Removing the Smell of Mold and Mildew
Removing the Smell of Mold and Mildew in the Basement
Experiencing a flood is bad enough, but having to deal with its aftermath is a whole other story.
Whether you have experienced several feet of water in your home or just a few inches in the basement after a big storm, or even experienced leaky water pipes, it doesn’t matter. In many respects the mess is still the same.
One of the biggest problems with water in the basement (or the first floor) is the musty, moldy smell it leaves behind. What do you do to get that moldy smell out of your basement?
There are a variety of mold smell removal tips to clean and deodorize the basement fast. With my help, you won’t have to spend an extra second smelling that moldy, musty odor!
Are you ready then? Let’s get busy cleaning!
Ditch the Dampness
The very first thing you have to do in removing the smell of mold and mildew is to get rid of any standing water, leaks, trickles and even dampness. Mold and mildew is a fungus spread by spores which thrive in dark, damp and poorly ventilated areas. That’s why the basements in some older homes are so prone to mold and they have a stale, pungent odor.
Removing the smell of mold begins with ventilating the area and drying it out (completely) using a wet and dry vacuum to suck up standing water; fans to dry out damp areas and even dehumidifiers to help pull moisture from the air.
Sort Out any Damaged Items
Mold has the tendency to spread through airborne spores. That means that even cleaning up a room or area in the basement containing mold may not be enough. When deodorizing the area, it is best to take everything from the affected area and air it out on the porch or in the warm sun, if this is possible.
Throw out anything that is damp or wet and shows signs of mold or mildew. Keep only the items you truly can’t live without. Why? Because cleaning them is going to be a lot of time consuming work, so don’t bother keeping anything that doesn’t have real value to you – financially or sentimentally.
Look for Remaining Signs of Mold or Mildew
Nothing is safe when it comes to mold and mildew. No surface is immune to mold. It grows on walls, cardboard, fabric, and more.
Once you have dried out the area in question and removed what you can, start looking for visible signs of mold. It usually appears along cracks and crevices; around pipes and window panes and along the bottom of walls. Mold usually looks dark in color and is often black. It tends to show up in splotchy areas all over the place.
Clean Items Individually
Once you have emptied the basement (or other living areas that contains the pungent smell), clean each item individually with a mixture of:
- 1 cup chlorine bleach
- 1 gallon water
You can also clean and deodorize with a mixture of vinegar and water if your item is delicate or made of fabric:
- 1 Quart Plain White Vinegar
- 3 Quarts Water
- 1 Tbsp Dish Washing Liquid
Afterwards dry the item completely and allow to air out.
If any odor remains, use an odor eliminating spray like Febreeze to get the last of any mold smells out of delicate items like books. Meanwhile, scrub the interior of the basement well with the same bleach solution. Be careful not to saturate walls and floors since adding more moisture to the area can make the problem worse.
Be sure to thoroughly dry the entire area before returning furniture, boxes and other storage items.
Air Flow is the Key to Success
Removing the smell of mold and mildew also requires ventilating the affected area.
This means opening windows, running fans and otherwise getting some fresh air into the lower level of your home once in awhile.
The more closed up you keep your basement; the more apt those odors will be to return. Running a dehumidifier can help keep moisture levels low and mold from returning.
No one likes a musty smelling basement, luckily you don’t have to live with those smells, no matter how old your basement is. Cleaning regularly and letting air circulate will ensure that mold and mildew smells will be kept to a minimum.