What Do Musty Odors Inside and Outside Your Home Mean?

What Do Musty Odors Inside and Outside Your Home Mean?

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Have you recently discovered any musty smells inside and outside your home? It can be disconcerting, to say the least. There may be various sources for these smells.

Getting rid of these odors means finding out where they are coming from first. If you have discovered new odors or are looking to buy a new home that has musty odors, you need to know what is causing them.

What Do Musty Odors Inside and Outside Your Home Mean?

If the odors are something new, they should be fairly easy to pinpoint. If you have been living with them for a long time, it may take more work.

Mold and Mildew

The usual suspects that cause musty odors inside and outside of your home are often mold and mildew. Musty and moldy may smell different but it is always a good idea to check for that first.

It could be from dampness in your basement that has seeped into the walls, the carpet, the furniture, your storage area, and anywhere else. It could be from a small leak coming from the inside or outside.

Laundry Room

Perhaps you have a small leak somewhere in your plumbing or on your washing machine. This could be coming from the machine, the connections, or a bit of both.

Check that you didn’t leave wet clothing in the washing machine. These don’t need long to get a musty smell and they can take over your whole home. Check behind and underneath the washer and dryer to make sure you didn’t drop a sock or something.


On a hot day, it doesn’t take garbage very long at all to start to stink. Musty odors inside and outside your home could be coming from the garbage. If it is outside, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s coming from you. It could be a neighbor.

Try separating your garbage, starting a compost pile and washing out your recycling containers before they go in the bin. Make sure nothing has fallen in behind the garbage can and it is rotting.

Clean out your garbage disposal in your sink, too. There could be something stuck in there causing your kitchen to smell musty or rotting.


The underlay of your carpets or the carpets themselves can be the culprit. These can get wet or damp and you may not even know it. It can sit and fester for some time before you discover it.

Lawn and Garden

If you have a lawn that has drainage problems, there may be rotting roots of the grass or plants. This can cause musty odors inside and outside your home. There could be a problem with your drainage, your gutters, or an underground leak.


There could be a distinct musty smell inside or outside your home because of a leaking roof. Water or mixture may have gotten in and soaked into the insulation, the shingles, the wood, and the support beams.

If left alone, this can cause significant damage to your entire roof and house. Water will continue to leak down and into the walls, the floors, the ceilings, the basements, and even outside.

Musty Odors Inside and Outside Your Home

If you have discovered a recently new odor around your home, don’t wait. Call us for an inspection to make sure you are not living with toxic mold. Moisture is often the cause of musty smells in your home.

Call us here today at Olson Foundation Repair. If you have drainage problems, it can cause a lot of damage to your entire property.