Published on January 29th, 2013 | by Henri


Odors and mold in a damp basement

Q.    We live in a 100-year-old house and have a problem with a damp and smelly basement. It is mostly poured concrete but there are areas of dirt (I think our cat has been using that instead of his litter box!). What can we do to eliminate the odor? Any special products that you recommend for strong odor removal?

We also have a mold problem because of the dampness. Any recommended products for this? Are there local consultants out there that we should hire?

A.    To eliminate any bad odors, try spraying Nok-Out on all unfinished surfaces throughout the basement (if there are any finished surfaces, you should try spraying Nok-Out on an inconspicuous area to make sure it will not damage them). Nok-Out is available online at

Where is the mold? One way to remove mold, if it is not too extensive and only on the surface, is to wash it off with a solution made of equal parts Clorox bleach and water. But if the mold is deep into the material and extensive, it is safer to have an environmental engineer take samples and recommend how to take care of it.

To reduce or eliminate the dampness, you should run a dehumidifier in the summer. An alternative is to hang a number of Mil-Du Gas Plus bags in the basement. A 7-1/2 ounce bag will take care of 1,000 cubic feet. You should be able to get Mil-Du Gas Plus in marine or RV supply stores.

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