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spaniel 01-22-2007 11:59 PM

finished basement:mild musty odor
Funny thing-Before we bought this l950's ranch about a month ago we did not smell a thing in the basement. I has paneling-not great, but actually a pretty high grade,lighter color. There are indoor/outdoor carpets of unknown age. The lady who owned the home was meticulous. My husband says the mild odor doesn't bother him. But me-nope-I want to improve it. First off, do you think we should just get rid of the rugs.(I cannot really ascertain that the smell is coming from there-They are a berber type of rug,I think.)
There is also no dehumidifier. I know I could spend a fortune on an air ventilation system, but now money is not flowing. The foundation looks quite good,no obvious leaks.
For you pros, what would you do first?

CraigFL 01-23-2007 05:44 AM

First, you should try a dehumidifier. Get a larger capacity one and get it off the floor(near the ceiling) where it's not so cool. You will be surprised at the difference it makes.

mudmixer 01-23-2007 08:39 AM

Make sure you have an air supply and return vents in the basement.

Running you furnace fan will provide a more uniform temperature in the basement and fresher air.

If you are lucky, you have a variable speed fan on your furnace that you can run for next to nothing and also reduce air conditioning costs.


glennjanie 01-23-2007 12:29 PM

Welcome Spaniel:
Spray the carpet with Febreeze first; its the cheapest thing you can do. Any masonry (including concrete floors) has constant moisture about it. Good air circulation is the next least expensive step and, if that doesn't cure the problem, then you could add a dehumidifier. Please post back and keep us up to date on your progress.

spaniel 01-24-2007 10:00 PM

thanks. First off my husband started throwing out the carpets. They were pretty ugly anyway. We are going to have the furnace serviced and maybe I will notice a difference. I can't quite figure out how to get more ventilation without having a vent to the outside,though.

glennjanie 01-25-2007 03:22 PM

Air movement and heat are as crucial as getting outside air. If you bring in outside air it will blow out through the little air leaks you may have; I would bring it into the return air duct so it will be "conditioned" before going into the house. How to get outside air depends on where your furnace is located. It would normally be near the center of the house. If that is the case you could run a metal or PVC pipe into the attic with a screen on it (the pipe), and connect it to the return duct where ever it is convenient.

elementx440 01-25-2007 09:21 PM

I second the dehumidifier, you'd be surprised at the results... and it's not an expensive investment, give it a shot before any expensive repairs...

inspectorD 01-27-2007 02:01 PM

We have a second on the floor...
......The motion before us is to use dehumidifiers in basements, ...discussion?...I think everyone should own a dehumidifier for the humidity in basements...
Anyone else?...(gavel sound)
Ok then it's approved...we should all have dehumidifiers and recommend them as often as possible.
Meeting adjourned.:p

Go out and buy stock in dehumidifiers.:D

mudmixer 01-27-2007 02:33 PM

Five houses in 30 years with finished basements. Never owned a dehumidifier and never considered buying one. Maybe my basements were built properly.

Since my basement was conditioned, I always circulated the air with my heating/air conditioning system with proper supply AND return ducts.

inspectorD 01-27-2007 02:59 PM

My wish...
My wish is that all basements are like yours..
I just happen to see to many that are damp or wet with no conditioning.
I would have to say that out of every 1000 inspections about 100 don't need any de-watering systems.
The problem is that things constantly change in a home..let's say new owners don't clean the gutters and now there is water in a basement after 30 years...never happened before says the old owners.
That's the reason I recommend dehumidifiers and sump pumps if you have a hole in the floor.

You don't need them until you need them...then it's a mold issue.:eek: another 4 letter word. Hope I don't get banned.:D

I have an older home built in the 1920s. It has no water in the basement and no leaks. But in the summer when we get heavy rains it gets damp. I don't have A/C and there is no waterproffing on the outside foundation walls.

Perfect case for a dehumidifier. Now I wish I had your basement.:D

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