A musty odor is clearly not a desirable quality for a house, it tends to give the impression of a dirty place and whilst it might actually not be noticeable to the owners it will almost certainly be so to visitors creating entirely the wrong sort of impression. Furthermore musty odors can also indicate the growth of mould which can trigger allergic reactions in some people and can be most discomforting.
Musty odors can come and go dependent upon the time of year and the weather. In the summer for example when the Air Conditioning is left running a great deal the air flow may eliminate the musty odor, however the cause may remain to come back and haunt you in the darker seasons. Basements are often then source of such musty odors and the odor may have been caused by problems such as high humidity, cracks in walls allowing moisture in or merely from condensation. In order to prevent and stop the musty odor it is important to find the primary cause although bear in mind there may well be more than factor causing the problem. The following will enable you to track down the cause of the problem most quickly: To prevent condensation on water pipes which can be a source of moisture particularly in winter months is to cover the water pipes with an insulated pipe wrap, these are relatively cheap and are an easy way to prevent moisture dripping of the pipes and onto the floor. Often house basements due to their lack of air flow build up high humidity levels and cause dampness, This causes the musty smell which can then rise throughout the house. Installation of a basement dehumidifier can prevent this problem from occurring and remove excess moisture, just make sure you have a drain available in order to take away the excess water gathered by the dehumidifier otherwise you may have to purchase a dehumidifier with a hose pipe and pump. Check that any moisture suspected to be from condensation on pipes isn’t actually from tiny holes. This problem can be solved most simply by attaching a pipe leak clamp if the hole is very small an epoxy compound can solve the problem with little problem, ask your local building supplier about both of them. A more serious problem is that of weeping walls where moisture simply seeps through from the outside. The following process should help eliminate moisture coming from weeping walls: Ensure a dry forecast. Run a dehumidifier and fans to dry the walls. Using a brush with strong stiff bristles scrub the weeping areas with trisodium phosphate, which can be found at most regular home improvement stores and will clean the surface for you, allow the scrubbed walls to dry again completely. Seal the walls with a latex concrete sealer following the manufacturers instructions. This procedure on its own should prevent all future weeping, if not then you’d better bring in a professional.