During the monsoons, one of the problems that crops up inevitably in every home is a musty smell.
During the monsoons, one of the problems that crops up inevitably in every home is a musty smell. There is so much dampness and humidity within the house that a musty smell sets in and pervades every corner of the house. This unpleasant smell stems from wet and damp clothes, shoes, closets and kitchen cabinets and other areas which tend to be humid and lack air circulation.
An absence of sunlight and adequate ventilation are the main causes of this musty smell. In addition, mildew and mould spots may grow and contribute to the odour and create an unhygienic environment.
Much of the smell originates from laundry which fails to dry out completely and is kept hanging for long periods of time. This problem is much more in small apartment homes with limited access to air and sunlight. The best way to tackle the smell is by maintaining a dry and airy environment in the home as much as possible. Although this might be quite difficult to achieve during the rainy season, every time the weather lightens up and there is sunshine, it would be a good idea to put out clothes to air and dry. This would also be a good time to open the doors of shoe and clothes cupboards so that air circulates within. Closed cabinet doors tend to trap the smell in and with increasing dampness, mould spots may appear inside wooden doors and also on clothes.
Another option for wet clothes specifically is to invest in a clothes dryer, which works effectively in drying out clothes completely and allows you to fold and store away the clothes immediately. Similarly, a dehumidifier is effective in reducing the levels of moisture inside the house.
Despite these measures, if the smell still persists, there are several options that you can utilise to minimize the odour while you try to locate its source. White vinegar, baking soda, Neem oil, dried Neem leaves and certain essential oils are very effective in sanitising and deodorising susceptible surfaces. Lavender, lemon, citrus and frankincense are a few essential oils which are work well in minimising the smell and replacing it with their own refreshing aroma.
Wooden doors belonging to cabinets can be cleaned with a solution of vinegar or Neem oil mixed with a few drops of essential oil. Baking soda, dried Neem leaves and potpourri can be placed inside small porous bags and left in cupboards to deodorise. Aromatic candles, incense sticks and potpourri are also useful in invigorating the senses and spreading the aroma of your favourite fragrance around you.
If the smell continues to linger, it would be wiser to call in experts to find out if there is another issue at hand which needs to be dealt with.
Here it is worth reiterating that adequate waterproofing and all measures related to creating an environment that does not support the growth of mould and other fungi will also go a long way towards reducing dampness and odours.