A musty odor signals the presence of excess moisture. Moisture can happen anywhere, whether from a flood, a leak, a spill, humid weather, a wet dog, or not drying thoroughly after cleaning. Usually, musty odors start within the fibers or on the backing of the carpet; the pad and the floor beneath may have musty odors as well. You can't see it – but you will definitely smell it. |
Having a dirty carpet is bad enough, but if your carpet has fallen victim to water damage and begins to smell musty, it's important to get it cleaned as fast as you can. There are a few options to get rid of the musty smell in your carpet, depending on what's most affordable for you.The first step in purging the carpet mildew smell from your home is to thoroughly vacuum the carpeted area.
To eliminate carpet odors caused by dampness or excess moisture, experts recommend controlling the moisture level in the air. In most cases an acceptable moisture level in the air is 50% or lower relative humidity, but the question is: how do you get your humidity that low, especially if you live in a damp climate or you're dealing with musty carpet as a result of flooding or harsh weather?
The cheapest and easiest option would be to acquire a wet/dry vacuum, vinegar and baking soda, and clean the carpet to disinfect and remove the moldy smell. If the carpet is still wet, you should first use the vacuum to suck up any remaining liquid. Then in a gallon bucket, mix ¼ to ½ cups baking soda, 2 cups water and 2 cups vinegar. It will foam and bubble, so it's important to have a bucket that is large enough. Over the affected area, scrub with the mixture, but don't re-soak the carpet. Then re-vacuum up with the wet/dry vacuum. If the smell lingers after a few days, repeat.
More expensive option
A more expensive and tedious option would be to replace the carpet padding underneath the wet spot(s) in your moldy/musty carpet. The carpet padding is most likely the source of your mold, so pulling up the carpet above this spot, cutting it out, and then replacing it should remove the stench.
After moving all the furniture out of the area, you may need to remove the molding on your wall (use a prybar to avoid damage to the molding) above the carpet to be pulled out. Grab some pliers, and pull up the carpet closest to the wall. Be sure to wear work gloves – there's likely to be many sharp tacks along the wall and carpet.
Roll up the carpet towards the wet spot. Take a razor knife and cut out the wet spot of the padding. If there is still moisture, vacuum it up under this area. Sprinkle some baking soda over this area and on the underside of the carpet to neutralize the smell.
Cut out an area of new padding similar to the original padding and tape it down. Roll out the carpet back to the wall, and press the edges down firmly so they attach back to the tack strip along the wall. Replace the molding.
Most expensive option
If the damaged area is too large, the most expensive option you could take is to tear out your entire carpet and replace it with new carpet, laminate, linoleum, tile or vinyl.
Depending on the option that best fits your needs and situation, you may want contact a carpet cleaner or carpet repairspecialist to help with your musty-smelling carpet
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