Where’s the smell coming from?
A musty, mildew smell emanates from 2 bedroom closets in the front of our single story 13± year old house every time it rains since we bought it 2 years ago (and before us no doubt)…but nowhere else in the house.
After the last rain, I smelled the musty odor coming from an electrical outlet right under a front window beside one of the closets as well. I’ve had several professionals here trying to figure out what’s causing it…they found no evidence of moisture [used a meter to measure] in the closets’ interior drywall, wood or carpeting nor any signs of leaks in the roof when in the attic; I even thought it was solved when it was discovered that a sewer line through the foundation wall wasn’t sealed, so water was getting under that part of the house where the smell was prevalent.
After having it sealed & the crawl space conditioned and a dehumidifier installed, the smell’s still evident in the 2 closets after it rains (the crawl space is @ 47% humidity and no longer smells musty).
The house has vinyl siding on all but the front, which is bricked. It appears that the bricks under the windows are properly angled to allow rain to flow away from them. Also, I had everything checked under the soffits and sealed the area where the garage meets the front at a 90° angle (that helped one area, but not all). I even had all the exterior windows and doors recaulked. The only 2 possibilities left to my way of thinking are (1) water’s getting behind the bricks somehow [I contacted the reputable builder who said it can’t be the brick causing it…he did not remove any bricks to check though] or (2) the fact that the build-up of mulch over the years prior to us is against the brick foundation so high that it’s right up to the bottom edge of the sealed crawl space vents (so maybe moisture or just the musty smell is being wicked up somehow in the caviaty between the vapor barrier and the plywood exterior?).
I certainly don’t want to tear off the bricks only to find that it’s not that. Also, am trying to avoid putting a hole in the closet drywall.