How to get rid of musty smell in house

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ThankYouJack
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm

When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.

Jags4186
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:28 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm
When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.
An odor is caused by something. If you have a musty smell you have mold/mildew. You can try things like ozone emitters or activated charcoal but unless you can get rid of source of the smell it won’t go away.

Trader Joe
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by Trader Joe » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:31 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm
When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.
Yuck. It sounds like you have a very, very unhealthy situation in your home. Hire professional cleaners asap. Do not delay.

finite_difference
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by finite_difference » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:38 pm

What kind of HVAC system do you have? Do you have ducts in your crawl? If so, what kind and how old are they? We had the soft kind of ducts in our crawl, which had deteriorated by 30 years, and replacing them helped tremendously with AQ. It cost around $2k, which was a bargain in my opinion and I wish I had done it earlier.

Make sure you are taking good care of your HVAC system, replace filters as needed, and don’t have any leaks anywhere.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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woolie
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by woolie » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:40 pm

Damp Rid. You can get it at home depot, target, etc. It makes a big difference.

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:42 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:38 pm
What kind of HVAC system do you have? Do you have ducts in your crawl? If so, what kind and how old are they? We had the soft kind of ducts in our crawl, which had deteriorated by 30 years, and replacing them helped tremendously with AQ. It cost around $2k, which was a bargain in my opinion and I wish I had done it earlier.

Make sure you are taking good care of your HVAC system, replace filters as needed, and don’t have any leaks anywhere.
We do have soft ducts in our crawl space about 13 years old.

finite_difference
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by finite_difference » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:42 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:31 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm
When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.
Yuck. It sounds like you have a very, very unhealthy situation in your home. Hire professional cleaners asap. Do not delay.
We don’t know enough about the situation to say whether it’s unhealthy or not. In fact, living in an overly sterile environment can be unhealthy, since your immune system needs training.

Your HVAC should help keep the humidity down inside when it’s hot though.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:46 pm

woolie wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:40 pm
Damp Rid. You can get it at home depot, target, etc. It makes a big difference.
Great thanks. Will give it a try

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:49 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:28 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm
When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.
An odor is caused by something. If you have a musty smell you have mold/mildew. You can try things like ozone emitters or activated charcoal but unless you can get rid of source of the smell it won’t go away.
I think part of it may be from rags that I can toss. Since the smell is pretty faint it’s tough to know where it’s coming from. How would I find a good pro to help?

finite_difference
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by finite_difference » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:51 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:42 pm
finite_difference wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:38 pm
What kind of HVAC system do you have? Do you have ducts in your crawl? If so, what kind and how old are they? We had the soft kind of ducts in our crawl, which had deteriorated by 30 years, and replacing them helped tremendously with AQ. It cost around $2k, which was a bargain in my opinion and I wish I had done it earlier.

Make sure you are taking good care of your HVAC system, replace filters as needed, and don’t have any leaks anywhere.
We do have soft ducts in our crawl space about 13 years old.
I think by local standards we had a crawl in quite good condition, so that’s why they could’ve lasted longer, but they were probably overdue.

I would get your trusted HVAC guy out to evaluate your crawl space and soft ducts. It’s well worth it to replace them if they’re in poor shape, and to keep your crawl space in decent condition (replace worn out insulation, etc.) Even one decent leak and you’ll be getting air from the crawl directly in your home.

Note that we have been able to get away with keeping our crawl ventilated to the outside without sealing it up, although that’s all the rage these days apparently, so they’ll completely seal it up and install a humidifier. But I think it depends on your local environment. Your house could be fine whereas your neighbor may need it due to excessive humidity, etc.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

finite_difference
Posts: 1240
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by finite_difference » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:52 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:49 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:28 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:23 pm
When it rains a lot or gets very humid my house and especially my garage smells slightly musty. I think part of the problem is hanging too many damp things out to dry and possibly having the house get too hot while we’re away.

Any tips for getting rid of the smell? You often hear about the new car smell, but IMO the smell of a new home is 100 times better.
An odor is caused by something. If you have a musty smell you have mold/mildew. You can try things like ozone emitters or activated charcoal but unless you can get rid of source of the smell it won’t go away.
I think part of it may be from rags that I can toss. Since the smell is pretty faint it’s tough to know where it’s coming from. How would I find a good pro to help?
I would go through and clean out everything and then if the smell doesn’t go away, look for a pro on Yelp or Angie’s list or via asking neighbors, co-workers, your handyman, etc.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

BradJ
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by BradJ » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:19 pm

I have an old home that suffers from the same issue. Bought a humidity gauge and a humidifier, which helped the issue.

pdavi21
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by pdavi21 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:50 pm

It happens in the furthest spot from my HVAC system. The highest temperature differential causes the most condensation. Leave all your doors open (inside only), shower with the vent on, boil stuff less, get a dehumidifier, etc. If you live in a cold climate, you may have appliances set to blast steam into the house (i.e. dryer). Also, never open your doors or windows. If your cooking stinks, cook better smelling food.

I wouldn't worry until you start seeing mold. Musty doesn't mean mold. It just means terrible sweaty nights.

Another trick is to run AC hot/ heat cold in the day, and turn it up right before you sleep. It will hopefully blow some dry air at you before you sleep.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

Caduceus
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by Caduceus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:31 am

If it's because of humidity, just get one of those portable dehumidifiers and keep it running (attach the hose to it and you'll be amazed at how much water you wick away). After a few days you should notice a huge difference.

I used to live in a house with a foul-smelling basement and the smells went away after a few days with the dehumidifier being turned on 24/7. They came back again if the dehumidifier was left off.

Mold/mildew tends to grow at sustained humidity about 60-70, so if you can keep your environment below that for a long time, your problems might go away. There's always mold/mildew in the air, but they won't be able to grow aggressively.

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Summit111
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by Summit111 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:16 am

I placed a portable dehumidifier in my music studio and run it several times a week...amazed at the amount of water it removes. My daughter also placed one in a small retail store she owns with great results.

Summit

carolinaman
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Location: North Carolina

Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by carolinaman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:19 am

Make sure your duct work is properly sealed. This is especially true if you have a crawl space. Older duct work is more likely to have issues but if poorly installed, even new duct work can have issues. Ideally, should use mastic sealant. Never use duct tape which sticks to everything except duct work (the adhesion does not last).

TimDex
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by TimDex » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:49 am

Same problem, also some mold. Installed a heat recovery ventilator unit in basement. Provides continuous fresh air in house. Strongly recommend it.
"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone. " -- Pascal

UpperNwGuy
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Re: How to get rid of musty smell in house

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:55 am

When you go on vacation, leave your air conditioning on. Maybe turn up the temperature setting a degree or two, but don't raise the temperature dramatically.

Also, dry your damp clothes in a clothes dryer, or hang them outside.

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