05:31PM | 05/28/01
Member Since: 05/27/01
1 lifetime posts
This is my second residence. It is 10 years old, 2400 ft sq, hemlock beams, full cellar which has entry way via garage. House has foam panel construction and is R38. Basement insulated with Celotex 7/8 panels ceiling to floor. Basement walls poured concrete with NO obvious leaks or sources of water trapment. Sump pump present. Heating is via boiler to forced air. Three zones. Air exchanger is used and no supply or exhaust is present for basement area. Relative humidity in house is typically around 40%. I have sued the original contractor for various defects in the house that required me to complete the construction myself, reside the house and wrap in Tyvec due to insect infestation, seal around windows that leak remove roof vents that leak water from snow in winter. Here is my latest problem for which I no longer know where to turn. It has been discussed with many contractors and builders.

The house smells like mildew. Some areas are stronger than others. The worst area seems to be the kitchen area (which is near the basement entry wall), followed by the whole basement. The upper floors are better. The house has a very open floor plan, so this allows the smell to diffuse moderately through the building. We have tried ozone generators to cover the smell. This has not provided any relief. We cleaned the cooling/heating ducts of debris. At this time, I ripped the kitchen apart to look for a source that would explain the odor. Nothing present that would clearly concentrate the smell or localize it. The smell was not present when the house was new, but it slowly worsened with age. It is worse in the fall and spring months. It is least bothersome in the winter and summer. I have run dehumidifiers in the basement continually and this has not helped either.

Who can I speak to that might give me some way to provide guidance with this situation? How do I go about eliminating the odor at this point, other than a bulldozer? Is this house too tight and the moisture present giving me a problem during times of winter inactivity when the house is in the 50's?

Please if you have specific points please please help me.

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