When I opened my closet today, there is a strong smell of musty mildew. This has not been there before, although two times this winter, the sleeve on my sweater was damp when I took it out of the closet. The sleeve was facing the back of the closet, which is an outside wall.
I have lived here two years, and the closet has always smelled fresh. Now today, I cannot stand to open the door! I can find no sign of water leakage in there at all. I don't have money to hire a carpenter, and my husband is disabled. Does anyone have any ideas? What can I do about this smell, that will ruin our clothing?
Julie from Southwestern, Minnesota
There is moisture coming from somewhere. Is there a bathroom / water heater / kitchen on the other side of the closet? Or possibly above it? Maybe there is a leak above the room, in the roof? Or do you have a small crack in your foundation, that would let the moisture in? Where ever the leak is, it needs to be fixed. Moisture could result in toxic mold which endangers you and your family's health, as well as costs thousands to remove.
How do I tell if I have a mold problem?
Investigate don't test. The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.
I had a mildew odor and dampness in my closet. I took a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and sprayed the carpet and the wall, you want to get it pretty wet. The smell of the alcohol will be a little strong, but it will kill the mold and the alcohol will evaporate the water. (02/24/2007)
I'm pretty sure the damp sweater is a sign of water leakage. You should really get it checked out before the damage becomes too expensive to repair. Is there someone at a local church who might be willing to help out? Or perhaps a construction class at a vocational school? (02/26/2007)
The dampness is from the contact of the warmer fiber against the cold wall; it's a condensation from two extremes. The wall will need better insulation. Meanwhile make sure there is air flow and no objects touching a perimeter wall to avoid. Closets are bad for this, I've learned the hard way. (02/26/2007)
By Carol W.
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