Mildew and musty odors sometimes develop during periods of damp weather. Mildew usually begins to grow where the relative humidity remains at 60 percent and the temperature is 60 degrees F or higher. Typically, mildew appears on the surfaces of bathroom tile or leather or plastic goods stored in closets. Musty odors are often associated with clothes chests, closets, upholstered furniture, or carpets.
Removal of accessible surface deposits of mildew may clear up the odor. Some deodorizers in pressurized spray cans assist in reducing musty odors in furniture and carpet material. The type of solution recommended to remove mildew will depend on the particular surface. Solutions containing household bleach should be used with extreme caution. Spillage or spatter could result in bleached spots on carpet or upholstery.
Mildew will likely return when the level of dampness approaches 60 percent relative humidity or higher. Thus, homemakers often find themselves in a never-ending cycle of cleaning mildewed surfaces.
In some cases, the solution to an excess moisture problem can be as simple as purchasing a dehumidifier. In other cases the solution is much more complicated. If there was not a moisture barrier placed under your home during construction, you may have to add one. This can be done by rolling out plastic on the ground beneath your home.
Continued problems with excess moisture could lead to structural damage.
Don't allow this to happen to your home. If you are having this problem come by the Extension Office for a bulletin we have entitled "Moisture Control in Homes."