How To Get Rid Of Musty Basement Smell

How To Get Rid Of Musty Basement Smell – Whether you’ve fully utilized your basement as an extra room or just use it for storage, it’s not the best feeling in the world to come down the stairs and be greeted by a musty smell. Not only is the smell unpleasant, but it is a sure sign that mold or mildew is present.

As Den Garden sums it up, basements are the perfect storm for damp smells thanks to the lack of sunlight, constant room temperature and the fact that the basement is below ground. Also, those who use their basements as a laundry room or have some type of drainage system down there are prone to mold growth because water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. And once these fungi take hold, they release foul-smelling gases that can be extremely difficult to remove, according to Engineered Solutions. These smells can even permeate furniture and carpets, making them more pungent.

How To Get Rid Of Musty Basement Smell

Ways to gradually get rid of that moldy basement smell for good, and there are preventative measures you can take to make sure it never happens again.

My House Smells Musty: 5 Things You Can Do To Make It Odor Free

Getting rid of musty odors can be as easy as using cat litter or coffee grounds to absorb unpleasant odors

First, you need to find out exactly where the mold and mildew is coming from. Looking for cracks in pipes, walls and ceilings is a great first step, which could be a sign that water is seeping from the ground outside or from a leak. AdvantaClean also suggests checking the walls for sagging or bulging, as these unstable walls are likely to let more water in when it rains, according to the site.

Once mold or mildew appears, it’s time to eradicate it. You can do this by mixing undiluted white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritzing it on the affected areas. You will also need to dehumidify the room to remove the moisture.

As for the smell, there are many ways to get rid of it, but the most common, oddly enough, is to leave cat litter or baking soda bins open in the basement, according to ServiceMaster Restore. Both substances can absorb odors, and baking soda can even continue to absorb odors for a solid three months. Placing bowls of coffee grounds or activated charcoal can also do the same, according to Den Garden. If damp smells are keeping you from using your basement, it’s time to change it. With a little effort, you can eliminate funky odors from your basement spaces for good.

Learn How To Get Rid Of The Smell From A Musty Basement

A pungent, musty smell can make a basement unbearable to spend time in. If they are strong enough, these horrible smells can even spread to the rest of the house. Instead of ignoring the problem, learn to get rid of it.

The first step to getting rid of musty basement odors is to figure out where they’re coming from. Most of the time, the smell is simply a symptom of a real problem, which is mold or mildew caused by moisture.

It is also possible that groundwater is the cause of the problem. If the grading around your home backs up into your basement, water will eventually enter. In this case, the requalification of the property may be the best option. You can also hire a contractor to dig the foundation and install a French drain to carry the water away. For extremely wet basements, a conduit inside that leads to a ground water control pump may be necessary.

If your finished basement smells musty, but you’re sure it’s not draining behind the walls, the smell may be coming from a dry floor drain or a trap under the sink. Because these drains are not used often, the trap liquid that blocks sewer gases can dry out. Pouring a few cups of water down these drains every now and then could make all the difference, as they are often a problem when a dry basement smells.

Smelleze Reusable Basement Odor Removal Deodorizer Pouch: Rids Musty Smell Without Fragrance In 150 Sq. Ft.

Keep in mind that musty odors can also be caused by pet odors on furniture or carpets. If everything is waterproof and dry and your traps are full of water, the problem is most likely in the fabric of your carpets or upholstered furniture.

Even if you can get rid of the musty smell in your basement temporarily, it will return if you don’t fix the problem. Troubled windows and doors will leak whenever it rains, and cracked or leaking pipes will cause problems until you replace them. If your cold water pipes sweat, you can insulate them with pipe wrap.

Severe foundation leaks may require external excavation and application of a waterproofing membrane. Otherwise, you can cover the inside of the foundations with a waterproofing treatment.

Don’t forget to deal with wet materials too. You can remove mold from wet drywall, concrete, and wood, but wet drywall or insulation is easier to remove than to repair.

Getting Rid Of A Musty Smell In The Basement

Once you’ve made the repairs, you need to dry out the basement. The easiest way to remove moisture is to use a dehumidifier. These devices pull moisture from the air and condense it into a removable tank that you can remove and empty. In some cases, you can direct the drain hose to the floor or to the sink drain, eliminating the need to empty the tank. Dehumidifiers are ideal for basements.

Shoot for a humidity level of around 50 percent so that the space stays comfortable without supporting mold growth (which occurs at more than 60 percent). You can also use a box fan or window fan to improve ventilation and air movement for faster drying.

With humidity under control, you can finally deal with that musty scent. The process is simple and you may already have the supplies on hand.

Place bowls of baking soda around the basement. The baking soda will begin to absorb the odors and should make a significant difference within a few days. You can also use bowls of white vinegar or clean cat litter; both will also absorb odors. For particularly smelly spaces, you can also use a product specifically designed to absorb moisture and musty odors, such as DampRid.

How To Get Rid Of The Musty Smell In Your Basement

While the deodorizers absorb the odors, clean the entire basement as best you can. A mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar is inexpensive and can be used to spray surfaces or scrub floors. Pay special attention to areas where mold has occurred.

Carpets and upholstery can trap odors and continue to smell musty long after the basement is clean and dry. If you have carpets or upholstered furniture in your basement, consider renting a carpet and furniture steamer for a deep clean.

With these tips, your basement should be smelling fresh within a week. It’s important to watch for leaks, make sure p-traps are kept full, and continue to monitor humidity levels with a dehumidifier. If you follow this regimen, your basement should remain odor-free for many years.

Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks and DIY Smarts projects from our experts straight to your inbox. Cellars, especially unfinished ones, are imagined as dark, cold, sometimes scary places. However, it is often not an accurate representation of what a basement is or should be like. Even finished basements can present problems where you may want to know how to get rid of the smell of a damp basement.

Ways To Get Rid Of A Musty Smell In Your House

There are many different reasons why a musty smell can develop in a basement. Often, this is an indicator of the presence of mold or mildew and causing the smell. The good thing is that there are many different ways to get rid of moldy basement smells. We’ve created a guide to walk you through all the solutions you need to get rid of the smell.

A damp basement smell doesn’t always mean mold growth, but the extra moisture that creates the smell acts as an early indicator. Use these methods to check for vulnerabilities and learn how to eliminate basement odors.

Basements were initially used as cold cellars as places to store perishable products. The space excavated under the house was kept cool in summer and regulated during frosty weather.

Now the cellars with rooms and possibly a living space under the main square have become part of the house. Mold or mildew problems require a quick fix to save the space you have, especially if someone lives there.

Should I Be Concerned About The Musty Smell In My Basement?

The smell of mold in the basement is especially unpleasant if someone lives there. The first process will show you where to look for sources of odors that may require repair or cleaning.

From there, we have some recipes and cleaning techniques to work on eliminating odors in the basement. There may be work to be done in the basement, but we’ve got you covered.

When trying to discover the source of basement odors, the foundation walls of the basement should be checked first. Be careful with exposed pipes that can leak

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