My ranch home has a musty smell throughout.


Thank you for being a part of the show and for a very timely question – one that a lot of people have right now. You have a musty smell in the home but no indication of any active leak or water source…

“Musty Smells” indicate a higher concentration of mold spores in the air.

Molds require oxygen, food, proper temperature and moisture to proliferate. Since houses by their nature supply the first three, we must control moisture.

By far, most basement foundation systems are made of concrete material that rapidly and consistently move moisture from areas of high concentration (outside the walls and floors now) to areas of low concentration (inside the basement space).

You can “test” this theory by duct taping a 12″ square of plastic to the floor and others to the walls at various points and leaving for 24 hours.¬†What you are likely to discover is condensation on the underside of the plastic indicating moisture movement into the space.

Mixing the house air, including that in the basement area, and de-humidifying are controls for this. You might also gain some ground on this issue by applying a sealer to the walls and floors, caulking any gaps and cracks and putting a lid on the sump crock.

Stan Broyles from Balanced Comfort can provide expert analysis on the airflow issues in your home and basement and generally can provide quick and very affordable “fixes”. Give him a call and talk with him at 248-705-2729.

Please stay in touch with us and tell everyone you know to listen to the Inside Outside Guys.

Blessings and stay well,

The Guys

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.