Dehumidification strategy suggestions?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RoscoeElegante, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,077
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Hey, all. Hope this finds you & loved ones well.

    So here's the deal.

    I'm a member of and often gig at a 1920s-era church/meeting hall that our neighborhood rehabbed into a kind of community center. We put a fine HVAC system and two sump pumps in it, fixed the gutters and downspouts, run downspout hoses away from the foundation, etc. But when it's not being used, we set the thermostat at 80 in the summer, 55 in the winter

    This matters because leaving it at these settings (consensus choice; I lobbied for 74/60) seems to allow its humidity problem to remain and perhaps fester.

    Its basement (60 x 25 ft., 7-foot ceiling, with cinderblock walls & and a concrete floor throughout) gets flooded sometimes, as the place was built in our 'hood's lowest point. And it sat dormant, unheated, and uncooled for 20 years. We've cleaned out the moisture-holding stuff in the basement, of course. But a moldy smell and clamminess remain, especially with our HVAC set at that 80 summer/55 winter setting. With this spring & summer's rains and heat, the problem is somewhat worse than usual.

    So I'm thinking of buying this (well-reviewed) thing for the basement, and running it steadily:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JMZJX4B/?tag=tdpri-20

    Do you think it will have enough capacity and umph to help dry out the basement and keep it dry, even when the HVAC is running minimally?

    And what do you recommend for washing down the basement to kill its generations of mold/mildew smell? E.g., some mild bleach/special mold-killing solution. (It's gotta be minimally toxic to bipeds, too, as I'm allergic to a lot of chemicals.)

    The upstairs/performing area smells minimally. But I want to improve and preserve the place. Not only because it's such a fine and fun place to play, but as a very valued part of our community now. (On rainy, non-concert days, a lot of our kids are in there doing impromptu plays--which of course turn into wild nerf gun wars.)

    Thanks for your suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    10,738
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Looks like it's over spec for the room. Your room is 1500 sqft and the unit is rated for a 4500 sqft space. I don't know of any adverse consequences of that except a cheaper unit would be good enough, smaller would be cheaper to run also.

    Wash down material? Should be something off the shelf at your hardware store.

    I'd get the dehumidifier set up before the wash down, be good to dry it out faster.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  3. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,182
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    I have a similar one running in my basement, as that’s where I keep a lot of my guitars and amps. I have it set to stay at 40% humidity. I have it in a roughly 900 sq ft space. It’s rated for 90 pints per day. It runs almost constantly. So if you truly have a moisture issue, I’d definitely get a larger one than that. And make sure it has the same hose outlet to run to the sump pump pit. Good luck!
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  4. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    224
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    PA
    That machine will help

    Tea tree oil is a mold killer. Dont dilute too much if at all.....

    You need air flow.....are there windows ?

    If it floods regularly....its always gonna be an uphill battle
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  5. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,077
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Yes, vhilts1, two opposite sides of the basement have two big windows each. We open those when we're drying out any flooding, and leave them open for a good long time thereafter. Do you recommend we leave them open much more often/continuously? Won't dampness enter that way and pool in the basement? Again, it is our 'hood's low spot....
     
    vhilts1 likes this.
  6. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    224
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    PA
    im not a building or construction pro.......everything that ive read heard and experienced on my own says......airflow is essential.....all pro built modern houses design and implement airflow throughout the house....and not just doors and windows...its designed into the structure and framework of the house......

    being that you have an old building....there is only so much you can do.....some would suggest adding to the building in some way(insulation/drywall/etc)....that will be costly and it wont cure anything.....and the benefit will be minimal if at all....despite what some "pros" might say......

    is constant temperature crucial ??

    I would bet opening the windows a little will create an airflow and keep the area less susceptible to mold and trapped moisture

    maybe have some discussions pro bono with an experienced general contractor or hvac guy about smaller openings at the windows and humidity sensing fans that open and close

    condensation is always going to be a consideration if you gotta have the temp different from the outside.....airflow allows the condensation to dry out....but.....any time your building temp is different than outside....condensation will happen


    that dehumidifier is a good start....try that and some tea tree oil 1st......generally you always wanna try cheap easy fixes to problems before getting alot of... physics ...technology and science to line up perfectly.....lol
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    357
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    One thing about dehumidifiers - they only pull in the air that is near them. While I certainly would add one or two, I would also consider a fan or two to circulate the air around the room and keep condensation off of the walls. A good fan for larger rooms is a Patton steel blade fan that usually run around $60. They are pretty high volume fans and made well. A ceiling fan or two may do the trick as well if you have the headroom. It would also be a good idea to remove upholstered furniture which act as spore sponges. Try to keep closet doors open.
     
    RoscoeElegante, vhilts1 and Ricky D. like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.