Why does my house have a musty odour?

Updated November 21, 2016

If your home has a musty smell, it may be a sign of a more serious mould problem. However, it can also be caused by a habit that promotes musty odours.

Wet clothing

Leaving towels and other wet clothing on floors or in places where they will not dry properly can cause a musty smell.


Areas of the home that become wet from flooding or leakage can become mouldy and infiltrate your home with a musty odour.

Clothes dryers

Areas near clothing dryers, without vents, may be a comfortable temperature for mould to grow.

Exterior home walls

Exterior house walls that are that are prone to dampness or coolness may encourage mould growth and the smell of mustiness.

Musty-smelling water

Sometimes the water in your home that is used for drinking and cleaning emits a musty odour because of chemicals like chloride.

Visible exterior earth

Sometimes visible exterior dirt in a crawl space or other area of your house soaks up moisture and causes your home to smell musty if it is not located and sealed.

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