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  Crawl Space Mildew Smell
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Hi. I just recently purchased my first home from an elderly couple and needless to say, it requires a lot of refreshing.

The most typical things have already been done: New flooring, pulling down the wallpaper and painting, etc. Now I'm trying to address this issue I have with an addition (added in '82). Below this addition is a crawl space (non-ventilated) that smells of mildew. I didn't notice this smell when I first bought the home because the carpeting in the room must have concealed it. Now that there is new flooring, I can smell mildew coming from between the new floor and the baseboard. I opened the window from the original basement to the crawl space and the stench of mildew was very strong. It looks as though it's a slab on grade under the floor joists to that crawl space which leaves approx. 16-18" of clearance between that slab and the bottom of the joists. I've also noticed that some of the insulation between the joists have dropped down a bit in some places and had some water chrystallized on some of it. By the way, I live in NJ if that helps.
What are some of my options in getting rid of that smell? I don't think that there is enough space for me to crawl in there from the one acces point I have, but if necessary, I can gain access by removing the subfloor in a room that hasn't had the finished flooring installed yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. BTW - This is my first post here. Thanks.
Posts: 1 | Location: Nutley, NJ | Registered: Feb 17, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First welcome to the boards, and you really need to resize your avatar. It makes your posts very difficult to read.

If I'm reading this correctly your crawlspace has a concrete slab and then 16-18" of clear space before your hit your floor joists. So you can get in there and move around with some difficulty.

If your basement is heated. I'd probably look to condition the crawlspace as well. I'd look at insulating the walls of the crawlspace. Do a Google Search on "conditioned crawlspaces" and you'll get a lot of information. Since you don't have a ventilated crawlspace I'd probably add a dehumidifier to it to dry the air out. If the temperature is regularly below 65F get one that is rated for lower temperatures. If at all possible get one that can put the water out unless you have a drain that you can run a hose to. You really don't want to have to empty the bucket out daily.

If the ground wasn't already covered with concrete I'd suggest spreading some lime around on the soil and covering it with plastic. Kind of pointless when it is already covered with concrete.

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Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

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Posts: 6996 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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