My house is humid and smells musty. We moved into a rental a few months ago. I am from Oregon so I know that it's very humid here in Oklahoma, but it's really humid in the house too. There is central a/c but even when it's cool in the house I'll notice if I leave crackers or something on the table even for an hour or two they get soft. And the worst part is a musty smell. Most people don't notice, but I use a lot of air freshener and candles so I think it covers it.
I know that the filters in the vents are new and I can't leave the doors open because it's so hot and humid outside, not to mention all the flies and bugs. I've been seeing moths in the closets too. I've heard of leaving out vinegar for the musty smell and also a dehumidifier. Where can I get one and are they expensive? And why is it so humid in here to begin with? I hate this musty smell, it's so embarrassing! Please help!
Lisa from Tulsa, OK
You did not mention if the house has a basement or what the house siding is made of. Has the roof recently been replaced? If so, there may have been previous water damage that soaked through before repairs were made. I'm also thinking of black mold odor. Is the house on a foundation? It could be a number of things causing this smell. How old is the house and is it well maintained? Has the plumbing ever flooded the bathroom, or are there any leaks in the past/present that has caused some damage to inner walls that you cannot see?
Ask the owner of the house these questions to get some answers to your concerns. If there's ever been such a problem, these are the people who would know why a musty odor lingers. (09/15/2008)
A dehumidifier might help. But I really think you have a mold problem. Be glad it's a rental and that you didn't buy this place. (09/15/2008)
It sounds really weird that it's so humid indoors that crackers get soft in just a couple of hours, and especially since you have central A/C. :-( I once lived in Michigan for fifteen years, and humidity is often above 70% in the summer and I never had that problem!
A dehumidifier would help for sure, but if it is a mold problem your landlords might not be honest about previous water damage so, as a tenant, I recommend you call your local health department and ask them how to handle your concerns. If you tell the health department all the details I'll venture to bet that they are going to order the landlords to conduct a mold test because mold causes serious health issues! Be pushy and don't give up until you have answers/help from those in authority!
Better safe than sorry! (09/16/2008)
I live within an hour from you, and one problem we have in this part of the country, is the soil. Our ground is typically rock with very little top soil. The top soil we do have can be very heavy in clay, making water either run off or sit and stagnate. Few homes have basements; most have crawl spaces, which if not insulated correctly, will leak humidity through the floors. To make matters worse, because of the hot weather, homes/buildings built until recently were not insulated at all.
If you haven't lived here for many years, humidity will often be in the 90% area. Rain will evaporate before hitting the ground, making it miserable. Older places that were not built to today's standards and sometimes newer ones too, will often have mild mold problems, especially if not taken care of properly. A dehumidifier can be bought at Walmarts or most places. Prices vary according to the size, extras, brand, model, etc. Make sure you use fans to move the air in your home/apt. routinely, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Welcome to the South. (09/17/2008)
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