General Question

Aster's avatar

Why did this lakefront house smell like mildew?

Asked by Aster (19883points) February 18th, 2012

We looked at an older house on a big lake and it smelled strongly of mildew. I was rude enough to ask the realtor what the odor was and he ignored me! Had it been flooded or was it simply from being on the water?
Branson lakes have a history of flooding homes.

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

All homes on bodies of water have some issues with mildew, damp and mold. It is not a rude question to ask a realtor. After all, it’s not his house.

Water vapor rises and condenses, people run into homes with bathing suits on or carrying damp towels or freshly-caught fish, you store boat cushions over the winter…it’s had to imagine things wouldn’t smell.

I have a large room partly below ground level in my home and have to run two dehumidifiers during the summer months because of the evening dews and damps.

Aster's avatar

If the house is up in the air and not on lake level will it still have that odor?

gailcalled's avatar

By up in the air, do you mean on piles or cinder blocks?

Yes, if there’s water around, there is damp.

For years I had a summer house on cement piles on Lake Placid. The kids draped damp towels around everywhere and the house always had a slight odor.

HungryGuy's avatar

There’s lots of reasons it could have mildew. Don’t buy it.

Aster's avatar

@gailcalled boy; that’s depressing.
@HungryGuy we aren’t; this was a few years ago but now we have a waterfront lot and I’m concerned. Luckily, we have a house already in a dry subdivision. lol

SpatzieLover's avatar

A home near humidity will have humidity in it. A home that smells of mildew can have many issues…one solution is to have a de-humidifier running 24hrs per day.

Aster's avatar

If a house is seventy five feet from a small lake will it have a mildew smell?

john65pennington's avatar

Avoid this house. Mold and mildew will give you serious breathing complications.

It will never go away as long as the house is situated near a body of water.

Garebo's avatar

One whiff of the basement of the riparian house that I so desperately wanted was revealed in one emphatic No by my wife, and I am so grateful for the decision.

JLeslie's avatar

It smells that way because there probably is mildew. But, any house can have mildew. I don’t think being near a lake makes a difference. What matters is how damp the air is, especially in the house, and how warm the house is kept. If the house ever had a flood there is probably mold growing in the walls, the insulation especially is susceptible, and there was a huge problem recently with mold in Chinese drywall if it is a fairly new house. If there is carpet it could be growing in the padding. We also see mold in showers, especially if they are not contructed correctly with the proper precautions taken for a wet area.

Most houses smell a little musty if they are closed up for a long time, just from a failure of the air moving around, but it should clear very fast once the house is opened.

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