Are you about to put your house on the market but suspect a mold problem in the basement because of a musty odor? Has someone mentioned that the basement smells funky and recommend that you put in an air freshener or open windows? Have you thrown out any basement belongings because they were moldy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is likely a mold problem in the basement that should be identified and resolved before the house goes on the market.
In today’s intense real estate market, the last thing you want is to have a potential buyer back out of the deal because of a mold problem. Listen to your realtor, friends, or family if they say the basement may have a mold problem. If someone smells mold but you don’t, it is still a problem. Many people can’t smell mold or simply say their basement smells like a ‘typical New England basement’. The latter almost immediately defines a mold problem because there is no such thing as a typical New England basement smell…that smell is caused by mold. The only thing that produces the odors that are referred to as ‘damp’, ‘dank’, ‘musty’, ‘earthy’, or ‘mildewy’ in a basement is MOLD. Smelling mold in a basement means there IS a mold problem. The problem could be as simple and small as an old carpet or as complex and large as a widespread humidity or seepage problem causing significant damage. Knowledge is the key. The extent of the mold problem and the moisture source that caused it are the two most important pieces of information you can gain from a qualified mold inspection.
Basement mold problems can develop quickly or over a long period of time, depending on the amount of moisture present. Basement moisture issues can be generalized into two main categories: accumulated water (ground water, pipe leak, hot water heater burst, toilet overflow, etc.) and high relative humidity. Humidity tends to be one of the most common causes of basement mold growth and odors.