Get Rid of Musty Smell in Basement
LESLIE: Taking a call from Utah with Larry, who’s having something going on in the basement. What’s happening?
LARRY: Hi, you guys. I love your show.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Thank you.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thanks, Larry.
LARRY: I remodeled about a sixty-year-old house and I did the drywall and everything, finished the basement and then I started getting musty smells, especially like in the fall and winter …
LARRY: … or in the spring, when it’s wet. So I was wondering if you recommend some kind of spray insulation or something to go behind the wall?
TOM: Well, the basement is already finished, Larry?
LARRY: Yeah, it is.
TOM: And how did you finish it? Did you put up a frame wall and put drywall over that?
LARRY: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
TOM: OK. Well, it’s a little bit too late to do anything to those walls at this moment. Had you called us before that, we’d have told you not to use drywall – to use a product that’s actually not paper-faced. There’s a fiberglass-faced type of drywall that’s less resistant to mold but now that you’re in this particular situation, we want to try to get the humidity down in the basement as much as possible.
Do you have a forced-air heating system?
LARRY: Yeah, I do.
TOM: And does it also heat the basement?
TOM: Excellent. The best thing for you to do is to install a whole-home dehumidifier. This …
LESLIE: Yeah. You’re not going to have to dump water out with this thing.
TOM: This will be installed into the HVAC system and it will dehumidify the entire house and keep the humidity just perfect in that basement space. If you can manage the humidity, you’re going to manage that odor and that musty, damp smell and that’s going to reduce the risk of a mold problem developing.
LARRY: OK. Well, thank you so much, you guys. Once again, I love your show.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Larry. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.