I don't know about you, but walking into a basement and smelling mold is one of those things that makes me jump into action. Older homes that are not properly ventilated seem to give me more problems. Over the years, I've found a few things that really seem to work wonders in a matter of days and don't require homeowners to tear down all of their walls (unless there are actual signs of mold on the walls, then you need to call in a contractor or prepare some bleach and scrub your walls). If you see black mold on your walls and ceiling, you need to call someone - some types of mold can be toxic to humans and animals. My suggestions are for damp, moldy basements that can also smell like mold.
1. Buy a large capacity dehumidifier. Buy a dehumidifier with a capacity of at least 50 gallons (this also depends on the size of your basement) with the ability to connect a hose to the unit so you can empty it out the window. The larger the capacity, the less you will have to empty the unit. In a wet basement, you will need to empty the unit at least once a day.
2. Go to your local Home Depot and pick up some DampRid hanging bags. You hang these bags around your basement and they collect the extra moisture from the air and collect it in the plastic bags under the pellets. Once the bag is full, you can throw it away and put in a new one. It takes about 2 months to fill a bag. Depending on the size of your basement and the degree of mold odor, you can use several of these bags and hang them around.
3. Go to www.allergycontrol.comand, under Mold Control, they sell an item called Mold Zapper. You plug this device in and it prevents mold spores from growing in the air. I have been using these devices for years. The first few days you plug the device in, it is a little warm because it treats all the mold in the air. After about three days, your air will smell so much cleaner. These units are long lasting, I have had one in my home for over 4 years now and I leave it running all the time in my living room.
4. In the spring and fall, I always like to have a window fan set to pull air out of the basement and another window open to create a cross flow of air. The window fan costs about 20 $ and is a great way to get fresh air into your home before any visits.
Now you can start enjoying your basement or showing your home without worry.