RJ asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

Besides using a dehumidifier, how can I get rid of the musty basement smell in my house/basement?

18 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    1) check for dampness. soaked walls/flooring maybe collecting molds thus the smell;

    2) if there is dampness, find a waterproofing paint to seal them. the kind that sticks even when wet. remember to seal all around up to ground level. water will find its way through weak points - a natural tendency to seek its own level. surface preparation is the key to have a good seal;

    3) dry carpets and other things thay may be soaked in water.

    4) when done, spray the place with anti-bacterial spray. freshener may come later if desired.

    5) provide proper ventilation.

    if other serious concern arises. ask Yahoo!

  • 1 decade ago

    First check source of moisture. Is your eavestrough sealed properly, draining rain water at least 10 feet away from the foundation? If your landscape promotes water draining toward your foundation, change the angle so water runs away.

    Second, never store paper or cardboard boxes directly on basement floor, nor where they cannot "breathe' to stay dry. Surefire way to promote mould growth and odors since paper products absorb moisture easily, from the floor or the air.

    Run a large fan to create turbulence near one end of the room: place at about 45 degree angle to wall so that air bounces from one wall to other basement areas, while leaving a basement window in other end of the room open an inch or two for fresh air feed to the fan. Secure the window so it cannot be slid open from outside.

    Remove any damp items, carpeting, etc, and dry thoroughly or replace with something that does not retain moisture, if anything. Depending on your climate, the concrete floor could be adequate on it's own.

    Ensure your dryer is venting completely to the outside, with NO leaks of the hot damp dryer air into the basement. Big no-no.

    Avoid use of masking agents such as air spray, since it will mask the real problem, and are not good to breathe anyway. If the odour persists, check everything again to see where moisture/water is entering the basement. That's your main concern. Keep everything high and dry.

    Source(s): Experience.
  • 1 decade ago

    First thing is to find the source of the smell. You can't solve a problem if you don't know what it is, or where it is. If it is mold, the best way to get rid of IT [the smell will go away on it's own] after you find it is to just wash the walls with vinegar. I had the problem in my bedroom and that's all I had to do. It was localized, so I was lucky. I was going to use bleach, but was told that that would not neutralize the mold.

    I also had a mold infestation in a cement room under my shed which started when the ground thawed in the spring. I scrubbed the whole works with vinegar, applied a hydraulic cement and then sealed it. No more mold. And IF if is mold ANYWHERE, leave a light on at all times - mold doesn't like light.

  • 1 decade ago

    Long term, if you don't bring the humidity down, you won't solve the problem.

    One thing you can do to help bring down the humidity is to apply a sealant to your basement walls and floor so that water vapor cannot pass through them into the house. Ask for more information at your local home improvement store.

    If you have areas where mold or mildew growth is visible, you can also wash the area with a mild bleach solution to kill the mildew/mold. Just follow the instructions on your bleach bottle as to the correct dilution. Wear gloves and eye protection -- bleach is unkind to skin and very dangerous to your eyes.

    Do NOT use household ozone generators. Indoor air quality tests indicate that they mask bad odors by attacking your sense of smell rather than the source of the odor. Yes, they'll make the room smell better, but you really don't want to be breathing the stuff since it can damage the linings of your lungs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's summer, open those windows in your basement during the day... I've heard some people use charcoal in a mesh bag to absorb smells. Personnally I use Febreeze everywhere specially if you have a carpet in your basement. Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    there's a product called 'Damp Rid' you might want to try, or if you want to go cheap, get some old (clean) pantyhose, cut into whichever size you want (the legs), put some CEDAR pet-bedding into it and then knot it up. Throw that in corners, etc.

    My sister scatters dryer sheets in her basement but those just collect dust.

    I mop with a bleach solution.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ventilate Ventilate Ventilate!!

    Keeping the air flowing helps to keep things dry, draws fresh air in and gets musty smelling air out.

  • 1 decade ago

    I bought these odor absorbing gel-in-a-jar type of things. They really work in the basement. They don't just cover up the smell, they actually absorb it.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have mould! You may have to check with a contractor or a buddy that knows about renovations. The problem is mould or stagnant moisture in the walls.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Replace the carpets and padding also sanitize the floors walls and ceilings with a disinfectant. I hope this helped.

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