Janet M
Janet M
  • Hometalker
  • Dearborn Heights, MI
Asked on Mar 30, 2012

I have a terrible odor in my basement. I had the furnace motor fixed as he said that was it but the smell is back HELP

NoneDebbie EJudith A
+21

Answered

I started cleaning each area of floor and walls with a good cleaner and still smells. The walls and floor are cement except the 2 bedrooms that were added and dry walled and painted. What else can it be. I have had water leaks in the past but those have been fixed. Please any advise I will accept.
24 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 30, 2012

    what type of smell is this? mold Pet...sewer gas?

  • Janet M
    on Mar 31, 2012

    It is like a musty meldew smell. I have checke almost every inch of my basement and cleaned the walls and floor with a good cleaner. We kinda pinpointed the smell between the furnace and the hot water tank. The furnace people wee out and put a new motor in there as there was water laying in bottom but he cleaned it up and put a new motor in and said if the odor was from the furnace it would go away but it hasn't yet. Could it be coming from the hot water tank?

  • Janet M
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Still need help.

  • Janet M
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • What kind of ceiling did you put in the bedrooms? Is there hvac in those areas...if so...are you using it? More than likely, the smell is mold/mildew and may well be in the drywall in those bedrooms. Try putting a dehumidifier and see how much moisture you are sucking out of the air each day. You may want to cut a small piece of drywall from a closet wall and check the paper on it for mold....

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 1, 2012

    "water in the bottom of the furnace"...this is a pretty big red flag...the water was coming from where?...some pics might be helpful as the only information we have is what you provide. You said the leaks were fixed but the furnace still had water in it?...when were the leaks "fixed" and what type of leaks...plumbing, foundation cracks, vent stacks?

  • Janet M
    on Apr 1, 2012

    Handy Andy. I have a dehumidifier down there and usualyy empty it every 2 to 3 days. There was mold in one of the bedromm wall do to the leaks I had when it rained but those leaks were fixed and the whole wall torn out and re build. I had a home renovation done in 2010 and the company that did the work was where my brother worked so I know it was done good. I have 2 molds kits incubating right now one in the basement and one I did for the air of the heating system. One will be 48 hours today and one tomorrow. I am leaning towards the furnace as you can smell it in that area and thru the vents when heat is on. KMS The furnace man clened the whole furnace out when he was here. the water was laying on the part right under the motor so he cleaned it completly and replace the motor. I check every fre days to make sure there is no water ther but I believe I will call him back as that is where you can smell the odor the most and when heat is on it comes thru the vents. Thanks for everyones help and if any more ideas I would appreciate them.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 1, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 1, 2012

    The furnace motor would have been "inside" the furnace where is is surrounded by metal duct work...how that water got in there is still the big mystery. Water will evaporate at a rate where 1/2" or so can be gone in a few days. If this water had been sitting in there for longer than that then the source is still active. If your furnace is gas there may be a vent stack that leads up through the roof. It could be that the flashing or "boot" around this has failed and water is coming in when it rains.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 1, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • Rhonda M
    on Apr 1, 2012

    Dehumidifier will help cut the order considerably, just put on normal and keep water tank emptied. Should help.

  • Southeast Solar Co
    on Apr 2, 2012

    1. First find the problem of this moisture. There are many reasons there is so much moisture. Get a reputable basement moisture control company come in and see where the moisture is coming from. 2. Once the problem is identified, make sure it is taken care of properly. 3. You have to take down the dry wall if present to be sure you do not have black mold. If present this has to be addressed. 4. Do you have adequate drainage around your home? The water could be seeping under the floor slab. 5. Make sure there is no pipe leaks. 6. Do you have a sump pump? Is this working properly? 7. Are there drains under the slab? If this is an older home, you may have clay drains and may have broken causing sewer to leak in the floor below the slab. We used to live in Troy Mich several years ago. Our sump pump stopped working one fine day. There was one inch of water in the basement. This was quickly identified and remedied with installing a new pump and installing an alarm. Using the dehumidifier probably will not solve this problem.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 2, 2012

    I Have had a dehumidifier for months now and empty it every 2 or 3 days or when light is on.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 2, 2012

    Southeast. Can't find any moisture and have checked all areas of basement. Where we smell the odor is around the furnace and hot water tank. And when heat comes on it comes up thru the vents. Maybe still a furnace problem. I have 2 mold test kits going now the one in basement has been incubating over 48 hours and no mold yet. the other I did the air one on the heating and cooling and it will be 48 hours tomorrow night.

  • Southeast Solar Co
    on Apr 2, 2012

    Please make sure you do not have natural gas leak. It smells like rotten egg. They add this smell so people can identify easily. Also be sure there are no dead animals in the furnace.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 2, 2012

    The water in the furnace still has me worried...finding out where that came from is the primary problem.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 2, 2012

    Southeast and KMS I found the problem. on the back of my furnace is a box which I no know is the dehumidifier and I pulle out the filter and it is rotten and smells just like the odor we have in our house. So now I just havto find out why the furnace guy didn't chech this and fix it and where to get a new one. But in the mean time I wanted to clean the box out because there was a lot of mldew in there so I wet a piece of paper towel and was washing it out and it fell in the hole by the dehumidifier box. Will this cause a fire or any kind of problem? I turned my furnace off completely cuz I am worried as I have my 2 grandkids here. Does anyone know what that will cause?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 3, 2012

    Fell in what hole? Can you post a pic.? any kind of Debris in the flow path is bad... chances are good this is not an immediate fire risk as it appears from your description that this is not in the "combustion chamber" part of the furnace. But it would be good to clear this out. Back when I lived in Michigan we had a "de-humidifier" that was portable and had a catch basin for the water it would remove from the air. We also had a "humidifier" that was mounted on the side of our furnace that had a rotating drum like filter. This was connected to a small water supply line a bit like an ice maker. I'm not sure clear on the details as this was some 35 years ago. The humidifier was used when the furnace ran in the winter....and we ran the de-humidifier in the basement during the summer.

  • Janet M
    on Apr 7, 2012

    It was the humidifier. the filter was rotten. the furnace guy came back and cleaned it out and put a new filter in it. Thanks to all for all the help and comments.

  • Janet M
    on May 1, 2012

    We still have the odor problem but only when furnace is on it comes up through the vent. the furnace people have been very hard to work with. He is suppose to be back today to see if it is the coil on top of furnace that is bad. Don't know what to do.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 2, 2012

    I wondering if you might benefit from a "duct" cleaning service. Having this happen when the furnace runs pretty much indicates that the source is either in the furnace or the distribution system. Some of these cleaning services use remote video equipment to get a look inside these ducts...They can provide "before" and "after" pics to show you that actual improvements have been made.

  • Judith A
    on May 4, 2012

    place small bowls of vingear around in different places. the vinegar will absorb the odors

  • Debbie E
    on May 4, 2012

    If you have a front load washer check the gasket on the door, sometimes they go "south" and start stinking. As per: Tim Tynan: Houston Home Repair Guru. :)

  • None
    on May 12, 2012

    you KNOW it deals with your furnace so you need the company to check your furnace from top to bottom and A to Z -every single working part that moves and can create odor PLUS as suggested your stack which COULD have a leak FROM THE ROOF (DO NOT HAVE THIS IGNORED) - I would be sure either your husband or you are right there watching what is being done and making note of each task. THANK THEM HEAVILY to make them feel that you reallly appreciate what they are doing because in truth you do. I feel they WILL get to the bottom of this and correct it BUT IFWATER ON BOTTOM OF FURNACE the ((SOURCE)) first has to be found - not just motor changed - SO NO STONE UNTURNED IS THE ANSWER - GOOD LUCK

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