​​What a Musty Smell in Your House Can Mean

What Causes a Musty Smell in Houses

A musty smell in the house is unpleasant. It triggers the recognition that something is not right. However, did you know that this is not an odor control issue? Rather, it is a question of what causes the smell that deserves immediate attention. Here is what you need to know in regards to air quality in your home.

Mold Growth Creates Musty Odors

As mold spores settle and send out hyphae across affected surfaces, the growing fungus produces gasses. They account for the musty smell that is so easy to recognize. As you inhale the air, you also take in mold spores. Depending on the fungal species in your home, you may even breathe in mycotoxins that can lead to severe medical problems.

Could It Just Be Stale Air?

Stale air has a moderate smell. It is still unpleasant. You notice it in homes where windows and doors remained shut for long periods of time. Examples include vacation homes and cabins. Sometimes, a basement you use as storage for old furniture, carpeting, and pet beds also emits an unpleasant odor. However, this smell quickly diminishes after you air out the space and does not return with regular daily activity.

It Is Not an Odor Control Problem

Some homeowners attempt to fix the problem by removing the smell with artificial means. For example, they ventilate the space, which temporarily removes some of the gasses. They then spray cleaning solutions on walls. Still, others may try scented candles or plug-in air fresheners. These products can mask the odor. However, they do not remove its reason.

Pinpointing and Removing Mold

Some homeowners report that musty odors get worse after rainfall. This can be an indicator that you have a leak somewhere. Find where the water seeps in, and make any necessary repairs. Others notice that the smell gets stronger after using a washing machine or other water-using appliance. In these scenarios, the leak may be on the inside and could involve hoses, water lines, and similar aspects of the home.

As a general rule of thumb, you have about 36 to 48 hours to dry soggy walls, carpets, and other items before mold growth starts. If leaks went undetected beyond this time, the mold is probably already growing. Even if you cannot see it, the spores have begun sprouting their hyphae.

To be sure that you are dealing with mold, and to locate hidden fungal colonies, enlist the help of a good-quality mold remediation company. A mold test is a minor investment in your health and home’s overall safety. Once experts detect mold, professional remediation removes all fungal colonies.

What Happens If You Wait to Address the Problem?

The musty smell in the house gradually worsens. This is due to expanding fungal growth on wall surfaces or inside floorboards. If the water leakage continues, you will also deal with steadily worsening structural problems. In short, the longer you wait to address the odor, the more extensive and expensive the fix will be.

For example, what started as a single wall fix may suddenly turn into a two-room remediation complete with wall surface removal. However, this does not have to happen. Contact Healthy Air USA today to learn about your options for your situation.

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