Bad basement smells come from humidity and moisture that comes up from the ground. Since the basement is below ground level, this moisture never really goes away and just keeps accumulating. This causes mold and fungus to grow and spread. If the moisture in your basement is not eliminated, you will start to notice a musty smell.
While totally removing moisture and condensation from your basement is not realistic, there are plenty of steps you can take to dramatically reduce the amount of moisture entering the space and eradicate that horrible musty basement smell.
Table of Contents
How to Eliminate Strange Odors in Your Basement
1.) Cover Sources Of Moisture
Dirt that is left exposed will attract moisture, which then seeps into your basement through the foundation and leaves behind a strange odor. You can try to fix this problem by covering the dirt around the outside of your home with plastic sheeting, mulch, or gravel. This should help block some of the moisture and improve the smell in your basement.
Exposed water pipes may get cold and collect condensation, allowing moisture to build up. Insulating pipes in and around the basement can really help reduce moisture and tamp down the smell.
2.) Turn Up the Heat
Moisture and heat generally do not get along. One of the best ways to eliminate excess condensation and musty smells in your basement is to crank up the heat. If the HVAC system in your home doesn’t have a control for the basement, you can try one of these alternatives:
- Open basement window curtains to let warming sunshine in during the day. Shut them at night to hold heat in and prevent overnight condensation when temperatures drop.
- If your boiler or furnace is located in a separate basement room, leave the door open to allow heat from the unit to raise the temperature in the rest of the space.
- Place a small space heater in the basement and run it whenever someone is home. Even a few hours of extra heat can make a big difference.
3.) Install a Sump Pump In Your Basement
If your foundation rests over a well or water table and your basement is prone to dampness, groundwater leaking and flooding, consider installing a sump pump in your basement. Sump pumps funnel and collect basement moisture in a pit dug into the foundation and pump it out of your home. A Horizon Services plumbing technician can recommend and install a sump pump system that’s ideal for your basement.
4.) Dehumidify Your Basement
Perhaps the most effective way to eliminate moisture and strange odors in your basement is to get a dehumidifier. These sytems pull moisture from the air, collecting water in a built-in reservoir. Empty the basin regularly and you will have a fresher, more pleasant basement.
5.) Fix Clogged Sewer and Water Lines
Is the smell especially foul? The source could be sewage waste slowly seeping into your basement due to obstructions in or damage to your main sewer and water lines leading out of your house. Over time, these lines can become clogged with waste, crack, bend, break, or be penetrated by creeping roots from trees and shrubs. If you notice a sewage smell in your basement, the source of the issue may be damaged sewer or water lines on your property. This issue can cause sewage to back up into your home or seep into your yard, foundation, or basement.
6.) Improve the Circulation of Air
Improving air circulation through your basement can help dry up moisture and get rid of bad smells. Installing an exhaust fan in the basement is a good idea, as is running a simple standing or box fan. In pleasant weather, open basement windows to let fresh air into the room. In addition, putting your washing machine and dryer in the basement with the outgoing air vent directed out of the living space can also help improve air flow and dry the air.
Emergency Plumbing Services
One sure sign of sewer and water line problems, besides the smell, is if water does not flow easily down your toilet, sinks or tubs, or makes unusual gurgling, bubbling sounds when it does. If you notice a musty smell or are encountering issues with your drains, give our team a call to schedule an appointment. An easy way to eliminate odors in basements is to invest in a sump pump.
Our staff of licensed plumbers offer innovative sump pump repair and installation services for homes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. In addition, our team provides other types of plumbing services such as water softener installation, water heater repair, drain cleaning, and sewer line replacement. If left untreated, plumbing problems could result in a major backup of sewage waste into your home. This is not only extremely unsanitary, it can result in permanent damage to floors, carpets and other parts of your home.