The crawl space or basement is a part of your house that is easy to neglect. Generally used as a storage area or a place in which those items you don’t wish to see everyday get relegated to, the basement is actually an integral part of your house and one that needs due care and attention, especially when it comes to basement waterproofing. Your crawl space supports the living areas above it and provides that much needed buffer between the house and the ground. Insulation and proper ventilation are key in maintaining the quality and integrity of this space and a badly ventilated or damp room can lead to health risks – so most certainly needs to be avoided.
By eliminating ground water and reducing the chances of flooding into your crawl space, you keep those damp musty foul smells at bay too; but it is not just water that can create nasty odours. If you have experienced unpleasant smells drifting up from your crawl space and want to know if they are an issue or not, here is our guide to troubleshooting the stench and making a call on whether you need to get that basement waterproofing looked at or whether you can deal with the issue yourself.
Mould is the first sign that water has made its way into this space and is taking hold. When you see mould, it indicates a problem. Not every type of mould produces a smell, but its effect on wood and other organic materials can cause decay and this can lead to a moist mildew type odour. Mould is the first sign that you need expert advice regarding basement waterproofing – you don’t want this issue to get out of hand.
Rats and Mice
Having a resident rat or mouse is not uncommon and they often make their homes in crawl spaces, bringing with them their somewhat disgusting toileting habits. When the rodents die they can produce a really unpleasant smell, too. You need to make sure that any dead rodents are removed immediately and, while this is not cause for concern with regards basement waterproofing, it does need dealing with.
Of course you can store all sorts in this out of sight area in your house, but make sure that your space is clean, sealed and odour free. These areas of houses are generally small and condensed, so be mindful of what items you actually store in them. Paint cans, rubbish and objects left by previous owners need to be removed.
Moisture and Humidity
Moisture can also be caused by humidity, and humidity is common in unsealed basements. But it can also occur in areas with sealed or concrete floors. Concrete, when laid, can trap moisture as it dries and this eventually seeps out and invades your crawl space. Bacteria can also accumulate in damp areas and cause a smell.
Unsealed Floors/Exposed Dirt
When a floor is exposed it is often dirty and this dirt can be the source of an unpleasant smell. Soils are full of organic material that decomposes and can produce a horrid stench. Moisture in the soil can spread upwards, causing the air to become humid and the space to become even more damp. The increased moisture causes even more decay and the problem manifests.
We recommend that if the source of your nasty odour is not obvious, you seek expert advice. If the problem is one that can only get worse, you need to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later. Basement waterproofing is an investment you will never regret.
Nick Iskenian is a local resident of New Jersey and the owner and founder of Best Choice Waterproofing. The company provides effective, professional quality solutions for damp problems, carrying out foundation repair and basement waterproofing in New Jersey. If your home is suffering from water seepage, mildew, damp, cracks, warping, paint peeling or a range of other issues, their highly trained field operators have the skills and experience to solve the problem.
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