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How Do I Remove the Musty Smell from My Basement?

The encapsulation process can be confusing if you’ve never gone through it or tried it out at any point. Here’s how the encapsulation process for your basement will work once you’ve contacted a JES basement waterproofing expert and started the process. 

Remove Existing Debris 

The first step is to remove any and all existing debris. There are many things that could be “debris” in your basement. For example, if you’d tried to lay down a vapor barrier before but it was thin and flimsy and tore apart, you’ll have to remove that before you can proceed with the encapsulation process.

Otherwise, that debris is just going to stay there and collect bacteria, which isn’t good for anyone. 

This debris removal process can be tricky if you don’t have the right equipment. After all, most of the debris will probably have some form of bacteria, mold, or mildew, which means you can’t just pick it up with your hands. A JES waterproofing expert will be able to give you more information about how they can help you remove this debris and make it easy to move to the next step.

Add a Vapor Barrier 

This next step is to add a vapor barrier that truly works. This isn’t a flimsy 6mil vapor barrier or a thin piece of plastic sheeting. The vapor barrier under your home should be a strong, thick vapor barrier that resists any attempts from moisture to come through. Additionally, it should stand up to light movement on top of it, as someone might need to come in for any number of reasons.

The vapor barrier JES uses is a 20mil CrawlSeal vapor barrier. Although it might seem like overkill to use a 20mil vapor barrier in the basement, which is often only lightly trafficked, it’s actually an important part of the process. You should absolutely opt for the strongest vapor barrier available in this context.

Close Crawl Space Vents 

The next step is to make sure you close all crawl space vents. Because you’re dealing with a musty basement, you might not have any of these vents; after all, they’re called “crawl space vents” because they’re usually in crawl spaces instead of basements. However, some basements have crawl space vents because people once thought they would be helpful.

Of course, now most people know better and are aware that crawl space vents do more harm than good. If you have open crawl space vents in your home right now, consider putting crawl space vent covers over the vents, regardless of whether they’re situated in a crawl space or a basement.

Include a Dehumidifier If Necessary 

Although a dehumidifier shouldn’t be your primary method of handling condensation, that doesn’t mean you should completely remove dehumidifiers from your list of tools. In fact, a dehumidifier can be an amazing tool to make indoor humidity easier to manage. It’s just all about whether you’re using it in the right way.

Remember that your dehumidifier should be strong enough to maintain a steady level of humidity at whatever level you specifically decide. Many people decide they want dehumidification options in their crawl spaces but don’t look into whether the dehumidifier will actually work. With the JES dehumidifier, you can rest assured that your dehumidification strategies will make things easier to handle for you and anyone else living in the home.