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Mold Restoration, Water Restoration Published May 21, 2015Last Updated July 2, 2018

How to Remove Musty Odors after Experiencing Water Damage

If you have experienced water damage and taken care of all repairs, but still have a musty odor in your home, more than likely it is the result of mold. It thrives in damp, warm and dark places. To properly deodorize your house, the affected area will need to be dried and the mold properly removed.

Tips to remove mold related odors:

  • Check the  damp places throughout your home that could support mold growth.
  • If the affected area is less than 10 square feet, you can clean it yourself by scrubbing the surface with a mixture of household detergent and water.
  • Don’t use bleach, as it only kills live mold, but not mold spores, leading to faster mold growth.
  • For areas larger than 10 square feet, contact a professional mold remediation company.
  • In order to dry an area, the best things to use are dehumidifiers, air-moving machines and fans. If the problem is large in scale, it’s best to hire a restoration company that can provide industrial-strength machines and has mold removal experience.

If you or the restoration professional determine the musty smell is not caused by mold, here are some tips to remove the odor from other materials:

1. For carpets, a simple way to eliminate odor is to use baking soda, a natural deodorizer. After the carpet is dry, sprinkle baking soda on it, then allow the baking soda to sit overnight. The next day, remove the baking soda with a vacuum machine.

2. On upholstery, use white vinegar to absorb the odor. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz it on the upholstery. Wait until the vinegar air-dries. The strong smell of vinegar, along with the musty odors, will be gone once it has dried.

When you’re not sure what to do when confronted with an odor problem, contact a restoration professional right away, before the problem worsens. For any odor removal situation, call your local PuroClean office.