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How to Air Out a Basement

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Unless you have a workshop or a man cave in your basement, it usually only gets cleaned once or twice a year. While it may seem that odors congregate in the basement just to keep you from going down there, it’s only because heavy air contaminated with odors and gases succumb to gravity and settle in the basement. In most cases, there is no way for those odors and gases to escape. Here are some steps to get the smell out and make that space available again.

Step 1 – Evaluate

To eliminate odors and that musty smell, you first have to find the cause. Do you have boxes of old clothing or miscellaneous items you just can’t seem to part with? Well, you must! (Pun intended.) Get rid of what you haven’t used in the last year, since old items can hold onto odors and therefore contaminate the room.

Do your walls feel damp? Is there any white residue on the brick or concrete? Dampness leaks through the walls from the outside, so if there is white residue, you had (or have) moisture coming through at one point. The white stuff is called efflorescence and is a sure sign of a problem.

Step 2 – Eliminate the Humidity

Concrete (which most basements are made of) absorbs moisture from the outside and will allow it to leech into your basement. This is especially true when the frost is coming out of the ground in the spring. The ice turns into water, and water finds the path of least resistance and is absorbed by the concrete, which comes into your basement.