How To Deal With A Mildew Smell

Apr 23, 2018

water damage port jervis, water damage cleanup port jervisDid you know that gas that you use for cooking and heating your home doesn’t have an odor? Gas companies add in the odor so that people can smell it if there is a pipe leak inside or outside their home. Mildew has its own odor built in, but it serves the same purpose to warn you of excess moisture and possible mold growth inside your home. Though you don’t want to keep that smell around, it is a good indicator that you have some areas in your home that you need to get looked at by a professional water damage specialist.

Identify Areas of Your Home that Smell

When your water damage professional comes to your home, he or she will likely be able to predict where the mildew is coming from, but it is helpful for you to already know the exact areas that are affected. Many times the smell will come from a basement, bathroom, laundry room, or under the sink in your kitchen. If you can smell it throughout your entire home, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your entire home has water damage, but the odor can spread throughout your house.

Clean Thoroughly

Unless the area that smelled like mildew experienced water damage from an appliance flooding or a storm, you will need to keep an eye on it regularly even after a water damage professional looks at it. Basements can commonly have mildew problems especially when your home is located in a humid area. You will need to keep the area clean if the mildew growth was only due to climate. This means you will need to wipe your showers down when you are done and clean trouble spots on the walls with a bleach and water solution.

Absorb the Air

Humidity is a very hard thing to control, but there are some things you can do to help absorb the extra water in the air. Here are some household items you can use to absorb the moisture and reduce the musty odor:

  • Cat Litter
  • Baking Soda
  • Charcoal Briquettes or Fish Tank Charcoal

These items should be put into a container that you can set out on a shelf or somewhere out of reach of children. You will have to change out the containers every couple of weeks to keep them fresh and effective. You can also invest in a dehumidifier that will literally pull the moisture in the air and collect it into a container that you will need to regularly change out.


Another great way to keep your home from smelling musty is to ventilate as much as possible. If the weather allows, keep windows open to keep fresh air moving through your home. Fresh air helps to reduce the growth of mildew. Basements can be tricky to ventilate, especially during winter months as the weather grows colder, so you can try to add in some cross ventilation from the air ducts in your home. If this isn’t a repair that fits your budget, you can always try to seal your basement if it is unfinished.