Mold Remediation Blog

My Basement Is Dry But Smells Musty:
What Should I Do?

Man holding his nose, because his dry basement smells like mold

If you are fairly positive your basement does not have a water leak or other areas that gather unwanted moisture, there are ways to counteract the lingering musty smell! A musty smell emitting from the basement of the home is most typically associated with mold, which is known to grow in moist environments such as basements, crawlspaces, and attics. 

Even after the mold problem has been dealt with, it’s not uncommon for the musty smell to linger long after. 

But why?

Even if you have scrubbed all of the surfaces in a basement clear of mold, the mold spores are still abundant in the air. It’s imperative to have circulating air in the basement along with a dehumidifier running as often as possible to reduce the risk of moisture build-up. 

If you are taking the proper precautions and practicing a few of the routines below, that musty smell in your basement will soon be a thing of the past!

Removing The Smell

Once you have found the root cause of the musty smell and have successfully eliminated it, it’s time to remove the smell once and for good. Odors have a tendency of clinging to various surfaces, so it may take a little elbow grease. 

Many effective deodorizers can be found around the house, such as white vinegar or cat litter. These substances are well known for actually trapping and removing odors as opposed to temporarily covering them up. 

Putting a few small bowls of white vinegar, baking soda, or cat litter around the basement will actively soak in odors while you relax. 

If your basement has windows, open them as frequently as possible! Running a fan and dehumidifier will help with ventilation as well.

Still Smells Musty?

If your basement is carpeted or filled with furniture and personal belongings, extra steps may be necessary to remove that pesky musty smell. Odors soak into fibers objects such as couches, rugs, carpets, curtains, clothing, and so much more. 

If you have had a leaky pipe in the past or other forms of water damage, these items could be responsible for holding in that musty smell. Carpet and fabric cleaners are vital tools that can easily be utilized without needing to seek additional assistance. 

It could be that forgotten couch that never even touched water that ends up being the root cause of the musty smell in the first place.

Are You SURE You Don’t Have A Water Leak?

If you have followed all the necessary steps in order to eliminate the musty smell, there could be water entering the basement without you even knowing it. A few quick assessments can be done around the home to get a good idea of the amount of moisture entering the basement.

Try this:

  • Check for cracks around the foundation of the home. These can easily be fixed with contractor-approved caulking found at most hardware stores. 
  • Look for puddles of standing water around the outside of the home from gutters. Gutter extensions divert the water further from the home to the desired location. 
  • Check for moisture build-up around windows or entryways, especially during the colder months of the year when the inside temperature is much warmer than the outside air. 
  • Speaking of winter, running a heater in the basement during the winter will not only help keep the space dry but will also reduce the risk of a burst pipe due to freezing temperatures.

Take Advantage Of Technology!

Between running heaters in the winter, dehumidifiers to counteract moisture build-up, and fans for overall ventilation, you’ve covered almost every base! 

In this day and age, new products aimed directly at eliminating the musty smell basements are notoriously known for are popping up on the market every day. 

Air purifiers are great for having circulating airflow in basements that do not have windows, just make sure to keep the air filter clean!

Give The Clean Freaks A Call!

We take cleanliness very seriously. It’s kind of our thing. People rely on us to treat every situation as if it were our own home because that’s exactly what we do. 

Here at Valor Mold, our philosophy is to do it right the first time, no matter how long it takes. Even if you cannot find the root cause of your musty-smelling basement, we sure can!

If you are at wit’s end with tackling the age-old problem of a musty basement, give the clean freaks a call at (703) 897-7121 and we will take it from there!

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96% Success Rate

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