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Question DetailsAsked on 3/16/2016

How can I locate the source of musty smell?

I live in a block home built in the 1940s. The house has had a musty smell since I moved in. The smell is the strongest in two bedrooms that have tongue in groove painted wood ceilings. One room has been dry walled and the other has painted concrete walls. The floors are tile (grout does need cleaning). There is no evidence of mold or moisture that I can see. The roof was replaced just before I bought the house. Home inspection did not show any moisture intrusion (via moisture meter testing). I recently purchased a dehumidifier and the humidity level in the home dropped from 50-60% down to 35%, but the smell remains. I've considered having a mold inspection done, but I would like to find the source of the smell myself if I can!

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1 Answer


Possible the roof was replaced because of leaks - so could have mildew/mold in the ceiling wood - might have to tear some local areas of insulation out in the attic (look first for any signs of water impact spots (packed dimples) or matting or discoloration) and check for drywall or wood staining on the attic floor.

If you do a general cleaning and then go around with a close-up sniffing inspection you should be able to gaet an idea of the general area it is coming from.

It is possible that the high previous humidity has caused mildew/mold formation in a number of places - reducing the humidity stops the growth but does not get rid of the odor.

Mold Testing and Remediation is the Search the List category for professional help for this issue.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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