When you walk into your home after it’s been closed up for a while, and get a whiff of that damp musty moldy smell, here’s how to go about finding the cause.
Where is the dampness coming from?
The problem is obviously lingering dampness, and the source of that may be located anywhere inside or outside of the building. What you need to do is to check all the possible areas where the water may be getting in.
Let’s start outdoors. Water outside the home generally comes either from above, in the form of rain, or from below in the form of ground water. Rain water needs to find a suitable way to leave your roof without penetrating into the structure of the building, and so this is the first place we will check.
First place to look is right up on your roof
If your shingles were in a bad state of repair, you would probably have spotted damp patches up in the ceiling already, so let’s rule that out for now. What one needs to keep in mind is that no matter how sound your roof covering may be, the water hitting it needs to find a quick and sure route down to the ground outside your house. The first part of that route is via the gutters, and if these are clogged, the water will soon build up and spill over, leading to all sorts of problems. One of these is the damp musty moldy odor that you are trying to eliminate.
Let the professionals do it for you
Viewed from ground level, your gutters may look fine. They probably are, but you can’t see what’s inside of them without climbing up to roof height and having a closer look. Don’t try it yourself! As much as you want to get rid of the damp musty moldy smell, this is definitely a job you want to leave to trained professionals. As many a homeowner has discovered when starting the climb up a long ladder, the ground looks much further than you had first expected! Also the ladders you are likely to have lying around the house are neither long enough, steady enough or robust enough for this type of work. While you might be tempted to take a trip to your local Home Depot or Lowes, where you’ll find the helpful staff showing you a variety of extension type ladders, this isn’t a good idea either. Ladders suitable for roof height work, are expensive and cumbersome to handle. It’s just not worth it the bother or the cost. Even if you can make use of the ladder, you’ll have to find somewhere to store it afterwards, and you know how much unused stuff is already lying in your utility room!
How does that gunk get up there?
Getting back to the gutters, windy weather has an amazing way of depositing all sorts of debris on your roof, and this is going to wash straight down into the gutters with every rain. Wind borne dust builds up to form a a nice layer of sandy gunk over time and it’s amazing how quickly stuff can actually start growing up there. Then there are the leaves and vegetable detritus that the wind can bring from neighboring gardens, even if you have no high trees around your home. This all has a way of ending up right in your gutters, where it both settles and they then gets flushed into the downspouts, where it starts building up over the months and years. The combined effect over time, is to stop the proper flow and allow lots of water to back up and accumulate where you definitely don’t want it to be.
So before going any further, call your friendly local professional waterproofing experts, and let them come and check out your roof and gutters for you. This may solve the problem and get rid of that damp musty moldy smell with very little expense and trouble.