Flooded Basement? Now left with an awful smell lingering in your basement?
Not sure what to do to get rid of that musty odor?
In this guide you will learn:
- Why Do Basements Smell After Flood,
- How to Pinpoint the root cause of the smell,
- How to Get rid of Flooded Basement Smell,
- How to Get Smells out of Flooded Basement Carpets.
It’s important to properly identify the root cause and the Type of the smell coming from a flooded basement.
If your recently flooded Basement starts to smell of Mold or Mildew, you have a serious problem that requires immediate action.
Spreading Mold from a Flooded basement can take over the whole house in a matter of days. It can cause not only structural damage to your whole house in a form of dry rot but also be a very serious health concern.
My Basement Flooded And It Smells
A flooded basement can lead to an array of problems – a big one, in particular, is the smell that is left behind from the lingering moisture.
We are going to address why this happens along with the variety of smells you can be posed with, and how to appropriately deal with them.
Before you delve down into your basement it’s essential to ensure your safety first.
If water or moisture is still intact, be sure that there are no electric currents active and residing in the water. It’s best to wear rubber boots or rubber gloves when you are unsure.
Flooded Basement Smells?
Call 844-994-1288 for a Risk Free estimate from a Licensed Flood Damage Restoration Specialist in your area.
We Can Help Dry out Your Basement & Remove any Smells.
Why Do Basements Smell After Flooding?
A variety of smells can be left harrowing your basement after flooding; whether it be from a burst pipe, an undetected leak, or even a heavy rainstorm. It’s important to know why your basement smells after the flood to determine the root cause.
Moisture is a breeding ground for many smells and odors and is often the primary reason you will notice a foul smell coming from your basement.
You may notice a musty odor from such things as mold and mildew that can grow in a wet environment, rodents or animals that leave remnants of fecal matter, a chemical leak or reaction, even sewage can mix with the moisture.
It can even be the problem on its own; creating a pungent stench. We will discuss in-depth the details of each potential odor in the next section.
Keep in mind that airflow in your home will naturally move upwards, so eventually, the scent will permeate into the upper stories of your household – something you absolutely don’t want to deal with.
Identifying The Flooded Basement Smell
Now that you know why your basement can smell from flooding, it’s important to determine the cause of the odor itself. Listed below are a variety of different smells that could be the answer to your problem:
A musty scent, you may even relate to the smell of a wet dog, is a clear cut sign of a spore-like growth from that of mold or mildew.
Spores are released from fungi amidst the air until they meet the landing place of a moist environment, where they will bind to a surface and begin to grow further.
This is a key indication that the structural integrity of your home could be at risk to a fungal invader.
Smell of Mold/Mildew
Mold and mildew are known to thrive in moist conditions and are a common cause of odors and smell post-flood. It can often be found growing in open spaces, in concealed areas inside walls or ceilings, or even in your carpet!
Mold can often be difficult to remove without first dealing with the moisture surrounding it.
It may be crucial to contact a professional Water damage restoration company in order to completely dry your basement and have the mold removed quickly and efficiently. If mold goes left undealt with, your house can suffer major structural issues.
The strong and overwhelming smell of ammonia can be caused by a number of things such as:
- Fertilizer leakage from an exterior source of soil in contact with the basement barrier (ammonia is a nitrogenous fertilizer)
- Problem with a shorted electrical circuit as a result of flood damage
- An ammonia byproduct stemming from the growth of mold and mildew.
A cat owner might even reference this smell similar to cat urine.
If you’re noticing a chemical or solvent-like smell being produced in your basement, you should take immediate action to figure out the root of the smell – an unknown chemical exposure can pose serious risks.
Double-check the storage of any chemicals, i.e. paint & paint thinners, acetone, pesticides, or oil-based products. Ensure that there are no obvious spills or leakages.
Always consult an approved resource for safe chemical handling practices prior to engaging the chemicals. There is also the plausibility of a natural gas leak stemming from a heat exchanger or area of your furnace room that may need to be dealt with professionally.
Sewage / Poop Smell
Sewage and fecal matter can also be a common cause of a foul basement smell. Issues with sewage can typically be linked to a plumbing error in the household.
A weakened wax ring seal, or something more intricate like a broken sewer line can be the cause of the problem.
Flooding of a heavy magnitude can definitely cause issues inside a sewage system and should definitely be considered if it’s something you suspect.
How To Get Rid Of The Flooded Basement Smell
There are a number of household remedies you may use to help rid your basement of its foul smell and odor.
- Pour cat litter over the affected area. This works best if you have localized the smell and have allocated it to being a spill or growth of mold/mildew. Allow the cat litter to sit for a duration. Once it becomes more dense, and darker in color, it has likely absorbed the bulk of the substance in question.
- Treat the carpet with a white vinegar spray. One cup of white vinegar mixed with two cups of warm water in dilution will provide you with a proper spray used to eliminate unwanted odors. A light covering of the area should be enough to combat the smell.
- Activated charcoal based odor absorbers. Activated charcoal undergoes a treatment in order to make it extra porous, allowing for the absorption of many undesirable smells.
- A baking soda mixture.Baking soda contains absorbent properties that will allow for these substances to be picked up over time. Baking soda can maintain its absorbency for upwards of 3 months, depending on the quantity used. This works best if you need to get into tighter confined spaces, as opposed to something like cat litter being bulkier in property.
- Try utilizing a dehumidifier. It is essential to remove the humidity and moisture from the targeted area in order to reduce the spread of unwanted fungal invaders and smells.
- Use a fan or a set of fans to air out the affected areas. Heck, even crack a window if you can. Sometimes it can be as simple as removing the odor from the air within the space that has the problem. Proper ventilation is key for this.
- Other substances like bleach or borax may be used to help clean and eradicate the smell on surfaces.
While these may not be permanent solutions, it can certainly help in a pinch to get some relief of the odor. In some instances you may find this is all you need.
For a more long-term or permanent solution, it’s advisable to contact a professional in order to deal with the smell.
In some instances a scent may only be removed with proper tools or equipment, such as a pressure washer or a wet & dry vacuum, and by someone with the knowledge and experience capable of doing so.
If these issues are not addressed in a timely manner, permanent damage can result which can also spread further in your home.
If you have Mold/Mildew Smell – Don’t Wait!
Mold spreads in as little as a few hours after Flood & Can wreak havoc on your house structure. Call 844-994-1288 for a Rick Free estimate from a Licensed Flood Damage Restoration Specialist in your area.
We Can Help Dry out Your Basement & Remove any Signs of Mold!
Flooded Basement Carpet Smell
If there’s one thing an odor loves to cling onto, it’s carpet. Carpet is typically full of mesh and has a surface area capable of holding onto many bad substances.
You may be left thinking that it’s simply impossible to recover this material after a flood – but fear not – there are some solutions we can offer that may just do the trick.
Can Smelly Flooded Basement Carpets Be Rescued?
A smelly carpet can certainly be rescued. Home remedies may be used to aid in the removal of poor carpet odors. If the smell persists, turning to a professional water damage restoration company can certainly get the job done.
How To Rescue Your Carpet
There are a number of possible solutions to fixing your carpet and getting rid of those nasty odors.
- Start by vacuuming the affected area. This is to ensure you are removing any loose particles and dust that may get in the way, or add to the problem.
- Pour cat litter over the affected area of carpet. Allow the cat litter to sit for a duration, and come back to it when you’ve noticed a change in its color or density. This likely means that it has absorbed some of the substance in question.
- Treat the carpet with a white vinegar spray. One part vinegar to two parts warm water. A simple spray over the carpet will remove any light surface residue – definitely better suited for a lesser spill or odor.
- A baking soda mixture being added to the carpet will allow for these substances to be absorbed over time. This can easily be washed out afterward – so no worry about making a mess right now.
- If that doesn’t do the trick, a more in depth set of tools such as a steam cleaner & cleaning products, something along the lines of stain remover may be necessary to finalize the removal of the odor.
When To Call a Professional?
If you are starting to smell a Mold /Mildew smell it is important to properly dry out your basement and remove any signs of mold to avoid even more damage as soon as possible.
A Water damage Restoration Company has Industrial-Grade Equipment to completely dry out your basement , remove any remaining moisture and make sure that the mildew can’t spread further in your house.
This will also take care of the smell!
If you only have a slight musty smell, with enough ventilation it is possible to remove this Smell with one of the methods described in this guide.
It still may be deemed necessary to contact a professional when you’ve run through these home remedy tips and have not achieved your desired results.
It’s equally important to have professional care in a situation where you feel your safety may be at risk, and you require the knowledge and experience of a trained professional to get the job done for you.
A musty odor from a flooded basement can be quite an overwhelming task to take care of.
We have Flooded Basement Water Damage Restoration Technicians available in 95% of the USA.
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