Due to a phenomenon called the stack effect , 40-50% of the air in the basement travels upstairs.
The best way I have found to describe stack effect is this, think about cooking with garlic in the kitchen and you go upstairs to get something and all you can smell is the garlic! That is the pressure within the home forcing all the air upwards. The mold in your basement works the same way. It spores and gases push the odor from the basement to your entire house.
So how do you barricade the smells from being pushed up and throughout your home, you don’t. The best thing to do is to eliminate the moisture in the basement and stop mold growth.
The long term consequences on your basement can be very damaging to your CT home and, most tellingly, your health. Including:
- Reproductive system
- Personal kept items
- Resale Value
- Structural damage to wood framing
- Respiratory system
- So, below are some well-researched tips on how to get rid of musty basement smell in your CT home from water damage, mold, decay, and other factors.
1. How to Get Rid of Musty Basement Smell in Your CT Home
#1. Identify the origin or source of the musty smell
Musty smells are commonly the first measure of mold and water damage. To begin, search the dark, damp, and cozy places such as the basement, crawlspaces, attics, and even your bathroom. Mold will also grow on penetrable materials with surplus moisture, like drywall, cement, wood, sheetrock, and carpeting.
Another reasonable plan would be to discover the source of the mold: probably from water damage but what caused that? Sources such as:
- Leaking pipes
- Leaking roofs
- Cracks in the foundation
- Melting snow
- Sewage backups
- Leaking appliances etc.
- Will lead to water damage and musty smells in the end.
#2. Detach the source of the musty smell
The first thing towards resolving musty smells is to remove the source that led to it. The faster the leak is fixed, the appliance is repaired, or the crack is filled, the quicker you get rid of the smell. This will also avert it from coming back in the future.
Be careful enough to monitor the source if it was fixed, like a pipe leak, to avert the same issue from reoccurring.
#3. Dry out the affected location and detach damaged materials
Detaching or fixing water-damaged materials can sometimes become frustrating, especially if it requires physically challenging tasks, like separating carpet, huge contents, or drywall.
However, some companies who specialize in water damage restoration will respond as soon as you contact them to remove the damaged materials, dry out the affected part, and as well as get rid of the musty smell.
Nevertheless, if the water damage has not advanced too far, quickly remove the damaged materials and fix the leak or call a professional plumber to help you repair it.
Just ensure to put on clothing that will safeguard you from contact with mold spores. Be sure to empty the area as soon as you are through.
#4. Remove the Mold
Preventing water from going into the basement and repairing all possible leaks is one thing. But eliminating mold from your CT home is another thing entirely. Especially if you are handling a severe infestation. However, here are some steps to follow:
Quickly before we list the steps, here are tools needed:
- Protective gear such as gloves, P-100 respirators, eyewear.
- Garden sprayer with water
- Pry bar
- Old box fan
- Utility knife
- 6-mil plastic for wrapping mold-infested fabric carpets
- Heavy-duty mold cleaner (a water solution and bleach can be used)
- Garbage bags
Step One: Scrub with Bleach
If the infestation is restricted to a small area in the bathroom, walls, or in the siding, in that case:
- Mix bleach with water in a ratio of 1:8 and scrub the surface with the mixture until spores are removed.
- Next, switch on a fan or open the windows to dry the wall. Ensure you are putting on your protective clothing at all times.
Step Two: Detach Carpet
If the infestation is under your carpet, in that case:
- Cut it into little manageable pieces with a utility knife.
- Lock-off the whole room with dual plastic sheets.
- Fix the box fan on the window to drag air outside.
- Wet the affected area under the carpet with the garden sprayer. This will stop the spores from spreading in the air.
- Next double wrap the carpet pieces in the 6-mil plastic and dual bag them in garbage bags for discarding.
Step Three: Repair Drywall
If your walls are moldy, all you need do is:
- Pry the baseboards and trims with a pry bar.
- Shut off the primary power supply.
- With a cut, open a little part and locate the wiring. You don’t need to cut into it.
- Next, begin cutting the drywall and examine how deep the mold has spread.
Most times, homeowners are surprised to find out the extent of the infestation into the insulation. Recall you will need to fix the wall anyway. So don’t hurry to cut open a little more than what’s required.
Mix all the infected insulation and drywall and dual bag it for discarding.
Step Four: Repair Wood
Replaced rotted wood when necessary, if not:
- Clean and treat with a wood preservative.
- And repair with new lumber.
Step Five: Empty the Room
Immediately when you are done in double bagging all infected materials:
- Empty the entire room with a dry/wet vacuum.
- Discard off the filter after use and scrub the remaining part with a mixture of bleach and water.
Step Six: Use Mold products
- Scrub all the surfaces with a mold cleaner until the mold spores are completely removed.
- Now open the windows and let in the sun to air dry for 3 to 4 days.
- Now use any oil-based sealant to seal it once the wooden surfaces are dried.
- Use a paint that contains a mildewcide to repaint the wood before you reaffix the insulation and drywall.
Step Seven: Natural Deodorizers
You can make use of natural deodorizers to remove any remains of the smell that may be holding on to the furniture. Any open bag of charcoal can do this correctly.
As well as a combination of vinegar and water dipped in cotton balls. These are non-permanent fixes, though.
#5. Work with an Expert
If the smell still lingers or there are still mold infestation, you should call a professional. Tackling a wide area of the mold with home remedies can be very hazardous. The musty odors may be too powerful and will require powerful equipment, like hydroxyl machines or ozone