Musty odors in a house are produced as a result of mold. Mold spores are generated in the air, but they require certain conditions to grow, like mushrooms. These conditions include a combination of humidity, warm temperatures, and lack of fresh air and food sources. The most common areas of the house where mold can accumulate are basements, crawl spaces, and even closets. In addition to generating an unpleasant odor, mold can damage various materials. Fortunately, it is not difficult to remove the bad odor and mold in basements.
- Open the windows and exterior doors in the basement during a hot day. Place a couple of portable fans in the doorway, some looking inward to cool the atmosphere and others looking out to remove the moisture.
- Place a dehumidifier in the basement and keep it on day and night, with windows and doors closed. Check the machine and empty it frequently when it’s full. Place jars of silica gel around the room, because this substance absorbs moisture from the air.
- Remove objects from the basement and clean them. Put them outdoors, under the sun. Remove mold gently with a brush. Wash the objects, besides paper, with a soft sponge and a foam solution of detergent and water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and let them dry in the sun. For deep cleaning mildew stains, mix two tablespoons of bleach to one quart of warm water. Apply the solution with a sponge on the stain or submerge the object. Let dry for 5 minutes, rinse with clean water and let it dry again.
- Clean the basement floor to eliminate musty odors. Sprinkle a thin layer of lime on the floor. When the musty smell disappears, sweep up the lime. To clean carpets, remove the rust with a carpet cleaning machine.
Tips & Warnings
- The slight odor of mold can be removed only if you vent moisture and dry basement.
- Fabrics that can be washed should be taken to the cleaners.
- You must discard items that accumulate rust inside.
- Keep bleach and other harmful chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
- Read and follow directions on the packaging of chemicals.