Why do basements smell musty?

As summer’s heat sets in, the basement remains cool; but musty smelling. What can I do to keep that in check? This is a common complaint and generally the result of dampness trapped in the space. The other culprit is often poor ventilation. What’s more- dampness can sometimes lead to mold, and poor ventilation can lead to poor air quality. Neither of those issues is where we want the family spending their rainy weather days.


Here are some recommendations for moisture control:

  1. The first line of defense for dampness and that musty smell is to install a dehumidifier. Do your research (right now Consumer reports is recommending the LG UD701KOG3). It would be more than beneficial to have a professional install a pump if you do not have a sump pit nearby to drain the hose. Older homes with unfinished basement and a dirt floor could help reduce moisture by creating a vapor barrier with plastic over the dirt, laying down wire mesh and topping with a thin layer of concrete.

  2. Current codes in our area require proper air exchanges by having enough windows or installing a heat recovery ventilation system. This is important because unlike the main living levels we do not have a door opening and closing that lets fresh air into the home. This is the next step in healthy air to breathe and will make the air quality better than fresh indoor air since HEPA filtration leaves the pollen and other items outside. You can read more on the building science behind basement remodels here.


Lucky for this Dover basement renovation we could not only build out their basement area, but add a door and window to turn the space into a full-fledged year round entertaining space. Also check out Wayland basement renovation that brought the gym experience home. 


Leave a comment

Copyright © 2024 · Powered by LOCALiQ