Removing Musty Basement Odor & Smells Completely

Not to worry, in this article, we’ll be giving you vital tips on how to eliminate musty odor from finished and unfinished basements.

You can achieve this by using a basement odor eliminator, or a few DIY approaches we will discuss as we proceed.

So here is how to get the musty smell out of your basement.

Keep reading!

How To Get Rid Of Musty Smell In Basement

Besides the formation of mold, efflorescence, or mildew, moisture and dampness also cause your basement to have a terrible odor.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know what to do in terms of a permanent fix.

Causes Of Odor In Basement

There are two main reasons you have a bad smell in your basement. These include mold/mildew and dampness.

Basement mold formation is usually associated with an unpleasant musty smell, and the more the mold colony builds up, the harsher the smell becomes.

Another reason for the bad odor in the basement is excessive dampness. Ironically, dampness is what creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow in the first place.

When excessive moisture comes in contact with your basement furniture, it will soak it up and begin to stink in a matter of hours. The situation is worse when the basement is poorly ventilated.

If you can eliminate the dampness, it means you will eliminate the mold, and in turn, eliminate the horrible smell that has clouded your basement for so long.

Basement Odor Eliminator Guide

As the name implies, a basement odor eliminator is a product or substance (organic or otherwise) 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 isn’t 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 has the ability to absorb odor molecules so it’s a quick and easy fix.

If you don’t have any baking soda at home, you can use white vinegar as a replacement. Just like baking soda, white vinegar also has the ability to absorb and neutralize odor molecules.

Even though the homemade approach works well, it remains a temporary fix. To really deal with bad odors in your basement, you have to tackle the smell from the root cause.

Once that is done, you will only need the air fresheners as a backup for sweet-smelling air.

How To Eliminate Odor Caused By Mold And Mildew

Do you know why some finished basement smells musty?

Mold and mildew are responsible for some of the bad smells you perceive in your basement. That’s not all, mold is also a health hazard, and that’s more than enough reason to get rid of it once and for all.

Mildew Smell in Basement

Follow the steps below to eliminate the smell caused by mold in the basement.

  1. Find the leaks in the basement that might cause mold to grow

When you find the source of humidity, then you can fix it and stop mold from growing in your basement. As soon as the conditions become unfavorable, mold will not be able to thrive in your basement any longer.

Mission accomplished!

While you’re on a quest to eliminate mold odor, use the opportunity to fix the issues you discover along the way.

Two of the most common problems that lead to mold formation are leaking windows and condensation from an uninsulated pipe.

A lot of basement pipes run along with the ceiling or walls, so if you discover that the pipes are “sweating”, be sure to insulate them using a foam pipe wrap.

You can get them at a home improvement center for about $10.

Don’t forget to look for leakages around your basement windows. If you find water puddling under the window during rainfall, then clear the window wells of all debris so the water can flow away.

  1. Lower the humidity level to hinder mold growth

Another way to remove mold and its bad odor from your basement are to reduce the humidity levels. Keeping it below 50% is highly recommended for the best results.

Keep in mind that the basement will be cooler than the upper sections of the home during the summer because of its sub-surface position. This could be a problem since warm air from the upper floors will move down into the basement.

When the warm air cools off in the basement, the water vapor will condense into moisture settlements on your basement walls, floors, and even furniture.

All this will increase indoor humidity and create a perfect environment for mold to grow.

You can buy a humidifier to keep the humidity levels between 30% to 50% since mold is known to thrive at humidity levels of 60% and above.

You can use a hygrometer to test humidity levels. You can buy one from a home improvement store near you.

Using a humidifier to keep mold away will ultimately eliminate their terrible musty smell in the process.

  1. Clean up all mold or mildew spores left behind

Now that all the humidity is under control, the next thing you should do is physically remove the mold from the walls, furniture, or any other area where they might be growing.

After all, the already-existing mold won’t disappear in an instant.

Before you proceed, keep in mind that mold has allergenic properties and can irritate your skin. Make sure you do not make direct contact with it. Wear long rubber gloves to protect your fingers at all times.

You can begin by getting rid of any mold-infested boxes, bags, or books. If you have a place where you store other paper products, then take a look at them to see if they have mold on them.

Also, look at the clothes you have in the basement, if there is mold on them, you can wash them with bleach and spread them out in the sun.

The harsh ultraviolet rays from the sun will kill the mold spores in no time.

Get rid of as many mold-infested disposables as you can find, then follow up by scrubbing off the ones on the walls and floors.

You can use bleach, water, and a hard brush to peel them off the walls and any other surfaces they may be clinging on. Four parts of water and a single part of bleach will effectively remove mold and mildew from the surfaces and leave you with an odorless basement.

Once you’ve gotten off all the mold, make sure you spray the wall down with clean water. All the mold spores have to be killed, if not they will grow again under favorable conditions.

How To Eliminate Odor Caused By Dampness

If your basement is damp, it can soak up the furniture you have in there, as well as your shoes, boxes, woodworks, curtains, and paper. When these get damp, they produce an unpleasant smell.

Follow these tips to get rid of basement odor caused by dampness.

  1. Take out the damp materials

The first thing you should do is take out as many damp belongings as you have in the basement. Everything from your sofas to your wooden cupboards, to clothes, shoes, and bags. They all should be removed.

As long as they are damp, then they will stink, and keeping them out in the sun to dry is the wise thing to do. If need be, leave them out for more than 48 hours, especially large furniture with a lot of cushions.

Also, check the forecast to be sure there will be no rain over the coming day or two.

  1. Ventilate the area

A friend once informed me, ‘Bro, my basement is dry but still smells musty’

Do you know how to make any basement smell better? Ventilate it.

After taking out the damp furniture, you should open up the windows and turn on the fans so that the basement can get some old-fashioned ventilation.

Air space out for as many hours as you see fit, or until the bad odor has begun to disappear gradually.

  1. Use air fresheners for basement odors

Here is how to keep your basement smelling fresh.

Buy a commercial-grade air freshener and spray across the basement to absorb odor molecules. You can also lay bowls of white vinegar or baking soda to get rid of the damp smell.

Air fresheners come in different flavors, so this is your chance to make your basement smell exactly the way you want.

Conclusion On Musty Basement Solutions

Using the basement odor eliminator techniques mentioned in this article, you can easily get rid of bad odors caused by dampness and mold.

Thanks for reading!

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