Musty Smells In The Basement: Causes, Risks, and Solutions
Unless your washer and dryer is in your basement you may not be in the lowest level of your home all that often. The last time you went down to the basement to retrieve your camping gear, put away the Christmas decorations, or do laundry, were you overwhelmed with a musty smell?
That musty smell is more than just an affront to your nose, it can actually be hazardous to your health. Before you get out the baking soda or Febreze to mask the odor, you may need to get to the source of the problem.
A musty smell in the basement is often caused by mold or mildew. These fungi thrive in humid environments and can release spores into the air, causing respiratory problems in some people. In addition, mold and mildew can damage clothing, furniture, and other items stored in the basement.
Is It Normal For Basements To Smell Musty?
That musty smell coming from your basement is usually an indication of the presence of mold and/or mildew. As mold grows it emits gasses that give off an odor and produce that musty smell. You may actually smell the mold before you can see it. Given that your basement generally does not have natural sunlight or lots of airflow, it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow when moisture is present.
How To Get Rid Of That Musty Smell In Your Basement
Once you find the source of your mold and/or mildew it needs to be removed. If the mold is contained in a small area you should be able to clean and remove the mold yourself. When you work to clean the mold, be sure to shut down your HVAC system to prevent mold spores from traveling through the air into the rest of your house.
There are a number of ways to prevent or reduce musty smells in the basement, including:
Basements should be well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup. Make sure there are no leaky windows or doors, and use a dehumidifier to remove excess humidity from the air.
Keeping Things Dry
Water is the primary source of moisture for mold and mildew growth. promptly repair any leaks in plumbing or the foundation, and mop up any water spills immediately. store firewood and other things that could become wet at least 18 inches off the ground.
Regularly sweep, dust, and vacuum the basement to reduce mold spores in the air. In addition, clean any mold or mildew growths with a commercial cleaner or a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water).
While there are a number of ways to combat this problem, one of the most effective is to waterproof the basement. This will help to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing mold and mildew to grow. In addition, waterproofing the basement will also help to keep the air inside the basement dry, which will reduce the chances of the musty smell developing. There are a number of different basement waterproofing products on the market, so it is important to consult with a professional basement waterproofing contractor. With a little bit of effort, you can eliminate the musty smell in your basement and create a more comfortable living space.
Diagnosing the source of the mold may take professional help. If you haven’t experienced a recent flood in your basement, moisture is getting into your basement from another source. It could be caused by high humidity or a leak in your foundation walls or floor. It’s best to contact a professional that can find the source and determine the best plan of action.
If you are experiencing a musty smell in your basement, My Foundation Repairs can connect you with an expert to diagnose the source of the smell and provide a long-term solution.
Do You Have Mold in Your Crawl Space? Here’s What to Do
Crawl Space Repair, Waterproofing
Mold can be a huge problem in crawl spaces. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can also be dangerous to your health. If you think you may have mold in your crawl space, it’s important to act immediately. Look at the 5 signs of mold in your crawl space with My Foundation Repairs, as…Read More
What are the Best Basement Waterproofing Methods for My State?
All Articles, Waterproofing
WHAT ARE THE BEST BASEMENT WATERPROOFING METHODS FOR MY STATE? A wet basement is a nightmare for any homeowner. Not only do you have to deal with cleaning up the water, but a wet basement can lead to all sorts of structural problems for your home and health issues for your family. Basement waterproofing is…Read More
How Long Does Basement Waterproofing Last?
All Articles, Foundation Repair, Residential Foundation Repair, Waterproofing
HOW LONG DOES BASEMENT WATERPROOFING LAST? A flooded basement can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. On top of having to pay for any repairs and future protection against flooding, you also have to deal with the logistics of finding basement waterproofing that is best for your location and situation. There are a variety of basement…Read More