Dry Royal Oak Basement Smells Musty

Dry Royal Oak Basement Smells Musty

royal Oak basement?

If your dry Royal Oak basement smells musty is a sure sign that something is amiss. Even if the mold is invisible to the naked eye and the concrete appears to be dry, you can still have enough mold growth on your basement wall, crawl space or on your slab to create a serious odor problem.  Bottom Line: If your basement smells kind of musty, it is in fact musty and needs your prompt attention.

What causes a musty smell in the basement?

A musty smell in your basement is classically caused by the presence of either mildew or mold. These will thrive in damp, dark locations.  Besides the omnipresent smell, mold and mildew left untreated will also cause serious decay and damage to your home.  Their presence may expose your family to serious health issues, including allergies or asthma.  Keeping your basement free from musty odors and the presence of mold and mildew is a key to maintaining a healthy home. While mold can be more dangerous to your health, mildew is considered to be more of a cosmetic problem. But the presence of both can cause your basement to smell musty and each of these needs to be removed.

Areas of the Home That Develop Mold

Any places where water is found can develop mold. An excessive amount of humidity in a house can condense and then cause mold. Ironically, newer homes can often experience more mold growth than older homes because they are more tightly sealed and insulated. Fiberglass insulation can provide a fertile ground for mold growth and working with this makes mold and mildew more difficult to eradicate and remove.

When inspecting your basement, conduct a complete search. Don’t just look for obvious signs. Inspect around chimneys, furnaces, water heaters and duct work.  Look at the spaces under the kitchen, especially under sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators with ice makers. Check under every bathroom, especially walls where showers, bathtubs and sinks are located.  Look along the foundation near air vents and window casements. If you use a window unit air conditioner, check under that window. All these could be hidden sources of moisture in your home. 

Dry mold is harder to diagnose verses wet mold.  Wet mold is quite obvious. It is found on the floors and walls of the basement.  Black mold come into sight as streaks or patches. It appears to be slimy and colored black, green or white with orange spots. Also look for water stains with yellowish tint where water once was. 

If you smell a moldy smell in your home, this is an indication that you have a mold problem. Here are four steps to help you manage your problem. 

  1. Check for signs of water anywhere. This includes condensation on surfaces, standing water and any sort of leak. If you find any kind of water leak, move to stop it immediately. This is crucial to protecting the integrity of your home’s foundation.  Issue with water can also create major damage to your house and belongings.
  2. If your pipes in the basement sweat or drip, this is a sign of condensation. You can wrap them with pipe insulation to reduce the moisture that perpetuates musty odors. Check along the fittings and couplings for leaks or seepage. 
  3. Keep the basement dry.    Dehumidifiers help to reduce odors that can accompany mold and mildew in your home—getting rid of that “musty” or “rotting” smell. These devices also help to reduce the possibility that you will develop future mold and mildew on your clothing, furniture, and other linens in your home such as curtains or bed sheets. 
  4. Air out your basement as best as you can. If your basement has windows that open outward, open these for a few hours on a warm, dry day and use several fans to circulate fresh air throughout the room. If you don’t have windows that open, you will want to keep the basement door open for a while and then place your fans downstairs to maximize air circulation.

Action is your friend – Kill off mold immediately.  You don’t have to run to the hardware store in search of harsh chemicals. Your grandparents would be the first to tell you that undiluted white vinegar has an ability to kill over 80 percent of mold spores.  Don’t just bravely pour and wipe. Wearing appropriate protective clothing to avoid direct contact with the spores, pour your straight vinegar into a spray bottle and saturate the affected areas with a heavy mist. Keep your windows open and air circulating during this process. Since white vinegar is non-toxic, you have no clean up. Leaving the mixture to dry on the surfaces will help prevent future mold growth.

What takes a musty smell out of a basement?

A simple program can eliminate the smells that remain in your basement. Recycle plastic containers from items such as salsa, cottage cheese or sour cream. Once clean, you can fill them with one of these three tools to help remove smells and prevent future growth.

  1. Take your white vinegar, fill several containers and place in various places around the basement. The vinegar will remove the odor from the room. After several days, you’ll discover you have a fresh-smelling basement again. 
  2. Put fresh cat litter in your open containers throughout the basement. When changed regularly, the litter will absorb most of the musty smell in your basement. (Monitor these so that Fluffy doesn’t also use them as a litter box.)
  3. Similar to cat litter, baking soda will also absorb the majority of musty smells. Baking soda can hold its absorbency for up to 3 months, depending on how pronounced your home’s odor is. 

Once you’ve discovered and concentrated on any sources of condensation, leaks and moisture in your basement and then thoroughly cleaned and dried out the areas where you found mold, your basement should return to smelling fresh. 

If the signs or mold and mildew return, you need professional help with removing these from your home. Check for a licensed, bonded and insured contractor with has experience in mold remediation services. They will have the tools and experience in order to completely eradicate mold issues in your homes, plus the tools to eliminate the musty smell it leaves behind.


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