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  1. #1

    Office Building Stairwell has musty smell

    I manage a commercial office building that has a stairwell with 3 flights of stairs. It has concrete walls and carpet covered steel steps.
    There is a musty, damp odor that I need to remove.

    Any suggestions?

    Stairwell1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester NH
    Posts
    197
    Have the cleaners do a good deep cleaning with the carpet machine and make sure that they extract it. I know our cleaners have an odor eliminator solution that they use. Probably no ventilation in the stairwell and thats what is causing it. Make sure they use a fans as well to dry the carpet after they extract it.

  3. #3
    Carpets are being replaced but want to wash down entire area before new carpeting. Thought I'd use white vinegar and water solution or Lemon Juice & water solution. Heard this kills all spores (if any) and mildew.
    Also painting small slop sink area with concrete moisture block paint.
    Do you have any good suggestions for air freshening devices to be placed in stairwell as an ongoing fragrance?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,062
    Quote Originally Posted by Stairwell1 View Post
    I manage a commercial office building that has a stairwell with 3 flights of stairs. It has concrete walls and carpet covered steel steps.
    There is a musty, damp odor that I need to remove.

    Any suggestions?

    Stairwell1
    You missing a basic point. Carpet on concrete requires maintaining <50%RH. Any damp spot between the concrete and carpet for several days will end up with musty odors. You need a large enough dehumdifier to maintain <50%RH. Suggest looking at the Santa Fe Max Dry if the air infiltration is minimal. Whatever you do, monitor the %RH make sure it is <50%RH or keep the dew point of the air 20^F below the concrete temperature. Any water intrusion that get into the carpet also must be dried in a couple days or must odors will follow.
    Locating the dehu in the bottom of the stairwell will keep the drywell dry throughout.
    REgards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,062
    Quote Originally Posted by Stairwell1 View Post
    Carpets are being replaced but want to wash down entire area before new carpeting. Thought I'd use white vinegar and water solution or Lemon Juice & water solution. Heard this kills all spores (if any) and mildew.
    Also painting small slop sink area with concrete moisture block paint.
    Do you have any good suggestions for air freshening devices to be placed in stairwell as an ongoing fragrance?
    H2O2 and vinegar is commonly used to sanitize surfaces of all biologicals. I am not sure of the mix. Should be able to find on the web.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Middle of Florida
    Posts
    2,159
    People pee in stairwells.
    If common sense is so common how come so few of us have it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester NH
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally Posted by secorp View Post
    People pee in stairwells.
    That is all I can say to that post

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    Don't use carpet, install tile or paint the steps.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,552
    I have the steps in a building power washed once a year. There's no carpeting, just mats at the landings, so people can dry their feet. Also there is a small Exhaust Fan at the top of the steps, that is hooked to the smoke alarm. Also there is Smoke Hatch at the top.

    secorp is right about people peeing in the stairwell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Winnipeg MB Canada
    Posts
    347
    If all they do is pee in your stairwell your lucky. A few of the downtown office mall combos have had people leave "deposits" in the stairwell.

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