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LBellatrix
08-01-2008, 11:48 PM
Why am I only just now seeing this subforum? :)

I'm renting my first-ever house...and it's OLD. We're talking three years before the Wright brothers went up at Kitty Hawk. :huh: It's passed its inspections so there's no mold or anything (or if there is, it's not enough to be dangerous). It's just got that musty old-house smell that after 5 minutes you stop noticing. Still, I'm wondering if anyone's ever dealt with getting rid of that musty first impression.

(If you're wondering why I rented it, it's because it was cheaper than my apartment...and it's cheaper because it's OLD. Got it?) ;)

On one forum somebody recommended getting a bunch of Odor Air Magnets (http://www.naturalmagic.com/odormagnet.aspx) and putting them around the basement. Today at the store a lady told me to spray down the entire basement with vinegar (including pouring some down the drain) and then following that up with an extra-strength auto odor eliminator. I bought the vinegar and odor eliminator and am on a hunt for Odor Air Magnets.

Anybody have any other suggestions?

Supersugar
08-02-2008, 12:31 AM
Are the screens in good enough condition for you to leave the windows open for about 2 hours? Nothing beats getting a smell out of the house like sending it outside to play :D

NappsGalore
08-02-2008, 03:58 AM
Is there carpet where the smell is? If there is, you can go to somewhere like PetsMart and get an enzymatic pet odor eliminator. I spilled milk in my car in the summer (it was gross) and nothing got it out but this one thing, it's natural too, sorry I forget the name. If you need it PM me and I'll look. I don't know what to tell ya if it's not carpet. Do a google search and see what people say, there are a lot of strange but good things out there I'm sure. Like the other poster said, maybe you can just air the place out. Having the place painted might help too. Speak to your landlord. Good luck.

Peaches
08-02-2008, 05:30 AM
If there's carpet and curtains, call Stanley Steemer or some other carpet cleaning agency and they'll deodorize it for you. Then get Glade Plug-ins throughout the house and turn them up to level 5. If the carpet is old, get the landlord to replace it.

Neosoul
08-02-2008, 09:15 PM
Are the screens in good enough condition for you to leave the windows open for about 2 hours? Nothing beats getting a smell out of the house like sending it outside to play :D
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Do this everyday for about two weeks. If you can leave the windows open during the night, that'll be great too.

Vinegar is an excellent deodorizer just add some water to that spray so you don't get overpowered by the vinegar smell.

Agreed with for professional cleaning (if you can afford that) if you can, it's a tedious job but the vinegar should work.

After the airing out and the cleaning/spray .... Febreeze, Febreeze, Febreeze. It's more costly, but I find that it works better than Glade plug-ins.

LBellatrix
08-02-2008, 09:35 PM
Thanks for the responses! :)

There's no carpet -- just gently warped hardwood floors and whatever that is in the basement (concrete?).

I found some Odor Eliminating Gel (made by the same folks who make Odor Air Magnets) and put one in the living room but when I turned on the air conditioning it didn't make much of a difference because the mustiness is coming from the basement.

One thing I didn't mention is that there is a damp spot in the basement on the south wall. The previous tenant said that it doesn't get wet (like, water running in) but it does get damp in humid weather (which is what we're having right now).

Keeping the windows open makes sense. I just wish I wasn't so paranoid about people climbing through at night. :unsure: Maybe what I'll do is spray down the basement tomorrow morning and spend the day at home organizing and unpacking since I have to do that anyway.

Thanks again!

Supersugar
08-02-2008, 10:01 PM
If it's just a spot, buy some Damp-Rid. That stuff works wonders. :)

LBellatrix
08-03-2008, 09:34 PM
If it's just a spot, buy some Damp-Rid. That stuff works wonders. :)
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Aw man...I wish I'd seen this before I went out and bought a dehumidifier! Fortunately I haven't opened the box yet. I'm going to see if I can get some Damp-Rid today. Thanks for the tip!

I sprayed down the basement yesterday and left the house for a few hours. When I came back the smell was greatly reduced. :) However, it rained last night and this morning the smell was back, though, again, not as strongly as it was before I started doing stuff. :(

Today the landlord came by and while he was dumping out some old garden dirt he noticed that there was a depression in the ground at the foundation right where the dampness was coming in. Ta da! He said he's going to "level the ground" or something like that so that the water runs away from the house instead of in.

LBellatrix
08-05-2008, 04:15 PM
And the saga goes on...

There are TWO damp spots in the basement: one on the south wall and one on the north. We had heavy rain last night and this morning I discovered a very small pool of water at the bottom of the steps. So much for the previous tenant saying water doesn't come in. :rolleyes:

I got the DampRid and...I&#39;ve plugged in the dehumidifier and...I&#39;m about to invest in some Febreze products. <_<

Neosoul
08-06-2008, 02:24 PM
And the saga goes on...

There are TWO damp spots in the basement: one on the south wall and one on the north. We had heavy rain last night and this morning I discovered a very small pool of water at the bottom of the steps. So much for the previous tenant saying water doesn&#39;t come in. :rolleyes:

I got the DampRid and...I&#39;ve plugged in the dehumidifier and...I&#39;m about to invest in some Febreze products. <_<
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Make sure they take care of that pool cause you don&#39;t want mould to start growing in the walls. Why don&#39;t people just take care of their property before they rent instead of creating all this hassle for decent tenants? :rolleyes:

LBellatrix
08-08-2008, 03:33 AM
^^This particular landlord rents to writers, who never have enough money for a decent place and are always grateful for any roof that keeps their paper dry. ;) I&#39;m probably the first tenant he&#39;s had in a while who&#39;s actually making demands of him...but then again since I&#39;m older than his previous tenants I think he respects my wishes more.

I&#39;m happy to report that the dehumidifier has really made a difference. There&#39;s still a smell but it&#39;s not anywhere near as bad as it was before...nothing that Febreze can&#39;t kill (temporarily). Again, thanks for the tips...I&#39;m hoping that cooler weather will alleviate this problem.

Neosoul
08-08-2008, 12:33 PM
^^This particular landlord rents to writers, who never have enough money for a decent place and are always grateful for any roof that keeps their paper dry. ;) I&#39;m probably the first tenant he&#39;s had in a while who&#39;s actually making demands of him...but then again since I&#39;m older than his previous tenants I think he respects my wishes more.

I&#39;m happy to report that the dehumidifier has really made a difference. There&#39;s still a smell but it&#39;s not anywhere near as bad as it was before...nothing that Febreze can&#39;t kill (temporarily). Again, thanks for the tips...I&#39;m hoping that cooler weather will alleviate this problem.
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I hear you LBella and I&#39;m glad you&#39;re making progress. I suppose being older does have it&#39;s advantages huh .... ;) . I totally advocate the use of Febreeze products ... if using them and vinegar don&#39;t do it for you .... then :dunno: . I hope that smell is gone by the time fall/winter is here cause then it will be worse to deal with.