Why Does My Basement Smell Musty?

The basement can often be one of the most neglected places in the home. If unfinished, it’s usually damp, dark, and sometimes a bit creepy, but along with it often comes that typical basement smell.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions Salt Lake City

You know that smell, that musty damp and subtle smell that hits your nose as soon as you enter the room — well it might be typical to you, but it’s not something you should be accustom to. A musty and smelly basement has a cause, and it’s one you’ll want to find ASAP.  

So Why Does Your Basement Smell Musty?

Know Your Smells

To accurately identify what may be leading to your not so pleasant smelling basement, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re smelling. A rotten egg or garbage like smell could be gas from your sewers, a sweet aroma could be dead mice, hiding in a wall or crevice, but if it’s musty  —  mold or mildew is most likely your cause!  

Mold And Mildew

Whether it’s from an untreated leak or stagnant water that was left unfixed, water and mildew can not only lead to a musty odor, but it can spread rapidly through your basement. Due to the lack of ventilation, mold in your basement is quite common so it’s something you’ll want to keep an eye out for, and stop before it grows.

Pesky Leaks

To find your source of mold and mildew, you want to rule out any leaks. Look at your pipes, your walls, and foundation. If there is any sagging, dripping or weathering, you’ll want to fix the issue before your basement is overgrown with mold.


If you found no excess water, no dampness and no structure cause for concern, your musty odor could be a simple humidity problem. A quite common occurrence, damp basement or not, humidity in your basement is easier to fix than you think! You’ll want to purchase a dehumidifier to keep your humidity levels right where they belong. 

For the ultimate in home comfort and clean air in Salt Lake City, consider an indoor air quality upgrade or installation from Scott Hale Plumbing, Heating and Air.  Contact our professionals today!