How to get rid of musty smell in basement

Imagine waking up one day to find a musty smell in your basement. Typically, the main cause is an excess build-up of moisture, forming mildew or mold. But don’t worry! In this article, we teach you how to find the source of why your basement smells musty and we also inform you on what to do about it.

Identify the Root Cause

Moisture in a house usually lingers behind the scenes — behind your walls, against your trim, or even under your floors. Before you go breaking down walls, there are a few techniques to try first that will help you ensure the accurate location of the problem. So, where do you start? Scan the basement for any cracks and leaks. Common areas to check include windows, doorways, and plumbing in the ceiling.

Aside from interior leaks, the culprit may be groundwater. There is grading around your home. If it leans toward your basement, it can cause water to run that way. Additionally, unused drains and sink p-traps can get a weird smell if unused for too long.

Fixing the Issues

The repair will depend on the root cause of your issue. We recommend looking for long-term fixes over short-term so that your house doesn’t endure worse damage over time.

If sweating cold water pipes are to blame, insulate them. All you must do is cover them with pipe wrap. If a foundation leak is to blame, you may have to do some digging on your property and add a waterproof membrane to your foundation. You can do the same to your internal foundation. Foundation leaks tend to be a more serious issue, so it is best to hire a professional to help.

If you notice soft walls or mold formation, it is best to remove any damaged or hazardous materials to keep your home a healthy and safe space.

Basement Spray Foam Image
Moulding Damp Wall

Managing Moisture Levels

So, how do you manage moisture levels? It all comes down to controlling a key component: humidity. One of the best ways to balance the humidity levels is by using a dehumidifier. This machine sucks moisture from the air and stores it as water.

You will need to empty the tank on a weekly basis. The ideal humidity level you want in your basement is around 50%. Usually, dehumidifiers read the room’s humidity level for you, so just check the screen.

Tackling the Odor

Next, here’s how to remove the musty smell from your basement. For an old-fashioned but effective way, fill bowls with baking soda and disperse them around your basement. This natural cooking ingredient is an odor absorber.

If you need something with more power, try store-bought deodorizers like DampRid. Additionally, place a fan in the room. Extra air circulation can get rid of the smell faster.

Basement Foam Insulation Image

Maybe you’ve tried everything you could, but you’re still having issues. It’s time to call in the experts: Moose Basements. Call us today to get rid of moisture and nasty smells. We’ll get your basement back to being a healthy and safe space.