AWFUL smell coming from basement wall!

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  #1  
Old 12-26-06, 10:09 AM
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AWFUL smell coming from basement wall!

We recently purchased an older home. Upon inspection we found mold on the basement walls. We hired a company who came in and scraped and cleaned all the walls and then applied dry-lock to all the walls. We paid $4000 to have this done. The basement looked much better but I'm not sure it did much good??

About a month ago, I noticed some white fluffy stuff growing on one of the walls where there was also a little dampness seeping through the wall. I researched on the internet and discovered it is probably effloresence. I haven't done anything yet to take care of it.

Now about a week ago, this awful smell started coming from our basement. When I follow the smell it is coming from that same wall. I think it may be the water seeping in that smells so bad. It's not necessarily a musty basement smell...it's totally different. My husband says it smells metallic and I say it smells sour. The smell is Horrific!! We can even smell it up on the 2nd floor.

What should I do?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-26-06, 10:20 AM
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AWFUL smell coming from basement wall!

DryLok is only a temporary band-aid and does nothing to solve a problem. Moisture is still coming through the DryLok.

Since you have white efflorescence, that is a sign you have moisture coming through the wall. you must get rid of the moisture that is apparently carrying the odorous material into your basement.

If you do not have a septic tank or a sewer line leak, the water in the soil must have dissolved materials (metals, organics, etc.).

The first this to do is the most basic. Make sure you have working gutters and long (10') downspout extensions to carry surface water away from the house. Make sure the grade is sloped away from the house to you are not accumulating water and other materials around the footings.

After that, you can attack the basement interior. Your options will be limited by the DryLok and what can be applied over it. You can face that after your water problem is eliminated.

Dick

Dick
 
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Old 12-26-06, 10:32 AM
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In the meantime, run dehumidifier to reduce humidity and fans to improve air circulation. Disinfect any signs of mold/mildew with bleach/water solution.
 
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Old 12-26-06, 10:48 AM
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Thanks guys.

We do run a dehumidifier down there almost all the time. The humidity is around 42%.

We did clean all our gutters and moved downspouts away from the house right when we moved in. The problem though is that our back yard is a hill that slopes toward our house! We get a huge puddle of water at one corner of our house near our driveway. We were told to get someone to pour concrete here to slope all the water down our driveway instead of near our house...but we have had such a wet fall/winter that I don't think they could pour concrete there right now.

We don't have that much water coming into our basement...more just some spots where it seeps in. My husband tried patching with quick-crete but it's still seeping in a few spots.

My main concern right now is the smell...realistically we're not going to be able to stop the water until spring because it's just been too wet outside. Do you think I can just wash that wall with bleach or vinegar? I didn't know if one of these would make the effloresence worse??

We live in an old house and I know that most old homes have moisture in the basement. I just want to get rid of this awful smell!!

Thanks for your suggestions!
 
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Old 12-26-06, 11:16 AM
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AWFUL smell coming from basement wall!

Quikrete is a brand name and they offer many different products.

Were you using a surface patch/"waterproofer" or real hydraulic cement?

Hydraulic cement is a generic product that has been used for many years on industrial, commercial and residenetial waterproofing.

Dick
 
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Old 12-26-06, 11:20 AM
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"The problem though is that our back yard is a hill that slopes toward our house!" Care must be taken when you begin changing the slope to redirect water so that it is not directed onto a neighbor's property. Perhaps strategically placing sandbags can help redirect water until grading begins. Often it is best to consult with a landscape engineer to determine the best approach for correcting grade.

Efflorescence is mineral deposits, deposited as moisture wicks through masonry. Removing efflorescence will not solve moisture or odor issues. Efflorescence poses not health hazards or odor problems. You may try removing efflorescence with plain water and stiff brush and resealing the area(s), but it will likely reappear until moisture issues are resolved.

To eliminate other sources of odor, make sure any basement floor drains have water in the traps. Pour water down drains to see if it alleviates odor. Check for plumbing leaks. Make sure vent stacks are clear.

Spray enzyme digester deodorizer to help control odor. Enzymes are effective on organic odors. These are marketed under a variety of names such as OdoBan, Nature's Miracle, Out, and others.
 
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Old 12-26-06, 11:29 AM
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Thanks!
I'll try some of your suggestions and let you know.
The sandbag idea may work for the water pooling at the corner of our house. And I will look for some enzyme cleaner.
 
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