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  1. It maintains at a 3-4 during the day but goes down to barely detectable early morning. ? That side of the house hardly gets beaten by the sun + its a basement room. Its also again milder than usual here with day temps in the low teens ©.
  2. The insulation was sprayed on poured concrete basement walls with new wood framing. The walls appeared dry and fissure-free. I don't know if a moisture test was performed before spraying. The smell peaked at a 6-7 scale last week and is now maintaining at a 3-4. We also had a sump pump pit "tunnel" which used to be an access to the basement from the outside sprayed during the same time. That section is 100% yellow foam and while there's good ventilation in there because we installed intake/uptake fans, we detect no smells.
  3. Closing the HVAC vent in the room brought the smell down to nearly undetectable levels. We just re-opened that vent this morning & a few hours later the smell is more noticeable. We removed the section of vent that is feeding into that room to check for any irregularities (there were none) and cleaned it for good measure. My installer came by while it was (of course!) nearly smell-free. He could not smell anything. I asked him about the color differences he said the darker foam is Johns Manville and the rest of the room is Enerlab. He did not explain why that was. He speculated that maybe some water had infiltrated behind the foam (the room is in a basement) and "pushed the smell out" He wet some surface samples of each to see if they smelled more. They did not smell more while wet but the darker, Johns Mansville foam had a smell to me that he could not detect. Its my understanding that closed-cell foam is waterproof so it seems like an unlikely reason to me. He said that he's done thousands of jobs and has never had this happen. That his equipment is electronically calibrated and so it makes it impossible to apply the foam off-ratio. He was to talk to his supplier and get back to me. He suggested as a last recourse that we could have an indoor air quality lab run tests to determine if there's another cause.
  4. Is it possible that the unevenly cured foam in a basement room is giving me chemically-type new car smells on the 1st floor? I've been dealing as well with a faint but unchanging new-car type smell upstairs. It seems logical given the odor from the foam but the smell is not like rotting fish, its more of a freon-new car-freezerburn type smell.
  5. When I get a hold of the installer I'll ask him who the mfr was. All I have on my bill is Type 2.
  6. It would have been in the mid 20's © and moderately humid as I recall. Do you think the blueish portions are the uncured portions?
  7. Thanks Kurt. Not what I was hoping for but now we'll get started on making it right. It's been unseasonably warm here in my part of Canada. The smell coincided with the first few days of colder weather last week. Perhaps the hot air pipes had something to do with an uptick in the smell. Also, its barely noticeable in the morning and seems to increase as the day progresses. I would prefer to have the installer come when it indisputably smells.
  8. We had a basement room which has 2 outside walls sprayed with type 2, closed cell spray foam this summer. The room was stripped bare and re-studded before the spray. The walls were gyprocked, primed & painted but the ceiling is yet to be finished. We experienced the typical fish smell which dissipated as expected a few days later. We use the room as a craft shop and have had no smell issues until last week. All os a sudden that fishy smell is back and its definitely coming from that room. Yesterday we opened the basement door and installed a box fan in the patio door to try and vent-out the odor. The odor persists. I have read about this problem and it is often labelled as an application error or batch failure. What I have not been able to find is whether this problem will resolve itself eventually and in about how long. I understand crudely that the technician mixes product A + B = C but that in bad applications, the A&B remain "uncompleted" therefore the foam doesn't go through the normal cure and hence the smell. I also noticed that a small portion of the foam is a bluish color compared to the regular yellow foam. In the attached pictures the regular foam is on the left, blueish on the right, bottom pic is regular yellow foam) I have contacted the company that did the spray and the guy seemed completely surprised and as if this had never happened before. He's supposed to come by the house but hasn't showed. I'm worried (can you tell?!) about what I'm breathing. Why is it smelling now, months later? We have a heat pump but nothing should be heating that foam to explain the smell. The humidity is below 40%. I would appreciate your input. Click to Enlarge 13.02 KB Click to Enlarge 17.57 KB Click to Enlarge 13.44 KB
  9. All makes good sense to me. The expert has a reputation for being straight & honest - but then, he can't go wrong selling a bulletproof solution at a fair price, even if that's not strictly necessary (or at least not yet). I'm hoping to avoid problems, but within a budget closer to 5k than to 25k. You've just reminded me of something else he mentioned - that the life expectancy of these drains, with 4" perforated ABS pipe - is around 30-40 years. When inspecting it, there had been an obstruction that cleared when the camera went in, and water flowed into the sump pit. Does the sheer age of the setup change our wait & see approach? The basement finishing would be to put in a rudimentary floor and giprock the walls, tidy up the ducts & wires in the ceiling for a playroom/home theatre, and hopefully a treadmill. Currently the basement is entirely unfinished, just a storage / laundry pit.
  10. Thanks Marc. I think that's DRIcore. Looks pretty neat. The drainage fix I'm considering would be like trenching the corners of a tent, only underground - starting from the corners of the foundation slab. I don't know if having only a couple of such underground drains/conduits would be sufficient to lower the waterlevel all around the foundation, or if they would only drain the water in their immediate vicinity.
  11. Thanks for your replies. He found the pipe sitting on the footing by digging - excavator dug down 8 feet along the exterior of the foundation wall until it reached the pipe, which was sitting on (rather than alongside or below) the concrete slab. Here's an image I found that captures the situation: Click to Enlarge 27.99 KB What he concluded was that the pipe (with the perforations on top) would only drain water to the level of the footing/slab, rather than below it, causing water to accumulate not below the basement floor level, but at it. Thus the buildup of hydrostatic pressure. He said that if the floor ever cracks (or if we were to install a radon vent eventually), water would infiltrate. The problem is compounded by the sump pit being relatively shallow. The downspouts drain away from the house- there's an extension pipe - but only on the back of the house. On the front, there are no gutters but I'm planning to install one. There's no smell or visible evidence of mold and the basement floor is uncracked. I believe that if there were a severe hydrostatic pressure issue, the floor would have cracked after 40 yeas. But then, I want to finish the basement and don't want humidity issues to screw up the floor, walls and air. It's a pretty moist environment- east-coast Canada with extreme highs, lows and lots of precipitation. But I figure that if the major issue the expert is signalling (great point Marc- perhaps no issue at all) is that the drain placement & pump setup doesn't keep the water level low enough, could that not be solved by using a subterranean gravity drain not replacing the current perimeter drain, but merely drawing water away from the foundation in one or two corners of the house. I'm sorry- I wish I had better vocabulary to describe what I'm thinking - does any of this make sense?
  12. Hi All, I'm new to this and hoping for some advice. An inspection of a 40-year-old house has revealed that the french drain pipe encircling the house at the foundation level (some 8 feet below the surface) is placed on (not below) the concrete footing. It was explained to me that this causes the water to remain level with (not below) the concrete slab, and that it's only a question of when (not if) the hydrostatic pressure will cause either the cove joint or the basement floor itself to leak. The water level in the sump hole tends to be high, and the sump tends to run more often as a result. But the basement is dry - no rot or mold, no cracks in the floor or wall. The house itself is on gently sloping land, but the south wall has flat to negative slope toward the house. The drainage expert has quoted us a reasonable $125 or so per linear foot to retrench the entire perimeter of the foundation, dig a trench about a foot below the footing and do the french drain properly, the way it should have been done 40 years ago. We'd like to finish the basement, and he tells us that unless we redo the drain properly, we'll always have problems with the floor/walls. My question is this: his solution obviously makes sense, but it's a 20-25K fix. The drain currently works, but it's obviously 12 inches higher than it should be to eliminate water pressure on the joint. To get the job done, I'm wondering if it's truly necessary to encircle the whole house. Instead, could I trench out a simpler gravity drain 9 or even 10 feet down and leading away from 1 or 2 corners of the house, thereby reducing the hydrostatic pressure and eliminating the risk of infiltration & foundation cracks? What do you think?
  13. According to the owners the damage was done while updating the septic in 1994. There are 2 lids to the septic and are quite close to the house. One lid is abutting the doors to the walkout in fact. I suspect that pipe near the crack has something to do with the septic. ?
  14. Thanks Kurt. Nope, no mention of an oil tank - the house has central air. Also wondering what the open-ended pipe along the stairs with the wires is. Any relation to the septic? Also, isn't it strange that the sump pump would be in the walkout wall?
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