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Musty smell / mold detection

Musty smell / mold detection

Old Jan 15th 2017, 6:16 am
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Default Musty smell / mold detection

So while house hunting in Penang, I've also started considering condos. My current favourite (location, size, condition) has been empty for 6+ months as the owner has been trying to sell it, unsuccessfully as he's asking a bit too much.

The condo looks nice and clean, but has a musty smell. I suppose it would, having been empty for 6+ months.

Should I be concerned about possible mold build-up if there are no visible signs of it, only the smell? Is there anything I can do to find out whether there's mold or not? I really like the place, but obviously don't want to end up sharing my space with mushrooms.

Thank you
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Old Jan 15th 2017, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Mold thrives in unventilated and dark areas so if the condo has been locked up with its windows (and maybe curtains?) fully closed, there is reason to believe that there might be mold in some places.
But if the place is well ventilated and not dark you should be OK if you don't see anything.
But do look in all drawers, cabinets, wardrobes, etc and also check any furniture, especially if there is anything made of leather.

If you find some mold you can of course remove it by proper cleaning, so it is not such a serious issue.

We moved into a condo which had been unused for some time, it looked OK with maybe a little as you say musty smell, but we did a thorough cleaning and after that always left some windows not fully closed to allow for air circulation.
And when we are away, we also leave all inside doors open.
The toilets & bathrooms windows would be the best to leave open for ventilation purpose because water entering there wouldn't do any harm.
It is also a good idea to have louvered doors for wardrobes and cabinets, the more the air can circulate, the less the risk for mold.
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Old Jan 16th 2017, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

My apartment is regularly left unoccupied for 8-months of the year and returning is always musty smelling, but after opening up all of the windows for the day and flushing the lavatories it clears.

The biggest problems are caused by the toilet bowls drying out.

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Old Jan 16th 2017, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

I live on a high floor and my apartment never smells musty after being away for a few weeks/months.
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Old Jan 18th 2017, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by kingoflostfools View Post
My apartment is regularly left unoccupied for 8-months of the year and returning is always musty smelling, but after opening up all of the windows for the day and flushing the lavatories it clears.

The biggest problems are caused by the toilet bowls drying out.

Pour some disinfectant in the bowls before you leave?
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Old Jan 18th 2017, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Seal the top of ceramic toilet bowl well with cling wrap. This reduces evaporation.
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Old Jan 18th 2017, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by columbine View Post
Seal the top of ceramic toilet bowl well with cling wrap. This reduces evaporation.
Best. Tip. Ever!
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Old Jan 19th 2017, 4:11 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by xizzles View Post
Best. Tip. Ever!
Until you forget to remove it
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Old Jan 19th 2017, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
Until you forget to remove it
Or, you're in with a spot of tummy trouble/bothersome belly and desperately need to go...

But, truthfully, I'm going to try that handy little tip the next time I leave the house empty for an extended period of time.
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
Until you forget to remove it
Guess that would not be the cling wrap's problem but yours
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by columbine View Post
Seal the top of ceramic toilet bowl well with cling wrap. This reduces evaporation.
Unfortunetely that won't work either as we get air bubbles whenever there is torrential rain.

I would hate to come back and find that my toilet had exploded because of compressed air and cling film.
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Old Jan 28th 2017, 1:12 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by kingoflostfools View Post
Unfortunetely that won't work either as we get air bubbles whenever there is torrential rain.

I would hate to come back and find that my toilet had exploded because of compressed air and cling film.
Oh hahaha Some skewed piping you have there!
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Old Mar 28th 2017, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Been gone a while, had a friend stay in my condo and there is still a very noticeable smell of mould around.

I'd like to have my place thoroughly cleaned by a reputable company to get rid of the mould smell once and for all. Any recommendations?
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Old Mar 28th 2017, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

My son and daughter-in-law rented a condo unit at Straits Quay. (They've just got the mm2h visa). Lovely and well furnished facing the sea and all the lovely water features. The minute I entered the place I smell the mustiness and mold. Eventually we discovered the 2 bathrooms vent into the false ceiling, but there was no vent out and no windows, all the moisture remained up above the false ceiling and was circulating back into the unit. They had the place cleaned twice thoroughly and the leak on the wall in the bedroom repaired twice, had 3 dehumidifier air purifiers on constantly. They had to move out after staying there for a year, but by that time my daughter-in-law was so sick with allergies. They returned to Canada to take a long break to have her healed.
If your bathrooms vent into the ceiling and there is no vent that leads to the outside, that could be the cause of the mold build-up and mustiness.
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Old Mar 28th 2017, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Musty smell / mold detection

Originally Posted by columbine View Post
My son and daughter-in-law rented a condo unit at Straits Quay. (They've just got the mm2h visa). Lovely and well furnished facing the sea and all the lovely water features. The minute I entered the place I smell the mustiness and mold. Eventually we discovered the 2 bathrooms vent into the false ceiling, but there was no vent out and no windows, all the moisture remained up above the false ceiling and was circulating back into the unit. They had the place cleaned twice thoroughly and the leak on the wall in the bedroom repaired twice, had 3 dehumidifier air purifiers on constantly. They had to move out after staying there for a year, but by that time my daughter-in-law was so sick with allergies. They returned to Canada to take a long break to have her healed.
If your bathrooms vent into the ceiling and there is no vent that leads to the outside, that could be the cause of the mold build-up and mustiness.
That is shitty news, thanks for sharing. Wouldn't have moved in if I had known. I have the same bathroom setup here at SQ and no doubt the same issues, though I'm not aware of any leaks in the walls.

10 months left of my contract. Haven't noticed any symptoms and I sleep well, but the smell is always there. I was hoping a thorough cleaning and maybe a purifier would be enough to last me through. Obviously don't fancy getting sick. Any idea which company they contracted? I could stop using the master bathroom which smells the most and put a 24/7 dehumidifer in the other one.

Last edited by JustAnotherFerringhi; Mar 28th 2017 at 7:47 pm.
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