One of the common issues homeowners have to deal with is the annoying basement odor. Getting rid of that pesky smell can be quite difficult and frustrating. Although perfumed candles or incense can serve as a temporary save, they cannot eliminate the root of the problem. As a matter of fact, these products can sometime induce some health issues such as asthma or allergies.
It’s essential that we pinpoint the source of the smell and treat it accordingly. Here are some of our tried and tested tips on how to eradicate the nasty basement stench.
Check the pipes
Start by inspecting the plumbing system and the walls for leaks and cracks. By sealing and repairing these openings you can provide a solid base for a truly dry basement. When there are even the tiniest of pipe fissures and crevices in the wall, city water or rain can cause great damage by damping the walls. Fix it by sealing up all of these cracks and tops with a waterproof paint coat or sealant.
Sometimes the foul smells come from the piled up dirt and malodorous objects that need to be washed up, removed or replaced:
- Perform regular de-cluttering and get rid of the unnecessary or dysfunctional items. Basement is a storage place of choice for many people, but the stored items tend to collect dust and often contribute to the unpleasant smells down there.
- Wash any clothes you’ve been storing for a long time in the basement and dry them off. If you’re storing materials that absorb and lock the smells, it’s best you find a storage alternative for them.
- Don’t forget about the ventilation system when you’re looking for potential sources of ill smells. Sweep the vents and air ducts in your house once a year for optimal results. This way you’ll know that air in your home is pure, odorless and safe.
- Move on to the upholstered furniture and floor coverings. Damp rugs and furniture need to get dried properly if you’re experiencing issues with moisture. Use a vacuum cleaner or sun-dry them for a while. All objects that are beyond repair should be thrown away and adequately replaced.
- Similarly, shades, blinds and curtains are infamous for holding the smells (cigarettes, food, etc.), so don’t forget to wash and dry them thoroughly.
Treat the persistent mold and mildew with undiluted vinegar or with a mixture of water and bleach. Use the sponge to scrub it and allow the trouble spots to dry in entirety. Note that leaving it wet and unattended will only lead to growth of new fungi. Make sure you check all the weak spots, like bathroom and laundry rooms, as well as furniture and carpets. In addition, make use of the baking soda to soak in all the vile odors. Repeat the procedure every three months or so.
Dealing with moisture
You should check the slope and orientation of the terrain outside the house. Inspect every corner and nook to ensure the water paths are not tilted towards the house and causing the creation of rainwater puddles. Rearrange the ground so the water flows away from the house. When it comes to inside sources of moisture, commit to regular airing when the weather is sunny and dry. Lastly, handle the smallest of problems right away – the smaller the problem the quicker the solution.
As we have previously mentioned, it’s important to let in some fresh air into the basement. This will improve the conditions health wise and maximize the comfort for people who use their basement as media rooms or chillout spots.
To ensure a superb quality of air in this space, it’s advisable you invest in one of those top-notch air management devices, such as air purifiers by Oransi. Make use of its various filters and great airflow. You can complement it with a dehumidifier and control the levels of humidity to avoid the reappearance of smells.
Stinky basements are nothing to be ashamed of. Follow our easy steps to get rid of the existing sources of odors and take measures to prevent them from reoccurring.
Article written by Lillian Connors. If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. As the Co-Editor at SmoothDecorator, she cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.