wet carpet/mildew smell

Old 10-29-03, 11:07 PM
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Question wet carpet/mildew smell

Upon moving a plastic bin in our bedroom, I noticed that the carpet felt wet. When I smelled it, there was the definite odor of mold or mildew. The carpet was not stained and did not have any traces of mold or mildew. I moved another bin, and the same problem, and IT WAS definitely wet, almost like water had just spilled there. I have our theater system subwoofer on the floor (no feet on it to raise it from the carpet) and it was wetter than where the plastic bins were. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this problem? Exposed carpet was dry and smelled fine. We live in Houston, so it is very humid, and we've put our thermostat on 78 when we've left the house. HELP? And thanks for reading this. deborah
Old 11-02-03, 04:40 PM
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Sounds like you have a moisture problem under the carpet (concrete slab maybe?). Where the carpet isn't covered, moisture can pass through it and evaporate into the conditioned air of the house. Where the carpet is covered, the moisture is trapped and soaks into the carpet. I recommend hiring a local contractor to look at the problem - mold can present a serious health risk and shouldn't be trifled with. Be prepared for th cost of tearing out the carpet and relaying a new floor over a proper vapor barrier. Good luck.
Old 11-02-03, 04:50 PM
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There may be a plumbing issue in an ajoining room too.
Old 11-02-03, 09:48 PM
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Lightbulb Wet carpet/mildew

Thanks very much for your help. I was definitely concerned that might be the prob. The house DOES sit on a concrete slab, and the foundation was repaired about 3 years ago AND there was a plumbing problem in an adjoinging bathroom which was fixed shortly thereafter. However, I believe this issue is new, or I've never noticed it before (we usually don't have items sitting on the floor which don't have "legs." I'll get a professional out as you suggested. One last question, is it possible that there is too much moisture in our air to begin with (combination of our A/C and high Gulf Coast humidity)? I haven't checked it yet, but someone told me that this could be a problem also--our bedroom is the only room which is shaded by a large tree and is usually the coldest also. THANKS AGAIN!
Old 11-02-03, 09:56 PM
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Wet carpet/mildew

Daniel, thanks for your reply also. (see my reply above to JMiddleton.) I noticed your info after your name (third place world floor ....). You probably don't want to hear this, but I'm seriously considering NOT putting anything back down on our bedroom floor after we fix this problem--and maybe all of them afterwards if we like it. I'm sick to death of cleaning carpets,worried about scratching wood (and paying for it) and find tile too bothersome when it comes to cleaning grout and replacing cracked tiles. My friend sealed and artistically painted her concrete (cement?) floors and loves them--says they're indestructible and easily changed when she gets tired of the color(s), etc. I'm babbling. sorry. If you have any strong thoughts on concrete floors, I'd like to hear them. Thanks again. Deborah
Old 11-03-03, 02:27 PM
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The air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier and would tend to mask the problem since moisture passing through the slab and carpet can evaporate into the conditioned air. The best way to check for moisture problems on a slab is to tape a small piece (about 1 foot square) of polyethylene vapor barier to the concrete. Watch for condensation under the plastic. You'll know if you have a problem within a day or two.

Carpet isn't a good choice for damp environments, nor is natural wood. A floating floor made of engineered hardwood or laminate will work with a proper vapor barrier (usually built into the underlayment). Vinyl will also work. I think there are also terrazzo type surfaces that can be applied over existing slabs. An artistic paint job sounds great but will only be economical if you are the artist. Having seen my fair share of painted concrete floors worn bare in traffic areas, often within a year or two, I would take the term indestructable with a grain of salt. It doesn't matter if you are using a monochromatic scheme - just slap on another coat - but it will be more difficult to repair an artistic scheme.
Old 11-03-03, 07:55 PM
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Make your concrete look like leather, with acid staining!

You can score the concrete before staining for a truely custom floor.


Old 11-16-03, 05:10 PM
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Acid staining

Perry took the words right out of my mouth. Acid etching and staining has become the trendy thing to do to concrete floors.
Old 11-19-03, 11:20 PM
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Smile Wet carpet/mildew

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Perry, we're definitely going the acid staining route. The web site was inspiring--I don't see why some of the same techniques can't be used inside instead of outside as long as the surface is fairly smooth.

As an update, I borrowed a temp/humidity device and found the problem bedroom to not only be almost 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, but it also had over 60% humidity! The rest of the house wasn't much better (55% avg). I think our first stop is the AC repair tech.

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas on what part of the AC would cause the moister problem--whatever part that dehumidifies obviously isn't doing its job, right? I want to be prepared when I get the hefty estimate from my AC repairperson ("sorry, ma'am, but that there thingamabob attached to yer whatchamacallit is OUT and since they don't make those thingamajiggies anymore and I don't carry a lot of parts in my cumpny vee-hicle, we'll have to special order from Taiwan, so yer lookin' in the neighborhood of round 1,000 buckaroos!" (I can make fun of a Texas/Bubba accent since I'm a native Texan--can't you hear my drawl in the way I type!?)

Thanks again to all.

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