How to Remove the Musty Smell in House

One of the most unpleasant smells in a house is musty. Musty odors, such as those associated with basements or last season’s clothes that have been packed away in the attic, can be oppressive and cause discomfort. The musty smell often comes from mildew and mold growing on damp surfaces.

Basement waterproofing and mold remediation are two essential steps in getting rid of the musty smell in your house. However, there are many other things you can do to freshen the air in your home and remove the musty odor. Removing the musty smell from your house can be achieved by using a combination of cleaning products, odor neutralizers, and activated carbon filters. 

Cause of musty smell & How to remove it

Mold and Mildew

One of the basic causes of a musty smell in a house is mold and mildew. You can look for any leaks in your house to check for mold and mildew. This can be a slow leak behind the walls or a burst pipe. If there is a leakage in your home, it must be fixed immediately. And if you have a bathroom with a tile floor and walls, pay special attention to the grout between the tiles. If the grout is dirty or cracked, water can get behind it and cause mold and mildew to grow.

If you have mold or mildew in your house, you can get rid of it with a few simple steps. 

  • Remove all of the dirty or moldy objects that are in your house. 
  • After cleaning or throwing away any contaminated items, you need to clean everything else that could get moldy in your house. This means cleaning all of your clothes, furniture, and anything else that is not hard to clean.
  • If you have a carpet in your house, be sure to get it cleaned. If the mold and mildew are bad enough, you might even want to consider getting a new carpet.

Once you have cleaned everything, it is essential to keep your house clean and dry. This means fixing all the leaks, cleaning the grout in your bathroom, and keeping your carpets clean.

Musty Smell from Crawl Space

Another common cause of a musty smell in a house is the crawl space. If your house has a crawl space, you might want to consider having it insulated and buried. An insulated crawl space will let you use the area as storage without any smells. If you cannot protect and bury your crawl space, you can use a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. It will help you to get rid of the musty smell.

If you have a crawl space, it is essential to keep it clean. Know critical signs that you need crawl space repair now. This means keeping the dirt and leaves from getting into the space. You also must be careful of any groundwater that might get into the space. It can cause a terrible odor and could also damage your house’s insulation.

Musty Smell in Basement

Another commonplace for a musty smell is in the basement. This can be caused by leaks, mold, mildew, or bad odors. If your basement is leaking, you will need to fix it immediately. You probably also want to consider waterproofing your basement.

If the musty smell is caused by mold and mildew, you will need to clean the area and remove the mold and mildew. It can be a complex process, so you might want to call a foundation repair professional.

If bad odors cause the smell, you can remove it with an enzyme cleaner or an air purifier.

No matter what is causing the smell in your basement, be sure to clean and deodorize all of the affected areas. It will help get rid of the smell completely.


If the musty smell in your house is not caused by mold and mildew, it might be caused by a foul odor. This can be caused by anything from pet urine to a dead animal in your walls. To get rid of these odors, you will need different methods depending on the source of the odor.

If the odor is produced by pet urine, you can get rid of it with a few simple steps. 

  • First, clean the area where the pet urine was. Be sure to remove all of the urine and any stains. 
  • After cleaning the area, use an enzyme cleaner to remove the odor. Enzyme cleaners are available at most stores and work by breaking down the urine to not smell anymore.
  • If a dead animal causes the odor, you will need to remove the animal and its carcass. This can be a complex process, and you might need to call a house foundation repair professional to help you. After removing the dead animal, use a disinfectant to clean the area.
  • It might also help to use an air purifier to make your house smell like a decomposing animal.
  • If the smell is in your carpet, you can simply get rid of it by cleaning and deodorizing your carpet.

Some odors in a house cannot be removed with ordinary cleaners and chemicals. This means you will need to use something a little more robust. If the odor is still in your house, you might want to consider adding plants around your house. The plants act as air purifiers and can help remove odors from the air in your home.

Bottom Line

If you have a musty odor in your house, there are several causes and easy ways to get rid of it. Basement waterproofing can help prevent the smell in the future.

Removing odors can be done with enzyme cleaners or air purifiers, depending on what is causing the odor. No matter how you get rid of the musty smell in your house, just be sure to keep it clean and dry to keep your home smelling fresh. House foundation repair in Knoxville can help you fix any water leaks that contribute to the smell.

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