How To Get Rid Of A Musty Basement Smell
Few things are as disgusting and distinctive as that musty basement smell. This is a sure sign that you are in need of immediate water damage restoration and, if you ignore the problem, it will only get worse.
Get rid of mildew and black mold
Everyone knows that musty basement smell that is caused by basement water damage. It is the unmistakable odor from mold and mildew growing and spreading their spores throughout the house.
Not only is this smell disgusting, but it also unhealthy. Sore throats, headaches, and irritated nasal passages are just a few of the typical symptoms from mold spores. If left untreated homes can become uninhabitable and must be destroyed.
Does your house have that musty basement smell
Getting rid of that must basement smell takes some dedication and hard work. It can be done, but you must follow good practice to succeed.
3 things needed to get rid of mold and mildew
Because this odor is the result of mold and mildew growing, it is not that difficult to eliminate it. There are essentially 3 things required to solve this problem: lower the moisture, lower the temperature, and clean, clean, clean.
The best approach is to empty the room of everything possible. This is probably a great idea anyway, especially if it is a basement. Junk and clutter tend to gradually build up over time, and you probably don’t need most of it anyway.
Once the room is empty it is vastly easier to clean it. Not only that, but you can find the source of the moisture that provides the ideal living conditions for the mold. You may need to repair a foundation crack or learn about waterproofing basement walls, but this is a good idea anyway.
Get rid of moisture in the basement
Water damage in a basement is not one of those things that just goes away; you need to take care of it.
There are many ways to take care of wet basement repairs, such as the AquaSeal products, such as Aqua-Stop and Aqua Block BB. These form a seal that stops water from penetrating the walls.
For drastic cases you need to use a basement sump pump. This can make a huge difference, and gives you a chance to get to the cause of the problem. It could require more grading outside, French drains or sealing of the foundation from the outside.
There are companies devoted entirely to helping people waterproof their basements. Basement Technologies is a company based in the Boston area that specializes in basement waterproofing. Companies such as this are experts in their field.
Deco Products carries many different types of basement waterproofing products, such as the Drainage and Protection Board and the Deco Mold Prohibitor. Another popular product is offered by Humidex
Reduce the temperature
Mold prefers a warm atmosphere in which to thrive. When the temperature and moisture are inviting, you can be sure the unwanted guests will show up and move in.
You may need to invest in a thermostatically controlled vent fan to accomplish the task, but it is worth it.
Clean, clean, clean
Once the moisture and temperature are under control, you must clean everything thoroughly. Some common sources of mold and mildew are carpets, books, old clothes, storage boxes and damp wood. Unless these are thrown out or cleaned, the mold will survive and multiply.
You need to know how to get rid of mildew. You might be able to air many of these things out and clean them, but often they are just beyond saving. There are some great cleaners on the market to make life easier.
Seventh Generation, MoldOff, are both good choices. Jomax House Cleaner and Mildew Cleaner Concentrate comes in a 1 gallon size for around $20 and is very popular. You can make your own spray as well from common items as well. One mixture is ½ cup vinegar mixed with ½ cup Borax and mixed into a spray bottle.