House Smells Musty after Rain- Causes and Remedies

House smells musty after rain sometimes become so annoying that it feels tough to stay at home. If your house smells musty and you want to get rid of it then at first you need to ask some question. When does your house get must, in summer or rain? Is occur after you have been on vacation? If your home is musty, do you have mold smell in house?
Once you have found out the causes and symptoms, you can focus on eliminating the problem. The only permanent way to get rid of house smells is to find the origin and source. Through this article, we will discuss the causes of musty odors and some home remedies to deal with them.

Why does my house smells musty?

If your clothes or house smells musty, you should at first find out if there are any mildew or mold or not. There are some other things like high levels of humidity or lack of ventilation which can make a musty smell. Though these are also causes of the smell, typically they are not the primary cause.
Most of us usually think the musty odor generated only from grandma's attic or old library. But in practically mildew and mold can grow anywhere, even your modern apartment or home. Every mold needs to build is a surface to grow on, the presence of mold spores, darkness, oxygen, warmth, and moisture. That being said, water damage from flood can cause unmanageable mold growth. And if you suffer from this type of problem especially to your home, then water damage restoration tips would be best solution for you.
The 'moisture' is the biggest problem and cause of my house smells. Maybe you are also. All types of mold  such as white mold, black mold, and green mold in house begin to grow when all of the other environmental elements combine with some reasons like moisture from humidity, condensation, or leaking water. As the image start forming, growing, and spreading, it discharges gasses named microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). So if your house smells musty, it does not mean the only mold. Instead, it is the different stage of mold's growth with releasing the chemical compounds.

There are plenty of different MVOCs formed by mildew and mold, and they can often pose a health risk. Though it may need more research, some symptoms of discloser to MVOCs may include: Nausea, fatigue, nasal irritation, dizziness, headaches.

Usually, the house smells musty after rain because moisture helps to grow mold and mildew. If you get a musty smell in your home after a storm, then it means the rain is most probably running where it shouldn't. You should check your roof and attic first, but rain can seep into crawlspaces and basements too.
Here are some familiar sources where the rain can seep and create musty odor:

  • Check your roof leaks: Sometimes after a rain, your roof can leak. You should check your roof after rain, especially around the penetration area like chimneys. Besides this, you should also check all the exterior walls if there any sign of water damage and basement walls for seepage.
  • Check inside of your house: Inside house leakage can be a significant cause of moisture. Watch out for plumbing leakage. Inspect heating line and conditioning units with drain lines regularly.
  • Check your front load washers, and laundry drains: Some front load washers restrain a little water at the base of the unit. After a few days, this water grows bacteria and lead to musty odor in the laundry area. A defective installed drain hose can trap water into the line and allow drain gases to release into the home. It is essential to make sure that the drain line is installed correctly.
  • Windows:If the window not installed properly, water can leak inside the window and wet the walls of the house. Windows can be a big problem in another way. A cold window of a warm room can work as a magnet for condensation, which allows growing mold and mildew on the inside of the windows.

Whatever the sources of smell are, the easiest way to reduce it is to let the air move in the home. The more it will be better. Proper ventilation can help to remove the musty smell from your home and lessen the effects of mold also. Apart from that, you can also use the especial vacuum that means the best HEPA vacuum for removing mold in your home.

Musty smells in bedroom

Bedroom musty smells

A bedroom is a personal place for your relaxation. It is just like a haven from the mess of daily life. But sometimes your musty smell room isn't worth living. As musty smells in the bedroom are relatively common, it is not a matter of worry at all. When you feel any bad odors in your sleeping area, you should check it immediately. My following tips will help you in this regard

  • Check your bed at first : A bed or sleeping area is the central part of your bedroom. In fact, it is like a heart of doing relaxation and fun. But if you forget to change your bed sheets often, your nose may have to pay for this.
    To keep your bedroom fresh and smell free, air out your comforter and sheets every day. For killing the smell, change, and wash your pillow covers and sheets at least once each week. Don't forget to air out your pillows also.

  • Clean your floor: If the bedroom still smells bad even after keeping your bed sheets neat and fresh, then pay careful attention to the floor of the room. Many people use different size carpet to decorate their room. Usually, the carpet trapped in its fibers a huge amount of dirt, which can aggravate your allergy problems. So, you should say goodbye to your carpet if you have. But if you love your carpet much and don't want to consider a bare floor then use a carpet and floor cleaner to clean the dirt every week and enjoy a smell-free worm floor.
  • Check the behind your pillows: Sometimes it happens that a clean sheet and hardwood cannot solve all bedroom smells. Because there is another surprising source of musty odor is the spot behind the pillows. If you are not habituated to use a head mask, then your skin and hair oils leave a stain and gradually make a layer on the area behind the pillows. As a result, there may be a faint odor within a few days.
    You should clean the wall at least 2-3 times per week. You can use a soft microfiber cloth and warm soapy water to clean properly. 
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation can significantly alleviate the odor of your bedroom. It is essential for cleaning the air. Even if necessary, you can use an air purifier to remove odor.
    You may like to use various scent products or potpourri to make your room smell nice, but it can do the opposite. Without proper ventilation and cleaning, your bedroom can develop some nose-pain odors. So, at first, clean your room correctly and ensure adequate ventilation then use scent product. 

Old house smells musty

Old house smells musty

A vacant old house often has a poor air circulation which produces stale, musty odor. You may notice that the old house smells mustier after rain. If you have an old house, you may know it better how much difficult to live in it with musty smells, especially after rain.
The offensive odor could be coming from a combination source at the old house. Such as:

  • Mold and mildew: High humidity, a damaged roof, leaky pipes and dirt in the crawlspace all helps to buildup moisture over the year. This moisture, combined with dark corners and the stagnant air of an old house, leads to growing mold, often behind the walls where you can't usually see. Long after the mold died, its musty smell lingers, having permeated the upholstery, curtain, and carpet, making the entire house smells like mildew.
  • Musty odors trapped in some specific places: You can almost every time count that old ductwork to be dusty, smelly, and grimy. The cooling and heating equipment itself may many years old, which introduce with the musty, smell into the home each time when they turn on.
  • Spills and messes: If you do not clean the drink spills or your pet accident properly, then they can resurface years later with a musty smell. The stagnant air of an old house can bring these scents to you when you open it after a long time.
  • Cigarette and cigar smoke: It is drywall tends that it soak up any smells subjected to regularly. If you or any of your family member wear smoker, then the walls will emit that cigar smell for decades.

If you inherit or purchase an old home, you need to get rid of these stale, musty odors. You will not be able to live in, sell, or rent the house if it does not smell fresh. Do you know how to deep clean your house easily? You may think that cleaning the house and removing odor may need some strong chemicals. But it is not right. You can get rid of these smells with only a few everyday household products. Let us know how it can do.

Home remedies for musty smells in homes

Home remedies for musty smells

Most of us often face minor problems with our house smells and our living space in general, and one of the most common issues that people tend to face is a musty smell. It can spread from one part to another of the house and affect everything from your furniture to your books and clothes. If you have the same problem, do not worry, we are here to tell about some home remedies to get rid of musty odor.

White vinegar

If you washed or stored your clothes inappropriately or stored in damp mildew areas, then a musty smell can develop. Don't worry at all, the solution of the wet and musty odor of clothes is in your kitchen, it is white vinegar. White vinegar is excellent for removing musty smells for all kind of fabric. It is very simple, just add one cup of white vinegar while you wash your clothes in the machine. Let it soak for 30 minutes and then remove it as usual you do. Just make sure that add a few drops of scented fabric softener while you rinse your clothes. If necessary, you can repeat this step. It will work wonder for your clothes.

Baking soda

Baking soda is another excellent solution; in fact, one of the most common home remedies to get rid of dump or musty smells, especially after rain. The use of baking soda is just like vinegar. Add one cup of baking soda and run your machine on the hottest and longest cycle on the settings. After wash, dry in the sun and get completely fresh clothes. For the best result, you can create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Use it during the wash and clean your clothes as you normally do.

Control the ventilation

The musty, mildew smells are very common in the basements of the house, especially in the old house. Usually, basements are the damp and dark spaces, and after rain, the moisture, dampness, and musty odors develop in this part of the house.
The best way to get rid of that kind of bad smell is to control the ventilation in the house. Anything can beat proper ventilation, so make sure that there is a way to reach sunlight in your basement. A big window can do it mostly. The sunlight will keep your house dry and prevent fungi and bacteria from taking over the area.
If there isn't any window and no option for installing a new one, then you can rely on exhaust fans. Turn on the exhaust fan at regular interval so that it can remove all lousy smell which may be lingering in your basement.

Baking soda for your appliances.

Again we are talking about the baking soda. Because it is the ultimate solution for removing the lousy smell from anywhere from your house. Even they can work excellent on your electronic appliances. Want to how? Take a quart of warm water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Mix them well and create a smooth solution.
Now spread the mixture on the affected areas and fill them with crumpled papers. Leave it to sit for about 24 hours. After that period, remove the paper and wash the interior surface with water and paper towels. This remedy is excellent for your microwave, refrigerator, and other such appliances. Trust me, the bad smell will vanish and will look like as new.

Use newspaper to protect your books

Do you love to read books? Then you must have a beautiful collection of it. Mold creates from cupboards and often spreads to your precious books and ruins them. The newspapers can save your books form mildew and mold quickly. For removing the musty smell place sheets of paper among the pages of affected books. Use more newspaper to cover the outside of the book. Now place the book in container or plastic wrap.
Every three days, replace the sheets and continue it until the smells remove entirely. Use only new newspapers so that the ink cannot transfer onto the pages of the book.

Clean and wipe your wood furniture

When your house smells musty after rain, it does not leave any corner and part of the house. Even your beautiful furniture can also be affected. Bacteria can create many types of foul, musty smell on the surface of the wood. Giving a thorough cleaning to the wooden furniture is the best way to remove these smells. Take vinegar, oil wood soap or ant anti-bacterial or anti-fungal detergent and dampen a sponge with them. Now clean every surface of the furniture, including drawer and the like.

After cleaning correctly, place the furniture in a well-ventilated area to dry. The bad smell will remove altogether.

Hope our home remedies for musty smell will help you to get relief. Actually, it is quite challenging to remove an unpleasant musty odor altogether.  Here are some more tips to combat house smells:

  • Repair leaks: Simple home improvements like replacing damaged pipes, sealing windows and doors, fixing the roof, etc. helps to water leakage, which leads to mold growth.
  • Replace the carpet: Usually, carpet traps too much dirt. You should replace it after a certain period. In the meantime, you should clean it at least once per month. Use a carpet and floor cleaner for proper cleaning.
  • Update your HVAC system: Musty odor can embed in the HVAC equipment also. To prevent it, try to replace the AC and heating system after a certain period.
  • Change the air filter: A new or clean air filter can wonderfully trap the airborne contaminants which contribute to old house smells.
  • Paint the walls: Old house smell many time create from the wall also. Strip the old wallpaper immediately and paint with mold-resistant pain to prevent the wall for the future.


There are plenty of reasons for house smells. We have tried to focus on almost all aspects that may create moldy and musty odors in your house. Whatever the causes are, it is not suitable for health at all and can host of different problems. That's why you should fix this problem as quickly as you can. We have sheered some home remedies and tips above to get rid of this. I hope these will help you enough and you will be in a fresh and cleaned house soon.

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