Woman pinching nose because of musty order

Why Musty Odors Can Be a Red Flag for Water Damage

If your house has a distinctive smell of must permeating the space, you may have a water damage problem at hand. This can be quite a problem because if your home or property has extensive water damage, it can result in health problems and massive repair costs. This is why you need to figure out the signs and take action right away.

So, what does it mean if you are smelling a musty odor consistently?

It Can Be a Sign of Mold

When you smell a musty odor, it can actually be a sign that mold has appeared. Mold is a type of fungus that will thrive in a moist and warm environment. Some species of molds are known to cause allergies and asthma, and others produce mycotoxins which can be extremely toxic to people and animals.

You need to check the source of the smell to see if you’re actually smelling mold. The most dangerous molds are the ones that are black, blue, green, or white. When mold continues to grow, not only will the upsetting smell become even more pervasive, but the health risks will also increase.

Water damage is a sure way to attract mold growth. Black mold removal will be necessary, especially if you have growths that are significant enough to produce a noticeable smell.

Mustiness Comes From Moisture

When your home is suffering from water damage, it is the moisture that allows the musty odor to spread throughout the space. Not only is the smell produced by mold, but also the growth of bacteria in your home.

Bacteria, like mold, can cause health problems for you and your family, specifically if you or your family are already dealing with allergic or respiratory conditions.

If this is the case, you may not have proper ventilation as well. Moisture build-up can be caused by a variety of things, but you need to make sure it isn’t being exacerbated by water damage.

Leaks Can Produce This Odor

A musty smell can also be a sign of a water leak. Check your water fixtures to see if there are any issues that need to be repaired. Check your pipes, sinks, toilets, drains, sprinklers, and even water heaters.

If there is a blockage and a leak at the same time, this odor can become even more pronounced. Leaky fixtures themselves can cause this scent, but you need to check if a prolonged problem may have resulted in water damage in your structures. Check the floors, walls, and furniture.

Severe plumbing concerns should be addressed quickly before they worsen and spread.


If you begin to take note of a musty aroma in your house, you should first make sure that you know where the smell is coming from so that you can properly address it. You don’t want to take action to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. 

Water damage repair is not an impossible task, as long as you reach out to professionals and try to take action in a timely manner. If your area is prone to flooding, you may want to get this checked.

Contact Master Restoration Idaho for Boise water damage restoration. We specialize in minimizing disruption and restoring losses. We provide 24/7 support—contact us today!

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