Homes are occupied with an array of unique smells and scents that can fill the room with both wonderful fragrant scents and also fill your home with a foul, putrid odor(s). Depending on your home and the different factors within this space such as ventilation, airflow, humidity, and even moisture, odors can seep into the environment and leave your air completely tainted by the growing odor within the indoor space. Odors can come from the inhabitants of the home, pets that live in the environment, cooking odors from the night before, and even mildew and mold growth that is steadily creeping into your home and ruining the quality of the air along with the scent of the space.

At the first sign (or smell) of musty odors inside your home, this will be a strong indicator that something is wrong in the environment and it needs immediate resolution. It can be hard to determine whether the smell is associated with mildew vs mold growth, therefore you will need to carefully look and locate the source of the strong fungal smell that is developing inside of your home.

In this article we are going to find out why your house smells musty, determine what the cause of this musty odor is from, and the best home remedies to use to get rid of mold and mildew smell in your personal indoor environment.  

What is Musty Smell

What is Musty SmellWe are all too familiar with the wretched smell of mustiness that will collect and gather on different items inside of the home. Whether it be the musty odor that accumulated on your winter clothes that you carefully packed away during the summer or the poorly ventilated attic that when opened for the first time floods the air with the undesirable moldy smell that grips the air in your home. Musty smell is a strong smell that develops unknowingly and quickly inside your home, with the biggest indicator of this smell associated with the unwanted growth of mold indoors.

The word musty is derived from the word moist or moisture, due to the association with moisture and the creation of musty smell in the environment. Generally, if there is any sort of moisture or water intrusion in a climate-controlled space, the chances of a musty odor developing, which can lead to mold growth, is very high.

Why Does My House Smell Musty?

When it comes to musty odors in a home, no home excluded – as both new and old houses can develop a musty smell issue in the space. Older houses are prone to develop leaks that can lead to moisture intrusions where there should not be any. As moisture enters into the home it can lead and develop into potential mold growth that will emit the musty/moldy odor into the air. Conversely, newer homes have the issue of limited ventilation inside of the indoor space, due to the way that builders are constructing homes today – tightly to minimize utility costs. Although this can be beneficial to your monthly bills, it can also lead to other issues like the difference between mold and mildew growth in the home.

The commencement of musty smells in your home is something to take seriously, as the odor can potentially taint the quality of your indoor air. When your indoor air quality becomes compromised it can lead to a bout of health issues such as congestion, watery eyes, and other respiratory issues.

What Causes Musty Smell in House

You have put your investigating skills to work and are diligently looking for the cause or source of that musty smell in your house, but nothing has come up! When a musty odor begins inside of your home it can be challenging to correctly identify the cause of this musty odor, as it can be hidden deep within your home’s surfaces and air.

What Causes Musty Smell in HouseThe top sources and causes of musty smells in a house will include the following:

  • Hidden Mold Growth: Musty odors are commonly associated with the irritating and potentially hazardous mold growth within your home. Mold is a fungus that can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments where ideal conditions are present such as humidity, moisture, darkness, and oxygen. As mold forms on the surfaces of your home it will begin to release mold spores into the air that will both compromise the air quality as well as increase odor within the environment.
  • Odors in Carpets and Walls: The carpeting and walls inside of your home are prone to absorbing and harboring odors within the material and overtime this will cause an odor that is closely related to musty smell. When this odor develops it can be difficult to eradicate without having to completely remove the carpeting entirely – which can be both labor intensive and expensive.
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Drains: Everything that goes down your drain will not surprisingly leave the drain itself smelling and reeking of nasty odors. Musty smells that are produced from the drain is likely due to the mix of items that go down it and from the sewer gas that escapes from the drain.

What Does Mildew Smell Like

When dealing with a musty odor inside the confines of your home there can be two odors that this musty smell is associated with, mildew and mold. It can be hard to distinguish between these two smells inside of your home, with both of them very similar in smell within the environment, however, the two funguses are different from one another. Mildew, in comparison to mold, is a form of fungus that begins to grow on damp surfaces almost immediately. When mildew forms on the surfaces of your wall it will start as the early phase of mold in your home.

The best way to describe the smell that mildew will produce when present and growing in your personal indoor environment is an earthy, musty smell that is very noticeable when in the environment.

Mold Smell in Home

Mold is a rapidly growing fungus that can be found in your home both on the surfaces where it will taint the color of your walls and will take over your home’s smell. When mold is growing indoors it will produce a gas called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). These gases will emit a musty odor into the environment, which essentially creates the odor that is associated with mold growth.

Home Remedies for Musty Smells in Homes

After a musty odor has developed in your home it will be time to take action to thoroughly expel the culprit of the odor and restore your home back to normal conditions. Mildew and mold growth in an indoor environment will leave you with poor indoor air quality, potential health effects, and structural issues within your home.

If you begin to identify the scent of musty odors in your home, it will be time to start implementing some at home remedies that can help you to properly and thoroughly remove the smell from the surface and from the air of the home.

Below we will discuss the best home remedies that you can use to help get rid of mold and mildew smell in your home.

Open Windows & Doors

Open Windows & DoorsDepending on the home there can be a potential issue within the space when it comes to ventilation and in-flow of air that is brought into the home. Newer homes, as we discussed earlier, are constructed in a manner that is very tight to conserve energy usage to reduce utility costs. However, this type of home design makes it very difficult to let in and flush out air into the space. This will leave odors somewhat trapped within the confined space and will allow for a buildup of odors to occur. Opening windows and doors inside of your home will be a great help to try to flush out the smell and replace it with fresh outdoor air. The more fresh air that comes into the space the quicker the odor will dissipate from the air.

Increase Air Flow and Ventilation

Airflow and proper ventilation are two things that musty odors do not like, which is exactly why you want to increase these two things in your environment. Turn on fans and add stand up fans to help increase air flow, this will help in the flush out process of the odor from the space. Also, check the overall ventilation throughout your home, particularly in areas where the odor is strong such as a bathroom, basement, or even a kitchen.

Perform a Deep Clean to Remove Dust

Did you know that dust can actually be a cause of the musty odor in your home? Dust can collect and gather an amalgam of odors and spread it throughout the area quickly and aggressively, contributing to the odors in the home tremendously! When you begin to experience an overabundance of odors in your home it may be a good indicator that a deep clean is in order. Use a damp cloth to successfully collect dust from the surfaces of your home and clean the flooring by vacuuming and/or mopping.

Air Purifier for Musty Smell

When you are dealing with an odor, the area that needs to be treated within the space is your indoor air. Cleaning the air in your home is not as easy as cleaning the surfaces of your home, and often times homeowners aren’t sure what to do to clean their home’s air. You may ask, how to get rid of mold and mildew smell from your home and the answer is an air purifier for musty smell which is an efficient and easy option for removal of odors from your personal indoor air. An air purifier is designed to efficiently filter out pollutants and contaminants found within your indoor air including odors that are present in the air space.

The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier is the ultimate air purification solution for VOC and odor removal from your personal indoor air space. This air purifier contains a two-stage filtration process that consists of a hospital-grade HEPA filter and a patented earth mineral air cartridge for VOC and odor elimination. The EnviroKlenz patented earth mineral technology is able to neutralize and/or breakdown a broad spectrum of chemicals and noxious odors that come into contact with the filter including that of musty odors. Unlike other air purifiers that simply take in the odors and hold them onto a filter media, EnviroKlenz actually neutralizes and breaks down the compounds completely alleviating the fear of the odor being re-released back into the environment.

Mobile Air System

$749.00 $699.00

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