What causes musty smells in houses?

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Mold Advice & Tips

Musty or moldy smells are a sign that mold and mildew have begun to grow in your home.

This can be caused by numerous reasons such as inadequate ventilation, sewage leaks, pets, wet clothing left in a hamper, wet towels, wet carpet, and a refrigerator, freezer or trash can with old food in it.

An HAVC system that isn’t working properly or that doesn’t have enough capacity for your home can create moisture problems and lead to odors.

Your air conditioning system’s drain line may be clogged with mold and mildew buildup, which will cause a musty smell every time your AC turns on.

Furniture can also cause a funky odor — especially upholstered furniture like couches or recliners.

These items absorb odors over time — including smoke, food and even sweat, which mold will feed upon giving off a musty odor when you sit down to relax.

All these conditions will cause mold growth and often it is hidden.

First of all, it’s important to understand how mold grows.

Molds are microscopic fungi that can grow anywhere there is moisture. It survives by digesting organic matter such as leaves, wood, paper, or fabrics — basically anything natural.

In addition to causing musty smells, molds also pose serious health risks including respiratory problems, asthma attacks and even skin irritation in some cases.

For this reason, it’s critical to know how it grows and spreads so you can eliminate them quickly if it becomes a problem.

If you notice a musty odor in your home and you suspect it might be mold or mildew, check these areas:

* Bathrooms: Showers, sinks, bathtubs, toilets

* Basements: Floor drains, walls, flooring

* Laundry areas: Washing machines, dryers, laundry sinks

* Cooling systems: Air conditioners, refrigerators with moisture buildup

* Inside your drains

* Around windows with condensation

* Under carpeting and padding (due to spills)

* Inside walls (due to leaks in roofs, pipes or siding)

* Your clothes hamper

* Inside the dishwasher and check the seal

* Inside your washing machine and check the seal

* And anywhere else where moisture may be present

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