About Basement Smells

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If you have ever gone down into a basement and wondered what that smell is? Even if you keep your home immaculately clean, there could be underlying problems that will make your basement smell bad. The most common basement smell is a musty odor, but there are other smells as well.

Types

  • There are several reasons for basement smells, but most of the causes of basement smells range from rodent infestations to mold and mildew. Rodents host a variety of diseases that can be harmful to your family. Taking care of the odor right away will alleviate the basement smell and help make your home smell better. If there is a musty odor in the basement, it could be due to condensation, weeping walls or humidity. Musty smells could also be caused by mold or mildew.

Identification

  • Identifying the different types of basement smells is important to know so you can attack the problem quickly and efficiently. If there is a rodent problem of any sort, the first thing you will notice is feces on the floor, in boxes or along the edges and corners of the basement. Mold and mildew will usually give off a musty odor which will eventually make your entire home smell bad. Mold spores will attach itself to anything organic and grow from there.

Prevention/Solution

  • If there is already a rodent problem, the solution is to find a licensed and bonded pest control agency. A reputable pest control agency not only gets rid of the rodents, but it also takes special measures to rid your home of feces while sanitizing and disinfecting your basement. As for mold and mildew, they need a warm, damp temperature to survive. Use a dehumidifier and keeping the humidity level in your basement at about 60 percent. You can also prevent basement smells before they even begin by checking cracks in the walls on a regular basis, search for signs of rodents and using a dehumidifier.

Warning

  • If your rodent or mold and mildew problem goes untreated, it could lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage. As the adage goes -- "If you see one rat or mouse, there are several more that you don't see." Rodents can chew through wires and even walls. In addition to the monetary damage, rodent feces and urine can also cause serious respiratory issues. Mold and mildew can also cause great harm to your body. If left untreated, it can cause upper respiratory problems like asthma attacks, coughing fits and a mild weakening of the immune system.

Geography

  • The area of the country you live in can help you determine the cause of the smells in your basement. Basements in areas that tend to be warm and humid tend to have more mold and mildew than basements in drier sections of the country. Rodents typically exist in all areas of the country, but states that have cold winters may have more of a rodent problem because the critters try to find warm places to nest when the weather outdoors is no longer comfortable for them.

  • Photo Credit http://www.n2ition.com/serendipity/uploads/Basement/Basement4.jpg
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