Bad And Musty Smell In Room Above Garage: What To Do

Have you noticed that your house smells a bit musty? If so, you might be wondering where it’s coming from. Even though a musty smell can take place just about anywhere in your home, one of the most common locations for a musty smell is in the room directly above the garage.

A lot of rooms above the garage do not have the same level of insulation. As a result, the temperature changes in this room can be much more drastic, causing a musty smell to develop. If you would like to get rid of the smell, there are several options available.

At the same time, you need to think carefully about why this is developing. That way, you can take action that can prevent it from returning in the future.

The Most Common Reasons Why The Room Above the Garage Smells Musty

A bonus room with a pool table in it
A bonus room with a pool table in it

There are a lot of different uses for the room directly above the garage. Even though there are situations where this could be used as a bedroom, it is often turned into a bonus room because the garage door can be noisy. This could make it hard for people to sleep. The exact manner in which you use the room can dictate the type of smell you detect. Some of the most common reasons why this room might smell a bit musty include:

  • Mold and Mildew Are Present: Without a doubt, this is the most common reason why the room above your garage may smell a bit musty. For example, you may have a high degree of humidity in that room, causing mold to grow. Or, you may have a leak somewhere in the room that has gone unnoticed, creating a ripe environment for mildew. A damaged roof can also cause mold and mildew to grow in the room above your garage.
  • Poor Circulation in the Room: If you do not have good air circulation in the room, this can cause the room to smell a bit musty. Odors that you might not otherwise detect can get trapped in the room, causing it to smell musty. It can absorb into the upholstery, curtains, and carpet, making it more difficult for you to remove the smell. You need to find a way to circulate the air if you want to get rid of the smell.
  • A Spill Was Not Cleaned Up: Another common reason why there might be a musty smell in the room is that someone spilled something but did not clean it up. For example, someone may have spilled something on the couch and, instead of cleaning up the spill, simply flipped over the couch cushion. Or, someone may have spilled something on the floor and simply put something on the ground to cover it instead of actually removing the spill. If the spill is allowed to sink into the carpet padding and subfloor, the odor can linger for years, creating a terrible smell.
  • The HVAC System Is Damaged: You might detect a musty smell in the room above your garage if there is something wrong with the HVAC system. If the ductwork in your home is dusty, smelly, and grimy, it can lead to a musty smell throughout the entire house, including the room above the garage. If you detect an unusual odor throughout the entirety of your house, you may want to take a closer look at the HVAC system.
  • Indoor Smoking: Finally, indoor smoking can contribute to a musty smell as well. Tobacco smoke and stick to just about everything, including the carpet. Some people have a designated “smoking room” in the house, and this could be the room above the garage. If you want to get rid of this smell, you will need to get creative to remove the odor from the room.

These are just a few of the most common reasons why the room above the garage could be a bit musty. If you would like to get rid of these smells, what are a few options you have available?

How To Remove the Musty Smell from the Room

If you are looking for a way to get the musty smell out of the room, there are several options available. Some choices you might want to consider include:

Boil a Few Lemon Peels

Boiling lemon peels in a saucepan great for making chocolate or removing bad smells
Boiling lemon peels in a saucepan great for making chocolate or removing bad smells

If the musty smell is not that powerful, or if you feel like it has not been there for a while, you may be able to get rid of it using a relatively simple fix. One of the ways to do this is to boil a bit of water on the stove. Then, add a few lemon peels to the pot. Wait for the lemon peels to smell fragrant. Then, remove the pot from the stove and carry it to the room above the garage.

Place it in the middle of the room, and turn on the fan. You may need to transport a fan to the room that can help you circulate the air throughout the entire space.

Come back in a little while and see if the water has cooled. If it has, transfer the water to a spray bottle. Then, spray it throughout the room as an air freshener. This should help you create a fragrant smell in the area.

The biggest benefit of using this method is that it is quick, effective, and inexpensive. All you need is a stove, a pot, some water, a fan, and some lemon peels. The downside is that this is not going to get rid of something that has been present in the room for a long time. If you have done this already, and you feel like the odor is not gone, then you may need to get a bit more involved.

Deep Clean the Carpets

Carpet Cleaning Van 4c
Carpet Cleaning Van 4c

If you feel like you need to get a bit more involved, then you need to deep clean the carpets. If you are unsure exactly where the odor is coming from, there is a good chance the culprit is the carpets. Carpets have a lot of fibers that make it easier for them to trap a bunch of dust, debris, and odors.

Take a large object and whack the carpet. If you see a bunch of dust flying out from the carpets, you have probably found the issue.

There are a few ways you can deep clean your carpets, but one of the easiest ways to do so is to use baking soda. Take some baking soda and pour it on top of the carpet. You will probably need a lot of baking soda if you want to cover the entire room. Then, you should let the baking soda sit on top of the carpet for between 30 minutes and an hour. After this, clean up the baking soda with a vacuum.

This is one of the quickest ways to remove odors from the carpet, but you may need to leave a few containers of baking soda behind in the room to clean up anything that is left. When you are done, the carpet should smell fresh; however, you need to keep a close eye on the area for several days.

The biggest benefit of this technique is that it can clean your carpets quickly; however, one of the drawbacks is that it may not be enough to remove odors that are trapped underneath the subfloor. If the owners return, you may need to do something else: such as contacting a professional carpet cleaner, who will use a big machine to clean it with warm cleaning water.

Run Air Purifiers in the Room

Air purifier showing the different components including an air filter
Air purifier showing the different components including an air filter

Another option you may want to try is to run a few air purifiers in the room. Specifically, you should be looking for air purifiers that contain HEPA filters. These are filters that can remove more than 99 percent of the particles in the air.

There are plenty of air purifiers that meet this requirement, so you need to take a close look at your options to see how much space they can handle. If you have a large bonus room, one air purifier might not be enough. You may need to get multiple air purifiers and scatter them throughout the room to effectively remove mold and mildew from the room.

Furthermore, you should take a look at the specific filters in the air purifiers. Some filters have been specifically designed to remove certain types of odors. For example, you may be able to find a filter that has been specifically designed to remove cigarette smoke from the room.

One of the biggest benefits of using these types of air purifiers is that they are incredibly powerful. They can get rid of just about any odor as long as you choose the right option. On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to using this option as well. These air purifiers can be incredibly expensive. Furthermore, they are not necessarily going to get rid of an odor that might be buried deep underneath the carpet or in the upholstery.

Swap Out the Carpets, Curtains, and Upholstery

If you have tried a lot of these techniques and you are still dealing with an unusual musty smell, then it might be time to completely redo the room. You may need to swap out the carpets, curtains, and upholstery, which are the most common locations of unusual odors.

If you can identify where the odor is coming from, you may be able to swap out only one of these components without changing everything, which can save a lot of time and money.

As you begin the process of ripping up your carpets, curtains, and upholstery, take a close look at what it looks like underneath. You may discover where the odor is coming from. Naturally if you see something like the below (timber decay/severe mold), you’ll probably need to call in a contractor because the building itself might be at fault:

Wet rot on timber floorboards
Wet rot on timber floorboards

But if everything looks fine underneath, you need to move onto removing items. If you do not remove the source of the odor, it is simply going to contaminate whatever you put in the room next. Therefore, you should do a deep clean of a specific area once you figure out why the room smells so musty.

The biggest benefit of replacing everything in the room above the garage is that you can maximize your chances of getting rid of whatever is causing the strange odor. The downside is that this can significantly disrupt your life. It can take a long time to swap out your upholstery, curtains, and carpets. Furthermore, it can also be expensive.

These are a few of the best ways you can get rid of a musty odor smell in the room above the garage. Even though it can take a while to figure out where the smell is coming from, you can take a surgical approach to the problem if you can figure out what the culprit is.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Rid of Musty Odors

There are several common questions people have about getting rid of musty odors. These include:

There is a musty odor in the room above the garage, and I cannot figure out where it is coming from. What is the most common culprit?

There are several possible reasons why you might have a musty odor in that specific room. There might be mold or mildew growing somewhere in the room that you may have overlooked. Or, there could be cigarette smoke trapped in the upholstery, curtains, or carpet.

What do I need to do if I want to prevent musty odors from developing in the rooms in my home?

If you want to prevent musty odors from developing in your home, you need to make sure you clean up any spills as quickly as possible. You should also get your plumbing system maintained regularly to identify any leaks that might have otherwise been overlooked. You should also not let anyone smoke in the home.

Are there any health consequences that can develop if I leave a musty odor behind?

Yes, there are a lot of serious health consequences that can develop if you do not clean up musty odors. Musty odors tend to come from mold and mildew, which release spores. These spores can irritate people who suffer from chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.