What Does Damp Smell Like | Identifying and Interpreting Damp Odours

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Distinct Damp Smell: Damp has a unique and not particularly pleasant smell that can be compared to the scent of wet wood in autumn or a damp log in the garden. It is an unmistakable aroma associated with constant surface wetness, providing an early indication of decay and the growth of fungi.
  2. Severity of Damp Odour: The intensity and spread of the damp smell can vary. In mild cases, the smell may be confined to a specific room or corner, requiring investigation. In extreme cases, the damp odour can permeate the entire property, indicating a more severe and widespread moisture issue.
  3. Airing as a Mitigation Step: Airing your home, while not a complete solution for chronic damp, can help mitigate the issue. Allowing air circulation assists in moving excess moisture outdoors, reducing the damp smell.

Damp is one of those issues that can go untreated and undetected for years, especially if DIY isn’t your strongest point.

There’s no judgements or anything like that here though folks, all we want to do is show you how you can get on top of things and put damp back in its place.

Ask any skilled tradesperson like the experts here at Advanced Damp and they’ll be able to give you a rather vivid description of what damp smells like.

But if you don’t know what to look for, and the problem has built up gradually over the course of years, you may well be desensitised to it. Let’s talk you through everything you need to know…

>> Related reading; What is The Difference Between Damp And Mould?

What Does Dampness Smell Like in Your Home?

Picture yourself strolling through a wet wood in autumn, kicking the leaves and feeling the drizzle in the air.

If you were to pick up a handful of those leaves and give them a good old sniff, you’d be smelling damp. The same is true if you have a wet log in the garden that’s been there all winter.

Give it a quick smell and you’ll be smelling damp.

It’s a very unique smell that’s not particularly pleasant, but once you know what to look for you’ll have no issues spotting it. 

If you think of damp as the process by which a surface stays constantly wet, allowing fungi and other types of nasties to grow, you can think of it as the very first stages of decay.

Clearly that’s something we want to get out of your home without delay, which is why a quick call to the experts is the best way to get things moving. 

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What does dampness smell like in extreme cases?

Mild cases will confine the aroma of damp to a particular room, or a corner in that room, forcing you to search it out. In the more extreme cases we’ve encountered over the years the smell will be right throughout the property and far more intense than those forest floor leaves.

Again, no judgements here folks, just simple, honest advice designed to help you put things right without delay. 

We’ve also seen plenty of cases where the damp has reached a point where the property feels rather humid inside, even when the weather is hot and dry outdoors.

This indicates that there is so much excess moisture that the air itself has become oversaturated. In cases like these there’s simply no substitute for connecting with an expert without delay. 

Reading Related >> How to get rid of damp basement smell.

What does dampness smell like after airing your home?

If you have chronic damp then simply airing your home for a single afternoon is not going to solve the problem, but it will help reverse the slide.

Allowing the air to circulate will help plenty of that excess moisture to go outdoors where it belongs so it’s well away from your plaster and brickwork. 

The more you air your property, the more moisture you will be removing from your home. At first there will be little to no change in the smell because so much of that excess water is firmly embedded in your walls and other surfaces.

It would be nice if it all drifted out of the window at an even rate, but it’s the moisture which is freely circulating in the air which is first to go.

And because it hasn’t been absorbed yet, there’s little or no organic growth in those droplets of water; but it’s a great start. 

>> Related reading; Will A Dehumidifier Remove Damp? Are They Effective?

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Get a no obligation FREE quote now. Our team is here to help. Take the first step towards a guaranteed solution by filling out our form below. 

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What does dampness smell like after professional treatment?

Once a course of professional anti-damp treatment has been applied to your home, there should be a greatly reduced aroma of damp.

In extreme cases it will take several weeks for the smell to completely dissipate because of the degree to which the damp has taken hold of the property. Clothing, furniture, curtains; they all suck up water moisture and take time to emit it again. 

Hiring a team of experts like the pros here at Advanced Damp is the best way to make sure that you get your walls and surfaces in the right condition before decorating.

Our skilled team will use damp meters to check the quality of the treatment that has been applied and will be able to advise on approximate timelines for completion. 

We can also help with a few tricks of the trade like opening all the windows first thing in the morning and putting in an extra electric heater in the rooms hardest hit by the damp.

This will effectively boil the unwanted water out of your walls, allowing the increased air circulation to then carry it outside. 

If you’re unsure about what to do and who to approach to solve your damp issues, a quick call to our expert team is the perfect place to start.

We’ll come out, take a look, and then talk you through everything you need to know. Job done! 

Picture of Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

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