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How Do I Get Rid of That Musty Smell In My Basement?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Does your basement smell bad and you don’t even like to go down there because of it? Has that musty smell got you worried there is a bigger problem causing the smell and you don’t want to face it? We’re not surprised, as that smell usually means there’s moisture down there.

Luckily, there are times that you can correct problems yourself to remedy moisture issues. Other times, you will require special equipment and advanced knowledge to get the problem under control. Let’s start with some of the basic things you can do to manage water problems in the basement of your home.

Manage Your Water

Your home is equipped with gutters and downspouts, but that doesn’t mean that they are configured properly. Take the time to test how water flows off your roof. Do you have areas where water spills out of the gutters and onto the area around your house? Does the water from the downspouts flow away from your home? Sometimes it is a simple as doing a gutter repair, cleaning your gutters or adding an extra length of downspout piping to move the water away from the foundation.

Also check if water pools around your home during heavy rainfalls or when snow melts quickly. Often times the grade on your property will change with time. You might plant trees and shrubs, lay sidewalks and patios and disturb the natural flow of water on your property. In this case, your property may need to be regarded or additional weeping tiles may need to be installed to handle the water.

Check for Cracks

If you have an unfinished basement you may be able to see where the water is coming in. If you spot a puddle on the floor or you can see water seeping in through a crack, you may be able to patch it with a commercial product. It is important to keep in mind that these products are meant to be used on minor cracks only. If there is a major fault in the foundation the pressure of the water entering your home will force any paint-on product away from the foundation with ease. Water is a powerful force and it always moves to where there is the least pressure.

Check that hard surfaces outside your home are sloped away from the basement too. Patios, driveways and walkways may need to be re-poured if water is flowing towards your home.

If you have a finished basement, things are not so easy. You might not be able to tell where or how the moisture is getting into your basement. You cannot judge the seriousness of the problem, but one thing is for sure – you have a problem. Moisture trapped behind building materials encourages the growth of mold and mildew which can not only cost you thousands in repairs – it is also dangerous to your health. Waterproofing specialists have equipment designed to locate leaks so they can judge the extent of the problem.

Below-Ground Compensation

Most homes have one operating system for heat and in hot climates they also have one for cooling. The problem is that your basement is naturally cooler and damper than the higher levels of your home.

Musty smells may occur when the relative humidity in your basement is too high. Consultation with a good heating/air conditioning company may provide a solution. A dehumidifier in your basement or two zones for your air conditioning system could rectify the problem. There may also be less air flow in the basement and more ventilation may need to be installed to reduce condensation.

Major or Minor?

Condensation or minor leaks may be fixable, but if you have a lot of water in your basement you may need expert help. Trained professionals know what to look for and can offer the quickest and most affordable solution. Nusite Group offers basement waterproofing in Toronto, a free inspection, and an estimate. Ignoring that musty smell in your basement could cost you a bundle in the future. Why risk it?

Have a question about water in your basement? If you live in Toronto or the surrounding GTA, contact Nusite Group today for a free in-home inspection and estimate.

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