Strange odours are the last thing you need in your basement, whether it’s used as a game room, laundry room, storage, or a man cave.
In this piece, we’ll go through the many sources of basement scents and how to get rid of them. So, whether your basement smells musty, wet, or nasty, we can assist.
First, you must determine the source of the smells. In many situations, you will need to contact a professional, especially if the problem is caused by moisture, rot, mould, mildew, or sewage. You should also concentrate on odour neutralisation. Set up a few bowls of baking soda and spritz the area with distilled white vinegar.
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Basement Odor Causes
The first step in dealing with basement odour is determining where it is, what it is, and what produced it. Some of the most prevalent reasons of basement odour are as follows:
- Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew are typical causes of wet, musty odours. Mold and mildew thrive in basements because they can be warm and damp at times. If you are allergic to mould and are suffering allergy-like symptoms, mould is most likely the reason.
- Dampness and leaks: The odour might be the result of a leak that has caused moisture. It might also be related to the weather if you reside in a very damp region. Check for leaks in your appliances or the pipes in your home to determine if there is any damage.
- Dirty basement: The scents might be caused by the fact that your basement isn’t clean. Check for any urine or excrement if your pets are relaxing down there. Make it a habit to clean your basement on a regular basis.
- Sewage: Sewage problems can cause the basement to stink. If you have plumbing problems, this might cause unpleasant odours. Examine the sewage lines for cracks or kinks.
- Iron ochre can be found in moist basements. It takes the form of a rust-colored jelly-like oozing. It’s slimy and may appear on the walls or flooring.
How to Get Rid of Basement Odor
Now that you’ve identified the source of the odour, let’s address it. Each approach will be more effective for particular causes, so first determine what is generating the stink.
Have you observed mould, mildew, moisture, or other major issues? Contacting a professional may be the best option.
True, you can resolve these difficulties on your own. However, hiring someone who has been trained in these situations may be easier and more successful.
Cleaning mould and mildew is not for everyone. So contact a local expert firm to resolve this issue once and for all.
If you’ve discovered dampness and moisture in your basement as a result of a visible leak, it’s important to address it right away. Whether it’s from a window, a pipe, or an appliance, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to fix or replace it.
Leaky pipes are one example. If you have exposed pipes in your basement that are clearly covered with moisture, you should insulate the pipes using foam pipe wrap. These are available at hardware and home improvement stores. To slip them over the pipes, you may easily cut them yourself. However, if the pipe is leaking, contact a plumber.
If your windows are leaking, fill the window wells with gravel to prevent blockages and dampness.
Replace old weather stripping and caulk, and reseal any leaks around the frame.
The more moisture there is in your basement, the more likely it is to smell wet and be a breeding ground for mould. So get out your dehumidifier, or purchase one of our favourites, and start it up in the basement.
We recommend that you set the humidity level to 60%. This will reduce moisture levels in the basement, making mould and mildew less likely to flourish.
If you are unsure if your basement will benefit from a dehumidifier, get a hygrometer and measure the humidity level. If the temperature rises over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend using a dehumidifier.
It is prudent to address the source of the problem and ensure that mould cannot grow in the future. However, you should also deal with the current mould and mildew spores.
All moist things, such as cardboard boxes, papers, and decorations, should be removed.
Make certain that all affected clothes is washed. Use the hottest water you can find and tumble dry if the clothes allow. Spot cure mould on furniture, but keep in mind that you may have to sacrifice seriously damaged items.
To remove mould from floors and walls, use bleach.
When in doubt, seek the advice of a professional!
Freshen Stale Air
You should focus on neutralizing the scents for basic odours or just freshen up the basement after dealing with a large mould outbreak. This is a proven and true method. Place a few baking soda dishes throughout the room to absorb and neutralize scents.
You may also spray distilled white vinegar about the area to eliminate smells.
If this doesn’t work, you can use DampRid. This retains moisture, removes smells, and makes the air cleaner.
If you have a large leak or a flood, you must remove any standing water as soon as possible. We recommend contacting your local catastrophe restoration professionals to assist with this large task.
Finally, you must have the water drained out, the house dried up, and any symptoms of mould or rot produced by the water removed.
If the foul odours are caused by a plumbing problem, sewage problem, or iron ochre, it is time to consult a plumber. They can inspect and repair clogged pipes, stalled trains, and decay. They can also be used to replace corroded pipelines.
When they discover and resolve a problem, you may notice an instant improvement in the scents in your basement!
Regular Old Mess
It is possible that you may not have mould, mildew, moisture, decay, or sewage issues. Perhaps your basement simply requires a thorough cleaning! If you use your basement for storage and it is very congested, there will be insufficient airflow, which can contribute to unpleasant odours.
Get rid of whatever you don’t need and thoroughly clean your cellar. Cleaning the ceilings, walls, floors, closets, and any nooks and crannies is required. Vacuum and clean the floors thoroughly.
Clogged Dryer Vent
This is a specific suggestion, but it may make all the difference, especially if your dryer is in the basement. Begin cleaning outdoors where the dryer vent escapes and work your way up to the base of the dryer.
There might be obstructions allowing moisture to accumulate in your house. Rodents may also congregate in the vent because the lint and warm temperature provide an ideal environment for them!
Finally, you might have a structural issue. In that scenario, you must repair the fractures as soon as possible. You may do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. You can apply an epoxy solution or polyurethane, but keep a watch on the crack to detect any potential harm.
Meanwhile, inspect your gutters for blockages, which can cause water to flow over your home’s foundation.
If you have a crack that has caused moisture, be sure to address the wetness, dampness, and probable rot as well.
Do I Need to Run a Dehumidifier in the Basement in Winter?
This is determined by a number of factors. First and foremost, you need obtain a hygrometer to determine the amount of humidity in your home. If the temperature rises over 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, you should use a dehumidifier. We recommend setting it to 40%.
Another consideration is your location. If you reside in a very cold climate, you may not need to use a dehumidifier in the winter. However, if your basement remains somewhat warm (over 60°F), you should probably use your dehumidifier.
Overall, keep an eye on the moisture levels if you use a dehumidifier in the winter. You don’t want the area to be too dry or chilly, especially if you have equipment that may freeze down there.
What Can I Use to Absorb Moisture in My Basement?
You have many alternatives for absorbing excess moisture in your basement:
- Set up a dehumidifier.
- Use desiccant packets in the container. Just make care to replace them when they’re empty.
- Put charcoal briquettes in a container or box and distribute them throughout the basement.
- Place baking soda dishes throughout the basement. Make a habit of changing them out every couple of days.
- In the basement, place a jar of rock salt. Every couple weeks, replace.
- Install a fan in the basement to circulate the air.
How to Get Rid of Basement Odor Bottom Line
Once you’ve identified the source of your basement stench and addressed it, you’ll be able to enjoy a very fresh basement once more!
Do you want to host parties in your basement, have a nice washing routine, or utilize it for storage? Then, it’s critical to avoid mould, mildew, moisture buildup, and, as a result, unpleasant aromas.
Our ten techniques can be useful, but if in doubt, always consult a specialist.