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How to Remove Musty Smells from Your Home

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How to Remove Musty Smells from Your Home

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

May 17, 2021

Musty smells and stale odours in a house are more than just an embarrassing problem for homeowners – they are often an indicator of a much more severe problem:  Mould.

The musty smells that you notice in damp places are often the gasses that are produced by mould and fungal colonies.  These gasses are known to contribute to multiple health problems including headaches fatigue, while the mould spores that these colonies release can be triggers for various allergies and worsen respiratory problems.

The mould and mildew that cause musty smells spread through the air as tiny, microscopic spores which settle in damp areas of a home.  These areas are usually “wet rooms” such as kitchens or bathrooms but can also occur in other areas such as behind wardrobes or furniture where there is less airflow.

The Problem with Mould

While the most immediate risk of having a damp related mould problem in a property is to the health and wellbeing of the residents, mould can also damage the interior and fabric of the building.

Unless mould and the damp conditions that it thrives in are dealt with, they can get out of control, and aside from an unpleasant and unhealthy living environment, you could also face expensive repairs and redecorating costs in the future.

What Causes Mould and Musty Smells

The most common cause of the damp conditions that allow mould to grow in a property is condensation.  This is where warm humid air from cooking, bathing, and even breathing comes into contact with cold surfaces and deposits the moisture it contains.  The water released from the air can soak into surfaces where it is trapped and allows the mould to grow – mould colonies spread across the surface of a wall, but they can also be deeply rooted into the plaster making them hard to remove permanently.

Getting Rid of Mould and Musty Smells

In the short term you can clean mould from walls and ceilings using dilute bleach or special mould cleaning products, however before you start to do this, you should check on the type of mould that you have, as some strains can release chemicals that are particularly toxic and damaging to health.

Mould removal though is a short-term fix, and the mould – and musty smells – will return in future.

If you want to get rid of mould and musty smells for good, you need to treat the cause of the problem by taking steps to prevent condensation from forming.

Good ventilation through a home helps to disperse humid air before it has a chance to settle.  Ensuring that your kitchen and bathroom extractor fans work correctly and that you avoid drying clothes indoors can help to reduce the amount of moisture released into the air and reduce the risk of damp developing.

If you care concerned about a musty smell in your home, or the health risks that mould can cause for your family, please speak to one of our local ventilation specialists.  They can conduct a free home survey to find any problems you have and recommend a long-term solution that can prevent mould, musty smells, and damp in your home for good.


Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now