Pull Moisture From The Air With A Dehumidifier Or Desiccant Pack
These areavailable at the local Home Depot or Lowe’s and help pull moisture from the air and trap the airborne particles causing the smell in the first place. Dehumidifiers are not just for absorbing musty smells either. Use one year-round in your basement to control moisture levels. Place desiccant packs in out-of-reach places or corners where moisture might be condensing and replace them frequently.
How Do I Get Rid Of Musty Smells In My Home Basement
There was once a horror flick entitled: Dont Look In The Basement.
While the plot, which barely thickened, concerned a young nurse and her terrifying experiences working in an isolated asylum, it should be noted that basements everywhere can be sources of phobic madness, poor housekeeping and the musty smells of old and forgotten things.
Due to the fact that they are underground, basements have their own unique and usually damp state of being, requiring their own arsenal of odor-control product solutions.
The Aroma One Air Freshener Dispenser
Although primarily designed for professional use in diffusing scent and eliminating malodors in commercial settings, the Odyssey Air Freshener is an extremely versatile air-freshening system that can work well in many diverse areas, including basements, attics, kitchens, bathrooms and many other areas in your home.
Constructed from high-impact, durable polymers, it eliminates musty odors and freshens the air by providing three-way ventilation for maximum air flow, which aids in the evaporation process.
It can accommodate both small and large areas and is available in battery or electric versions. It is easy to install and available in four color options designed to match nearly every decor white, black almond and gray.
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Dont Ignore The Problem
Molds are not just unsightly they can cause structural damage and might make you sick. Black molds may be Stachybotrys, possibly S. chartarum or S. chlorohalonata. Many molds can take up residence in your home. Not all are black they might be yellow, white or some other color. Its important to understand and identify molds. Prevent them, if you can, and take steps to get rid of them quickly.
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What Conditions Lead To Mold Growth In The Basement
Damp clothes left in a clothing hamper in the basement can start to develop mold. The mold-producing conditions are ripe: an organic food source, moisture and darkness. The hungry mold spores can spread to the floor and latch onto the basement walls, leading to an extensive mold infestation.
Concealed mold growth can develop under basement carpeting installed over concrete floors. Excess moisture, including the condensation that accumulates on cold, concrete basement floors, leads to the formation of mold coloniesand the mold growth may not be immediately visible.
Poor basement ventilation is also a trigger for mold growth. The moist, stagnant air in unventilated spaces, like the basement, produces mold. When filters in the HVAC systems are not replaced, the dirty filters can attract mold spores and mildew growth.
Condensation can also form around cold pipes and windows in the basement. During the chilly winter months, the pipes and windows become especially cold and, condensation readily forms on cold surfaces. These cold, moist basement areas are prime breeding grounds for mold and its odors.
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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.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Basement Walls
Removing mold from the surfaces in your home can be done in several different ways, depending on where it is located and how big the spot is. Unless you want a professional to conduct mold remediation for severe mold infestations, you can acquire most mold remover supplies from your local home improvement store or hardware store.
Of course, we recommend hiring an inspector or investigating the type of mold or mildew first before you begin to tackle it, as some types of organic material are more dangerous than others. Otherwise, how to kill mold in a small area, no greater than a 10 x 10 spot, is a relatively simple process that doesnt take a lot of time or energy.
Removing mold from wood is a little different than eliminating the problem from concrete, so pay close attention to the base material you are working with before applying a cleaning solution. How to clean painted walls also requires special care. You dont want to damage the surface while trying to get rid of mold or mildew.
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Strategy #: Install An Air Exchanger
If you have been unsuccessful in getting rid of the musty smell in your basement using other methods, then it might be time to install an air exchanger. This device helps improve the air quality in your home by removing pollutants and exchanging the indoor and outdoor air. It is a great solution for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.
The best part about air exchangers is that they are not very expensive and can be installed quite easily. You just have to find the right model for your home and make sure you get it serviced regularly.
As you can see, there are several ways to get rid of the musty smell in your basement. Using these methods will not only help remove mold and mildew but also improve the quality of air inside your home. It is important that you keep all areas clean and dry so as to prevent any future growth of mold and mildew.
The Path Of Resistance
Initially, Mikes landlord tried to fix the problem himself, bleaching the moldy walls. We call that spray nâ pray, said Scott Armour of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a global industry body for remediators. They, along with the EPA, advise against bleach for a variety of reasons, namely that fumes can be dangerous and its usually ineffective.
Bleach only works for non-porous surfaces. It cant touch the mold that has burrowed into surfaces like wood or drywall . But the most important reason bleach fails is that people dont stop the molds water supply.
First thing I do is check for leaks, in the bathroom or roof or a crack in the foundation, said Greg Bukowski, who runs the Chicago-based remediation company Moldman USA. Theres always a leak. If you dont fix that, dont bother with bleach or vinegar. Then kill and remove the mold with detergent and water, then prevent its return with mold-resistant paint like Kilz .
When bleach didnt work, Mike paid for an indoor airborne mold test, which raised more questions than it answered. We had no idea how to interpret the results. I just couldnt find any information out there that isnt written by remediation guys, he said. They told him he had the dreaded black mold, and needed professional remediation.
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Faqs About Dealing With Mildew
Have some questions in addition to how to get rid of mildew smell? Here are answers to common queries that homeowners have about dealing with a mildew smell in their homes.
Can you fully get rid of mildew smell?
You should be able to! The method above uses vinegar and baking soda which together help treat both the smell of mildew and its root cause.
Is it better to use bleach for getting rid of mildew?
Bleach is certainly stronger than the natural method of how to get rid of mildew smell, but that doesnt mean its necessary. Vinegar and baking soda are usually more than sufficient, and are also a good choice if you have kids or pets.
Does a musty smell always mean mildew?
Not always. A musty smell can also be indicative of mold, however mold usually smells quite a bit stronger than mildew.
Will mildew ever go away on its own?
The spores that lead to mildew and mold are always present in our homes. This means that any time the environment is right the problem can pop back up again. So while you can efficiently and effectively treat and remove mildew in your home, its not a guarantee that you wont see it again if the conditions are right.
Basement Odor Eliminator Guide
As the name implies, a basement odor eliminator is a product or substance that can be used to absorb terrible odor molecules out of a room or space. In this case a basement.
Many commercially produced air fresheners can do the trick. They come with different chemical compositions and flavors, and you can find them in any supermarket or home improvement store.
They usually come in cylinder-shaped spray cans and can be applied by exerting pressure on the spray trigger or cap. This releases the sweet-smelling content into the air, which then absorbs the odor completely.
This form of basement odor absorber is great if you want an instant remedy for the smell. However, the effects can only last for some hours, so the odor will come back if the problem isnt addressed at the root.
Besides commercially sold air fresheners, you can opt for a homemade basement odor eliminator. These are usually made using organic products, and they also absorb bad odors out of the air.
One of such homemade remedies is placing bowls of baking soda in different sections of the basement floor. Baking soda can absorb odor molecules so its a quick and easy fix.
If you dont have any baking soda at home, you can use white vinegar as a replacement. Just like baking soda, white vinegar also can absorb and neutralize odor molecules.
Even though the homemade approach works well, it remains a temporary fix. To deal with bad odors in your basement, you have to tackle the smell from the root cause.
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How To Get Rid Of That Musty Basement Smell
Friday, August 6th
Identify the cause behind your musty-smelling basement and find out what you can do to eliminate the foul odors for good.
Most musty basement smells are a symptom of a mold or mildew problem caused by excessive moisture.
That unmistakable musty smell, often described as being similar to that of a pair of wet socks or a wet dog, is the signature scent of mold and/or mildew. Most basements are damp and dark – ideal conditions for these fungi to thrive. Not only can their musty odor make its way up into the rest of your home, but mold spores can also cause allergy symptoms and structural problems.
If your basement smells musty after rain, when the weather is humid, or all the time, simply removing the odor wont eliminate the problem. The first step to getting rid of the musty smell in your basement is identifying the source. Most of the time, the smell is a symptom of a mold or mildew problem caused by moisture. This guide will help you identify whats making your basement smell musty and outline solutions for getting rid of the odors for good.
Musty Smell In Basement What Are The Possible Causes
Before we go on and explore how to get rid of basement smell, exploring the underlying causes is necessary. Remember, the odor is merely a symptom. To remove it, you must address the actual problem, i.e., get rid of the real issue, and the musty smell will go away.
Here are some of the most common causes of musty smell in basement:
- Water coming in from basement windows
- Water coming in exterior entrances of basements
- Moisture coming in from windows of an upper floor
- Moisture coming in from doors of an upper floor
- Leakage in the plumbing from the upper floor
- Moisture seeping in from the kitchen from the upper floor
The underlying issue is moisture invasion which invites mold and mildew, leading to an odor in the basement. To get rid of the musty smell in the basement, you’ll have to avoid moisture buildup and eliminate mildew or mold.
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Strategy #: Dry Out The Basement
One of the most common causes of musty smells in basements is excess moisture. If your basement is not well-ventilated, the moist air will create a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.
To get rid of the musty smell, you need to dry out the basement. You can do this by installing a dehumidifier. This will help to remove the excess moisture from the air and keep your basement dry. You can also try opening up windows or installing a ventilation system to increase airflow in the basement.
Do Dehumidifiers Help With Mold
In short, yes. However, they are primarily helpful with minor mold issues and with preventing mold in the future. Mold grows in damp places, and dehumidifiers help reduce moisture. If you find large amounts of mold in your basement, your best bet is going to be to clean up the mold first, then work on preventative measures such as getting a dehumidifier.
If you need help with Mold Remediation or Odor Removal, give us a call at 888-777-9742!
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Mold On Basement Floor
Black mold can also take over the basement floor. It can be caused by leaking pipes, poor drainage or lack of ventilation. To eliminate it, fill a spray bottle with water and spray the floor, then scrub the floor with a stick scrub brush as much as possible. Then, mix water with ammonia in a bucket, and use a scrub brush to clean the floor. Once done, use water to remove all the remaining soapy water from it. Next, prepare a mix of bleach with water and scrub again. Leave the bleach for several minutes and then clean again with plain water to remove the bleach. Dry the floor ensuring to remove all moisture from it. Finally, use a dehumidifier to keep the area moisture free.
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How To Measure Humidity
A hygrometer is a tool people use to identify the levels of humidity in rooms. There are different models on the market, and most of them are quite affordable and available in stores and online.
Condensation is a visual sign that the humidity in your basement is high, but a hygrometer is the only way to get precise measurements.
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Inspect Your Basement For Leaks
Finding the mold or mildew source is crucial if you want to remove that unpleasant smell from your basement. Leaks tend to be the primary suspect of any foul smells in your home, so its vital to fix them as soon as possible. Not only will it make your home smell better, but it can also protect your property from water damage further down the line.
If your basement has exposed pipes running on the ceiling, you can start by covering them with foam insulation. You can find the foam covers at any general home improvement store, and theyre usually affordable. The insulation will absorb any sweating pipes and prevent the moisture from spreading throughout your basement.
However, you should call a plumber if the pipes are leaking heavily.
Use Vinegar To Eliminate Mold
Once leaks have been found and dealt with, there may be black mold to eliminate. White vinegar is an excellent cleaning ingredient for removing mold from basement walls and anywhere else you may find the unwanted fungus.
Undiluted vinegar takes care of around 80% of mold spores, making it highly effective after a couple of uses. It is also safer to use than bleach.
- Damp cloth
Open the basement windows to increase air circulation by letting in the fresh air. Turning on a fan is also helpful.
Fill the spray bottle with the undiluted white vinegar, a natural mildew killer. Thoroughly mist all of the areas that contain mold, or are suspect.
Leave the vinegar to dry if the smell doesnt bother you. If it needs to be washed off, let it dry and wipe it with a cloth dampened with hot water.
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What Causes Musty Smells
The first question you will likely ask after noticing a musty odor in your basement is where it might be coming from. The musty smell could be caused by a few factors, including:
- A lack of ventilation or poor air circulation
- The humidity level is too high
- There is a water leak
- Condensation is forming
Ultimately, the musty smell youve noticed is because these factors create a perfect breeding ground where mold and mildew can thrive. Mold and mildew are commonly found in spaces that are damp, dark, and warm. Basements often provide a prime environment for mold spores and mildew spores to take root and grow.
If you smell a musty odor, its important to take steps to get rid of the issue and prevent mold and mildew from spreading throughout your home.