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How to Remove Musty Odours after Water Damage

Musty Odours after Water Damage


After a tragedy like a house fire, flood, or mould infestation, the best solution is to seek help from a professional team. Restoration professionals can deliver solutions that will completely deal with the situation, so that your home can be safe for you and your loved ones to live in again. Unfortunately, without having a proper understanding of the hidden issues associated with water damage, the problem can persist and even get worse. Sometimes, it’s the secondary issues (ie. a musty smell after a water leak or dark spots on the floor, etc.) that are the signifiers of potential water damage. You may not know that water has been leaking into your basement or under your sink until your wood floors begin to smell musty. So, what does water damage smell like and how do you know if you have water damage? If you have a musty smell in your home after a water leak, here’s how to get quick and thorough remediation.

Identify the Source

One of the first indicators of mould or a persistent leak is that your house will smell musty after water damage has occurred. It might smell like something old, rotten, or stale, and usually comes from areas that are dark, damp, and warm. Crawl spaces, under the sink, in the bathroom, in the attic, and in the basement are all common areas for water damage. The unfortunate thing about mould is that it thrives on porous materials that hold moisture such as wood, drywall, carpet, cement, and sheet rock. Once you find the area where the water is coming from, whether it be a leaking pipe, appliance, roof, crack in the foundation, sewage backup, or melting snow, it’s time to contact the professionals to remove the water and dry the area.

Dry Out the Affected Area

The next step, after addressing the source of the musty smell, is to remove the source that is causing it. If there is a leaking pipe, it should be repaired. If there is a crack, it should be patched and repaired. If the source is a broken freezer, refrigerator, or appliance, it should be fixed. In some cases, these repairs can be handled on your own, but for situations like a sewage backup, or basement flood, professional help is necessary. It is better to be safe and have them thoroughly dry out the area, than risk leaving moisture lingering to create mould. Part of their drying process might involve removing damaged materials; vacuuming the water using special equipment; using dehumidifiers and air dryers to remove the leftover moisture; and opening up the area to allow for fresh air to circulate in.

Remove the Mold

If the water damage has led to mould, even after the water has been cleaned up, it’s important to have it cleaned up as soon as possible. This process can be very difficult. Professionals will have the tools and experience necessary to completely handle the job. They will ensure that every trace of mould and moisture has been removed. For situations where a little mould has begun to form in areas like the bathroom, you can remove it using a diluted mixture of water and bleach, or water and vinegar. However, since mould spores can travel through the air, it’s important to wear a breathing mask and gloves to avoid it getting into your body. If your house smells after water damage, you can contact the professionals to help remediate your home.

Ventilate & Deodourize

After the professionals have removed the water, dried out the area, and removed the mould, they will ventilate the area using special fans or heaters to encourage air circulation throughout the area. If the humidity levels outside are lower than indoors, windows and doors may be kept open to allow the breeze to circulate around the room. These professionals may also have odour removal technology to get the musty smell out of your home after water leak, so it smells clean and natural once again. Of course, you can help the process along by creating natural air fresheners. Simply boil lemons in a pan and leave it in the affected room until the air smells clean again. You can also create a natural spray using your favourite essential oils and water, and spritzing it on your furniture or floors, especially if your wood floors smells musty.

Work with Flood Services Canada to Resolve the Musty Smell

If you notice that your house smells after water damage and realize it was caused by mould damage, contact our professional water damage restoration company and we will help you right away! At Flood Services Canada, we offer a variety of services and solutions to problems related to water damage, odour and mould growth, as well as smoke and fire damage. Our professionals will quickly and effectively detect the source of the water damage and remove it from your home. We will also help ensure your home is properly dried out so the mould and foul smells won’t come back.

We deploy our quick-response teams to cities across the Greater Toronto Area to help homeowners save their home in emergency situations. We provide sewage, water damage, mould removal, structural drying, and flood cleanup services and will use the best techniques, personnel, and equipment to ensure your home is clean, safe, and dry as soon as possible. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about our services, or use our emergency hotline at (416) 999-3930 to get our rapid-response teams deployed to your location.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.