I just moved into a range-style house we just purchased. It is our
first one and is a starter home located in the midwest.
Half of the basement is finished (very nicely I might add) with
drywall and carpet. The carpet is directly on the floor (with a pad
of some kind)-- no sub-floor.
The finished part is musty. It is not overly powerful, but it is
definitely noticeable. There are really no signs of water/seepage
anywhere in the basement. The unfinished portion doesn't seem to
smell and seems dry and clean.
When we viewed the house, we just assumed that a dehumidifier would
solve the problem (as it did in my college rental house...literally
worked wonders by just running a couple hrs/day). The realtor
(buyer's agent) didn't seem to think it was a big deal either and also
thought a dehumidifier would work.
Well, the dehumidifier been running non-stop for 3-4 days now and has
helped, but it is still musty. We are also running the A/C even
though the outside is currently 65 degrees (with 85% humidity)
Also in the closing, the seller (stupidly) revealed that when they
moved in 8 years ago, he had to refinish the basement because mold was
growing on the drywall. He claims it is because there was no previous
vapor barrier and that he put in such a barrier so we should have no
such problems (must have been on his mind???). The seller seemed like
an idiot...especially for revealing this in the closing. But now we
know some history...
The home inspector didn't mention anything in the basement. However
he did mention that the outside grading is not good at all, there are
no window wells, and their are no downspouts for the gutter. Of
course we plan on fixing these things as soon as possible and maybe
this will solve the _causes_
of our must problem.
However I'm now very fearful of not being able to solve it. I'm
thinking that maybe mold (!!!) is growing between the vapor barrier
and the foundation wall. This would require tearing out the drywall I
think. Or maybe that moisture comes up from underneath the basement
and can't be solved without a sub-floor (not much headroom for one)
The market for homes in our area was terrible for this price range so
we had to act quickly on this house. However we will definitely be
selling in 4-5 years and I fear that as the market cools off, this
must/mold situation cold make things very difficult for us or cold
lead to costly repairs or even worse...
Any advice is greatly appreciated. I'm pretty worried about being
royally screwed. Granted this is my first house and I'm jittery about
it as is...