How to Get Rid of Musty Smells in Your Home
The combination of stale air and darkness create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. This growth is what can cause a musty smell in your home—something that can seem impossible to get rid of. If you’re dealing with a musty house smell, there are several ways to get rid of it.
Find the Source of Musty Smells
Before you try any method of getting rid of the musty smell in your home, you must first find out what’s causing it. Water entering your home from a pipe or roof leak can cause the mold and mildew growth that results in musty smells. However, not allowing air to circulate in certain areas like closets can also lead to that musty odor.
That being said, it’s important to check your home for moisture and leaks. Follow your nose and feel carpets and clothing for dampness. Check ceilings, kitchen and bathroom pipes, and around water heaters and windows for water stains or leaks.You’ll also want to check your attic and basement for moisture, as these can also be the source of musty smells in your home.
Are Musty Smells Dangerous?
A musty smell on its own is not dangerous; it’s what’s causing the smell that can pose a threat to your health. Both mildew and mold can cause musty smells.
Mildew is a type of white or gray fungi that appears powdery or dry. It typically has a flat surface and sits on top of window sills and grout, producing a mild musty smell.
Mold, however, can produce a strong and more prevalent musty smell. This is due to the microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOCs, that mold produces during growth. Mold is easy to spot because of its raised and slimy or fuzzy surface, and green, blue, red, or black color.
Mold and Mildew Removal Measures
While mildew is a type of surface mold that can be easily removed, mold is a different story. It penetrates porous surfaces like drywall and destroys them. If it’s not completely eliminated, it can return time and again. Breathing in certain types of mold can cause mild to moderate irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, causing headaches, sore throat, and coughing.
Black mold spores can cause serious hormone, immune, and nervous system problems that can result in depression, memory loss, and life-threatening conditions. As a result, the EPA recommends wearing an N-95 respirator with gloves and goggles as minimum protection if the affected area is less than 10 square feet.1 If you find an area of black mold larger than 10 square feet, professional mold remediation is the safest option.
How to Remove the Musty Smell from Various Areas
For mildew and non-black molds that cover small areas, such as a closet or room, you can try any one of these methods or combine them.
Turn Off HVAC Systems and Seal Vents
The first thing to do is to turn off any HVAC system you may have in your home and seal the vents. This will prevent mold spores from entering your system and recirculating after cleaning.
Remove Moisture-Filled Items from Rooms
Eliminating moisture can be done in a number of ways. If a towel or other items are causing the smell, place them in a trash bag, seal, and then remove the bag from the room.
You can also remove moisture by turning on the heat in your home or by purchasing a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels and eliminate musty smells. A wet/dry vacuum can pull water out of saturated areas.
Circulate the Air
Opening windows and doors and bringing in a fan to encourage airflow can help you get rid of a musty smell in basements and attics. You can also turn on ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen to keep fresh air moving out of these rooms.
Treat, Vacuum, and Shampoo Carpets and Upholstery
Baking soda makes a great pre-shampoo treatment for soft surfaces like carpets. Sprinkle generously and allow to sit for several minutes before vacuuming. Then use a carpet and upholstery shampooer or hire a professional cleaning company to conduct a deep-clean.
Upset pH Balance
Both mold and mildew thrive at a certain level of acidity. Cleaning with white vinegar alters the pH and kills fungi as it deodorizes. Apply it to affected surfaces and allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with water and soap.
Use Lemon Peels and Charcoal
Using odor absorbers can help remove musty smells from the air. Activated charcoal is a way to absorb odors in small spaces. Lemon peels are effective deodorizers. Simply boil the peels until you smell a lemony scent and place mixture in spray bottles.
You can try using the charcoal or spraying the lemon mixture to freshen up the room. However, unless the source of the mildew or mold is also completely removed, the musty smells will return. Ensure that any leaks are fixed, mold is completely eliminated, or damaged drywall is replaced.
A Safe Way to Remove Musty Smells Forever
Sometimes, you can remove all of the causes of moisture from your home and still have a musty odor. If your home is still smelling musty, there is a way to safely remove it for good.
Chlorine dioxide, or Cl02, is a gas that, when released into the air, enters every surface and corner to eliminate odors like musty smells. Once it reacts with oxygen, Cl02 degrades quickly into a harmless saline solution.
This gas used to be used exclusively in industrial situations, as there was no way to control it. The gas would simply be released into a large area to do its job. Today, thanks to research and innovation by Biocide Systems, you can now get all of the odor-busting power of chlorine dioxide you need when you need it, right in your home.
The economical Home Cleanup Bundle 4-Pack contains enough chlorine dioxide musty-smell-busting power to cover 1600 square feet. Simply open and activate the container, place it in the affected area, and leave it to work. In 4 to 24 hours, you can return to a fresh-smelling home that’s completely free of any musty smell.
How does the Home Cleanup Bundle do it? Think of it as a safe fumigation bomb. As soon as the product is activated, it reaches every single surface in every nook, cranny, and corner, finding and eliminating musty odor molecules.
Why do so many homeowners choose The Home Cleanup Bundle? Because it is 100% effective, safe, and non-toxic to their pets, children, and the environment. Why live with musty odors? Order your Home Cleanup Bundle from Biocide Systems today!
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