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Best ventilation purifying system?

Hi! We live in Mt. Vernon, NY. Our basement is plagued by a bad odor that sits at the top of the stairs. The basement is damp and we have containers of DampRid. Also, we have moving boxes (from a moving company) stacked up down there and we're afraid that something noxious is coming from them as well so I'm trying to empty them as fast as I can.

We're looking at different systems and have seen the Wave Home Solutions and the Aprilaire websites. Do you have any suggestions for which system to use and who to have install once we decide?

Thanks so much
Erica

Asked by Erica Heymann
Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 11:47
Edited Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:04

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3 Answers

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1.
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Erica,
You are the second person this week to ask about solving a basement odor problem. You may be interested to read my answer to the last question on the topic: How to deal with odor coming up from basement?

You don't need a new ventilation system; you need to identify the source of the odor and mitigate the cause of the odor.

If you have something stinky in a cardboard box, you have to find the stinky cardboard box and throw it out.

If your basement is damp and moldy, this article tells you what you need to know: Fixing a Wet Basement.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:02

2.
Helpful? 0

1)There is a hollow space below the stairs which is plaster-enclosed. There are a few small cracks along the stairs and at the top of the enclosure on the garage side. Is it worth opening it up to see what's going on.
2) It isn't anything inside the boxes, but is it possible that the boxes themselves were treated with some material that would have a bad odor? The only place I smell anything musty is 3/4 of the way up the stairs.

Answered by Erica Heymann
Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 16:40

3.
Helpful? 0

Erica,
I'm sorry, but it's hard to do this kind of odor detective work over the Internet. You're going to have to use common sense and your powers of deduction.

In some cases, it may be necessary to open up walls and enclosed spaces to see what's going on. Start with an inspection hole and use a flashlight (and your nose).

Cardboard boxes can stink if they are damp and moldy. So can many other similar materials.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 16:47

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