finished basement:mild musty odor

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by spaniel, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1

    spaniel

    spaniel

    spaniel

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    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?
     
  2. Jan 23, 2007 #2

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

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    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.
     
  3. Jan 23, 2007 #3

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    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.

    Dick
     
  4. Jan 23, 2007 #4

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    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.
    Glenn
     
  5. Jan 25, 2007 #5

    spaniel

    spaniel

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    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.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2007 #6

    glennjanie

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    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.
    Glenn
     
  7. Jan 26, 2007 #7

    elementx440

    elementx440

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    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...
     
  8. Jan 27, 2007 #8

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    ......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
     
  9. Jan 27, 2007 #9

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    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.
     
  10. Jan 27, 2007 #10

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    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
     
  11. Jan 28, 2007 #11

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    Inspector -

    I haven't been lucky with my basements. I had them built correctly with both interior and exterio drain tile and Thoroseal on the walls. It costs less than 10% of what a retrofit "waterproofing" system will cost.

    I was lucky - my last 800 inspections/investigations had no basements (Katrina), but I do have a new respect for mold and and what people can create without knowing what they are doing.

    Obviously, a duhumidifier will help to eliminated some of the effects of the moisture. If you have excess humidity, It is wise to have some professional consultation to determine the cause. Usually it is far cheaper in the long run when you consider the problems caused for the home and contents. A typical dehumidifier can only circulate so much air and solve only a few problems.

    Some procative measures like sealing joints with hydraulic cement and a proper wall coating (not just a masonry paint) go a long way to eliminate moisture.

    Proper air flow with adequate supply and and excess air returns do wonders. If you have a good furnace, run the fan constantly whenever in the heating or cooling mode. It provides a great degree of confort and usuabilit for a finished basement room.
     
  12. Jan 31, 2007 #12

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    All very good points, I just tend to think most folks don't do their due maintinence .
    Having a dehumidifier is only one step of many.;)
     

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