The odor of a damp basement is not pleasant at all. It smells unhealthy and dank. It hangs thick in the air, and can make it difficult to breathe. When your basement has an unpleasant damp odor, it is a sure sign that you have a leak or waterproofing problem.
There are many signs of a leaky basement, and looking out for them is important to protect your home from the harmful effects that it can cause. Catching them early is a great way to avoid unnecessary damages. Visual signs can sometimes be hidden away, but with your nose you can identify problems.
You want to use your nose and walk into your basement. Take a big sniff as you walk down, and see if the air smells damp and pungent. If it does, then you can have a look around and try to find the source of the unpleasant odor.
Usually, you will be able to see damp patches somewhere, and perhaps a leak. Mold is the big culprit of a bad smell, and you should have a look around for any signs of this harmful living organism. Mold, mildew, and dry rot are not something that you want in your home!
Check rafters, crawl spaces, and corners, and look for any signs of decaying or molding materials.
The unpleasant odor usually comes from the presence of mold and mildew in your basement, which is caused when there is a certain level of humidity. When the humidity levels are above 50%, mold can grow very quickly, and spread around the room. What you are smelling is bacterial growth as the decay process takes place.
Of course, the damp and mold have to come from somewhere, and there will likely be a source that you can find nearby to the worst patches of mold, in which the damp is somehow getting into your basement. It can come through your foundation walls, cracks, plumbing, and many other points of entry.
Identifying where a leak is coming through will help you to find a long term solution that will stop your basement ever having an unpleasant odor.
If your basement has an unpleasant smell, there are several options available that can offer temporary relief. You can remove any materials that are rotting in your basement, and clean away any mold using a chemical cleaner and wipe. If you clean it and air it out, your basement may start to smell fresher again. A de-humidifier can lower the level of humidity in the room, and discourage mold from growing.
However, none of this will not give you a real solution. If the leak in your basement is still there, then damp will find its way back, mold will grow again, and the smell will return.
Direct Waterproofing offer permanent solutions that will stop your basement from having an unpleasant smell, by tackling the actual problem. We can identify the source of the leak, and then provide interior or exterior waterproofing solutions that mean water never ends up in your basement again.