Asked by: Nourdine Malon
home and garden home appliances

What causes smell in basement?

Last Updated: 16th January, 2020

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A musty smell in your basement is typically caused by mildew or mold, which both thrive in damp, dark locations. Mold and mildew don't just smell – they also cause decay and damage to your home, and their presence may lead to health problems like allergies or asthma.

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Also, how do I get rid of the basement smell in my basement?

You can place bowls of white vinegar, cat litter in open containers, or baking soda throughout your basement in order to absorb the stench. You should notice a more pleasant smelling basement in a couple of days.

is a musty basement dangerous? Mildew is actually a form of mold. Without getting too deep into the differences, at a high-level, mold is generally more dangerous to your health and mildew is more of a cosmetic problem. But both can cause your basement to smell musty and need to be removed. Well, it's established that you are dealing with mold.

One may also ask, why does my unfinished basement smell?

Get musty smells out of a basement with vinegar. Unfinished basement areas with a musty smell are created by a combination of all these factors as well as moisture and humidity that sits in the area. To keep the basement odor free, use something that absorbs the odor and leaves the basement smelling clean and fresh.

Will a dehumidifier get rid of musty smell in basement?

Generally, mold and mildew growth are responsible for this musty odors. Overall, musty smell in your house and basement can be irradiated by using good ventilation, well-conditioned and designed windows, and dehumidifiers and so on. Keeping the level of humidity down should be the main goal to combat the musty smell.

Related Question Answers

Kiro Pen

Professional

How do you deodorize a basement?

How to Deodorize a Basement
  1. Open any windows or doors in the basement to allow for air circulation, which will remove unpleasant odors and help dry out moisture.
  2. Purchase a deodorizing spray with antifungal properties and spray it on all walls and other hard surfaces to kill any mold spores or other undesirable odors clinging to them.

Judson Borrazas

Professional

Why does my basement smell musty in the summer?

In the summer, humidity levels are often higher. (Cold winter air can't hold as much moisture, plus we add heat, which dries air even more.) You may notice more of a musty smell in the basement as warm, humid air condenses on cool basement surfaces – feeding mildew growth.

Verisimo Adsuara

Professional

How do you ventilate a basement?

Floor fans and a dehumidifier are additional options that may help keep a basement adequately ventilated. Another option is to install exhaust fans that connect to vents located throughout the basement. These fans can be permanently installed in windows or might require cutting through a basement wall to install.

Constance Hartge

Explainer

Will an air purifier help with basement smell?

A basement air purifier can help improve the overall air quality in the lower level of a home, and even more so if the basement doesn't have windows. Houses that have a musty or damp smelling odor can benefit from the use of an air purifier as long as it uses an Activated Carbon filter.

Kassie Josune

Explainer

How can I improve the air quality in my basement?

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
  1. Resist the urge to fling open your windows.
  2. Inspect your insulation, rafters and floor joists.
  3. Seal your building envelope.
  4. Purchase a true HEPA cleaner.
  5. Give your whole house a thorough cleaning.
  6. Clean your sheets.
  7. Use low-VOC paints.

Christiana Plumecke

Explainer

Does a musty smell always mean mold?

As we have seen, the most common reason for a musty smell in your home is the presence of mold or mildew. And because the microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) emitted from mold and mildew have a low odor threshold, a musty smell does not necessarily mean that there is a lot of it.

Arlie Zhalilo

Pundit

Why do I smell sewer gas in my basement?

A strong sewer smell coming from your basement is most often caused from a dried out floor drain, a bad ejector pit seal, improperly vented appliances or fixtures, or even a damaged sewer line. Floor Drains – Rarely-used floor drains in your basement are typically the source of the sewer stench.

Encina Cotrim

Pundit

How do I get rid of the moldy smell in my basement?

Lay Out Dishes Of Vinegar: Vinegar can help to break down the damp, must smell found in basements. Leave several dishes of vinegar in the basement for 2-3 days to combat musty odors. Leave Out An Open Bag Of Charcoal: Charcoal can absorb odors and dampness in the air.

Zhilin Valdeolivas

Pundit

How do you get the musty smell out of a unfinished basement?

How to Get Rid of Musty Basement Smells
  1. 7 Ways to Get Rid of the Musty Smell in Your Basement.
  2. Throw Out the Mold.
  3. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda.
  4. Sand Away the Mold.
  5. Pull Moisture From the Air With a Dehumidifier or Desiccant Pack.
  6. Add a Window Fan.
  7. Use Activated Charcoal.
  8. Place Bowls of Coffee Grounds Around the Basement.

Cecil Merdes

Pundit

What does mold smell like in basement?

Mold has an unforgettable musty smell of decomposition. A certain amount of mold is always in the air unless you live in an extremely arid region. The more moisture, the more mold. Basements, being underground, can easily become moist via cracks in walls, windows, plumbing, condensation, etc.

Alborada Buesch

Pundit

What does mold smell like in a house?

In general, the smell of mold is unpleasant, and smells like something is moist in the room. Some people compare it to the smell of wet socks, or rotten wood or paper. There are many of these compounds, or chemicals, that are released as mold grows, but some of the most common have smells that are pungent and musty.

Natura

Teacher

What does black mold smell like?

Most often, the first sign of black mold is to see or smell it. Mold will give off a musty smell or a smell associated with rotting vegetables, depending on the type of mold and what the mold is consuming. Preventing the occurrence of black mold is as cut-and-dry as eliminating water or high-moisture in your home.

Suhail Tegelkamp

Teacher

How do you check for mold in the basement?

Here are some ways to determine if there is a mold infestation in your basement:
  1. Check the floors and walls of the basement.
  2. Determine if there are musty or mildewy smells every time you go into the basement.
  3. Look closely at organic surfaces in the basement such as evidence of water entry.

Edoardo Balmori

Teacher

How do you fix a damp basement?

7 Tips for Reducing Moisture in a Damp Basement
  1. Repair Settlement Cracks. Homes will settle, and cracks can develop, even in newly poured concrete.
  2. Waterproof the Walls.
  3. Extend Downspouts to Reduce Seepage.
  4. Naturally Reduce Moisture With a Rain Barrel.
  5. Reduce Condensation.
  6. Dryer Ventilation.
  7. Run a Dehumidifier to Reduce Moisture in the Air.

Bridgett Garaikoetxea

Teacher

Why does basement smell like rotten eggs?

That “rotten eggsmell in the basement is sewer gas, or hydrogen sulfide. A gas odor can be a sign of a small problem, like a dried out water seal in a floor drain. On a bigger scale, it can also indicate a broken sewer line or vent stack. Ignoring the smell can cause health problems for you and your family.

Maryrose O brian

Reviewer

Why does my basement smell when it rains?

If your basement smells after it rains, you may have a mold problem on your hands. The cool, moist atmosphere in basements provides the perfect growing conditions for bacteria. A smelly basement is not only unpleasant; it can also cause health problems in residents. Mold can lead to structural damage down the road.

Sotera Suji

Reviewer

Can a musty basement make you sick?

In some cases, mold in your home can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Whether or not you're allergic to molds, mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Here's what you can do to combat mold problems, and take care of yourself and your home.

Visitacion Russel

Reviewer

Can living in a basement cause health problems?

Health risks to tenants
Some health risks to people who live in basements have been noted, for example mold, radon, and risk of injury/death due to fire. Presence of mold can lead to "respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma", as well as personal belongings being contaminated by mold.

Earnestine Arispon

Reviewer

Do basements need ventilation?

Natural Ventilation Method
For best results, windows should be opposite each other across the basement space, following the natural drafts of the basement. A wet basement needs additional ventilation, such as fans or a dehumidifier.