Skip to Main Content

Musty Smells

If you find musty odors emanating from your basement, you should be quite concerned. Musty smells are a common problem in basements with water damage. Learn how to resolve musty odors by utilizing basement waterproofing solutions. 

Schedule Free Inspection

If your basement smells musty, it means mold and mildew are growing there. Mold and mildew may appear harmless to some individuals, but they can damage your health.  

These difficulties also indicate a moist basement, which a professional should inspect for leaks, cracks, and other moisture sources. 

What Causes Musty Smells in Basements


Mold growth is a source of musty smells in your basement. Mold is found in almost every part of the environment. However, when mold spores find a dark and wet area, they begin to develop visible black or discolored spots.  
Mold thrives in damp, dark environments, which makes your unprotected basement a big candidate for unwanted mold and mildew growth. Mold spores can quickly travel from your basement to the rest of your home, worsening asthma and allergy symptoms in people who have these conditions.  
Check your basement for mold if you notice musty odors in your home. 

Organic Material

Another source of musty, foul odors is organic material, such as wood, linen, or organic insulation. This implies that if your basement’s ceiling beams, floor joists, and even personal possessions stored there become excessively moist, they will deteriorate or decay.  
Wood rot weakens and exposes the wooden structures in your basement, making it smell bad. Keeping your basement – and the organic structures in your basement – dry is essential for preventing musty odors from growing and spoiling your home’s cozy environment. 

High Humidity

High humidity is a key source of musty odors in your basement. The relative humidity in your basement is determined by how much moisture the surrounding air can hold.  
On any given day, 75 percent humidity signifies that the air is holding three-quarters of its maximum moisture content. Moisture has to go somewhere when it reaches 100 percent, and condensation is typically the result.  
It is fairly usual for excessive humidity to build up inside your basement in cities like Philadelphia and nearby areas, where the environment is frequently rainy. Rain further contributes to humidity as saturated soil creates humidity as temperatures rise.  

Musty Basement Smells


Yes, it is possible for a basement to smell musty even though mold is nowhere to be found. 

Some factors that contribute to musty odors in a home include chemicals and bacteria that are present in your home’s surroundings and produce unpleasant odors in the air over time.  

A dehumidifier is the most effective technique to remove moisture from a damp basement. A single dehumidifier in the basement will remove much of the humidity and reduce the odor.  

Yes, moldy or musty smells in your basement are commonly caused by a combination of moisture, a lack of air movement, and darkness. So, if you have these odors in your basement, it is time to contact a professional basement waterproofing company.  

Get Professional Waterproofing Services from BQ Basements & Concrete

At BQ Basements & Concrete, we are used to rainy summers and chilly, wet winters. So, you can be confident that we understand how to manage basement and foundation concerns in homes throughout Philadelphia and the neighboring areas.  

Contact us if you are suffering from basement issues such as water intrusion and mold growth that are generating musty aromas in your house. We offer free, no-obligation examinations of your complete home to ensure that the problem is with your basement or foundation. 

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Proudly Serving Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey & Delaware.

New Jersey

535 Route 38 East, 149E
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002


106 Park Drive
Montgomeryville, PA 18936

West Chester

1503 Mcdaniel Dr.
West Chester, PA 19380