Dealing with a Musty Basement

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated January 5, 2015)

While we would like to think that it is only a odor problem, musty basements are usually indicative of a potentially larger problem. If ignored, a musty basement can easily become a mold or mildew problem that could end up costing you thousands of dollars to repair. Unfortunately, many of us don't really notice a musty basement until the weather begins to change. For whatever reason, when you first notice the smell or odor you need to begin dealing with it. Good thing that dealing with a musty basement really only requires you to do a few things to get it under control

  • Simply cleanup. By doing as simple of a thing as periodically cleaning your basement, you will go a long way to dealing with a musty basement. This means that you will need to go through the entire basement and vacuum, sweep, mop, dust, and general clean everything that you can see. This typical cleaning doesn't really need to be any more detailed than what you would do for the rest of your home, but it does need to be done periodically and regularly. If you happen o have some carpeting in your basement, be sure to actually use a carpet cleaner at least every year (at a minimum) to ensure that you get it really clean. Remove any and all garbage cans in your basement, and clean them out thoroughly, up to and including scrubbing them as necessary.
  • Inspect for leaks. As you are doing your cleaning, take the time to look around for any possible leaks ad condensation. Pay particular attention to the walls, ceilings, and windows. Take a look at pipes, and ensure that there are no leaks visible. Remember that the single largest for that musty odor is mold and mildew which simply love to grow in dank and dark places—like the basement.
  • Pay particular attention to windows. It simply cannot be over stressed that you need to look at and examine your windows when you are cleaning your basement. Though it is a good start, don't stop with checking to see if there are any visible leaks or condensation. You will need to also check that they are sealed properly. You can do this by first looking at the caulking that is around the windows, and ensuring that it is firm and springy to the touch instead of brittle and flakey. If it is then you will need to replace the caulking as soon as possible. At the same time, hold a lit candle in front of the closed windows. If there is a draft (which would mean a small opening that moisture can get through) then the candle will flicker and you will need to properly weather proof the window. Take a little bit of time to clean the windows as well so that you can allow as much natural sunlight as possible to help control the growth of any mold and mildew.
  • Dehumidifiers. Even though it was stated earlier, it really needs to be stressed that the single largest cause for sour, musty smells comes from moisture which promotes mold growth. A really effective method for combating excessive moisture in a basement (or any room) is by using a dehumidifier.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

MORE FROM DORIS

Three Household Items to Remove Stains

Sometimes you just need something quick and easy to remove those stains that come at the most inconvenient times. Here ...

Discover More

Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is the easiest to train of the Spaniel family. He has an excellent nose and is ideal for leisurely ...

Discover More

Toy Manchester Terrier

Due to his highly sensitive nature, the Toy Manchester Terrier has lost some popularity. He is observant and very devoted.

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Air Filters

There are many contaminants that can end up in the air you breathe indoors. One solution to this problem is to make sure ...

Discover More

Portable Air Purifiers

Maybe you have allergies, or maybe you just like to breathe in clean air. No matter what the reason a portable air ...

Discover More

Air Cleaners

It seems that air pollution is here to stay. Diseases brought on humans and animals may include allergies, asthma, lung ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.