Check the air bricks are open and free from debris, that's if you have
them. Old house or new house? When was it built and what was the type
of construction. Have chimneys been taken out recently? Might be worth
having a survey for damp done by a registered surveyor.
First, you want to look for a newsgroup for your country. USA? (it's
The climate may not help. Whereabouts are you?
It may just be condensation. Do you dry washing indoors? Take showers?
Cook? Open windows?
In the uk they sell a DIY damp detector consisting of two metal spikes
attached to a plastic box, and it measures the current between the two
spikes if you push them against a wall, thereby showing how damp the
So you could buy one of those, and then test the wall near ground level
wherever you think you smell damp. Also the floor itself if possible, to
see if damp is coming up through the floor.
Other possibilities include broken or blocked guttering allowing
rainwater to get into the walls higher up. So inspect carefully from
outside. When it's raining, walk around the outside and see if you can
observe any water pouring from the gutters where it ought not to.
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