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Mold Remediation

Musty Odor

Water Damage

How to Eliminate Musty Odor from Water Damage

It creeps up on you slowly. You might not notice it until you leave your house for a while. But when you come back, you open the door and it hits you: a musty, dank odor that has suddenly invaded your home.

A musty odor may be livable, but it can be an indicator of much bigger problems. The longer those problems continue unchecked, the worse your musty odor will be and the harder it will be to treat.

Structure MEDIC Eliminate Mold Blog

If you’re suddenly wondering about that musty smell that you hadn’t noticed before, you don’t have to worry. There are steps you can take to eradicate the nasty invader and resolve any underlying issues. Above all, you should be calling in the professionals to be sure that any toxic mold is resolved up to the industry standard.

Where Do Musty Odors Come From?

  • Identify The Source: You can never fully get rid of a musty smell unless you first know what is causing it. Since musty odors are usually a sign of excess moisture, start by checking the damp areas of your home. Look through the bathroom, basement, attics, and crawl spaces – anywhere that has running water could be the source of your problems.
  • Remove The Source: Once you find the source of the musty odor, you have to get rid of it. Often you will find a leaky pipe or somewhere water is escaping into your home. A good first step is making any necessary repairs to the pipes that you need to.
  • Get Rid Of Damaged Materials: Because you have likely found water damage, the next step is to remove any damaged materials from the leak or excess water. Whether it’s wood, tile, laminate, walls, or otherwise, you need to get rid of this material so that you can check for any other damage.
  • Look For Water Damage: After the damaged material is gone, you’ll be able to see if there is any water damage present. This is an important step because any part of your home with water damage can lead to musty odors lingering. It can also lead to some serious home repairs down the road if it isn’t handled promptly.
  • Check For Mold: A crucial step is to check for mold. Mold grows in warm, damp places, so anywhere the leak or water damage could be susceptible. Be aware of the different kinds of mold you should be looking for and be thorough in looking for it. Some molds are toxic to humans, so check the area like your life depends on it.
  • Clean The Surface: If the mold isn’t extensive and is only on the surface, you can clean the surface to remove it and disinfect it. This step is great for those times the affected area is less than 10 square feet. Scrub the surface with a mixture of good, quality household detergent and water. Remember to be thorough or the musty smell will continue.
  • Dry The Area: The next and possibly the most difficult step is to dry the area completely. You should attempt to dry your entire house to make sure that any excess moisture doesn’t spread. Using dehumidifiers and air-moving fans, you can dry out any moisture in your home. If you are in an area with a warm, dry climate, you can open all the windows and doors to help improve the air-flow.
  • Deodorize: Finally, you can address the smell head-on. If your affected area covers a portion of your carpet, use baking soda. Simply sprinkle the baking soda on the dry carpet and let it sit overnight. Because baking soda is a natural deodorizer, it will remove the odor and you can just vacuum it up the next day.

If your upholstery is the culprit, use white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray your upholstery. Once the vinegar is air-dried, the strong vinegar smell will leave, along with the musty odor.

A couple of tips:

Don’t use bleach. It will only kill live mold and not mold spores, which can lead to faster mold growth in your home.
Don’t mask the odors. Using strong-smelling sprays will never work permanently and won’t address the actual smell, they will only mix with it.


When in doubt, you should always call the professionals. If the affected area is bigger than 10 square feet, you really should call a professional cleaning company with experience in mold remediation to handle it. While musty odors are unpleasant, they don’t have to be permanent. By first identifying the source of the odor and fixing that, you can resolve your musty odor at the root cause rather than simply masking it or living with it.

When in doubt, call Structure Medic. We don’t merely cover up the odor, we eliminate using chlorine-dioxide vapor systems, organic, botanical antimicrobial, and even UV Light solutions.

Contact us to eliminate odors related to water damage and beyond:

  • Mold, Must, or Mildew
  • Post Flood Odors
  • Pet dander and urine or pest odor (skunk)
  • Cigarette, Cigar or Marijuana Smoke
  • Cooking odors
  • Vomit
  • Biological Odors
  • Smoke Damage from Fire

Why Call Structure Medic?

With over 25 years of experience, there’s no situation we can’t find a solution for. Along with being experienced, all of our mold removal service technicians have been certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the institute that sets the standards for mold remediation. Whatever mold is accompanying the musty odor in your home can be eradicated by a Structure Medic professional.

Along with that, we use cleaning products that are safe, green, and that work. We take no chances with you and your family’s health. We will find the root of the problem and help you know what needs to happen to get your home back to the oasis it should be.

Ready to tackle your home’s musty odor and be sure that your family is safe from mold? Call Structure Medic today!

Author: Keefer
Published: March 1, 2021

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How to Eliminate Musty Odor from Water Damage

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