How to Remove Basement Odor

Basement odors are common in many houses, and there are several causes. Sometimes these odors are signs of a bigger problem such as the structural degradation of your home, or mold and mildew. Sprays, deodorizers or other scents usually cover up these odors for only a short time and may actually only delay the inevitable problems that odors are signaling. It's better to eliminate the sources of odors than to only mask the smell.

  • Crack filler
  • Joint compound
  • Trowel
  • Dehumidifier
  • Furnace filter
  • Baking soda
Repair any cracks, holes or leaks that allow water to enter the basement. Standing water or other moisture leads to mold and mildew and the odors that go with that. Use crack fillers or joint compounds to take care of repairs.

Ventilate the basement by adding vent fans or windows that open to let in fresh air. Because basements are often dark breeding grounds for moisture and mold, adequate ventilation offers the chance for any bad air to be replaced by fresh air.

Install a basement dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are designed to reduce the moisture and humidity in a room. Many basement odors are formed by excessive humidity, and a dehumidifier will help eliminate this source of odors. You'll need to remember to periodically drain the collection pan or it may overflow.

Replace the furnace filter and have the ducting cleaned regularly. Also remove any old and unused items such as furniture, cardboard boxes, paper items and chemicals. All of these items add smells to a basement and are easily removed to eliminate the source of odors.

Add a package of baking soda to the basement. Baking soda is well known for its ability to absorb odors. Its effectiveness is usually only about three months, however, so be ready to replace it often.

Tips and Warnings

  • If there is a laundry room in the basement, don't let dirty clothes linger before washing.

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