It’s easy to know where musty or moldy odors are coming from after you have suffered from a water damage, which happens from a broken pipe, overflowing toilet or flooding from rainwater, to mention a few.
But what do you do when you notice a mysterious “musty” odor in your home? Nothing is broken. There was no big storm. The sump pump is chugging away like normal.
Mysterious musty odors can be caused by a variety of situations. Figuring out where they are coming from and remediating them is the challenge.
What are some common causes?
Ice dams are the bane of winter. Ice dams are created on roofs in cold climates. They develop when snow accumulates on a roof with a slope, the snow starts to melt and the water slowly moves down the slope to the eaves or gutters. The water can’t drain because of the amount of debris in the gutters, such as from leaves. It then refreezes, creating an ice dam, which means during the next thaw water can’t drain through the obstruction. This then causes leaks through the roofing material, and into your home. If the water intrusion is minimal, you might not even know it is happening, until your nose knows… detecting that mysterious musty odor.
Leaky drains are another cause of musty odors. If the leak is very slow, water can drip, drip, drip… and over time cause damage under sinks. You don’t notice it because it’s hidden, and the amount of water is contained in a small area. But you start to notice the smell, that mysterious mustiness that you are determined to eradicate.
Severe condensation on windows is easy to see but often homeowners don’t appreciate the damage potential. This odor-causing issue is caused by excessive moisture in the home, especially in the winter when windows draw the moisture onto cold surfaces. The moisture itself isn’t the problem. The problem is when the moisture moves down into the window sills and any natural woodwork or even wall interiors get wet and create that mysterious musty odor.
What can you do? Do an inspection. Look at all areas in your home that water can intrude or accumulate. Your restoration pros have the equipment to do it right, with moisture meters and special cameras that detect moisture.
Be smart. Give them a call.