Old house smell, mold?

Here you'll find a wide range of discussions on old-house topics.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:10 am

Old house smell, mold?

Post by OH1938 »

I’m desperate for some help/insight with my lingering, persistent old house odor that is more than just a musty old house (I’m talking about the kind of odor that sticks to my hair and clothes and is only resolved after a shower). And on rainy or high humidity days, it flares up my allergies. Back story: house was built in 1938. Cinderblock basement. Previous owner finished the Basement with drywall, painted the ceiling, full bath, carpet padding and carpet in 2014. Never ran a dehumidifier (house is in Michigan). The previous owner also moved out a month before I closed on the house, leaving it shut with no air circulating or temp or moisture regulation. I’ve tried the following, which has improved the odor somewhat but not 100%: removed all carpet (including the basement), had all hardwood floors refinished (entire house is hardwood), repainted every room (except the basement), had a mold removal and restoration company assess and clean (they removed the basement carpet, cleaned the basement, ran odor eliminators, removed the old asbestos tiles from the basement, ran an ozone machine), and am currently remodeling the kitchen. The ONLY time the house was nearly odor free was immediately after the tile removal and running the ozone machine. The odor has since returned and is worse and allergy-irritating on humid days. I’ve also had an environmental company come out who basically said “the house is just musty, it’s not a problem”. I’m having the basement waterproofed in the coming weeks as well. My next idea is removing all of the drywall in the basement. But I feel like I’m taking shots in the dark at this point. So any ideas, insight or suggestions would be appreciated!! Thanks

Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:37 am

Re: Old house smell, mold?

Post by trackrealty »

Your house is very old that why your house is smelling. You should renovate your house and also your environment should be good like Saratoga, NY. Track Realty also deals in real estate in Saratoga location.

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:32 am

Re: Old house smell, mold?

Post by ButItHasCharacterLOL »

You're running a dehumidifier in the basement I presume?

Do you see moisture on the basement walls / floor on rainy or extra humid days?

The intensity of the odor you are describing does seem like more than the typical old house "musty smell." Both of the older homes I've owned have had that typical musty smell which I don't find unpleasant but I certainly wouldn't call it strong enough to permeate my clothes and follow me out of the house.

I would start looking for a moisture problem. Do you see flaking or bubbling paint anywhere (exterior or interior)? How's your roof look? Any visible rot on wood trim? Do you have sticking windows? These can be a sign of moisture problem - they'll swell up and be difficult or impossible to move.

Good luck!

Post Reply