How to Clean a Musty Basement

A Wet Musty Basement

A musty basement is one problem that basement owners should try to avoid. A basement that has a cold, damp and musty air can be harmful to those who inhale it. It will become the perfect environment for mold growth. Cleaning out a musty basement is the only way to remove odors and feelings of dirt in the air. Begin by removing everything from the basement. Depending on how big the basement is, it could take a few days. Throw away everything that is no longer needed. Unfortunately, many people use their basement as a dumping ground for unwanted items. Many of these items should be just thrown away.

A Wet Musty Basement

The Next Step

When all old unwanted items are properly disposed of you’ll need to check the basement for water leaks. Seal any leaks you find and if you have water standing anywhere you’ll need to do a water damage cleanup making sure the area is completely dry. Now the cleaning and repainting walls can now follow. A fresh coat of paint is an excellent way to give an old dark basement a fresh look. Clean all the walls and make sure all mold is gone. If you find serious mold growth you’ll need to have professional mold clean up.  Maybe you can get away with using bleach and other cleaning agents for a small patch here and there but not if the mold has taken hold of an area 10ft sq. or larger.

Regular Cleaning Is A Must For The Basement

Once everything is all cleaned out the mustiness will begin to disappear. Musty basements need to be cleaned every few years. Paint the walls with a coat or two of paint. Use a water sealant on the bottom of the walls to keep water out. This will also help when cleaning a musty basement. Afterward, clean the carpeting or wash the tiles. Musty basements are often musty because carpets absorb odors. Put everything back and use an air freshener daily.

Control The Humidity

It’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier in the basement. This will prevent high humidity and keep mold from growing. Use the space as a game room, laundry area, or sitting room. Musty basements, once they are cleaned, can be wonderful places to entertain. Keep the basement clean and do not store unwanted items in the basement. This will only cause the musty basement to return. Throw away or donate all unwanted items every six months to keep them from piling up.