Molds are filamentous fungi that can live both outside and inside of a building. A musty smell means they are spreading around (USDA report). Besides the smell, other sign may also appear, such as suffering allergic symptoms and water problem (leaks).
But, how if the house smells musty but no mold found in there? This is another case which is still related to the property of the house. And to answer the question, following explanation will help you.
What causes a musty smell in a house
Anything can cause the bad or musty odor in the house, such as old properties. But, the common causes are the existence of molds and mildew. Molds and mildew are types of fungi that can grow inside a house.
Moisture and dampness are the best conditions for fungi to grow. When the fungi release gasses and the gasses cling to the carpet, curtain, other fabrics, and furniture, the smell will cover the entire room.
Removing the odor is possible (although need extra energy and time). To get rid the unpleasant smell, you can do following actions.
- Locate the source of the area where molds or mildew live.
- Use cleaning agents like boric acid, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and water.
- Scrub the affected area such as walls, furniture, floor, or appliances with those cleaning agents.
- Set good ventilation. You need to open the windows, so the fresh air enters the house.
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Is musty smell always mold
The answer is no; it is not. A musty smell is caused by the particular chemical substance, and molds are one of the sources. However, if you think that the source may be something else, you could start inspecting the signs.
So, how to decide whether the source is molds or not? Just keep in mind, molds and mildew life cycle is supported by damp and moist places. Therefore, if you find out that your house has a balance humidity level and clean, the source could be the old properties, such as paper, wood, wax, or polish.
What does the smell of mold smell like
Both moldy and musty are the sign of molds existence. From moldy bread, for example, you can smell a sour odor. And for a certain room where molds grow, moldy smell (usually stronger than the musty odor) may occur. Since the moldy smell is thicker than musty odor, when it reaches your chest, you may feel a little bit stuffy.
How to find the source of mold in your home
Usually, you begin to sense the existence of molds when the fungi have spread in the house. It is a common case because most of them grow on the hidden spots such as inside of the walls and ceiling.
So, how do you know if you have molds around? For sensitive people, they can notice it right away when they begin to get fungal allergies. According to the place, the source can be outside and inside of the house.
For the outdoor source:
- It includes leakage caused by a clogged gutter, and the leaks can wet the wall or building surface nearby it.
- Leaks from window, door, or roof which will allow the water (rain) seep into the wall cavities.
- If the surface of the ground around the house cannot drain the water, leakage that seeps into a lower room like the basement would make the place damp and increase the humidity level.
For the indoor source:
- After the gas matter changes into the liquid one, it will wet the surface of the wall, ceiling, or floor. If the area stays that way for couple period of times, the place will become the best spot for molds to grow.
- Plumbing leaks behind the walls or sinks.
- You can check the hidden spots like behind paintings, under the carpet, and inside walls (especially materials made of drywall or wood pulp).
- Move the furniture, such as wardrobe, desk, or sofa, so you can see whether they have molds around them or not.
- The source can also be found by focusing on the odor. Like the explanation above, moldy places are covered by the musty odor.
These actions, indeed, will drain your energy, budget, and time. But, always remember that the existence of molds can put your life in danger. The bad effects are not only temporarily, but also for a long-term one.
Why not ask the professionals?
From the explanation above, now you have known that if the house smells musty but no molds are found, then the cause could be something else such as old stuff.
Additionally, if it is too difficult for you to handle the molds and mildew problem, you can hire the professionals. Besides skill and experience, they also have proper equipment which will help you to locate the molds source sooner.
Molds life cycle is rapid because they can spread in many ways like through the air. Any living creature also can be the carrier of the molds. Therefore, the sooner you find them, the sooner you can get rid of those harmful problems.