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  1. #1

    Bad air flow: Stink from basement rising into rest of house

    Hi folks,

    We have a slight mold problem in the basement. We have a French drain and a dehumidifier. But the dehumidifier produces a ton of heat that cause a warm smelly breeze to rise upwards. On top of that, we can't close the door to the basement because the kitty litter is down there.
    And we can't remove the dehumidifier because there are paintings stored downstairs.

    Any ideas about how to solve this?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    do you have any ventilation for your basement? normally a dehumidifier shouldn't be "smelly". did you check/clean the unit?
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 09-17-2012 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Corrected error on my part.

  3. #3
    There is zero ventilation in the basement. The plan is to open up some vents into the furnace/air control system soon. Personally I have suggested using outside air but the owner of the house believes this will bring in moisture.

    The problem with the dehumidifier is that it's acting more like a heater than a dehumidifier. The smell is from mold.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Mount Airy, MD

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Seems like a perfect place for a ventilating dehumidifier. The owners will still need to get rid of the mold but it will solve the humidity and stank issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
    Move the cat box upstairs and get a cat box that has a hood on it with a carbon filter. Then leave the dehumidifier running in the basement and close the door...provided the basement is unfinished and not used for anything other than storage.

    If you have paintings down there you may want to think about controlling temperature as well as humidity. That's another topic by itself. I certainly would not store paintings in the same vicinity as a cat box!
    Building Physics Rule #1: Hot flows to cold.

    Building Physics Rule #2:
    Higher air pressure moves toward lower air pressure

    Building Physics Rule #3:
    Higher moisture concentration moves toward lower moisture concentration.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Contact a mold remediation company to assess the seriousness of the mold.

    Some houses are condemned if they have certain types of mold.

    This is a health issue and mold can sometimes do permanent damage to people.

    The Day You Think You Know Everything Is The Day You Stop Learning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Western PA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Keokuk, IA
    IS the dehumidifier still removing water? I've had a few of the cheap portable units I assume spring a refrigerant leak, and they made some heat, but never got the coil cold enough to do anything.

    You mgiht need a bigger dehumidifer, ro do further work to better isolate the moisture issue. I'm guessing you have a older home with a stone foundation.

    For hte cat box, go buy a new cheap-o $70 interior door and a cat door and replace it. That way you ruining a good origingla solid wood door (if it's a nice original one) and kitty can go downstairs but you can keep the door closed. That's what we did at our house. Although fortunately I have a dry, apprantly well drained, poured concrete foundation. Funny, my 1925 home is bone dry, while my 1968 home and all those in the area where I used to live had major water issues. It'st all in the details, and tract home builders usually fail at that.

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