Heavy rains and water leaks can flood a basement within a matter of hours. In the process, knee high waters can dampen possessions, ruin electronics and create an unwelcome mildew smell within the space.
While it can be challenging to restore and freshen this space, there remain several household solutions that can be utilized. By using the following solutions, you will be able to restore this space and leave it smelling fresh.
Smell Removal Solutions for Flooded Basement
1 Step 1: Fix Leak & Drain Basement
As a preliminary step, you will need to fix any water pipe leaks or water passages into the basement and drain the water out. In most cities, professional services can be hired to perform the task of pumping out all of the water level found within the basement’s space.
2 Step 2: Sun Dry Items & Baking Soda
Once you have the water pumped out of the basement, you will need to move out all items that have been affected by the flooding to dry out and deodorize within the sun. While the flooring is still moist, use an entire box of baking soda to sprinkle over the surface area of the basement’s flooring.
3 Step 3: Enzyme Cleaner or White Vinegar Wipedown
Once the entire area has been evacuated of flood affected items, proceed to wipe down all surface areas within the space with enzyme cleaner or white vinegar. Both of these deodorizing solutions will have the effect killing the mold spore that work to cause the dank mildew odor within the space. When using white vinegar, you will need to mix a solution of one part white vinegar with three parts water. You will need to apply either of these solutions while using a rag for the walls and a mop for the walls. Upon completion, it is smart to open the windows within the space and run one or two area fans within the basement to speed the drying process.
4 Step 4: Run Dehumidifier
If you notice that the basement might need something a bit more substantial than area fan to properly dry out the space, you may want to consider buy a dehumidifier. This machines will work to pull all of the available moisture out of the space and make it very difficult for mildew to grow within the space.
5 Optional: Ozone Machine
If a mildew odor remains after everything within the basement has been properly treated and dried out, you may want to consider renting an ozone machine. These machines are highly effective but also require precaution during their use. It is extremely important not to be with the space it is treating as it can be deadly within extreme cases.
Basement clean-up requires more than just odor removal after it has been flooded. For some additional tips on eliminating odors in the home, you can use this flooded basement cleaning guide.
Photo Credit: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)