Why do attics smell?

Asked By: Ilhem Quattrociocchi | Last Updated: 27th April, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
4.3/5 (313 Views . 28 Votes)
Musty smelling attics are often an indication of moisture and improper attic venting. The objective is to create the right air flow into and out of the attic space. This air flow is what helps control the air temperatures in the attic space, as well as moisture.

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Also, what causes attic smell?

If you notice this type of odor coming from your attic, there's a good chance the problem is caused by mold growth. Mold and mildew growth is not a normal occurrence in the attic. if there's mold present, there's a good chance that water or moisture is entering through a crack or some other point of entry.

Furthermore, does attic mold smell? Scents in the Attic All types of mold give off some sort of smell. This odor is often musty and can take on the scent of urine. If you have ever left wet newspaper sitting around for a day or more it takes on a distinct smell. This is what most attic mold will smell like.

Beside above, how do I stop my attic from smelling?

Spray the outsides of plastic containers with vinegar and wipe away any mildew with a cloth or sponge. Open three to four boxes of baking soda and leave them in different areas of the attic to absorb any odors that remain after clearing away obvious culprits, such as wet insulation or damaged boxes.

How do you get rid of the smell of insulation?

Purchase and utilize an odor-absorbing or neutralizing product, such as a charcoal odor-absorbing filter. You can also open a couple boxes of baking soda and place them around where the smell is strongest. Baking soda absorbs odors. Air purifiers may also help.

37 Related Question Answers Found

Is attic mold dangerous?

Sometimes mold develops in the attic. The short answer is that yes, mold in your attic or anywhere else in your home for that matter is dangerous. Even if you don't notice any serious health effects, they can occur later if the mold remains and in some cases, these effects can be severe.

How do I find a dead animal in my attic?

The only way to solve the problem is to crawl through the attic and find the carcass and remove it. The problem is that it can be very hard to find. It is likely buried under insulation, or down some nook or cranny. It's possible that the only way to access it is to cut a hole in a ceiling or wall area.

What does an attic smell like?

Old attics always have funny smells, just like basements. However, really foul smells are not normal, regardless of where you live and what your house is made of. Not even wet or damp attics should smell foul, although they may smell musty like rotting wood.

Why is my attic insulation black?

Fiberglass gets discolored when it filters the air leaking from your house. Over the years, the air leaking from the house, carrying dust and other particulates and moisture, turns the fiberglass black. So wherever you see black fiberglass, dig down and look for where the air is leaking out.

What makes a room smell musty?


If your room smells musty, it could be caused by something called microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). The Environmental Protection Agency says, “because mVOCs often have strong or unpleasant odors, they can be the source of the “moldy odor” or musty smell frequently associated with mold growth.

What can make a house smell musty?

Musty odors can be caused by a number of things in your home, but, generally speaking, mold and mildew are the main culprits. The bad smell is caused by mold and mildew building up and releasing foul gasses. Humid air caused by leaky faucets or showers can cause small areas of water to build up.

Why does my upstairs smell like attic?

Attic smell: Air leakage problems
Attics smell different: it's some combination of the insulation, the wood dried to a crisp by the summer heat, and probably some history of squirrels, mice, or both. Solution: seal up the air leaks in your home, particularly between the attic and the living space.

How do I get rid of rat smell in my attic?

5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Dead Rat Smell
  1. Use Odor Removing Bags. The easiest way to get rid of the smell of a decomposing rat is to hang these odor removing bags around your house.
  2. Use an Air Purifier.
  3. Mask the Smell with Candles.
  4. Turn on an Ozone Machine.
  5. Mask the Smell with Coffee Ground.

What causes mildew in attic?

When mold grows in an attic, it's caused by a moisture problem. The less obvious moisture sources are attic bypasses; air leaks that allow relatively warm, moist air from the house to get in to the attic. To reduce the amount of moisture getting in to an attic, the attic air leaks need to be sealed off.

How do you install attic vents?


To install a roof vent, start by installing air vents along the edges of your attic, which will allow the moisture to escape from your home. Next, find a spot on the roof for your exhaust vent, draw a square outline the same size as your vent, and remove the shingles from that area.

What does a squirrel smell like?

Not only is the smell of squirrel droppings, urine, sweat and body oils unpleasant to many humans, it can also lure other squirrels to the same spot. If new squirrels can smell that other squirrels have been living in the area, they assume it is a safe place to nest.

Why does my house smell like insulation?

If the smell comes from everywhere in the house, rodents may be living in the air handler. Usually you can open up the air handler and look behind the air filter for signs of mice. You might also have tainted insulation. If it smells the same, that's your problem.

Does loft insulation smell?

Smells – If there's a musty smell coming down from the loft, this is often a clear indication ventilation is required. Ice Dams – Without proper ventilation and insulation, an internal build-up of moisture can play a part in producing ice dams.

Does attic mold spread into house?

The bottom line is that mold requires elevated moisture, or high humidity, to grow and spread. Whenever a buyer or homeowner sees mold- whether it be in a sink base cabinet, crawl space, basement, ceiling or attic doesn't really matter- they're very concerned about it.

Does a musty smell always mean mold?


As we have seen, the most common reason for a musty smell in your home is the presence of mold or mildew. And because the microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) emitted from mold and mildew have a low odor threshold, a musty smell does not necessarily mean that there is a lot of it.

How common is attic mold?

Mold in attics is very common and can usually be dealt with quickly and effectively. No need to panic and treat your home as if it's uninhabitable and beyond repair. Note also, that we did not mention replacing the roof. You almost never need to replace a roof because of attic mold.

What are signs of mold in your house?

Not all molds produce a smell, but many do. If you smell a persistent musty odor, then there might be mold in your home.

Symptoms of mold allergies include:
  • Coughing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Sore, itchy throat.
  • Congestion and runny nose.
  • Sinus headaches.
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing.
  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • Irritated, itchy skin.