kerosene odor!!!

Old 02-16-09, 12:12 PM
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Exclamation kerosene odor!!!

Short & sweet... a heater under log cabin type of house with 4 ft crawl space. Under house flooded with water. My husband tried getting heater out and inturn spilled kerosene into the water below. He pumped water out and the house smells like kerosene. Shampooed carpets and cleaned everything. My husband put a fan over crawl space entry to dry it up, well we also have a wood burner, so then it made a suction that pulled the smoke straight into the house instead of out the chimney. So now smoldering smoke smell mixed with kerosene. So basically a nightmare. In addition I have a 4mon. old, 3yr old, and 6yr olds in home. What can we do to remove to odor under the house to keep it from rising into the house and clear the smoke smell at the same time???
Old 02-16-09, 02:25 PM
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I don't understand why you had a kerosene heater under your house in the first place but...

The smell of the kerosene is not in your house but it is in the soil of your crawlspace. Since you smell it in the house that means that your house is not sealed from the crawlspace, a very bad thing. This lack of sealing is further evidenced by the fact that pulling a negative pressure on the crawlspace (by using the fan to suck air and the kerosene smell) caused your woodburning heater to "backdraft" and fill the house with smoke.

Theoretically you could excavate the contaminated soil from your crawlspace to get rid of the odor but I don't think that is going to be practical. What you need to do is seal the house from the crawlspace and then thoroughly ventilate the crawlspace until the smell is gone. The ventilation process may take years. Another option would be to completely cover the soil in the crawlspace with nothing less than six mil (thickness) polyethylene film being sure to overlap and seal all seams along with sealing the edges to the foundation. Depending on where this house is located and the amount of kerosene spilled you could be liable to some pretty hefty fines for contaminating the ground.

As for the woodsmoke odor, ventilation along with a thorough washing of all surfaces is the only thing that will truly work.
Old 02-16-09, 04:45 PM
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One nice thing about kerosene is that it evaporates completely in time.

If there are no ventilation holes cut into the crawl space under your log home, now is the time to add some.

You should have vetilation holes to relieve moisture accumulation as well as smells like kerosene.

As for increasing the speed of evaporation, all you can do is apply air pressure to the crawl space with one or more fans and blow in clean air from inside the house or fresh outside air.

Chances are that not only has the soil taken on some kerosene, but so have the logs in the home foundation.

Sorry to have to pass along the bad news.


Last edited by MechanicalMan20; 02-16-09 at 04:49 PM. Reason: typo correction

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