How to Stop Smells Coming Through Floorboard

Floorboards are one of the most common flooring options in modern homes. But if not properly cared for, mold can form on them, creating musty smells. This can make your home uncomfortable and even inhabitable. To avoid this situation, we have researched how to stop smells from floorboards, and here's what we found.  

You can easily get rid of smells coming through floorboards with a mixture of vinegar, warm water, and baking soda. To create the mixture, combine the three items in a bucket and use the solution to scrub your floorboard surface thoroughly. Another option you can explore is using a specialized floorboard cleaning solution. 

There are also other ways you can stop the putrid smell of floorboards. Keep reading to learn these methods and other general ways to avoid musty smells. 

worker laying vinyl floor covering at home renovation, How to Stop Smells Coming Through Floorboard

Floorboards [Uses and Importance]

High angle view of a rustic wooden table with vertical stripes.

The allurement of a space lies much on the flooring. The first point of contact when visitors step into your home is the floor. 

Floorboards are a type of flooring made of wood and installed on the ground. The boards are usually made from a single piece of wood, and they are nailed to the floor with nails or screws. They provide warmth and comfort to the home.

Floorboards can be found in many homes worldwide, but they are not as common as other types of flooring such as carpet or laminate. Floorboards are typically found in older homes, where they were initially used for insulation purposes.

These days, however, some people choose to install them for aesthetic purposes because they add an old-fashioned country charm to a room. 

There are numerous floorboard types and designs ranging in quality and pricing depending on the your budget. Ensure you get the suitable material to avoid waste. Your flooring option should also align with the interior design you choose for your space.

What Causes Musty Smells in a House From Floorboards?

Water damaged walls and floors in house.

A musty smell is a fouled, moldy smell. The principal cause of the musty smell from a floorboard is mold. They smell like decomposed or water-logged wood. 

Mold emits microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), often with a sharp smell. A hole or dampness in a floorboard over some time breeds musty smells. There are many other causes of musty smells you should be mindful of as a homeowner. 

  • The fur in pets like cats and dogs can also contribute to musty smells coming from floorboards.  Also, pet urine soaked on the floor and not properly cleaned over time contributes to this odor. 
  • Staled food not disposed of on time can stick to the floor. Spilled drinks on the floor left to dry and not properly mopped can also be a contributing factor. 
  • Stale water which drips from house plants to the floorboard also produces foul smells.
  • A poorly ventilated room or space with a restricted flow of air.
  • Droppings of vermin (small pets and animals like rats, mice, and insects) stockpiled over time on the floor can begin to produce offensive, musty smells.
  • Some homes get flooded when it rains. Floorboards are made of wood, so they are absorbent. When rainwater dries up, the floor can develop a musty smell.
  • Settled dust in the home, not properly cleaned from the floorboard. 

How to Get Rid of Smell Coming Through Floorboard

The floor is damaged because I dragged the chair. There are countless scratches on the wooden floor.

There are diverse ways to get rid of smells from the floorboards. Here are some effective methods.

  • Use vinegar mixed with hot water and baking soda. Sprinkle a portion of the baking soda on the floor, and allow it to dry for a few hours before sweeping.  Then use the solution to clean up the floor.
  • Discard old and worn-out floorboards. Replace them with new and quality ones to give your room or space a fresh and healthy smell.
  • Regularly clean dust from the floorboard. Better still, you can contact cleaning services within your area of residence for assistance when necessary.
  • After cleaning, locate the source of the musty smell on the floorboard. It could be a break or leak. Find it and fix it by sealing or plastering it.
  • Always clean the floorboard with warm soapy water mixed with bleach and ensure it dries properly.
  • Put on a dehumidifier or air purifier to help lower the humidity in your home. Mold thrives in areas where the humidity is high.
  • Carefully raise the floorboard, use a broom and dustpan to sweep under the floorboard, and restore the board when done.
  • A local government agency should be contacted if pests or unknown chemicals are the reason for the smell coming through the floorboard in your space. 

How Dangerous Is Mold Build up and Musty Smells from Floorboards?

Mold build-up and musty smells pose enormous dangers to the well-being of individuals resident in the affected space. There are different ways mold build-up on floors can affect the health of occupants. Some are as follows.

  1. Some respiratory problems could be traced to molds in homes and offices.
  2. Molds can also cause skin irritation and infection, which creates rashes. Inhaling/exposure to mold can lead to inflammation of the lungs and more severe health complications in the future.
  3. Long-term exposure of humans to mold triggers neurological problems. This happens in the brain area that controls memory, studying, and the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle.
  4. Exposure to mold causes fatigue resulting from coughing and wheezing. This is likely to keep you awake all through the night. 
  5. Inhaling of mold through musty smells also causes headaches and muscle pains, itchy eyes, redness of the eyes, and watery eyes.
  6. Mold also contains a toxin called mycotoxin

Should You Clean Under Floorboard?

You should clean under your floorboard regularly by removing debris and broken wood chips from under the floors. This makes for free airflow and ensures the board doesn’t decay.

Cleaning underneath your floorboard ensures the safety of the inhabitants of the space. When cleaning under the floorboard, check for worn-out parts and replace them.  An uneven floorboard can lead to slips and falls. 

Aside from keeping underneath floorboards clean, make sure it is insulated to keep your room or space warm. Insulating under your floorboards can be done by raising it and placing fitted plastic, paper, or styrofoam under it before covering it again. 

How Do You Deodorize Wood? 

Moisture is a leading cause of wood decay and rot. Wood floorboards are susceptible to moisture because they are exposed to the ground. This can lead to problems like mold, fungus, and dry rot.

It is important to keep the floorboards dry by avoiding moisture on the wood to avoid this problem. There are a few ways to do this, such as installing a vapor barrier or sealing cracks in the wood with caulking.

Deodorizing your wood floors is an excellent way to keep them from smelling bad. If you are wondering how to do this, it is relatively simple. You need to clean the floorboards with a soft rag and then spray some mild air freshener.

Is Vinegar Safe on Wood Floors?

jar of baking soda vinegar and lemon

Vinegar is a natural acid that can be used as a cleaning product. The acid in vinegar can be used to clean hardwood floors safely. Vinegar is not only an effective cleaning agent, but it also has a neutral smell. It is safe on hardwood floors as long as it is diluted with water and dried afterward.

Avoid using raw vinegar as it will leave a difficult stain to remove. If there is an accidental vinegar spill, use water and dish soap to rinse the area as quickly as possible. Then dry the area with a towel or rag before allowing it to air dry.

What Is The Best Thing to Use to Clean Wood Floors?

Using commercial wood cleaning products is the best way to clean your floorboards. They come in various forms, including liquids, powders, and waxes. The manufacturer's instructions will tell you how to apply them for the best results. Some examples are Bona or murphy oil soap. Check out the murphy oil soap on Amazon


Parquet plank installation on cork. Renovate concept

Good flooring changes a room's aesthetic and makes family time and gathering more comfortable. It also makes movement within the home easy. It also upgrades the monetary value of a property. 

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must take preventive measures to ensure your floorboard in your home is rid of any offensive smell. Make sure to regularly sanitize the under and the surface of your floorboard with disinfectants to enjoy a germ-free healthy environment. To read more, check out other related articles.

How to Insulate The Kitchen Floor

How to Insulate Floor to Ceiling Windows 

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