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What’s That Smell? Getting Rid of That Musty Smell in Your Home

What’s that smell? Getting rid of that musty smell in your homeIf you’re dealing with a musty smell in your home, the culprit may be mould. Check out our tips to get rid of that smell once and for all.

There’s nothing worse than when a lingering smell takes over your house – especially if it’s something you can’t quite identify. If you’re noticing a musty smell in your home, there may be more to worry about than just a bad smell. Musty odours are usually caused by water damage or high humidity, which could mean mould. Here’s some tips to identify and eliminate that musty smell – and deal with any accompanying mould.

How do I know that it’s mould?

Mould thrives in damp, warm, dark places. If you’re wondering what’s causing that musty smell in your home, ask yourself if you’ve had any water damage or high humidity, which creates perfect conditions for mould growth.

Mould isn’t just an odour problem, it’s also a serious health risk. A good way to identify mould is if you or a member of your household has an allergic reaction. Those sensitive to mould will often cough, sneeze, wheeze, get a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes or skin irritation. In extreme situations, mould can even cause asthmatic symptoms like shortness of breath or chest tightness. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms and smelling a musty odour, it’s time to look for mould damage.

Where to check for mould

Mould can hide almost anywhere in your home, but the most popular areas include the basement, attic and garage. These places tend to have poor ventilation and are typically dark, cold and damp. In the attic, the most common places to find mould include:

  • In your insulation
  • Near any leaks on the ceiling/roof
  • Near vents that lead to the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room/dryer, as well as vents near the bottom of the roof that ventilate the attic

In your basement, check these areas:

  • Around ducting and pipes (especially if your find any leaks or condensation)
  • Near a sump pump, water heater or furnace
  • Near windows or vents, which attract condensation
  • Carpets

In your garage, mould can form through water leaks or when rain from your car drips onto the floor. Make sure to check these areas when looking for mould:

  • Around the garage doors and windows
  • Areas with standing water
  • Behind storage bins or items that aren’t moved often

If you can’t find the source of the mould but are still smelling a musty odour, it’s possible mould is hiding in your walls or other hard-to-see areas. In these cases, it’s a good idea to hire a restoration company to track down the mould for you.

How to get rid of mould

Once you’ve found the cause of that musty smell in your home, it’s time to eliminate it. First, create a mixture of household detergent and water and scrub down any affected areas. Make sure not to use bleach, which will kill live mould, but not mould spores. If you leave any mould spores, you run the risk of more mould growth in the future.

Once the area is clean, make sure you dry it fully using ventilation and dehumidifiers. When this is done, you’ll be able to repaint or reconstruct the area, if needed.

No mould left behind

A musty, dank smell is often caused by mould – a serious problem that should be dealt with immediately. While do-it-yourself methods exist, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure all mould spores are eliminated. Touch With Care has the experience to handle even the most persistent mould problem.

When you experience a flood, an urgent response will limit damage to your home or business. Touch With Care’s team of highly experienced restoration specialists are prepared to act quickly across Toronto and Mississauga. We respond within the hour to limit the possibility of water damage, electrical dangers, the growth of mould and bacteria, and structural harm to your home or business. Contact us when disaster strikes.