03:11AM | 04/18/03
Member Since: 04/17/03
1 lifetime posts
My fiance's house has a very strong musty smell that lingers on items (e.g., clothing, even CDs) even when they're out of the house. I want to hire somebody to find out where the problem is coming from and solve the problem if possible. What kind of service person should I look for?


07:10PM | 04/18/03
Hi! This is more than likely caused by excessive moisture or humidity inside your house. The relative humidity should never be higher than 40% to prevent mold and mildew to grow and also for your health. Use a hygrometer (Bionaire sells a digital model that is very accurate and reliable) for about 20$, or you can buy the analog ones for about 5-8$, but they are not as accurate as digital models. A friend of mine had the same kind of problem; he hired a structural engineer and he discovered that the insulation in the walls was rotted due to absence of a proper vapor barrier. He also recommended that they install a mechanical air exchanger, which sucks moist, stale air out of the house and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. Excessive moisture can come from different sources, the most common ones are leaking roofing, or siding, especially where a vertical surface meets a horizontal one and around doors and windows and chimneys, a clothes dryer that does not vent to the outside, not using the exhaust fan when you take a bath or shower, hanging clothes inside for drying, cooking, or in my friend's case, because of the absence of a vapor barrier, the warm air from the house, in winter, mixed with the cold air from outside, condensed inside the walls, and eventually caused rot and mildew to develop in the insulation and on the wall studs.

Also, does the house have a real basement or just a crawl space? If so, the smell might be coming from there. Unfortunately, I can not give you info how to remedy to this situation.

In your case, I would start by using a hygrometer, and if the humidity level is higher than 40%, I would first do the simple things mentioned above like using the exhaust fan when you cook or when you shower, and if the problem does not disappear, then move on to the more complicated stuff. I hope this helps you!


04:25AM | 07/15/09
Member Since: 07/14/09
1 lifetime posts
I read the musty odor problem from the woman in Va. I live in florida and have the same exact issue. My clothes,paper items,zip lock baggies even tupperware smell. When taken out of the house of course, it is god awful. People can smell it on my clothes and it is so embarassing. Can anything be done to get the smell out?Oh, by the way I have removed 2ft.of drywall on all exterior walls.(2ft up from floor)It has helped but the smell is still here.
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