Musty smells are just awful. They will contribute to allergies and are often the first sign of mold growing in the house. During the springtime, or if you live in a humid area, various factors will contribute to musty smells, including dust, mold, mildew, mites and other allergens.
If you are suffering excessively, investing in a good dehumidifier is recommended. Dehumidifiers can remove musty smells temporarily, but it won’t remove the source of the problem, which is mold in most cases.
Allergens and Moisture Contribute to Musty Smells
Allergens like dust mites, mold, mildew and pollen love humid conditions and will contribute to mold growth in your home if left alone for too long. Specific rooms in your home, such as the bathrooms, attic, basement, crawlspace and even the kitchen are common for mold growth due to the amount of moisture present and lack of ventilation in these areas. Even in dry climates, mold can grow along the walls and underneath floors from shower steam, steam from stovetop cooking and untreated plumbing leaks.
Musty smells are produced from excess moisture, stagnant air and mold. Here are the common symptoms that occur when exposed to musty smells:
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Sneezing, difficulty breathing and wheezing
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Skin rashes and other irritation
Childhood asthma can also occur because of mold and allergies, which can be severe especially when developed at a young age. But this is only one of the many long-term effects that occur when exposed to mold growth and musty smells.
Benefits of a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers can work wonders in homes with humid conditions and excess moisture. They are small and work well when drying out individual spaces, such as the bathroom, basement or attic. Here are the specific benefits provided by dehumidifiers.
- Dehumidifiers will remove musty odors associated with mold; however, a mold remediation professional is still needed to remove the mold at the source.
- They are small and quiet and won’t disrupt daily activities, with some being so quiet they can go unnoticed. But some people like them particularly because of the white noise as it can help them sleep.
- Dehumidifiers will reduce humidity levels, which makes the home less hospitable to mold, mildew and dust mites.
- Dehumidifiers will help keep dust from accumulating so you won’t have to clean as often.
- A less humid, dry environment will allow your clothes to dry faster, dry foods won’t become stale right away, and you won’t find any corrosion or rust stains on tools, electronics or computer equipment.
- A less humid environment will help you breathe easily and feel comfortable in your home.
- Dehumidifiers will reduce the risk of mold growth in your home, particularly on clothing, furniture and upholstery.
- Dehumidifiers will lower energy costs by helping your HVAC system run more efficiently. The air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to air out the humidity, which also helps it to last longer without needing repairs.
Signs When a Dehumidifier is Needed
If you struggle with allergies or live in a humid climate, it may be time to invest in a dehumidifier or three. Here are some particular signs you need one in your home.
- Water damage on the walls and ceilings
- Mildew and musty smells
- Mold growth on the walls or in areas with high humidity, such as in the bathtub or shower
- Rooms with poor ventilation and high humidity
Apartments are particularly prone to mold growth because the spores can travel through ventilation systems and grow in the walls between apartments. Even when keeping the apartment clean, the allergens can still be harmful to you and your family’s health.
Choosing a Dehumidifier
When looking for a dehumidifier, they all have the same primary function, but there are specific units you can choose depending on the size of space you have. Units are available for small rooms, such as for bathrooms and bedrooms as well as large rooms, like basements and apartments.
And then there are larger units available for full-size homes if you live in a humid climate or suffer from allergies. Some also have special features for those with specific needs.
The benefits of a dehumidifier are many, the most important being able to live comfortably and happy. So the question of whether or not a dehumidifier will get rid of musty smells is yes, as long as the source of the problem is removed.
Mold and mildew are the biggest contributors to musty smells. With the presence of excess moisture, dust and cellulose, the organic substance contained within your building structure, mold can develop in as little as 24 hours. In other words, factors like plumbing and appliance leaks, roof leaks, natural flooding and other sources of water damage can quickly result in mold growth.
While it’s helpful to run a dehumidifier when noticing a musty smell, it’s important to search for the source of the smell. When finding mold growth in your home, it is important to have it removed right away. Some cases may be removed with over-the-counter products; however, it’s always recommended to have it treated by a mold removal professional.
Because mold is dangerous, especially when trying to remove it yourself, special equipment and products are needed to remove it at the source. These resources are always used by licensed professionals as they follow IICRC guidelines to have all cases removed.
For those living in the South Central or Southeast Nebraska areas, ServiceMaster is available to provide mold removal services for homes and buildings. Our technicians will identify all areas affected by mold, creating a containment chamber to prevent it from spreading and use advanced products and techniques to remove it at the source. We will also apply anti-microbials to prevent it from returning in the future.
Going forward, just be sure to keep a dehumidifier running in the area to prevent moisture from accumulating.
Give us a call at one of the numbers listed above for a free estimate on our mold removal services in the Lincoln, Grand Island or Omaha, NE areas.