The Musty Basement
Fixing a musty basement is a chore that must be done quickly yet can be very frustrating. Trying to chase down a musty odor is not easy. It’s a restoration project that is crucial to you enjoying your home.
A smelly basement is notjust an odor problem; it usually indicates something more severe is going on. What you are smelling could be just damp materials, but it could also be mold growing, and the off-gassing of that process. This isn’t pleasant nor healthy.
There are several steps you, as a homeowner, can take to help fix this issue.
Doing some simple cleaning can accomplish quite a bit. Keeping things clean – and dry – is key to curbing the smells that can come from a basement. Take the time to inspect all the materials in your basement and take out and clean those that might be damp or have an odor. A little suspicion goes a long way.
Most likely, these items that could have odor issues are porous materials, such as clothing, bedding, and similar items. Have your carpet cleaned professionally, if there is carpet in the basement. Using a home carpet cleaning machine might actually do more damage than good. Hire a pro.
Look at the sources of potential musty odors. Windows that are drafty, walls the seep in water, anything that can create odors should be inspected and addressed. Remember that musty smells usually come from mold growth.
Although you may think that your basement is nice and dry, it might not be. The only way is to monitor the humidity level. You can do this with a hand-held device, the type your restoration pros use, but that may not be practical for you. Those devices can be very expensive.
Better yet is to set up a dehumidifier that has that information on it with its display. This way, you can run the dehumidifier as needed to keep the humidity at the level you want it to be. The lower the humidity, the less you should experience musty odors in the basement.
And the absolute best way to know if those musty smells from the basement are due to water intrusion, or other restoration issues, and what to do about them, is to consult with your favorite water damage professionals.
After all, it pays to call a pro!
Stinky Garbage Disposals
Your garbage disposal is probably one of the devices in your home you seldom think about. After all, it’s hidden from view, you activate it with a simple flip of a switch, and it does its job.
But if it ever fails you, it quickly jumps to the top of the list of things you value most.
Your garbage disposal is, obviously, fitted to the drainpipe of your kitchen sink, and it grinds up all kinds of food waste, gunk, and more. It works diligently to gobble up and push into the sewer system what you should put and what you should neverput into a disposal, which shortens the life of the device.
It should be obvious to most that putting your fingers into the garbage disposal is a bad idea. Even when the unit is turned off, never reach in an attempt to dislodge or remove something that is hindering the garbage disposal’s efforts.
And when working in the disposal unit, always unplug or turn off the power before proceeding. It’s always best to call a pro in those circumstances when a simple, quick fix is not an option.
While your garbage disposal might seem like a superhero, it is not. You can put many food and other items down through the disposal, but some will create future problems. And the following advice will be tempered or adjusted by the type of garbage disposal you have. Some find their disposal will dispose of anything. Others find they have to be very selective on what they put into the disposal.
Smaller portions are better. Avoid greasy foods, fruit pits/seeds, bones, pastas and rice, nuts, coffee grounds, and any other substances that might build up in your sewer system.
Taking care of the health of your garbage disposal is important.
Weekly — and no less than monthly — let your disposal while running gobble up some baking soda and vinegar. You can put both down the drain slowly and if you see foam develop, that’s fine, it’s normal.
Alternate disposing of ice and also hot water. This helps with removal of the different types of debris that may attach to the blades of the garbage disposer.
There are times when advice is just not enough. Do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company.
After all, it pays to call a pro!