Asked on Sep 17, 2018

How do I find the source of a musty mildew smell?

PamelaLori FitzgibbonDesertRose
+8

Answered

We bought a house 3 years ago. I didn't have this issue for the first year and a half. My problem is , when you first walk into our home you get a strong mildew smell, just in the entrance way. We now , are starting to get it in the back bedroom closets. We don't live here yet, we are here every other weekend, until we retire. There is no evidence of damp areas. When we first moved in, we had the crawlspace redone with new insulation and automatic vents , everything has been painted, I had the sprinkler heads adjusted so they no longer hit the foundation of the house. Just a few months ago we installed a commercial dehumidifier in the crawlspace ( which has no odor ) we just pulled out and replaced all the old carpet and padding. The smell disappeared, but it was just the strong new carpet smell that masked the smell. I don't know if this has anything to do with the smell , but both areas back up to a slab....the entrance way to the front porch & garage. The back closets back up to the 3 season room that is on a slab...we need help !!! Anyone have some ideas ??? Even who to contact ???

5 answers
  • Xiomi954
    Xiomi954
    on Sep 17, 2018

    Check in your kitchen ,for mildew in the cabinets,or your bathroom ,where water usually can be a problem.Sounds like your smell is somewhere hard to find,try under floor too.,could be rotted places where water made a home sometime in the past or present.My aunt had it in her walls.A leak from roof,and couldn't see it ,until the paint on wall chipped off.

    • DesertRose
      DesertRose
      on Sep 25, 2018

      Yes, I would examine the walls/floors/ceilings where you especially notice the odor. There is no mistaking mildew/musty smell. It could be dangerous to your health so it really should be found and resolved

  • Lynn Frazel Flaherty
    Lynn Frazel Flaherty
    on Sep 17, 2018

    under the carpet - carpet padding?


  • DesertRose
    DesertRose
    on Sep 24, 2018

    You may have a leak in the roof since you smell it when you enter the home, and it is in the wall(s). You need to do a thorough inspection for leaks of pipes too. Something is leaking!

    • Pamela
      Pamela
      on Sep 24, 2018

      Thanks, newer roof , we checked in the attic , no evidence of a leak anywhere ...We got a moisture detector, and again nothing shows up...Thanks for answering !

  • Lori Fitzgibbon
    Lori Fitzgibbon
    on Sep 25, 2018

    If you have a crawl space have someone look there. Our house in NC had a problem with it due to moisture under the house. After it was cleaned up a moisture barrier was added to keep it from coming back.

  • Pamela
    Pamela
    on Sep 25, 2018

    Thanks for answering my question . As soon as we moved in , we had our crawlspace redone. Even though there weren't any smells in there or the house , the insulation was falling and improperly installed. They came i and cleaned everything out , installed better insulation, the installed new automatic vents , and put down a vapor barrier, then a few months ago we had crawlspace dehumidifier put in...

    • Pamela
      Pamela
      on Jun 30, 2019

      No , we still haven't found the source ☹

      We will be moving in full time soon , instead of every other weekend...I hope living there and having windows opened more might help.

      Although I did find a way to mask the smell... I had tried air fresheners, even left a bar of Irish spring soap , which has a strong odor , no good . This is what I found that did work & I really don't know why ??? But glad that it does. Ground flavored coffee in a zip lock bag !

      I bought some maple bacon coffee at Aldi's I ground some and brought it to the house , we didn't care too much for the coffee and I forgot to toss it or bring it back with us , I left it in the baggie on th he counter. When we came back 2 weeks later , as soon as I walked in the door all I could smell was th he coffee , no mildew smell !!! I went back and bought 3 more bags , lol...I fill the baggie about a quarter full and seal it , I shake it up before we leave and it lasts about a month !

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