My home is 5 years old. It has a concrete unfinished basement with a sump pump, water heater and softener down there. We keep my cats' litter box down there and the dog's water dish also. Therefore, we keep the basement door open about 6" so the animals can go down there. When we don't have the AC or heat on there is a bad basement smell that comes from there. We have a dehumidifier running, but it doesn't do much good. About every 6 months I scrub the floor with bleach water. There is no standing water or leaks down there. I really can't stand the smell and need to do something. I thought I remembered someone saying there was something I could paint or put on the concrete walls to help keep the damp smell coming through. My husband thinks I'm nuts. Does anyone have any good ideas to get rid of this basement smell?
You might try a product from Homax. Gonzo Odor Eliminators. Basement Odor Eliminator #OEB212. It is sold in 2# bags. It is a 100% natural volcanic product. It recharges by being put in sunlight every few months. It is sold in places like Lowe's or Home Depot.
Thanks. I'll give it a try.
There is a small device sold at HomeDepot and Lowes that look like a tiny dan that is to take out dampness and odor. However one way to eliminate it is to use pans of BAKING SODA around the room or shake it on the floor let it sit and then sweep or vaccum.( Baking soda can be left sitting in the pans for weeks and will still take the odor out.
Hi, I too have had this problem. The best solution I have come up with is to install a whole house dehumidifier. These can be ducted into the return duct system and help with the whole house or as in my case I have used it as a stand alone unit in my basement. This has solved my problem with the damp and musty smell in the basement. These units are not inexpensive but the results were well worth the costs. I have had the small dehumidifiers in my basement for years and had very little results. If you have any return air openings in the basement you can run the fan on your furnace to circulate air. This will help a little in trying to even out temp and humidity throught the house although you will not be removing humidity unless the a/c is on. Humidity will always migrate to the coldest spot in the home which is the basement. Whole house dehumidifiers are available through heating & cooling contractors.
The item you're thinking about is "Drylok". See www.drylock.com for more info. You can get it from any hardware store, Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc. It's about $16-$17 per gallon can.
Baking soda is a gread idea also!!! I had an old pot belly furnace and oil tank removed from my summer home a couple of months ago. The work men spilled some oil and it smelled the house up!!!!!! I cleaned it up with oil dry (for spills), and put 8 boxes of baking soda in the basement and came back home. When I returned the next month, NO oil spell at all!!! I was really surprised. I told my self, that stuff really works!!!!! I had to laugh to myself!
Put baking soda in the litter box also. I buy Fresh Step with the new carbon stuff, but sometimes, it seems like it's not enough!!
I hope this helps!!
If opportunity doesn't knock,
build a door!!
From your posting, it seems there are two issues: cat box and dampness. You mentioned that the smell returns when the air circulation stops, so the air circulation is just diluting the concentration of whatever is causing the smell. You need to find the cause of the smell. You might try moving the cats & box to another part of the home and see if the smell changes. As for the dampness, there can be many sources other than active leaks...the soil could be wet under the foundation or along basement walls. Sprinkler facing the house? Yard graded the wrong way? We women are more sensitive to some smells than men, so don't let your husband discount your concerns. If you feel it's a problem, then find a qualified inspector, engineer or contractor to find the source of the problem. Everything else is just a bandaid.
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