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Thread: musty smell

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I have a dilemma. Our house is about 6000 square feet roughly 3500 upstairs and 2500 down. The downstairs is daylight on one side and block wall up against a hill on the other. The dilemma is how to cure the musty smell.

    At the base of the block wall the prior owners put in a French drain indicating that there might have been water coming in at one point. But we have never had any signs of active water. The gutters on that side of the house are good and the earth slopes away from the house. I had a water mediation company come in and they told me to seal the wall with waterproof cement. I thought that helped but it apparently has not. Our HVAC guys told us to put a fan in the crawlspace on the other side of the block wall. There is a vent only on one side of the crawlspace. But the fan did not cure the problem. It was also suggested that we put another hole in the crawlspace at the other end of the house because it is my understanding that there are difference schools of thought about venting crawlspaces. That we have not yet done. Our HVAC guys then suggested that we put an ozone generator in the crawlspace to destroy any smells. In reading the EPA info an ozone generator does not seem like such a good thing to do. It seems like better air circulation in the improved part of the basement might be the way to go but I am guessing.

    The downstairs has a separate zone for HVAC and we run the fan 24/7. We also have two small residential humidifiers running. Our HVAC guys also suggested considering an industrial grade dehumidifier. Any thoughts or suggestions? Feel free to contact me by phone. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL

    High relative humidity = Musty odors

    Any area with +60%RH will grow mold, generating musty odors. It may also make you sick. What's the %RH in the remote cool areas of the home and crawlspace? Radio Shack has a neat remote reading %RH meter for crawls and isolated areas for $53. In dry climates, increasing ventilation of dry outside air reduces %RH. In high dew point climates, it increases the %RH, increasing mold growing, causing more odors. Plastic on the earth in the crawlspace, close the exterior vents, dehumidify with enough capacity to maintain less than 50%RH throughout sensitive areas. Residential dehu's are energy hog toys, checkout the They maintain <50%RH in 3,500 sq.ft., enough capacity for crawl and lower level, using 50% less electricity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    TB: Thank you. Relative humidity is above 60%. We are in teh South and outside humidity is usually high in the warm months.

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