I own a ranch home built in the 70's, high humidity levels throughout. Musty smell in rooms in front of house (brick part way up outside) No mold or noticeable wet areas. Where do I start and who would I hire to find out what the problem is?
Will ~ Atlanta, Georgia
Will, musty smells in a home are usually caused by mold, and mold feeds on moisture problems. If you do not see any obvious water damage within your home, then you are going to have to start investigating those areas that are not readily visible. Look behind your appliances and under your sinks, conducting a sniff test as you go. Remember, the smell of mold gets stronger as you get closer to it, and keep in mind that mold problems can occur in hard to reach places, such as behind walls, under floor coverings, or even in the HVAC ducts, which run through your home. Your basement is another logical place to search for any mold or moisture problems.
If you can not see any mold and water during your search, then I suggest that you place a few dehumidifiers around your house to help eliminate the high humidity levels in your home. As your home dries out, there is a chance that the musty smell will go away. If this does not help solve your problem, then you may want to hire a mold mitigation specialist to inspect your home. Once the mold is found, you can formulate a plan for cleaning it up and preventing future problems from occurring. Good luck and I hope you get tot he bottom of this stinkin' problem.