Damp/Musty Air

Common Problem: Musty Air

Many customers make their initial call to Carolina Energy Conservation because they smell foul odors in their homes. First, they may try to deodorize or cover the smell in their homes by burning candles, wax melts, etc., but the smell only returns and may even get worse. They may feel that the quality of life in their home is diminishing and they are no longer happy living in their home because the smell is so bad. They may also stop inviting company into their home because the smell is embarrassing.It is the job of Carolina Energy Conservation to determine the source of the stink and what can be done to treat it?Fifty percent of the air that homeowners breath in their homes comes from the crawl space beneath their feet. That’s right!Half of the cool, damp, and dark crawl space air originates in the crawl space. And that stale, musty odor that no amount of air deodorizer or candles seem to cure? That smell is most likely coming from the crawl space, too. While every bad crawl space odor has a specific cause, the root of all of those odors had one common source: moisture.


Moisture in the crawl space is usually caused by hot and humid air entering the crawl space through vented openings or by water pooling in low spots and evaporating. Whenever moisture enters the crawl space, it will cause damage like falling insulation, mold growth, and wood rot.When insulation falls to the floor of the crawl space because of moisture saturation it creates a place for mold to grow and for animal pests to breed. The mold build up and the animal droppings create the musty smell permeating many homes. Mold reproduces by releasing spores which contributes to the stench. If untreated, the mold spores cause serious health issues for the family living in the home above. The stench also comes from rotting animal droppings that are left by pests such as rats, mice, and other rodents that get under the home. The stagnant water pooling in the crawl space is also the source of many raunchy odors. Water pooling in the crawl space can develop a surface slime where bacteria grows and produces a horrible odor that will penetrate the home. So what must be done to eliminate the smell?


The solution to those musty, stale odors – Crawl Space Encapsulation.


If the problem is moisture, then the solution has to be encapsulation of the crawl space. Ruined insulation will have to be removed and then a sump pump will have to be installed to remove standing water in the crawl space. A vapor barrier and vent covers will then have to be installed to completely isolate the crawlspace from the outside. Finally, the mold must be treated, and then all sources of the musty smell will have been eliminated.In conclusion, moisture is a huge issue for homeowners because it is very destructive to homes and can cause structural issues, damage, mold growth, and lead to health issues for the family. The only way to combat moisture is to do it from the inside by encapsulating the crawl space and cutting the crawl space off from the outside environment and by monitoring the climate within the crawl space.

Call Carolina Energy Conservation for a free, no obligation crawl space assessment and see if your home’s stale, musty odors are the result of a stale, musty crawl space. Some of our customers have told us the elimination of their home’s musty odors was an unexpected surprise of crawl space encapsulation.