.

When youre not sure what to do when confronted with an odor problem, contact a restoration professional right away, before the problem worsens. For any odor removal situation, call your local PuroClean office.

What To Do If You Have Hidden Mold

If you can see mold, the solution is easy. Simply have it identified so you know whether its a toxic mold or not and then safely remove the mold.

But sometimes you simply cant find it by ordinary means, even when you nearly tear your whole house apart.

Sometimes, the only mold in your home is hidden in places you cant easily look. It can hide in attic insulation, in the wall cavity between drywall sheets, or between a finished basement ceiling and the floor upstairs.

There is a way to tell. If your home has a musty odor or anyone with allergies to mold seem to have more symptoms in your home, you can suspect you have mold growth somewhere even if you cant see it.

But, before you spend any money tearing down your house apart to find it, why not find out for sure? You can perform a preliminary air test that could tell if you have hidden mold growth.

Order our air quality mold test kit to know for sure whether that musty odor is mold or something else. Its an easy, inexpensive way to find out whether you need to investigate further for mold or not.

Also Check: How To Clean Bathroom Mold On Ceiling

Tips To Get Rid Of The Damp Smell In Your Home

1) Empty your wardrobe and ensure each item has been throughly washed before being put back in. Also hoover and wipe down your wardrobe, removing dust.

2) Take your bed linen to a dry cleaners pillows, mattress, mattress topper or invest in some mattress cleaning products.

3) Have any soft furnishings and carpets professionally cleaned or hire a machine and do it yourself.

4) Rinse cycle your washing machine and dishwasher – you may also want to check nothing is clogging either.

5) Deep clean your bathroom and leave the door and window open for as long as possible so as much natural air can be ventilated in.

6) Boil lemon peels, the acidic power of lemon acts as a natural air freshener.

7) Spray mould and mildew with pure white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit on the surface for 10 minutes before you wipe it clean with a cloth. Apply a light mist of vinegar to the surface once again, and let it air-dry. Vinegar will naturally kill fungus and remove any lingering odours.

Most importantly locate the source, if mould is growing in your home no number of lemon peels or carpet cleaners will eliminate it.

Mould fungal colonies can produce gases, also known as volites, which may be causing the musty smells you want to get rid of.

How To Get Rid Of That Old House Smell

How to search for hidden mold in your home
In this article:

There is no worse feeling than when you walk into your own home and realize it smells bad. When a candle is no longer enough to freshen up your home, you likely have bigger issues at hand that you need to address. This is even more important when it comes to that old house smell that can be a sign of much bigger problems in the home than just an unpleasant odor.

Letâs examine how to get that old smell out of the house so you can take a deep breath and relax.

Also Check: How To Get Mold Off A Bathroom Ceiling

The Leaks Been Fixed So Why Does It Still Smell Like Mildew

Q: Earlier this year, a downspout on my condominium came loose, and water infiltrated my bedroom. It took the property manager 3½ months to repair it, so a lot of water came in. After the repair, I waited five months for the walls to dry out, during which there was a strong mold/mildew smell. When I brought in a plasterer, he removed the damaged plaster. A worker applied a white sealant, Zinsser Odorless Oil-Based Stain Blocker, and returned to spray mold/mildew killer. That was five weeks ago. After a few days, the smell was still as strong as before, so I bought the same product it smells like Clorox and sprayed the walls every third day. The mildew smell lessened only a small amount. I found a recommendation online to apply vinegar to kill the odor. I have done that three times over the past week. The smell has lessened a bit, but I worry that if I proceed to get new plaster and paint, the mold/mildew will come through. How should I eliminate the odor?


A: Hire a licensed mold assessor to test your walls and the air to make sure the underlying issue excessive moisture has been addressed. A persistent smell hints that mold or mildew may still be growing because moisture levels are high.

There is a lot of confusion about how mildew grows and the risks it poses. People often focus on killing mildew by spraying it with bleach or similar products. But that kills only mildew hit by the spray.

Know The Signs Of Mold In Your House

Before you start to panic, its a good idea to figure out whether or not you actually have mold growing in your home. Mold identification can be obvious if youve noticed mold growing in a visible location in your home. However, its worth noting that mold can also grow in dark and little-used spaces, so youll want to be aware of a few key signs of mold to look out for.

First, be on the lookout for unexplained health symptoms. Issues like lightheadedness, dizziness, rashes, and respiratory problems are common in households with mold. If anyone in your household has breathing conditions like asthma or allergies, you might notice that their condition has grown worse without explanation.

In addition, mold tends to grow in damp places, so a recent water leak should always be a sign that you should do a quick search for mold. Check any rooms where water may have lingered for a while.

Last, take note of any unusual smells. With enough mold growth, youll start to smell a musty, fungal smell similar to the scent of rotting wood.

When trying to identify mold growth, note that mold isnt just black. Instead, it comes in a range of shades and types. In other words, what you might think of as a green stain may in fact be mold growth!

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Is There A Permanent Solution

Mould thrives in damp conditions where there is plenty of moisture to evaporate into the air and raise the humidity levels. If you want to eradicate those musty odours you must ensure your property is properly ventilated. Electric fans extract excess moisture and remove it from your home so mould cannot grow.

A whole house ventilation system will reduce and control the humidity levels within the home. Ventilation fans will diminish damp and condensation and prevent mould problems, leaving the air inside your home clean and fresh, free from musty smells.

So if you are noticing a musty smell in your home it’s time to act – get in touch with a member of our team and we can arrange a free home survey.

Consider Professional Mold Treatment

Musty Smells in the House

While home remedies may work for very small amounts of mold, its important to remember that mold remediation experts will have tools and knowledge you dont. For large quantities of moldor for any homeowners who dont want to risk their health in dealing with this issueprofessional removal is the way to go.

This is especially true because DIY mold treatment can leave you open to future mold regrowth, as it can be difficult to tell when youve removed all of the mold in an area. Whats more, scrubbing and wiping mold can send spores into the air, posing a significant risk to you and your familys health.

During professional mold treatment, a technician will investigate both the mold and the likely causes for it. In addition, theyll come prepared with the personal protection and ventilation equipment necessary for the job. Theyll also use specific chemicals to destroy the mold completely, ensuring theres no leftover mold residue to grow back in the future.

With professional mold removal, you also get the added peace of mind of knowing that your mold problem is gone for good. An experienced mold removal expert will even be able to advise you on tips for future mold prevention, such as addressing a dampness problem or fixing a leak.

Recommended Reading: Shower Ceiling Mold Removal

My House Smells Musty But I Cant Find Any Mold

A few weeks ago I went to do a mold inspection in someones house and as soon as she comes to the door, thats exactly what she told me. My house smells musty and moldy, but Ive looked everywhere and cant find any mold. She wanted a mold inspection and air sample testing done. But she did not know what she was going to do if the tests came back positive for mold. What will I have to do, tear all the walls out to find where the mold is?

She makes a good point. In some situations, there is clearly a moldy, musty smell, but no visible evidence can be found of any microbial growth in the house. In this case I did a visual inspection of the house and like she said, there was not visible signs of mold. I took a few air samples in different areas of the house. I told her if they came back positive, we would find the source without tearing all her walls out.

The next day the lab emailed me the results. There was a high count of aspercillius/penicillium . But more disturbing, Stacybautris, was also found in the air samples. This is the black mold that seems to be the most feared species of mold to most people. Where could it be coming from? A more thorough inspection would be necessary. If the tests came back negative, no further inspection would be needed regarding mold. If you cant see the mold, and if the air samples come back indicating normal mold counts, there are no mold issues in the house. There might be other explanations for the malodor.

Where To Check For Mold In Your Kitchen

From long-forgotten leftovers in the back of your fridge to the not so easily forgotten dishes that pile up in the sink, there are ample surfaces for mold to take up residence in your kitchen. The added levels of humidity from using the stove and running hot water from the sink can cause kitchen mold to grow quickly. Some of the most common places to check for mold in the kitchen include:

Read Also: What Kills Mold On Leather

Different Mold Genera Species May Produce Different Moldy Musty Odors

There are building conditions that produce a variety of growing mold species – in a moldy building it is very likely that there are multiple species growing on various mold-friendly materials. Some mold colonies can be hard to spot. Certainly different species of mold respond differently to temperature, moisture, and nutrients they find. For example, one mold species is referred to as the “moldy gym socks” mold since it produces that odor.

Why Does Mold Grow Behind Wallpaper

How To Get Rid of The Musty Smell in House

Mold can grow behind wall paper due to the trapping over moisture. This is especially true in bathrooms where there is constantly a dew point created. The presence of a leak can accelerate mold growth behind wallpaper as well.

These problems can remain hidden for a long time because

Who thinks to actually look behind there?

I mean, you have to start removing wall paper just to see what’s going on.

That means if you ever had a leak in an area with wallpaper or humidity issues , the source of your mold smell may be mold trapped behind wall paper.

Taking moisture readings with a moisture meter may be a good first step. If your walls have been holding moisture for a long time, you may want to pull back the wall paper to further investigate.

Mold In The Air Conditioning System

Mold can grow on just about any porous material that is wet, but microbial growth can also form on one very important fixture in your home.

Your air conditioning system.

If you have cental HVAC, an air conditioning system involves three separate components:

  • The compressor which is generally outside
  • The air handler which is generally indoors where usually the blower and coils are located
  • The Ductwork which is how the air is distributed throughout the home

Here is what you must know:

Mold generally won’t grow on most building material that makes up your air conditioning system.

The reason why is because most items aren’t porous.

That being said

In this particular case.

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