The water line behind my stand up shower leaked between the walls and now it smells like mildew really bad. The entire house smells that way when it's all closed up. I took the fiberglass/plastic panel out to replace a leaky valve. I also let it dry out for a week. I sprayed it all down with Tilex/Bleach and water. But that hasn't fixed anything. What can I do to get that smell out?
David from Louisville, KY
I had the same problem, we had a leak under my kitchen cabinets, and some of the wood had gotton some mold on it. We repaired the leaks, sprayed straight Clorex Bleach.
I bought Damp Rid at the grocery store. All you do is hang it up, and it collects the moisture, which causes mold. And leaves a very fresh smell. It worked great in my kitchen cabinets, the the smell was horrible, and was throughout my whole house. Now you cant smell a thing. $5.00 is what that cost me at Krogers.
Our house flooded severely. Basement already had mold. The flood exasperated it. I used Lysol liquid, found it at walmart It is old school product been around for years and used in hospitals, has a medicinal smell. It killed the mold! It says on the bottle: "kills staphylococcus, viruses, mold mildew"... etc! IT WORKS. One bottle makes like 20 gallons. I just diluted it and used a spray bottle and sprayed all over all the walls and poured it into the receding water on the floor and the smell and mold was gone! I swear by this stuff and even the FEMA guy was impressed! Its like $4 tops at Walmart. Brown bottle yellow white label says lysol Disinfectant. Good luck
More important than the smell is the cause: MOLD.
My sister-in-laws daughter and her two children ALL
got pneumonia from an apartment with mold.
You must get your landlord to find the cause of the moisture and replace all moldy materials. Even if you have to call the city health department.
Mold is causing it (mildew is mold), and it is a health hazard. Construction workers wear special gear to clean out a moldy place. Just imagine spores in your lungs.
If you have to, move.
Hello David, I don't know whether you're a homeowner or just renting. What you could do is call either Home Depot or Lowes and see if you can talk to a plumber about the problem. And if it's impossible to fix it yourself, you might have to hire a professional plumber.
I have this smell in my finished basement. You are right. It makes the whole house smell bad. My daughter's doctor told her that a clean house doesn't have a smell or odor. So its important to be sure its very, very clean.
I've seen on a TV show, Sell This House, that carpets and fabrics retain odors. So you may need to remove carpeting and/or wash shower curtain in HOT water. Also, the walls retain such odors. On this show the hosts say that fresh paint seals the odors. I'm thinking of using a good primer like Zilm or Zissner. I think they are spelled correctly, but check at your local home improvement store. Best of luck with all your endeavors.
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Sounds like the root cause for the mildew and mold is still hidden, look under carpets if possible or in closets, until the root cause is found. The smell will return. Look in the basement under the room for any signs of mold or mildew. Baking soda may help with the smell, I know it works in the fridge. (10/30/2008)
Papajan is right. You have to keep digging until you find the source. One other thing that you can do eventually is to paint. Sometimes that helps with the smell, but if you don't find it, it will probably come back, so find it first, then paint. (10/30/2008)
Vinegar will help with the smell, but I agree that you need to try to find the source of the mildew. Good luck! (10/31/2008)
Depending on type of floors. You can use floor stripper. It works. It will eliminate any smells. (10/31/2008)
If the room doesn't get much sun and gets damp, the carpet may be holding the moisture. Use a dehumidifier or hang a cloth bag filled with old fashioned kitty litter (not the clumping kind) in the closet. When it gets damp, place on a cookie sheet and dry out in the oven on low. Wipe down the baseboards and walls with vinegar to kill the smell and any mildew. My daughter's bedroom was the same and we eventually had to pull up the carpet and put down wood floor, but these measures helped until we could afford to do it. Good Luck! (11/01/2008)
Besides the great suggestions on finding the source you can do two other things. Home Depot and such stores sell a mold spray that is peroxide based that you can use to spray down the rooms, also you can paint over mold spot with "Kilz" after cleaning or treating if there is no damage.
Also, if you are looking for an ultra healthy alternative you can try essential oil cleaners that are anti fungal based like one put out by Melaluca or make your own with these oils; Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) about 4 drops each of these oils to 32 ounce spray bottle with your natural cleaner. You can also add these to alcohol/water base and spray and leave on. Hope it helps!
Invest in a good steam or vapor cleaner. These machines only use water, no chemicals and will clean and disinfect practically anything in your home. It will kill mildew and mold on contact. Your home will smell nice and fresh after cleaning, with NO chemical smells. These are very commonly used in Europe, many of the machines are made in Italy.
Price does matter when buying one of these. Spend at least $300 and you will have a good one that cleans with very high heat!
You can shop for them on ebay.
I purchased a Reliable Stainless Steel Steam Cleaner. And would highly recommend it, as it has an attachment for carpets. It retails for $499, so this is an excellent price for a new one at $340 plus $20 shipping:
Jim in Jax (11/02/2008)