Mold and Mildew
Bacteria growth quickly happens where there is moisture. Mold and mildew are forms of bacteria, and they thrive where it’s wet. Because a basement is underground, there’s moisture all around the outside of it. All it takes is a crack in a wall or a bad seal in a window to allow moisture in.
Keep your basement as dry as possible. A sump pump is usually in a sump pit in the lowest part of the home. When the pit fills with groundwater, sensors kick on the pump, expelling water from the house. Sump pumps keep a basement from flooding and are a good way to dry a basement.
Another way to keep mold and mildew away is to run a dehumidifier. This is an electrical appliance that removes water from the air. The water collects in a basin and must be emptied for the dehumidifier to continue working. Pulling water out of the air, especially in humid conditions, can help keep the musty smell out of the basement.
Having good gutters on your home will also help to keep your basement dry. It’s helpful to invest in gutters if your home doesn’t have them. If there are gutters, make sure they are not cracked or need repairs. Gutters keep water away from the house as rain falls or snow melts, reducing the chance of water in the basement.
Mold and mildew love absorbent materials. So, if either is in your basement, you may need to rip out and replace the carpet. There could be furniture, fabrics, or cardboard that you have to toss.
Mold can be hard to irradicate, so you might need a professional.
Most odors in basements are usually due to mold and mildew. Depending on the age of your home and how well the previous owners maintained it, you may always have a slight musty smell that never goes away.
What isn’t a slight smell is the odor from sewer gas. It can make your basement smell like rotten eggs, garbage, or human waste.
If your basement has a sewer smell, you may have a big problem that requires immediate action.
Homes have a basement floor drain. This drain runs deep into your sewer line. If you smell sewer gas, it could mean damage to the drain line. Or the drain line could be clogged and need to be cleaned.
All floor drains come equipped with a water trap. A water trap regularly holds a small amount of water to keep sewer gasses from coming up through the pipe. However, a water trap can dry out if the pipeline’s not used for some time. This allows sewer gases to come through. An easy fix is to pour hot water into the drain to get water back into the trap, keeping the smell out.
Dead Animals Have a Weird Smell
Unwanted house pests like mice and bats may not only live in your home, but they sometimes die in your home. The smell of a decomposing animal can permeate a basement. If you find them where you can’t easily get to them, like behind a wall, only time will cover the odor.
To prevent rodents or other small animals from getting in your home, walk around the outside of your home to make sure no openings are inviting them inside.
Here to Help
Suppose your basement has a musty smell that you can’t remedy. In that case, the experts at Allied Restoration in Gambrills, Maryland, can help. We are mold removal experts. Call us anytime at 410-BUILDER (410-284-5337) to schedule a free estimate.