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Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson, U.S. Army Medic
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  U.S. Army Medical Services Corps, and Special Forces Med School, Ft. Sam Houstan, Tx; EMT U.AK
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how do i get rid of the musty smell in our camper

Customer Question

we bought a 35ft. camper that had a leak in the roof .we fixed the leak but there is still a musty smell in the camper. I have wiped all the walls and celings down with clorox water to kill any mold there was and used kilz on the celing to cover any water stains . but i cant get rid of the musty smell . any ideas   thanks linda
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Edward Johnson replied 10 years ago.

Dear XXXXX,

This depends on the construction and accesories of the inside of the camper. Here are some considerations.

1. Floor coverings:

  • tiled or linoleum floor coverings can allow water to seep under them and set up a mildew situation with the glues that are backing them. Of course this generally happens only in the presence of a long standing problem with water leakage into the camper. If your floor covering is of this material, you may think about stripping it off and replacing it with new.
  • Wood flooring. Wood flooring materials can become contaminated with odors and mildew that settles in the pours and grain of the wood. You can cure this by scrubing the wooden floors with bleach. It will produce a lighter and almost decorative color to the wood. You would of course want to strip off any varnish before you start. Finish with new varnish after bleaching.

2. Padding and any window coverings. Drapes and foam pads and pillows can absorb moisture and cause mildew smell to hang around. Replacing these materials will help renew and refresh your camper.

If the mildew or musty smell is within the walls of the camper, there will not be anything you can do about it.

Insects: Insects can be the source of the musty smell. You can look for insects in all the nooks and cranies of the camper. You may want to spray along the base boards and cabinet bottoms to make sure there are none.