How to Deal with Musty Basement

Let’s face it, as a homeowner, you tend to focus on a certain area and forgetting the others. For instance, you are probably focusing on the living room or the bedroom but you completely forget about the attic or the basement. It is quite understandable to forget about them since they are mostly ‘hidden’ and used to store items.

So, you are thinking about putting a good use of the basement. You are thinking about turning it into a place to hangout. Or you are probably thinking about changing it into a home office or a laundry room. The problem is, your basement is now musty. You probably have never thought about it but it is always possible to have such a problem, especially if you haven’t used it for a while. So, what should you do?

How to Clean and Prep the Musty Basement

You don’t have to always hire a professional service to clean the basement. If the condition isn’t too dirty or severe, doing your own cleaning is always possible. Here are the basic steps and methods to do your own cleaning if you are rather short on the budget.

  • Do the general cleaning up. A musty basement should have the signature musty smell – which isn’t very nice. If you want to clean the basement, the first thing you should do is to remove the smell. It means that you need to clean everything thoroughly, from the floor to the ceiling. If you still keep the garbage bins, you may want to clean them up. Take them outside and give them a good scrub. If you still keep the carpets, it is a good idea to remove it. Observe the condition. If it is still good, you can use it again after cleaning it out thoroughly. But if it is already in a bad shape, you may want to toss it away. If there are fabrics or drapes, take them outside. If you still keep any furniture there, you may want to check it out – if it is still good, you can always clean it and use it again.
  • Perform the moisture checking. While you are at it, you may want to check the basement for any leak. It is not difficult. If you see a sign of condensation on the ceiling or the wall, there is a leak. If your basement has plumbing pipes, check for leaks. The musty smell usually comes from mold and mold generally grows in dark and humid place.
  • Check the windows. If you are going to use the basement, make sure that the windows are properly sealed and still functional. Check the window caulking, which should be springy and firm when you touch it. If the caulking is flaky, brittle, and hard, you may want to re-caulk it. Also, check the condition. If they are all still good, it is a good time to start cleaning them.
  • Dehumidify the basement. Musty condition means that the basement is humid. If you want to fight off this condition, it would be a good idea to use the dehumidifier. It will certainly remove any moisture that still exists in the basement efficiently and prevent further mold growth.