Get Rid Of Darkness And Stagnant Air
Open a window during dry, cool weather and let the sunshine and fresh air through. Don’t open windows in hot, cold, or rainy weather though. The moisture from the air in warm, cold, or wet temperatures will only invite mildew growth. If your basement lacks windows and sunlight, get a dehumidifier to control the moisture level.
Use A Dehumidifier Or Dessiccant Packs
An electric dehumidifier running continuously, and emptying when full, will help control the atmosphere. In addition, dessiccant packs can effectively trap the airborne particles that are the source of the musty smell and are particularly useful in out-of-reach places or corners where moisture might be condensing. They should be replaced frequently.
What Causes Musty Smell
Musty is a word we associate with an unclean, stale, and often moldy smell. You may notice it in a home that is new to you, or if your home has been closed up for a time. You may also just notice it suddenly appear in your home. A musty smell usually develops over time and is a sign of decay.;
Musty or moldy smells can be attributed to many things including dampness and mold, lack of adequate airflow, or odors trapped in your HVAC system. A musty smell is a warning sign that you should not ignore and generally is a sign of mold growth in your home. Mold and mildew can release foul-smelling gases. Mold spores grow in the presence of moisture or water and can quickly develop within 24 to 48 hours in the right conditions.;
If you experience a water leak such as a burst pipe or excess condensation the excess moisture can go unnoticed until mold forms and you begin to smell a musty odor. Moisture buildup combined with darker areas and stagnant air is a prescription for mold growth. The odor may be throughout your home, in your basement, laundry, bathroom areas, or closets.;
As soon as you notice any mustiness, inspect the area and look for any leaks in your pipes, appliances, bathrooms, or kitchens. Check for signs of water and address it immediately. If it seems to be coming from a small area like under a sink, that makes it easier to track and treat.
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Leaky Pipes And Wall Cracks
That earthy mildew smell might be coming from a broken seal on a basement window or a crack in the foundation wall.
Other things like clogged rain gutters, french drains, or sewer backups can also bring water in contact with the basement walls where water can pool and be absorbed by concrete walls. Leaky pipes are another potential cause of moisture in the basement.
Reduce The Humidity In The Space
To prevent the musty smell from eventually returning, reduce the moisture in the space regularly. Run a dehumidifier in the space every few days to keep the humidity in your basement below 55 percent, above which is a prime condition for mold growth. You can also run oscillating fans to increase airflow.
With a little regular maintenance, you can have a welcoming and fresh-smelling basement thats a perfectly pleasant space to hang out in.; With the steps weve reviewed, you can find the source of the mustiness, reduce moisture, and banish odors once and for all.
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Remove Mold And Mildew Spores Immediately
The next step after controlling your basements humidity levels is to remove any mold or mildew spores. Follow these steps to remove the spores safely and effectively:
Does A Musty Smell Mean I Have Mold
Mold is the most common reason for a musty smell in your home. But all homes have some mold and since the mold has a low odor threshold, the musty smell does not mean it is already out of control. What you may be smelling are MVOCs, or mold volatile organic compounds. These are the chemicals that are released at a certain stage in the life of mold that is volatile enough to evaporate but also have an odor that is strong enough to be noticed in a home. This is often not dangerous and can be easily addressed.;
If the odor persists and is stronger you likely have mold and should look for the source of moisture that is causing it. You may also be experiencing an old house smell which is not necessarily a sign of the mold but can be from a number of causes.;
Old house smells can stem from the combination of limited ventilation, high humidity, and darkness. Sunlight and ventilation can often clear this up. The smell may be associated with the carpet, furniture or drapes. Check them out and have them cleaned if so. Do a deep cleaning and deep declutter and that may solve your problem.
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How To Get Rid Of Musty Smell In Your Home
A musty smell in your home is frequently a sign of mold or mildew growth. There are many natural solutions that can help you to get rid of musty smell such as baking soda or white vinegar that can help absorb musty smells in the air and trap excess moisture and there are also great commercial products. Your first step in dealing with this type of odor in your home is always to identify the location and source of the water or moisture so you can stop the flow and dry up excess moisture.;
How To Get Rid Of A Musty Smell In Your Basement
If musty odors are keeping you from using your basement, its time for that to change. With a bit of effort, you can eliminate funky smells from your below-grade spaces for good.
Pungent, musty odors can make a basement unbearable to spend time in. If strong enough, these awful odors can even work their way up into the rest of the house. Instead of ignoring the problem, learn how to get rid of it.
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Consider Alternative Cleaning Agents
For most mold infestations, any combination of vinegar, baking soda, soap and water is enough for thorough removal. Stubborn black mold infestations, however, may require a more potent blend of ingredients. These could include: borax, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, chlorinated lime, or even bleach. A good natural cleaning choice is borax.;
Mix a cup of it with a gallon of hot water and apply with a clean rag. Provide extra water to rinse the affected area, as it is likely to retain a powdery white residue. If bleach is the selected option, it should not be mixed with any other ingredients including vinegar, Blending with anything other than water is dangerous because it can create toxic chlorine fumes. It should be used only on tile because bleach can damage wood and paint.
Again, it is highly recommended;to use a proper mask along with goggles and rubber gloves when dealing with mold removal.
Banish Mold Infestations With Professional Help
What gets rid of black mold? Most of the cleaners weve mentioned can snuff out black mold infestations, but we recommend getting professional help for significant black mold growth. This is because Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can be harmful if breathed in large quantities.
If a basement mold problem is really severe, mold removal specialists might turn to fumigation to eradicate the infestation. Whichever method they choose to take care of your mold problem, you can rest assured that a professional will do a thorough job to prevent the black mold areas from returning.
If you dont eradicate the source of the moisture that caused the mold, you could see more mold, but a professional will eradicate all mold spores and roots from an infestation so that the same colony cannot grow back, particularly in the same area.
Dehumidifiers and waterproofing paint can be useful for helping to stave off future mold issues. Wet, moldy surfaces like carpeting and drywall are often too far gone to be salvaged and need a replacement instead.
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Sand Away Any Mold And Vacuum Up The Dust
Before you do any type of clean up of mold, it is recommended to use a proper mask, available at your local hardware store, along with goggles and rubber gloves. Using sandpaper will help to remove mold that has penetrated deeply into the wood. Vacuum up the dust using a HEPA filter. This type of filter effectively traps pathogens, allergens and mold spores before they can spread into the air.
Mix Up A Borax Solution
Borax is a powder, much like baking soda. It is a useful cleaner in the basement and a helpful tip when learning how to get rid of musty smells. Borax works exceptionally well when used on cement walls, cleaning mold from cracks. It also helps to inhibit future mold growth.
Gloves are essential when using anything to clean mold. If you are stirring things up, the situation requires that you also wear a mask. Mold presents a danger to the lungs, often causing violent allergic reactions or sickness.
Boil a gallon of water on the stove. Once the water has started boiling, turn off the burner and stir in the Borax until it dissolves. When the mixture is cool enough, pour it into a spray bottle and any remainder into a bucket.
Spray the affected areas and those around them lightly with the Borax mixture. Let it sit for about five minutes to stop any mold spores from spreading as you begin to wash.
Dip the sponge into the bucket and wash the walls thoroughly. Make sure to wring the sponge out before application to avoid soaking the walls, adding more moisture for future mold growth. Turn on a fan or a heating fixture to help the area dry quickly.
The next day, there will be dried Borax on the walls and floor. Sweep it off the ground, but leave it on the walls if it doesnt bother you. It inhibits future mold growth if it stays there.
This Borax solution can be used in other areas of the home to eliminate mold, too. Use it to kill black mold in the shower or the bathtub.
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Home Diy: Guide To Removing Mold And Mildew Smells In Your Home
Have you successfully treated the mold or mildew in your home, only to discover that the smell still lingers? Musty mold and mildew odors are hard to get rid ofeven after the mold and mildew is gone!
Areas of our home that are more vulnerable to moisture such as our bathroom, laundry and basement or crawl space are usually the ones that retain musty mold and mildew smells the longest.
Trust us, we know removing these odors is easier said than done. Which is why we want to help you eliminate these smells around your home for good!
Below, we have steps and helpful tips to help you remove musty mold and mildew smells in your bathroom, laundry and basement on your own. With any luck, this guide will help you get your home smelling fresh and clean once again!
Humidity From Outside Air
Outside moisture leaking into the basement can also provide a mold growth environment. When humid, hot summer air enters the basement and cools down, it creates condensation on the walls, pipes, and inside your fiberglass insulation. Try to avoid opening the window when the weather is too hot. This also applies when the weather is rainy and when the air is too cold. Bringing in cold air forces your water heaters and furnaces to work overtime to create heat, and the cold air meeting the hot surfaces of these water and heating pipes will also create condensation.
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Using Bleach For Mold Removal
Chlorine bleach is a common household cleaner many people have on-hand and it is commonly used for cleaning mold and mildew. There are a couple of things you need to understand first about using bleach for mold removal. This home-made solution will work but is recommended ONLY on non-porous surfaces such as glass, tile, shower doors, etc. It is not recommended on surfaces such as drywall or wood as it can not kill mold completely in these materials.
Bleach does not kill all types of mold so if you are planning on using this as a solution its important to identify the type of strain youre dealing with. If you suffer from a respiratory condition such as asthma, using bleach as a cleaning solution can exacerbate breathing problems. Do not mix bleach with other combinations of cleaners as this can create toxic gases when mixed together.
Oxygen bleach is a better alternative at killing mold in an environmentally friendly composition. This form of bleach typically comes in a powder form which you mix with water then breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. It effectively kills mold and bacteria while also working as a good deodorizer.
How To Remove Musty Smell From Basement
Basements were initially used as cold cellars as places to store perishable goods. The area dug out under the house stayed cool during summer and regulated during the freezing weather.
Now, basements have become part of the home, with rooms and perhaps even a living space under the main square footage. Having mold or mildew problems demands to be dealt with quickly to save the space you have, especially if someone lives down there.
A damp basement smell does not always mean mold growth, but extra moisture that creates the smell functions as an early indicator. Follow these methods to check vulnerable areas and learn how to remove musty smell from basement.
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Fix Any Fixtures Damaged By Mold
With that said, there are some occasions where you might be able to save and restore items affected by mold. Some items that are considered to be prime restoration options include:
- Furniture. Wooden furniture can be restored if you are willing to sand away the portion eaten away by mold. You will need wood filler and a wood stain, but its still possible.
- Ceramic.;Soaking ceramic in white vinegar will remove the mold and the stains.
- Plastic.;Most plastics will be easy to wipe down. Just make sure its not porous!
- Sheetrock/Walls.;If you have mold-damaged walls, you will need to call professional mold remediation crews to fix this. Either way, you will need to address this to prevent mold from re-entering your room.
Note: You still need to remove the restorable items from the room and treat them to continue your clean-up. When theyre mold-free, you can re-introduce them to the room.
Clean The Air With Baking Soda
Baking soda may be used to clean almost anything. This is also true when trying to clean moldy smells out of a basement. Similar to the way that cat litter functions, it absorbs overpowering smells, pulling them out of the air.
- Several containers
Do the same thing with the baking soda that you did with the cat litter. Pour a couple of inches of baking soda into the bottom of the containers and set them out to soak up the scents. Change them out intermittently until all of the adverse smells in the air are gone.
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Getting Rid Of That Musty Basement Smell
There’s a lot of advice out there about the best ways to eliminate musty smells in basements. Some of them work, some do not, and some are just plain dangerous!
A short-term solution is a great way to eliminate a small odor problem — such as cleaning up cat urine on a basement floor.
However, if your basement has odors from mold, sewage, or water intrusion, your best bet is to stop the problem at its source — permanently!
We have warranted solutions for wet and humid basements that have been used on basements worldwide for over 20 years!
If you’d like a free dry basement estimate, call or e-mail us today! Our estimates come at no obligation and include an on-site professional inspection, consultation, and a copy of our full-color book!
Air fresheners, incense, and other scented products do nothing more than cover up the odors that you smell..
If you want to create a healthier space, you’ll also need to permanently eliminate mold, mold spores, and dust mites in your basement.
Laundry Drains And Front Load Washers
Many front load washers retain a little water at the base of the unit. Over time, this water grows bacteria, leading to musty smells in your laundry area. We had problems with this in our first front loader. The new unit has a small drain hose, and I clear the stale water out every couple weeks.
An improperly installed drain hose may trap water in the line or allow sewer gases to escape into the home. Make sure drain lines are installed correctly.
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