The dampest area of any home is without a doubt the basement. The basement is below ground and therefore it is very much susceptible to all types of leaks and drainage from above ground. When a basement has a problem with leakage, those areas that are continually exposed to water can become water logged, moldy, rotten and covered in mildew. Moldy materials and mildew give off a very distinct, musty odor and your basement can very quickly become a place that no-one really wants to go.
Mold and Mildew
If you recognize the smell of mildew in your basement, look around for where moisture is entering your basement. If you have identified areas where water is entering in, it is important to have this taken care of, especially if you want to take advantage of your basement as a place that you and your family can enjoy. In fact, even if you only want to use the basement for storage, you should aim to make it as moisture-free as possible because dampness can damage the electrical components of the things that you have stored in the basement, not just furniture and carpeting.
Mold and mildew have a tendency to grow in areas where moisture gets trapped, like under the carpet and under wall coverings. What this means for you the home owner is the extra expense of replacing carpets and re-doing walls if the problem is allowed to go on and does not get resolved.
We all know that it is better to deal with a problem quickly rather than to deal with the various negative results of a problem that has been left to fester. No matter how you plan on renovating or decorating your basement, be sure to tackle all leaks and moisture problems before investing in the finish of your basement.
The job of tackling moisture and dampness in the basement should be approached from both inside and outside the house. You will most likely find that your problem is in fact a combination of issues that exist on the exterior of the house as well as along the inside wall as well. On the exteriors, you may need to do some foundation spraying, some exploratory digging and some repairs or redirection of water channels.
Inside, you will need to identify unsealed gaps that are allowing moisture and water to enter into the basement. This may be happening in a single area of the interior wall of the basement or in several places. Try to identify everywhere that it is happening in order to completely eradicate the problem because as you know, even very small leaks can cause very big problems
There are basement repair DIY kits designed especially to help you tackle interior wall problems yourself as the homeowner. A DIY kit will include a liquid rubber coating that should be used to prime the basement and a liquid rubber base should be used on joints, cracks and areas where leaks are occurring along the inside walls of your home.
Once applied correctly and dried, this will provide a barrier against leaks and moisture. Be sure that you give it enough time to dry and set properly before attempting to paint over it or do any other type of decoration. I would also wait for the next rainy day to check to see whether moisture is still able to penetrate your repairs and get inside.
Of course, problems that are large and beyond the scope of using DIY methods should be referred to a professional. The most important thing for you is that the problem is solved before you invest hard-earned money into renovating and doing up your basement.