The Musty Basement Smell and Waterproofing Products
Think of all the wasted space this represents; likely nearly as much as an upstairs level of the house.
By: Jon Arnett and Randy Hough
Think of all the wasted space this represents; likely nearly as much as an upstairs level of the house. Besides the typical uses for storage and utilities, a dry and pleasant basement can be a great area for a spare bedroom, a room for a teenager, family room, study area/office, and workshop.
Another reason to take care of a wet basement is to clean up the air quality in the rest of the house. It is quite common for a house to have mold and mildew growing in the cellar, and this releases mold spores throughout the house. These mold spores are known to cause headaches, coughing, sneezing, sore throats, and make asthma worse.
Some families do not realize the severity of the problem until they leave the house for an extended time period, such as when on vacation. The headaches and such disappear, only to reappear upon returning to the house.
It is not that complicated to get rid of mold and mildew, but it does take some understanding, persistent work and some good products to help. This can be done in stages, which makes the project less daunting.
The first thing to do is get rid of anything that has mold growing in or on it. Carpets, ceiling tiles, books, old clothes and so on, are all possibilities. Sometimes you can use cleaners to save the item, but usually it is too infected to salvage.
You then need to eliminate the moisture in the basement. In the worst cases, you need to use a sump pump to get the water out and stay out. In some cases, this is the only option and is permanent.
If you notice water leaking from the corners where the walls meet the floor, you can use a special product made to channel the water away. These are quite effective and not that expensive. You should seek the advice of a professional before buying and installing this however. It is quite possible that you need to eliminate the source of the water that is pooling up in the corners, and this could mean some outside work.
Once the moisture is under control, the next step is to make sure the temperature is not too warm. Mold and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments, and once the room is cooled off a bit, the habitat will discourage the unwanted fungi.
One of the best waterproofing products you can use floor paint because it helps seal the floors and walls, plus it helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. When done right, the newly painted floor will brighten up the basement and give it a fresh look.
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Randy Hough and Jon Arnett have a website: http://www.fixyourwaterdamage.com, that talks about getting rid of that musty basement smell.
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