How To Deodorize Subfloor (5 Simple Steps)

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There are different subfloors, with the common ones being made from plywood, oriented strand board, or concrete.

If your subfloor smells musty or you are installing new flooring, you need to clean and deodorize the subfloor before laying down the new material and also to avoid serious problems later.

While looking for how to deodorize subfloor, you also need to find out why your subfloor has that musty smell in the first place, as a musty smell is a sign of subfloor rot or damage. 

This article will further go ahead to discuss why your subfloor might be smelly and how to deodorize it.

How To Deodorize Subfloor

Deodorizing your subfloor helps to get rid of any developed musty smell that could be filling your room. This procedure may take you up to two days, and here are the easy steps to follow on how to deodorize subfloor.

Please read on!

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Step 1: Move Your Furniture

To get access to your subfloor, the floor must be cleared of any item on it, which means you need to move your furniture out of the room. 

You may also need to remove any wall décor so you can clean the walls as well. 

If you can temporarily uninstall the upper flooring, do well to do so also.

Step 2: Vacuum And Mop The Floor

With a vacuum, remove any debris and dirt particles on the floor or underneath furniture. Then go in with a mop and warm soapy water to clean every corner of the room. 

Rinse off the floor with cold water, changing the water as frequently as possible so you can achieve a spotless look.

Step 3: Bleach Your Floor

Create a bleach or vinegar mixture with a ratio of 1:3 and mop the floor with it, then let the floor dry completely afterward. To fasten the drying time, open up windows and doors.

Step 4: Apply A Sealant

Apply oil-based paint on the floor to seal and protect the subfloor from becoming stained and developing odors in the future. 

Apply the product according to packaging directions; most sealants usually require two coats, where the second layer is applied after the base coat is completely dry.

Step 5: Allow The Floor Dry Completely

As stated already, this project may take up to three days, if not more, depending on how large the area you are working on is. 

The paint needs to be allowed to dry for at least 48 hours before the carpet and furniture are replaced.

Read Too: How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Laminate Flooring

Why Does Your Subfloor Smell Musty?

How To Deodorize Subfloor

There are different reasons why your subfloor can develop a musty smell; it may be due to a plumbing mishap that causes the floor to become soaked through with water; this leads to a variety of other issues like mold and rotting. 

Even after eliminating the musty smell from your subfloor, you need to find out the cause so it can be tackled and the smell prevented from coming back.

Now let’s find out some reasons why your subfloor smells musty:


If your house is regularly infested by pesky pests and other animals that emit foul odors, your home might develop a musty smell. Vermin do not only eat through wood; they also leave their dropping behind in the subfloor. 

This waste accumulates over time, and when it decomposes, it leaves a musty smell. 

If you notice any sign of pests living in your house, you will need to seek the services of a good pest extermination service to get rid of them.


If your house is in a riparian area, your subfloor might be prone to mold growth. This is because molds thrive and multiply rapidly in areas with a lot of moisture and minimal ventilation. 

As the molds spread, they release some compounds which emit a terrible smell. 

The only way to prevent mold growth is by keeping your floor and subfloor dry and moisture-free and ensuring the room is well ventilated.


If your home experienced a flood, it causes the water table to rise, and water is able to gain access to your subfloor. 

Although most flooding incidents are caused by unpreventable incidents, you can seal your subfloor with several layers of an effective sealant to prevent moisture from seeping through to your floor.

Pet Urine

If you have pets, they may leave little accidents on your floor and, when left uncleaned, it causes a foul smell on your floor.

Pet urine should be cleaned immediately; they are noticed as the longer you leave pet urine on your floor, the higher the chances of it penetrating into your subfloor.


There are different ways to deodorize subfloor, but after eliminating the foul smell, you must then proceed to find out why your subfloor smells musty; this will help to prevent future reoccurrence and stop a big problem from becoming.

Now! We have come to the end of this post, and I hope you were able to pick one or two on how to deodorize subfloor? And I am sure you may have a subfloor to deodorize, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

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