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Help my house smells!


AnonymousJoe

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So my house was built in 64, small ranch with a walk out basement.  Over the past 8 years I've completely remodeled it inside and out.  Refinished floors, doors, trim, closets, baths, kitchen, I've painted like 5 times, dehumidifier runs year round.... and I cannot get that old musty smell out of my house! We are going nuts here , wife wants to move, we love the house and property but can't take the smell.  Only idea I have left is removing the old lay in attic insulation which is covered with old blow in insulation over top. Anyone have any experience with this? Do you think the attic insulation is the culprit maybe the smell is leaking in thru the recessed can lighting?

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You could try running an ozone machine in the attic...it should be pretty apparent where the smell is coming from, it should get pretty unbearable near the source. Obviously, if you're going to use the ozone machine be careful and follow all the precautions. You basically turn it on before you leave and they run on a timer. It shuts off and it takes some time to disperse and after several hours it's safe to reenter.

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  • 2 months later...

If you have a musty basement, there isn’t much you can do for the smell if there is a moisture issue. You have to find and fix the problem. Masking it doesn’t solve it.

I had issues as well, turned out that the basement wasn’t insulated properly and the insulation was retaining some moisture. We had to seal the concrete and re-insulate. We also found a drain that was tied into the weeping tile was also smelling. It was pretty damp/wet and had holes in the top. Sealed that up too.

Musty smell gone!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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I think you need to pay attention to the old details of decoration in the house. Perhaps replacing floors and puttying walls can reduce odor.
If you are not ready for such global changes, then I know that air humidifiers lean odors well. On Amazon, I even once met an air purifier for pet owners. As I understand, they have the most sensitive and powerful

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Hah, female bots to the rescue. 
Back to the topic, I believe Joe was able to fix this. 

If not, here are my two cents. We had a mystery smell a couple of year ago, vaguely stinky. Had a mold guy come in, did moisture tests, didn't find anything, but agreed there was a smell. As for plumbing leak detection - turned up nothing. 
Long story short,  the smell was from the wall insulation and we had to replace it. No problems ever since.
 

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HEY Joe, I am a maintenance tech for an old apartment building and getting rid of odors is kinda my specialty.

That musty odor is mildew no doubt about it. I did not say mold so don't get scared. It is in the walls and sub floor, nothing you can do about it , its a part of life.  But you can keep the odor of it under control and this is how: 

1. Use a live bacterial odor eliminator as directed by manufacturer. Such as "Liquid Alive".

2. Now here's the tricky part: it is not recommended to tare into the walls and disturb what possibly could be "MOLD". BUT I have drilled a hole and used a 2 gallon garden sprayer and sprayed a fine mist of "LIQUID ALIVE" in the walls in several locations on the wall, not to saturate but to dampen. Figure in "SAFETY FIRST" with electrical wires and such, turn off the breakers. and let dry overnight. Then turn breakers back on.

3. I have used this product for pet odors by treating sub floors and the underside of carpet as well as the carpet fibers. And I swear by it, mind you this is not something you want to inhale. 

 

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