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Dinosaurus

05:02AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
PLEASE HELP. I JUST BOUGHT THIS 1860'S HOME. ALL AROUND THE OUTSIDE THERE IS A HORRIBLE SMELL. THERE IS A PATIO ON THE BACK OF THE HOUSE AND WHEN YOU SIT OUT THERE IT SMELLS LIKE SULPHUR. I ASSUME THIS IS COMING FROM THE EARTH OR THE BASEMENT. HOW DO I FIX THIS. WHAT IS A VAPOR BARRIER. IT IS SOME SORT OF GAS BECAUSE THE EYES AND LIPS BURN. HELP . WHO DO I CALL

Billhart

06:20AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
What you are posting does not make any sense.

You say that this is an 1860's house, but double insulated (how?) and that it is very, very tight.

1860's houses are just not that tight unless the whole thing was gutten and rebuilt from scratch.

Now foundations don't give off gasses that need to be vented.

This is not the appropiate section for these questions. But I am not sure what section is.

Sewer/septic smells do have a sulfure like smell as does the oder that they add to gas to warn of leaks. But never hear of then causing eyes to burn.

But I would immediately call the gas company to make sure that it is not a gas leak.

If not see if they have any kind of clue about what it is.

If it is sepctic/sewer then post in the plumbing section.

Otherwise pose in the safety and enviormental section.

But give more details. Are you on sepctic or sewer system? What it inspected before you bought? What city are you in? What is nearby, other homes, buisness, industrial, farm? What do nearby neighbors say? Do they have the same smells?


Dinosaurus

07:10AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
My house is a 1960's house. I am on city water and sewer. Yes, the house was inspected but to give you an example of the inspection. The gas co red tagged the water heater and the boiler so the inspection may not have been too good. There was a septic smell in the house . How can I have the outside septic line checked? Who does that. A few of the waste lines had to be replaced. The main smell comes from under the patio outside the back door. The sewer line in in the basement and does not appear to be in need of repair. So what could it be? I had the same smell when I went outside the front door this morning also. It seems when the weather is cooler or damper that is when I smell it more. Thanks All

Dinosaurus

07:10AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
What is a vapor barrier?

Billhart

08:09AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
When used with house building a vapor barrier is some product that is designed to show down or reduce the flow of moisture vapor (humidity) through walls (and floors in some cases).

They are used between the interior and exterior where you have large difference in humidity and tempature levels.

Many different products are used, including paint in some cases, depending on all of the details of house construction and climate.

As far as the smell you best guess are still gas or sewer.

Gas companies do have problems will mains and feeders to house leaking from time to time.

And the sewer might have orginally been connect to a sepctic and city sewers run later. Might have been a grease trap under that patio or there might be line break under that patio.

Find a plumber that does sewer work and get one that has an inspection camera.


Dinosaurus

09:18AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
I will check out the things you mentioned and keep you posted. It actually smells like sulfur or rotten pipes. If you have ever smelled rotten pipes. Thanks

doug seibert

09:32AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Have your system inspected........


tomh

10:10AM | 06/20/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
There have been some good ideas here. An additional idea to check is whether a prior owner applied pesticides to the foundation area. Chemicals like chlordane have a pungent and persistent odor that might be interpreted as sulfurous. If they applied this pesticide or waste oil to control termites, the odor would be very uncomfortable. Digging near the foundation, pull a sample of soil from a foot or so deep, then see if the soil is the source of the odor.

1960s construction sometimes used clay tile for sewer connections, rather than plastic pipe used today. Clay tile can break, leak or suffer from root intrusion. Doug's suggestion to have an inspection applies.
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