Whether your basement is fully finished or is left untouched, a musty smell can appear from seemingly out of nowhere. But what exactly causes a basement to have that distinctive smell? If you’re looking to air out your basement or find the source, keep reading to learn what causes a musty basement smell and how to fix it with the help of a pro.
What Causes Musty Basement Smell?
Being underground with little to no natural light or air, basements are already at a disadvantage. While these factors can contribute to the smell, they are not the only culprits. Let’s take a look at four common causes of musty basement smell.
Excess Moisture and Damp Materials
Some basements are particularly prone to moisture and this can enhance the smell. If your basement is, you may have damp materials such as drywall, insulation or wood. If these materials become wet due to a flood or high levels of moisture and do not dry out properly, the result can be that sickly sweet basement smell.
Mold and Mildew
Where there’s moisture, there can be mold and mildew. As mentioned above, if certain materials are not dried out properly this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These are not only unhealthy to be around but they can also contribute to the smell. If you notice the smell is worse in a particular area of your basement, you could have a mold or mildew issue.
Rats and mice are happy to move into your basement despite the smell. They take comfort in the warmth of your walls and may venture out into your basement at night to relieve themselves. If you think you might have a pest problem, they are definitely contributing to the overall unpleasant smell in your basement.
It’s very common for city sewage lines to run through the basement of your home before continuing outside. If a pipe isn’t properly fitted, this could result in a sewage smell in your basement.
How to Get Rid of Musty Basement Smells
While no one wants to live in a smelly basement, the good news is that there are steps you can take to improve or rid your basement of the smell.
Your first step is to connect with a mold and mildew specialist. Not only is this important for your health, but it is a huge factor in eliminating the musty smell. Click here to get quotes from mold remediation specialists in your area. Even if you can’t see the mold or mildew, these specialists will be able to safely confirm its presence and remove anything they find.
Secondly, you want to ensure your basement is as dry as possible. This means removing any materials that are damp or water damaged. You can connect with a waterproofing specialist who can help make sure your basement doesn’t flood and is protected from any outside elements adding to excess moisture. You may also want to connect with a plumber to inspect for any leaky pipes that need to be repaired.
Last but not least, your third step is to connect with a pest control company if needed. Just because you may not see any rodents while you’re in the basement, doesn’t mean they’re not there. If you see droppings that look like dark-coloured rice, you likely have a rodent issue. Connect with a professional pest control company that can get rid of the current rodents and ensure no new ones move in.
The quality of your basement air and associated smells can be significantly improved by taking the above steps into consideration. By knowing the contributing factors to the musty smell, you can take the necessary steps to remove it. While your basement may never smell as fresh as your other floors, you can certainly improve it. Connect with local professionals who can help make your basement a little less musty and a lot more enjoyable to use.