Tips For Eliminating Mildew Odor And Mold In Your Home

The first sign of a mold problem may be a musty mildew odor in your home. You may not even see the mold until you go looking for the source of the bad odor. Getting rid of the bad smell shouldn't be your only concern. You also want to find all the hidden mold and remove it. Once the mold is gone, the bad odors leave with it. Here are a few tips for finding mold in your home and getting rid of it.

Follow The Mildew Smell

Follow your nose to where the mildew smells strongest. It may be your bathroom, the attic, your basement, or laundry room. It doesn't necessarily have to be in a room with a water faucet. You might have a leak in your roof or a leaking plumbing pipe that is causing dampness in a bedroom or living room. Even a pile of damp clothes or towels can start growing mold and give off a bad smell. Once you've narrowed down the room where the odor is the strongest, start sifting through clothes, stacks of papers, and other clutter for signs of mold.

Mold grows on anything organic such as wood, clothing fibers, and paper. It needs the organic matter for food and high humidity to thrive. It doesn't take long at all for mold to take over when the temperatures are warm and the conditions are just right. You may turn over a cardboard box and find that the entire bottom side is covered in mold.

Find Hidden Mold

You may not be able to find any mold even though the smell is quite strong. In that case, the mold may be growing between the walls or under the floor. You don't want to start cutting into drywall or ripping up the floor or you will spread mold spores around. Instead, it's best to call a contractor to inspect your home, find the mold, and suggest ways to get rid of it. The contractor may test surfaces in your home for mold spores to identify the type of mold present and the abundance of it. Black mold is associated with health problems, so you want to have it removed as soon as possible.

When mold is hidden, or when it covers a large area of your home, it is safer to let a contractor remove it using equipment that keeps mold spores and contaminated materials from getting in the rest of your house. However, if the mold is confined to a small area, such as the space behind a clothes washer, you may be able to clean it up yourself using bleach and water.

Get Rid Of The Smell

To get rid of the smell, you'll need to throw out or clean everything that is covered in mold. You can soak clothing in color-safe bleach and then run it through the laundry to get rid of mildew smell and stains. You'll need to cut out and replace drywall, throw out paper that is molded, and wash down surfaces such as bathroom tile. If the mildew smell comes from your carpet, you can have it steam cleaned and air dried, but you might have to tear your carpet out if there is a lot of mold. Carpets are a special case because the pad underneath is very hard to dry out, so it will be hard to get rid of the mold entirely unless the carpet and pad are pulled up and replaced.

Once the moldy items are removed, most of the smell should be gone. You can get rid of lingering musty odors by airing out your house with window fans. Bad odors can return quickly since mold starts growing so fast. Therefore, be sure to repair water leaks in your home to keep humidity low, and install a dehumidifier if necessary. Air fresheners won't do much to get rid of mildew odors since they just mask bad smells. You'll have to clean up the mold first, and then your house will smell fresh again.

For more information, contact Authorized Services or a similar company.