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Mehmet Murat Ildan once posited that “an abandoned place never stays abandoned; something will come and settle there.” This is true for most houses that have stayed empty for years without regular maintenance and check-ups. With time, the house starts giving in. It gets filled with dust and cobwebs and smells stale.
A house will begin to deteriorate over time if left unattended. Unrepaired cracks in walls, for instance, are likely to enlarge. Tree roots that grow out of control could break a sewer pipe or drop a branch into a gutter, damaging your property and costing you more money to fix in the long run. Pests could enter and live inside your walls until you decide to take care of your empty property.
Taking care of an empty house can be very difficult. You may begin to wonder why you spend time, resources, and money on a house you do not live in at the moment. You should note that regular maintenance of the empty house helps to keep it habitable and safe for when you choose to live in it or rent it out to others.
To make yourself and probably potential buyers not get turned off by the sight of your empty house when they come for an inspection or something else, you should invest in making it clean and organized. You can start by doing away with the stale smell that most empty houses have. There is no escaping the distinct stale and musty smell which greets you as soon as you enter a room that has not been occupied in a long time.
Are you interested in keeping your empty house from smelling stale? Keep reading as the causes of stale smell in an empty house and how to get rid of or avoid them will be discussed.
What Causes the Stale Smell in a Vacant House?
The absence of airflow throughout the property is typically the major factor contributing to the smell of an empty house. It is most likely that you have also increased the temperature so that your AC runs less frequently while you are away. This results in less dehumidifying and less air movement inside your home, even though it saves money.
The consequence of this is that there will be an unpleasant odor if it has been left unattended for a long period of time with the windows and doors locked. This smell can be made worse by dusty spaces, old furniture, and worn-out furnishings like carpet.
An indoor mold or mildew issue may be present if your vacant home has a strong, musty odor. You should try to identify the origin of the smell. It could be as a result of a damp dishcloth that was left under your sink or a wet towel that was not aired. If this is the case, it needs to be removed, or you may need to air out your home.
How Do You Keep an Empty House From Smelling Stale?
Are you worried about your empty house smelling stale when you are away? To make your house more welcoming to your presence when you get back, you can hire someone (if you are not close to the location of the house) to do the following regularly:
1. Air your house regularly
Giving the property a good airing is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the stale smell. When you return, leave the windows and doors open for a very long time. Of course, leaving a building with the windows and doors open is never a good idea. If you will be away for a very long time, you can hire someone trustworthy to come air your house periodically.
2. Dehumidify your space
In addition to allowing fresh air and sunlight in, think about buying one or more dehumidifiers. You should keep these dehumidifiers running to remove extra moisture from the air and further dry the area. It should be placed in rooms where there would be an excess of moisture, especially in bathrooms and basements. Also keep in mind that dehumidifiers require room to maintain airflow in order to operate properly.
3. Clean the furniture
If you have carpets, sprinkle adequate sodium bicarbonate on them and let them sit for no longer than 60 minutes before vacuuming them up. As a result of their propensity to absorb odors, carpets will probably require a professional deep clean if you intend to keep them. Additionally, any type of furniture, including couches, armchairs, and upholstery, that can hold odors should be deeply cleaned too. You should also clean the curtains if they are old and dusty, the smell might be coming from them.
4. Get rid of mold
You might be able to use a special mold/mildew wash concentrate to get rid of any stains left by mold on your walls and, sometimes, furniture in your indoor space. A cup of distilled white vinegar mixed with a bucket of warm water can be used to wash walls. Apply the solution to the walls with a non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth. When cleaning, it’s important you put on protective gear, such as disposable gloves, protective glasses, and a face-mask, since you do not want to breathe in the harmful particles that are released into the air.
5. Clean the HVAC system
You should invest in cleaning your HVAC system. It only takes a short while for the HVAC system’s vents and ducts to become filthy, and eventually, mold will start to grow. You should also pay attention to the air conditioner filter, which could unintentionally spread a stale odor throughout your entire residence. Even though you can change the filters yourself, it is worthwhile to hire experts to inspect and clean the vents.
Hopefully, the aforementioned tips will help you rid the house of stale and musty odors, making it much more inviting and safe to enter and stay in. If the problem still persists, you should contact a professional cleaner to help proffer a lasting solution to the lingering problem.