Musty Summer Smells

Saturday, July 20th, 2019 by Ben Bates

Musty Damp Smelling Home Cause Advanced Basement SystemsNow that our homes are closed up from the heat of the summer, you may be noticing musty, damp smells in your home. Does the musty smell seem to cling to your carpet, towels, curtains or even on your clothes? Perhaps you’re using candles, air fresheners or hoping to open your windows at night to eliminate the odor from your home… to no avail. 

What causes musty and damp smells in your home? 

Excess humidity - When a home has a higher than acceptable humidity level, you’ll notice damp, musty smells. 

What causes excess humidity? 

Too much moisture in a home - This can be the result of everyday activities such as cooking, showering,  washing clothes, an open sump pump pit, or a leaky basement. 

But why does it smell so foul? 

Mould and mildew - As you might realize, water vapour generally doesn’t have an odor, but when a home is overly humid, it is an ideal environment for mould and mildew growth. 

It’s not only about a bad smell! 

Your family is breathing in these tiny particles, allergens, actually. These allergens result in symptoms such as headaches, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes. 

Here are some suggestions to help eliminate the excess humidity in your home. 

  • If your home has a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) be sure the settings are correct. For optimal functioning be sure to clean your unit every few months. 

  • Always use exhaust fans when cooking or showering to help move the excess water vapour out of your home. 

Homes with a Basement

  • Waterproof your wet basement if water is entering your home.

  • Seal the sump pump lid - water particles are tiny and any holes or openings can allow water vapour to enter your home. 

  • Fix plumbing leaks.

  • Remove and replace water-damaged materials such as wood, carpet or drywall.

  • Install an energy efficient dehumidifier.

Homes with a Crawlspace

One final consideration

The excessive humidity in your home, not only smells bad and affects your family’s health, it also affects the structural integrity of your home, (rotting wood beams, as an example) energy costs (moist air is harder to cool than dry air), resale value (not desirable to buyers) and the overall enjoyment of your home (embarrassed by the smells and damp smelling clothing).

Whether finishing your basement for the first time, renovating or replacing flooring after a flood, we have a fantastic flooring option for your consideration. 

If you would like an air quality analysis and complimentary estimate for repair of your wet basement or unencapsulated space, please reach out to us: In southwestern Ontario, give us a call at: 1-866-277-1277 or click here to submit your information to us online.

About the author

Ben Bates

Ben Bates lives in the Chatham-Kent area and has been involved in the basement, crawl space and foundation industry since 2008. He has a passion for improving homes the right way and knows what it takes to waterproof, encapsulate or stabilize homes in Ontario. He assists with over 900 projects per year.

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Advanced Basement Systems
23576 Prince Albert Road
Chatham, ON N7M 5J7

Advanced Basement Systems
199 Exeter Rd Unit E
London, On N6L 1A4
Coverage Area: Southwestern Ontario