Moldy Smell in the Bedroom

Updated February 21, 2017

When a bedroom has a mouldy, musty smell, the first step is to identify the source. After you identify the source and eliminate the cause, the second step is to remove whatever smell remains in the room. While a mouldy smell indicates the presence of mould, it does not necessarily mean it is a dangerous or serious mould problem. Yet some people are more sensitive to mould than other people and suffer negative reactions when exposed to mould.


When water from a flood, plumbing leak, rain or other cause gets into the carpet, woodwork, walls or roof and doesn't completely dry, mould develops. If the carpeting in or near the bedroom experienced a flood and the water was not immediately removed, that is probably the source of the smell. Perhaps there is a leak in the attic, letting in rainwater and keeping the inside of the walls or ceiling damp. There may be an ongoing plumbing leak, constantly feeding a slow stream of water somewhere in or near your bedroom. Locate the source of the mould by inspecting the home and reviewing the home's history.


Fixing a plumbing leak or repairing a roof is just part of the solution. Sometimes you need to remove materials that suffered water damage and harbour mould, which includes removing and replacing the carpet and carpet pad once they are saturated from a flood and are not properly dried. After making necessary plumbing repairs or stopping potential rain leaks, remove or replace building materials suffering from water damage.


A presence of mould in the home does not always mean there is a dangerous mould problem with the house. According to an article posted by the Arizona Association of Realtors, reprinted with permission from the Arizona Department of Real Estate, epidemiologist and Office Chief of the Arizona Department of Health Services' Environmental Epidemiology Section, Will Humble states that the presence of mould is not always dangerous. According to the article, when taking samples to check for mould, the results commonly show the presence of mould, yet that is not necessarily an indication of a dangerous mould problem in the house. He recommends getting the home inspected to locate the cause of the mould and making necessary repairs.


After making the necessary repairs and removing the water-damaged items, clean the bedroom and open the windows to ventilate the room thoroughly. Run a fan in the room to circulate the air, and run a dehumidifier in the bedroom. Mix 1 qt. of water with 59.1ml. of bleach, and use the solution to clean areas of the room that won't suffer damage from the bleach. For example, keep the bleach away from fabrics, yet using the bleach on hard surfaces that show evidence of mould, such as baseboards, is fine. If the bedroom closet still has a musty smell, place a box of kitty litter in the closet to absorb the odour. Just keep the kitty out of the closet.

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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.