All London homes experience a damp smell every once in a while, both old properties and new. Dampness can be a result of your daily activities, like cooking and washing dishes. So even homes fitted with damp proofing materials might have dampness every now and then.
With damp comes the unpleasant odour, making your whole house smell like a wet basement. There are several ways to combat it and we at Damp Proof London have compiled a list of our seven best tips. Before you start tackling the damp smell, however, you should identify the cause of the odour and the areas it’s affecting.
What’s Causing the Damp Smell?
That damp basement smell could be caused by several things in your London home. Whatever the smell is emanating from might require a simple solution. Or, you may have to call damp proofing experts. If you have some forgotten wet laundry sitting somewhere, you can quickly solve that damp problem. If the source of the damp odour is mould or mildew, your problem isn’t so easy to fix.
Damp can be the result of a plumbing leak, damaged roof, saturated basement walls, or other structural problems. Check your home for “easy” signs of damp, like wet clothing. If you still cannot locate the source of the damp smell, then look at your pipes, rain gutters, and walls. It’s possible the dampness and resulting damp smell comes from one of these areas.
Which Areas Are Affected?
If you’ve determined that the cause of the damp basement smell in your London home isn’t structural, then there are steps you can take. First, however, you should identify the affected rooms in your home. You don’t want to go through an extensive cleaning process, only to realise that the smell persists elsewhere in your house. Be thorough when looking for the source of the odour, so you’re sure not to miss anything.
Also Read: 6 Best Dehumidifiers for the Basement
Tips for Reducing Damp Smell
Once you’ve found the source and location of the damp smell, you can take action to get rid of it. These seven steps should help you eliminate damp odours in your London home.
- Wash damp fabrics – If the cause of the smell is damp clothing, rugs, blankets, etc., then you’ll have to wash those fabrics. Washing with a little bleach will help remove the smell, but don’t add bleach if it’s not safe for the materials you’re washing. After you’ve washed everything in the washing machine, wash each piece again by hand with hot soapy water and vinegar. When you’re done, skip the dryer and hang dry the fabric in the sun.
- Lemon smell – You can overpower the damp basement smell with lemon. Boil the peels of lemon for a few minutes. Once the lemons in water cool, you can set the solution out around your house, wherever the smell is worst. You can also put the lemon mixture in a spray bottle to mist around the house.
- Baking powder absorption – Baking soda will help to naturally absorb mouldy smells. Place a small box or plate filled with baking powder in the affected room for 24 hours. You may have to repeat this process every several months to keep your home smelling fresh.
- Vinegar and water wash – In some rooms, the mildew odour persists even after you’ve removed the source. In this case, you should fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and water. Spray and wipe down surfaces like cabinets, windows, and countertops.
- Repaint the walls – In extreme cases, you might consider repainting your walls. If your walls have black mould stains, then cleaning and fresh paint will eliminate the appearance and the smell.
- Air out regularly – To prevent damp odours from setting in at all, you should air out your London home consistently. Keep your windows open for at least a few hours every day, especially in rooms where moisture gathers like the kitchen or bathroom.
- Deodorize appliances – If your appliances are the source of the damp smell, you can deodorize them with baking soda as well. After you’ve cleaned appliances inside and out with a normal cleaning agent, place a cup of baking soda inside for 24 hours.
Final Thoughts on Eliminating Damp Basement Smell in Your London Home
A persistent damp smell is uncomfortable and unpleasant. Most people aim to get rid of it as soon as they notice it. By identifying the cause early, and following these steps, you can eliminate the damp basement smell in your home.