Hi, I live in MA, a couple of months ago I took the paneling off my partially finished basement walls. I insulated, had heat pipes recessed into the wall, had wallboard hung and the entire room plastered. About a week and a half later there was a terrible smell that I assumed was a mouse that died in the walls because I closed them up. About 3 weeks after plastering I had the room painted. The smell never went away but changed to a smell that wasn't as bad but seems to be an obnoxious, musty but hard to describe odor.
It's almost 3 months later and it still smells. When I open windows or run a fan the smell gets worse. The only thing that helps is running a dehumidifier although it never goes away completely. I checked for all the signs of bad wallboard (the stuff from China)but none of those characteristics are there. This room cost me $7,000 and now no one wants to use it because it stinks. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: smelly basement
Our basement smelled bad too. We ran the dehumidifier....must of been a week or so straight before it finally got "dry". The smell went away, but we noticed we need to run it from spring to fall (winter is not needed cause the moisture dries up from the furnace). if we don't run it, it starts to smell bad again. We also had a crack in our main stack that caused some odor too. but the smell seemed to be in the other room, not where the stack is, go figure.
When we had our walls plastered, the guy told us not to paint it for at least 2 weeks to assure the plaster dried completely.
Also, another thing we recently learned is if you have a newer high efficiency washer. They tend to SMELL. again, the smell seemed to be in the main room, not near the washer. But they sell "washer cleaners" at most stores. Used it once, smell was gone instantly. need to use it on a monthly basis.
Hope this helps.
Re: smelly basement
Thanks for the reply. Your comment about the vent stack makes me feel more comfortable with my assessment of a possible cause. Inside the wall where the smell seemed to be worst was a capped clean out for an abandoned cesspool. The smell seemed to get worse when I ran exhaust fans and now I'm assuming it's because it was drawing the smell out. It has gotten much better but I still think I'm going to plug that pipe to see if it goes away altogether.