Home Garden

How to Treat a Damp Basement Odor

Mold and mildew, which refer to microscopic fungi, thrive in moist, dark places such as basements. Mold gives off a musty smell and can cause health problems such as coughing or wheezing in some people. It can also destroy personal belongings and structural materials of a house. However, when recognized quickly, mold can be easily removed. It is then necessary to make adjustments to the environment to ensure that mold will not form again.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Cleaning materials
  • Dehumidifier
  • Fans
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    • 1

      Put on eye goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from mold exposure.

    • 2

      Search for the source of moisture. If mold growth is concentrated in one area, you likely have a water leak. If there is no specific source of moisture, the musty smell and mold growth in your basement is caused by high humidity.

    • 3

      Fix any water leaks. If the source of moisture is not removed, mold will grow back very quickly.

    • 4

      Throw away any porous items, like cardboard or upholstery, that have been contaminated with mold.

    • 5

      Mix a quarter cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use a sponge to clean any visible mold off nonporous surfaces. Ensure that you have adequate ventilation when using bleach. Allow the bleach solution to air-dry on the surfaces.

    • 6

      Clean the basement thoroughly. Mold can survive on dust or dirt, so ensure that all clutter is removed and neatly organized and that the area has been swept and dusted.

    • 7

      Decrease the humidity in the basement by using a dehumidifier and fans.

    • 8

      Check the basement frequently to ensure that mold has not begun to grow back.