By Chris Tobias
If a musty scent rises from the basement, mold is present. Mold gathers in damp places with poor airflow and damages soft furnishings, like curtains and carpets, and grows on walls. Patches of mold release spores, and they are health hazards. It wrecks wood and rots material, and creates a musty stink that's difficult to oust without sorting out the cause of the problem. You can identify a basement with mold because any soft furnishings stored there will be damp and musty. Mold thick enough to write in could show on wooden areas and walls. Or, subtle mold patches will grow in the wettest areas, like basement nooks. Unfortunately, just airing the basement is inadequate, although helpful to an extent. You must remove the mold, as it won't go away without attention.
Bleach sometimes removes mold. But remember, it is toxic, and a safer product might be more effective. Such agents, unlike bleach, often leave a helpful film that lasts years after application. If you opt for bleach, however, wear a mask. Also, air the room as you work. Keep pets and children away from the basement as it dries, too.
You could get rid of dampness caused by flooding with a powerful, industrial dehumidifier, which will purge mold spores plus other air-based pollutants while drying the basement and aiding air circulation. A less powerful dehumidifier used often can reduce general dampness. However, you need to remove the cause of damp, otherwise you face an ongoing problem. Check for leaky pipes, wet soil against your home's foundation, water heater leakage, and condensation.
Dry and clean soft furnishings and get rid of rotten ones. A dehumidifier will help remove dampness, but you still need to oust the musty smell. If washing them with regular washing powder in a washing machine doesn't do the trick, add one part vodka to two parts water and spray your furnishings. The concoction gets rid of the musty odor in vintage clothes and may work on other fabrics, too. Remove basement mold; otherwise, it will spread and impact your entire home. Also, it may damage your health. Sneezing, breathing problems, headaches, and congestion are common symptoms of mold exposure. It also exacerbates asthma. Combat basement molds fast and stop them from traveling through your home and injuring your health. Discover the cause, fix it, maximize air circulation, and dry the area.