Damp smells and unpleasant smells in your home can be more than just an uncomfortable nuisance. It can be indicative of something else that is wrong and a problem that – left unaddressed – can lead to worse structural damage and/or health concerns.
In this blog, we’ll run through some of the main things that can cause a house to smell damp and outline how to get rid of damp smells.
What causes houses to smell damp?
Leaky Roofs and Windows
One of the most likely causes of damp smells developing in a home is water infiltration, and the main structural culprits for leaks are roofs and windows. Water seeping through can create a breeding ground for mould, which in turn emits the musty, damp smelling odours.
Many rooms of the house, such as a bathroom, are more prone to smelling damp. This occurs when moisture builds-up in an enclosed space but there is inadequate airflow. The result can be damp, stale-smelling air.
Sometimes the cause of a house smelling damp is not easy to detect. It could be due to a pipe leaking or a poorly sealed plumbing fixture. Over time, the dampness can cause unpleasant smells.
Regions with high levels of humidity can be prone to dampness and accompanying bad odours. The excess moisture in the air settles on surfaces and encourages the growth of mould and mildew. If there is no airflow or water infiltration, this problem can compound and get even worse.
Another common cause of damp smells is moisture seeping in through cracks in the wall, cracks in the house’s foundation or even compromised building materials. These too can be harder to detect and identify as they may not be surface level problems.
How to get rid of damp smells
It is important that you don’t ignore persistent damp smells. Apart from the discomfort that it brings, it could indicate potential structural issues in the home or lead to health problems such as respiratory issues and allergies.
The sooner you address a house smelling damp the easier (and often cheaper) it will be to prevent further damage to the home, health implications for your family and get rid of the damp smells.
1. Identify the problem
In some instances this can easily be done, for example the presence of mould or mildew can be a dead set giveaway. For some other instances of damp smells this can be more difficult. If need be, bring in a professional to help identify the cause of the issue.
2. Call in a professional
Remedial builders are able to provide a comprehensive assessment of your home, including structurally, to identify the source and cause of the damp smell. The sooner you are able to have a professional investigate the easier it will be to find a sustainable solution.
3. Fix the issue
The first thing you will need to do once the cause is identified is rectify. Depending on the particular nature of the problem this solution could be simple and low-cost or it could be complex and extensive. Your remedial builder will be able to propose solutions and options for you, whether it’s leak fixes, plumbing issues or installation of proper ventilation.
4. Get the mould and mildew removed
Cleaning the surfaces affected by mould and mildew can be done in many instances by using the appropriate cleaning agents. If the issue is extensive or below the surface level, you may need to call in professionals. When you do clean, make sure to wear proper protective measures throughout the cleaning process as many of the chemicals in the cleaning agents can be hazardous to one’s health.
5. Invest in improved ventilation
Whether you enhance ventilation in your home through an exhaust fan or open windows regularly, ventilation is important. You may even decide to purchase some dehumidifiers and place them in strategic points in the house or room. Good airflow and fresh air can be a strong antidote to recurring damp smells in the future.
6. Waterproof properly
Consider investing in some professional waterproofing surfaces for enclosed and exposed areas to prevent water seepage, leaks and subsequent dampness. The more you can prevent the issue from occuring in the first place, the more likely you will be successful in warding off future damp smells in the house.
7. Regular maintenance
Implementing a regular maintenance routine is a good way to prevent future damp issues by catching problems as early as possible. Tasks as simple as checking for leaks, keeping an eye on ventilation and addressing concerns promptly are neither time consuming nor difficult, but can save a world of trouble and expense.
What can remedial builders do?
In instances where the cause of the damp smells are structural, remedial builders can help. These specialists, such as the contractors part of the BIM Sydney team, provide onsite investigations to identify any structural or foundation issues with your home.
They will then put together a lasting, customised solution proposal for you to review and approve. These repairs can involve fixing the building envelope, attending to the foundation or working on other structural elements to get rid of the damp smells and help ensure they don’t come back again in the future, where possible.
Give the BIM Sydney team a call today
If you’re not sure why your house smells damp or you want to know more about how to get rid of damp smells from a room in your home, the BIM Sydney team is here to help.
Remember, tackling damp smells is not just a matter of discomfort. It can signal potential problems that will affect the structural integrity of your home and/or the health and wellbeing of your family.