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Room With Fireplace Smells Damp

We recently bought a 100+ year old home with a partially dug out basement. The front bedroom has an original fireplace with a stone hearth that goes down to under the house. That's the background... here's my unusual problem. Once the weather gets warm, the bedroom with the fireplace sometimes has an unusual odor. Dank, damp kind of smell. It comes and goes. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? And if so, what can I use to get rid of the odor? A humidifier by the fireplace hasn't helped. I'm at a loss here.


Kat from Bluff City, TN

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April 9, 20070 found this helpful

In the warm weather there is more moisture in the air so a lot of smells are magnified. You should do the opposite........use a dehumidifier to draw as much moisture out of the air. The dryer the room is the less odor you will have. Give it a try as I'm sure this will almost eliminate the problem. You can use baking soda sprinkled on rugs and upholstery and let set for 15 minutes, then vake up. This will freshen them and remove odor that has already been sitting in them.

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April 10, 20070 found this helpful

I meant to type "dehumidifier" not "humidifier"...lol. Anyway, the dehumidifier hasn't helped. I'm starting to wonder if maybe the moisture is geting trapped in the stone hearth under the house? I dunno. It's driving me nuts! We have hardwood floors, btw...so no carpet or rugs to worry about wrt holding in the damp smell.

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April 10, 20070 found this helpful

I once lived in a basement that had a damp smell. I took 20 Mule Team borax and sprinkled it all over the floor. It really freshened up the place. Let it sit for a while, then sweep it up. It takes a lot of the odor with it. You could also mix it half and half with baking soda.

It's hard to know if there is water getting in there somewhere but you could also check where the chimney goes through the roof or if it is on the outside wall, where it connects to the house to make sure there aren't leaks in there. Because you recently moved into the house, it may have sit vacant for a long time which makes most houses smell musty.

Also, lighting a nice hot fire in it (make sure the chimney is safe and clean) may help to dry out the chimney, fireplace and the room.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 10, 20070 found this helpful

I believe the product we used is for mildew odors and comes in a bucket from most stores. It really worked for us when we lived in Knoxville with a basement. God bless you. : )

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