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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Full basement under original part of house. The addition (1970's) has a crawl space. The crawl space had an outside vent, but previous owner put a cover. The part that is to the full basement has a grate on it (not a sealed cover). It is really a "crawl space" as the only way into is crawl. That being said - I have not looked in - nor has my hubby.
The family room (directly above seems to have a musty smell) more so in hot weather. Is there way to do something about this.
I'd thought about putting some sort of "furnace type filter" where the connection to the main basement is -- sounds silly, but any simple ideas?
 

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Musty smell sound like wet to me. A crawl space can be insulated and conditioned like part of the basement or vented with and sealed from the basement.
Either way a dry crawlspace is the first thing. So you will have to get a head in there and see what you have going on.
 

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Whether the crawlspace is sealed (properly) or vented, it needs a vapor barrier (e.g., 6 mil or heavier polyethylene) on the ground. Look for that. Also, look for any signs of water intrusion through the foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, sounds like I'm sending my hubby in there :) not me. My guess is that when the original owner built the addition he didn't put any sort of vapor barrier down - since it was in the 1970's. There is a cement patio adjacent to the house perhaps there is water seeping through that way that wasn't a problem when initally built. The landscape and area probably has changed a lot since it was built. It sounds like a messy job if it has to be done :) Thanks for the info's
 

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retired framer
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Ok, sounds like I'm sending my hubby in there :) not me. My guess is that when the original owner built the addition he didn't put any sort of vapor barrier down - since it was in the 1970's. There is a cement patio adjacent to the house perhaps there is water seeping through that way that wasn't a problem when initally built. The landscape and area probably has changed a lot since it was built. It sounds like a messy job if it has to be done :) Thanks for the info's
Let us know what he finds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, we opened the trap door that goes in from the basement - above the little door is a small screen, that is there so some heat gets to the pipes so they don't freeze. There is not a "little door" abt 3" x 7" to the outside - I suppose they closed to keep mice, etc out - they closed it up with plywood or pressed wood (something like that). Anyway - We both looked - there had been rain in the past week, but it was dry in there - just pipes & cobwebs.
The Full traditional basement - does get water coming in through the cement (tiled) floor if lots of rain & we have one sump pump - so... perhaps if we ran the dehumidifier that might help.
Perhaps the "smell" is a partially clogged sewer vent not the crawl space at all. We're perflexed.
 

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Crawlspaces are known for being musty smelling, not that uncommon. 50 percent of the basement air comes up through the rest of the house. So that's why it smells musty in the family room.

Easiest and cheapest thing to do right now until it can be fixed properly is, as you said, put a large dehumidifier down there. Also hang some damprid moisture absorbers on couple nails. They come single or three/four to a box available at any box, hardware or grocery store. Just a suggestion.

Additionally, make sure your sump pump is in working order or add another one to help remove the water from basement. It's ok, basements/crawl spaces do get wet from time to time, just have to have a way to get the water out.;);)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the response - had forgotten about the damp rid - we've used it in our little camper & it actually does take the moisture out. Will try those suggestions. And, will go for the unscented which makes for sense.Thanks
 

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Hi Joannie, late to the thread but want to give you more details and a link.
A soil floor in a crawl space may look dry but that is because the moisture is escaping before it accumulates at the surface. Tests have shown "gallons" of water per day are produced by basement dirt floors.
BSI-009: New Light In Crawlspaces
Photo #5 would be a dry CS with no smell and warm floors.

Best
Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Bud that was interesting. Without looking again - I don't remember insulation. The crawl space under the addition was built by the former owners in the 1970's. There is a screen little vent to the original traditional basement, plus a door (I suppose someone could crawl through) - but when we looked I remember (might be wrong) but piece of insulation or something black between floor joist & heat vent. The screen vents to the outside (I can see 2 from outside have a piece of (syrofoam) or something solid. I suspect they thought mice were getting inside chewing through the screen, anyway they are now sealed. (I've read different opinions on whether that's a good idea to seal or not) The family room is carpet.
And, it seems like there is a cold air return that might be right over the crawl space, as it's where the family room attaches to the original house.
Thanks
 
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