Does your basement smell old and moldy? This is a common problem encountered by many homeowners. Many will use air fresheners and deodorizers to fix the smell in the basement. This is just a temporary fix. It is important to fix the underlying cause for a long-term solution.
Why do you need to clean the air in the basement?
Homeowners use the basement as a storage area, no one lives there? Right? So why worry about the air quality of the basement. Here are the reasons:
- The odor from the basement will definitely find its way to the house making it uncomfortable.
- The mold in the basement produces mold spores. When inhaled can trigger asthma attacks and other allergies.
- The moldy smell in the basement could be a result of the decay of the basement walls and floor. This has greatly lowered the value of the house.
What is the cause of the odor and moldy basement?
1. Humidity levels – What most homeowners don’t understand, is that in over 90% of basements the odor problem is caused by changes in humidity levels. Humidity levels tend to change throughout the year through different seasons. The highest levels of humidity are experienced during the winter season, while the lowest level is in the spring season. The basement has underground has cooler temperatures compared to the rest of the house. This allows the excess moisture to condense. This water is then absorbed by items in the basement that begin to rot. This provides the perfect environment for the pest to live and mold and mildew to grow.
- Control the humidity levels – buy a basement dehumidifier. This is the most reliable and effective way to lower the levels of humidity and clean the air in the basement. A dehumidifier extracts all the excess moisture from the basement air, while at the same time cleaning the air off any mold spores and odor.
- Repair all leaks – if your basement is completely wet, then there is a very good chance there is a leaking pipe. Have a plumber repair the leaks. The weakened part should also be replaced.
- Waterproof the basement – insulate all pipes and insulated the basement floor and walls to reduce the amount of moisture getting into the basement
- Improve the drainage systems – many homeowners realize that the basement is always damp when it rains. This is because the rainwater settles around the basement waters and with time it is absorbed by the basement walls. In this case, you add cutters that direct the rainwater further away from the house.
2. Air circulation – poor ventilation in most basements makes air circulation impossible. This leads to air in the basement becoming stale hence the odor.
- Clean all the ventilation in the basement. If the basement has no vents contact a professional to have one fitted in.
- Install fans in the vents to help the air circulation.
3. Mold and mildew growth – the poor air circulation and high humidity in a basement can create dampness that is the perfect environment for the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus. This can cause an odor in the basement. The fungus accelerates the decay of the foundation. While mold and mildew can cause serious respiratory problems.
- Clean out all the mold, mildew, and fungus on the walls and floor of the basement with borax.
- Throw out any items with mold, mildew, and fungus growing on it.