1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Subfloor smell

Discussion in 'Building' started by Michaelsf90, 31 Jan 2021.

  1. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I was just wondering is it normal to have a musty smell coming from under the floor. If I lift the carpet it smells. The only thing i can describe it as is musty. Their is no smell anywhere at all but the underneath of carpet can smell and if you smell between the floorboards it smells. Its bare earth underneath. House is a 1930s semi
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    6,267
    Thanks Received:
    926
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Check the below floor air vents are all clear of earth and obstructions. There should be an obvious flow of air from front to back, or side to side under a suspended floor. Check also the under floor timbers for rot.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There are two vents at the front under the bay window. One on the side and one at the back where the kitchen is. I'm guessing I may need to add 2 at the back and one at the side where the kitchen is? That way each side has 2 and there is cross ventilation. Is it not normal to have a musty smell with it being earth underneath. Obviously soil and all the stuff that's under has that kind of smell to it
     
  5. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    6,267
    Thanks Received:
    926
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    They can smell a little musty, but it shouldn't spread the smell into your floor boards and carpets. How is the timber down there?
     
  6. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    That's the vents at the front. There arent any straight facing at the back
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    6,267
    Thanks Received:
    926
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It is a good idea to insulate the floor below, to reduce heating bills.
     
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    6,267
    Thanks Received:
    926
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You have had an injected damp course - the series of holes drilled two courses of bricks below the vent.

    Soil etc. should be kept below that row of injected bricks, both inside and outside.
     
  9. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I insulated around the floor where the party wall is for soundproofing purposes. This is what it looks like down there. I'd say it was warm weather when I took these pics but no obvious signs of anything I'd say. Only problem is all the air bricks are flagged right up to. So if I put some in at the back the back garden has drainage issues so I dont want water to leak in. Its never reached the house. You know when you move in somewhere and over the years you pick up one problem after the other
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Sponsored Links
  11. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I know. We have never suffered any damp problems while we lived here. I dont know about previous owners. I know sometimes surveyors can demand the damp course is done to be on the safe side
     
  12. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    32,942
    Thanks Received:
    4,453
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You are smelling mould spores and you do have a problem somewhere. Probably insufficient ventilation in the floor void.
     
  13. gasbanni

    gasbanni

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2007
    Messages:
    8,686
    Thanks Received:
    1,011
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It could be dry rot ! Hopefully you haven't got that ......Make sure your existing vents are clear and add
    extra ones.

    Look under the floor in various places to make sure you haven't got dry rot, a musty mushroom types mell is usually fungi of some sort.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Like I said it's an earthy smell. I've been under floors wiring in different houses and they all smell. Clothes smell awful afterwards. So I figured it was normal. I'm hoping the extra vents will help. Well it wont do any harm will it?
     
  15. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    71,843
    Thanks Received:
    4,086
    Location:
    Crossgates
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    You say it is a 1930's house. So I'll wager it was built with a DPC. So it should not need chemical injection. The brickwork in your pic looks very good. But at the bottom of your pic I can see an airbrick, close to the paving and obscured by weeds and shadow.

    This leads me to suppose that the ground level has been raised since the house was built (this is a very common error by idiots) and may well have bridged the DPC or allowed water to splash up and through the airbricks. Such action frequently leads to damp.

    The correct action would be to remove the paving and reduce the ground level next to the house.

    You say there are no airbricks at the back of the house. This means there will be no airflow from front to back to ventilate away damp. Maybe the back has also had the ground level raised.

    You need to expose or provide ventilation all round the house.
     
  16. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You are correct the patio is the exact same at the back. Its level is level with the air bricks. The dpc is above the air bricks. The chemical injection is just above the dpc. I'm guessing for now try to get air bricks in at the back and see if it helps. If not then at some point I will have to lower the flags which is a major job. At the minute at least most water will run away from the house and vents. If I lower the flags the water may pool at the house then. The weeds have been taken care of. Thats quite an old picture
     
  17. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2019
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Would I be better removing the small paving bricks around the vent and digging down and putting pea gravel down and having it lower than the air brick? I figure with how it is at least most of the water will drain away due to the slope and not pool at the house
     
Loading...

Share This Page