Identifying the Source of a Musty Odor?

I live in a townhouse with an open floor plan downstairs. The whole downstairs smells horribly musty. I have cleaned everything and everywhere that can be cleaned and our crawl space is plastic sealed so the smell isn't coming from down there. I just can't figure out what to do next, I can't live like with my windows wide open much longer, it's gonna get a little chilly soon.


By Jodi

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October 3, 20110 found this helpful

It sounds like you need a ceiling fan. Moist air accumulates at the ceiling of large open rooms and does not circulate.

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October 3, 20110 found this helpful

The smell might be coming from your duct work, or from the drains.

Do you have central heat and air? Check the filter; might be time to change it. If that doesn't help, try having a look with a flashlight in the ducts. If you can see dust, there is probably mold in there too. Call in a pro to have the duct work cleaned and the unit serviced.


Do the drains in kitchen or bathrooms run slow? If yes, try pouring boiling water in them several times. If that helps a little (or a lot, it could happen:), consider more strenuous treatments with vinegar to freshen the drains.


You could also have a problem with the insulation. Look for damp spots or stains especially in closets and corners along ceilings.

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