How to Remove Damp Smells from your House
Tips for removing damp smells
A house with rising damp can be unpleasant to live in as well as cause sickness.
Several things can cause a damp smell in the house but mostly mildews are the main reason. The trick is to know how to remove damp smells. The mixture of darkness, moisture, and lack of air circulation in the house leads to the growth of moulds and mildews. They release foul gasses that attach themselves in the furniture as well as fabrics all around, this is why we are going to tell you how to remove damp smells.
Is damp smell in your house making your life unbearable? Below are some ways on how to remove damp smells:
You first locate where the damp smell is coming from. Once you have located the source, try to remove it if it is possible since it can be a piece of fabric that has fallen on the floorboards and it contains moulds. Clean the affected area with clean water and bleach. Don’t forget to open all the windows, cupboards and, closets to let in cool fresh air, at times all it takes to remove the musty smell is a clean circulation of air.
Lemon is a natural dampness remover that gives fresh air. You can boil the peels of lemon and use the lemon water to give the lemony fragrance around the house by placing the water where the musty smell is located. You can use a fan can circulate the air or else you can use a sprayer to spray around the house.
Placing a plate or a box filled with baking powder in the places affected it helps to absorb the foul smell of moulds. Place the box for 24 hours. This process should be repeated after several months. A cat litter is also used to remove the bad smell, place the cat litter where you store old clothes and furniture or in the attics and let it stay there for at least two weeks before replacing it again.
If the damp smell is coming from the fabric try using diluted white vinegar or soak the fabric using baking powder. 1 cup of either baking powder or white vinegar is enough to wash a normal load of damp clothes. If a fabric is bleachable then you can use any type of bleach to remove the musty smell. White vinegar, bleach, and baking soda can also be used to clean foul smell in refrigerators, ovens and other appliances that contain mildews; it can also be used to clean shoes and carpets.
If the smell is coming from the walls try using a washcloth and mix the water with the baking powder to scrub off the moulds will help to absorb the bad smell. Prevent the growth of moulds by replacing all broken leakages. Clean the floor thoroughly with a damp cloth and a bleach to make sure all the dust and humidity is gone this will ensure there won’t be any growth of moulds and mildews,
With the above steps, you have an idea on how to remove any damp smell in your house once it starts, just remember to keep your house well ventilated, and clean all year round to avoid a lot of work.
Nobody likes dealing with any kind of damp issues in their home, and rising damp is a very serious type of damp issue that will need to be dealt with by a professional. Rising damp is caused by moisture penetrating from the ground into your internal walls. It typically appears on the ground floor of your home and rises up to around a metre above your skirting boards. Rising damp will not usually appear any higher than this, so if you’ve noticed damp that is only reaching a certain point on the ground floor of your property, then it’s a definite sign that you might have rising damp.
Does Rising Damp Smell? Signs to Look Out For
There are a few signs to look out for if you are checking for rising damp within your home. Some signs might be obvious, such as discolouration on the walls on your ground floor, signs of mould developing due to the damp, or wet rot on the skirting boards or around the edges of the floorboards. Since rising damp only appears on the ground floor and will usually not go any higher than around 1.2m, it’s usually quite easy to distinguish between rising damp and the signs of other types of damp such as penetrating damp or condensation damp. Check your skirting boards; if they feel damp to the touch or are showing any visible signs of rotting, this can also be an indication that there is rising damp in your property. You may also see fluffy, white deposits in the wall plaster that have been caused by salts washed out of the bricks by the damp and into the plaster work. Black spots on the wall that are caused by mould might also appear depending on how long the rising damp issue has been going on for.
What Does Rising Damp Smell Like?
Rising damp might not always be obvious visually. However, a moist and musty smell in your home could be an indication that damp is present, including rising damp. A musty smell in the home is often one of the most common early signs of rising damp, even if you can’t yet see any visual issues. However, bear in mind that all kinds of damp have this musty smell that you will notice in your home, so it might not always be easy to determine whether it is rising damp or another kind of damp such as penetrating damp that is causing it. If you are in doubt, the best thing to do is contact a damp professional who can inspect your home for signs of rising damp and other types of damp to determine what the root issue is and where the damp is occurring. Misdiagnosing rising damp in a property can be quite common, which is why it is a good idea to have a reputable damp specialist carry out an inspection and correctly identify the type of damp that is present in your property.
What Causes Rising Damp Smell?
Issues with rising damp in the home are almost always due to problems with the damp proof course (DPC). This might happen because there is no damp proof course present, which might be the case with older homes that were built before DPCs were added as standard. In some cases, it might be because over time, the DPC has become worn and less effective, which is allowing moisture to get through into your internal walls from the ground. In most cases, however, rising damp occurs due to an object, structure, or debris that is close to, attached to, or even inside the cavity of your internal walls, allowing water to get in above the damp proof course. For example, gardening work might lead to an area of ground next to the property that comes up higher than the damp proof course that moisture will travel over to get into the walls. Or, debris blockages inside the cavity wall that have reached above the level of the DPC can allow moisture to access the walls above it. This is known as ‘bridging’ the DPC, as the object, structure or blockage will provide a bridge for the moisture to travel over the damp proof course. Thankfully, this can usually be rectified by simply removing whatever is causing the bridge, leaving the moisture with nowhere to go.
Why You Need a Damp Proof Course
The DPC at your home has been a mandatory requirement for all properties in the UK built after the early 1900s. It provides a water-resistant barrier that spans the length and width of all the walls in your home. Its main purpose is to prevent moisture from the ground from getting inside the walls and causing rising damp. Damp proof courses should be installed at around six inches from the ground level, according to building regulations and standards. There are various different types of damp proof courses available for properties today. Plastic damp proof courses are the most popular for the construction of new homes. On the other hand, damp proof courses that are injected into the brick in the form of chemicals are a common option for existing properties that need to have a damp proof course installed or are in need of a full DPC replacement due to age and wear. There are also some less common options to considering including pore blocking salt mortar, a cement-based mortar that is injected into the walls, and osmotic water repellence, where wires are embedded in the walls.
How is Rising Damp Treated?
Like any kind of damp problem that you might find in your home, the only way to get rid of it and prevent it from coming back in the future is to get to the root of the problem. Before you do anything about the discolouration or spots on your wall, it’s important to hire a damp proof specialist who can deal with the main issue that is causing the rising damp such as deterioration or bridging of the DPC. Painting over the signs of damp and getting rid of the damp smell should only be done once you have repaired the main cause of the issue, as otherwise, the damp is only going to return and you will face the same problems over and over again, likely worse each time.
What kind of treatment a damp specialist will recommend for your home if you have rising damp will depend on the root cause. In instances where the rising damp has been caused by bridging of the DPC, it may only be necessary to remove the object, structure, or blockage that has caused the bridging, without any extra work needed on the DPC itself. However, in cases where the bridge has been caused by a neighbour with an adjoining wall having a higher DPC than yours, for example, you may need to have a new DPC installed at your property higher up to match it and prevent any damp from getting through.
If there are no signs of bridging and your property has a damp proof course, then rising damp has likely been caused by the DPC deteriorating over time and working less effectively. If your home is quite old and the DPC has been in place since it was built, then this is the likely cause as over time, like anything, your DPC can be subject to wear and tear. In this case, you can have the DPC replaced by a damp specialist, who will inject chemical waterproofing substances into the brick. The same treatment might also be required if your property is very old and does not have a damp proof course installed.
Why Do You Need a Damp Specialist for Rising Damp?
Since rising damp is a potentially serious problem for your home and also one of the most commonly misdiagnosed damp issues, it’s important to work with a damp specialist who can help you make sure that you are actually dealing with rising damp. This is especially true if you have only noticed a musty damp smell and haven’t seen any physical signs of rising damp since the damp smell can occur with penetrating damp and damp from condensation.
Penetrating damp on the ground floor of your property is a common issue that can easily be mistaken for rising damp. Since the damp proof course is only for the purpose of preventing rising damp, it doesn’t have an impact on the development of penetrating damp and cannot prevent it. The last thing that you want is to do is spend a lot of time and money having your DPC repaired or replaced only to find that it wasn’t the issue in the first place. A good damp proof specialist can carry out a full inspection of your property and damp proof course to determine what kind of damp you are dealing with and how to best treat it.
If you have noticed a moist and musty smell in your home, then it might be a sign of rising damp, especially if accompanied by visual signs of damp on the ground floor.
What happens next?
Call London Damp Specialists on 020 7458 4864.
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