The basement is a very useful part of your home since it serves some purposes. You may use it as an extra room or storage space and it offers a safe haven in dangerous weather. But some homeowners hardly used it. Regardless of how you use your basement, it still requires some form of maintenance. Moreover, a basement is your home’s foundation and should be part of home improvement. Because of dampness and high humidity, the basement can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This often leads to pungent, musty odors which can spread and start to affect other areas of your home and can make a basement intolerable to spend time in. Never ignore it! Learn how to get rid of the musty smell in the basement.

What Causes Musty Smell in a Basement

When you deal with a smelly basement, you have to first identify the cause. All the mopping, sweeping, and spraying didn’t really remove the smell. What might be the problem? It’s a water problem—-dampness, not dirt and grime. Your basement can trap moisture. Warm air coming from the spaces overhead seeps down and moisture in your basement condenses. Then ends up in cold water pipes and dark basement walls. The dampness is responsible for different types of mold especially black mold. The mold in turn produces that damp basement odor.

Finding the damp area or areas is a must to solve your musty basement issues. Water could be entering through a cracked foundation, a broken seal, or a cracked window. Moreover, other possible sources of trouble include leaky pipes, sewer backups, french drains, clogged gutters, and broken seals on dryer vents (laundry).

Spot the Mold

You need to spot where the mold is so you can eliminate it and ensure a thorough cleanup. Try to sniff around for a musty smell. Due to poor ventilation and lack of sunlight, it will be much easier to detect any strange odors in your basement.

Looking for visible signs of mold might not be the best way to check for mold because it usually grows unnoticed. In addition, people don’t usually go to dark and damp areas where mold loves to thrive. A good thumb rule is that if you can visibly notice black spots on your wall, then there is mold infestation and that is quite serious and severe. A black spot could mean millions of mold spores.

Reasons to Eliminate Mold

Mold will continue to spread uncontrollably in your basement and the smell will just exit to the upper levels of your home. If not addressed immediately, this could cause serious structural issues and you wouldn’t want that to happen.

Another reason is to protect your health. In most cases, some molds are not dangerous but some species can be toxic especially when inhaled. For people who have allergy problems, any kind of mold is a risk to their health since they can develop respiratory issues from spores found in the air. Other people experience other symptoms so it is still better to avoid these risks.


How to Get Rid of A Musty Smell in Basement

It is important to keep your basement free of mold and musty smell to maintain a safe and healthy home. Learn how to get rid of it with these tips:

  1. Protect the integrity of your home’s foundation by checking for water leaks and moisture. If you see any kind of water leak, stop it right away and prevent water damage to your property and belongings. Insulate the pipes in your basement if they show signs of condensation. This will reduce the moisture that is causing musty odors.
  2. Dry out the basement to get rid of moisture from the air. One way is to use dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity level. Another way is to open the door and windows (if your basement has them) and keep them open for several hours. You can install window fans or just use any fan to circulate and increase fresh air into the room. 
  3. Eliminate the mold. There are different methods you can use in killing the mold and getting rid of the musty smell. For a natural cleaning, undiluted white vinegar and tea tree oil have the ability to kill some mold spores. Bleach is also effective in removing surface mold and musty odor. Don’t forget to wear protective gear so as to avoid contact with the spores. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle (or 2-3 drops of tea tree oil mixed with rubbing alcohol) and heavily mist all affected areas. Circulate the air by keeping basement windows and the door open and letting the mixture dry to prevent recurrent mold growth.
  4. Freshen and clean the air after mold removal by using the following:
  • Baking soda is very helpful in absorbing the majority of musty smells. It can deodorize your home and can maintain absorbency for up to 3 months. (depending on the odor strength in your home)
  • Cat litter can also absorb most of the musty smell in your basement. Put cat litter in open containers around your basement and changed it regularly.


Get Help From Our Experts

To completely remove the cause of the musty smell in your basement, Superior Flood and Fire 

can do the job to protect your home and health from damaging mold infestations. 

We have skilled experts and the right tools to help you quickly with mold removal and carefully get you back to normal. Call us today, Water Damage San Jacinto. We are ready to assist you 24/7.