You open the door to your basement and as you head downstairs, it hits you – that quintessential moldy, basement-y smell. You might be so used to it by now that you don’t even notice, but a first-timer would in a heartbeat.
Still, just because your basement has that distinctive odor doesn’t mean you can’t fight back and banish it – for good. Read on to discover what causes the smell and how to get rid of it once and for all.
The Perpetrator – Mold
Mold spores drift through the air until they find a dark, damp spot to settle down where they can multiply and thrive. Although most in-home mold species don’t present a danger to humans, anyone suffering from allergies or other respiratory issues might experience exacerbated symptoms like headaches, fatigue, coughing, and wheezing, just to name a few. What’s more, mold can damage your home as it munches on wallpaper; stains, floors, and ceilings; and, decays wood studs and drywall.
To Conquer the Stink, Conquer the Mold.
Since mold and mildew spores can multiply in as little as 24 hours, the only way to rid your home of mold and its accompanying odor is to tackle the root of the problem. Here’s how:
- Check the basement for leaks that might promote mold and mildew growth. Is water coming in from a poorly installed or broken window? Is water “sweating” off uninsulated pipes? Are foundation cracks allowing rainwater to penetrate? Take the necessary steps to remedy these problems, some of which may require the help of a professional contractor.
- Lower the humidity level to 60 percent or less. A basement tends to stay cooler than the upper levels of a home during warm weather months. As warmer air from upstairs circulates with a basement’s cooler air, water vapor condenses and settles on walls and other surfaces, thereby upping the humidity. Humidity can further rise due to moisture from the soil around and beneath the foundation.
- Clean up any mold and mildew spores. Remove and dispose of any items that have sustained unrepairable moisture or mold damage, pack salvageable items in air-tight plastic containers, and clean any moldy spots on walls, floors, and ceilings with a mixture of four parts water to one part bleach. Use a stiff brush to clean the surface and, once spots are gone, wipe clean with water and a sponge, then let them air dry.
- Neutralize any remaining odor. Set out a few small bowls of baking soda or white vinegar around the room to neutralize odor-causing molecules.
Anthony’s can assist you in this endeavor by locating and repairing water leaks that are contributing to the problem. We also can install a sump pump in your basement to remove water as fast as it enters. For the help you need in winning the battle against basement mold, contact us today.