How can I get rid of the smell of damp concrete in my studio? Answered
I have been working without success on the smell in my 12' x 14' studio for 5 months, so I really hope someone can help me. I can put my nose right up to the walls and the ceiling and the outlets and not smell anything. But when I put my nose right to the floor I smell the dank, musty, yucky smell of damp, dank concrete. The place reeks of it, I can't work in it. I smelled it last October when I was looking to buy the house, I told the inspector about it but he could not smell anything. Everyone can smell something when they open the door, some people can tolerate it but I can't. As soon as you open the door it just overwhelms you.
What I have done so far:
1. Had two peg board walls removed and replaced with chipboard, because that was what the other walls were made of. I had assumed at that time that the smell was mold coming from the pegboard. At that time I looked at the insulation inside the studs and it was fine. It smelled so good with that new chip board up that I thought the problem had been solved.
2. In preparation for painting I caulked the ceiling, around the windows, and up against the floors where it meets the walls.
3. Painted 3 coats of Kills primer on all the walls.
4. Painted 2 coats of very good quality semi-gloss paint on all the walls.
5. I scraped off all of the existing paint that was on the floor. It was peeling in places which is what led me to think the smell was coming from the concrete.
6. Washed the floor with a de-greaser.
7. Washed the floor with sulphuric acid, and rinsed it about 30 times.
8. Painted the floor with 3 coats of special paint made for concrete basements to act as a waterproofer.
9. Painted 2 coats of sealer on top.
10. I called the previous owner who confirmed that the studio's monolithic slab was poured without a vapor barrier because code didn't call for it, because no one was going to spend the night there or live in it. He never noticed the smell.
11. In all this time I have run the A/C non-stop, with the windows open, with the windows closed, with no effect. I have even run the heater for a few days. I have cleaned the A/C over and over, there is nothing to clean and the smell is not coming from there.
Is there anything I can put on the floor to effectively seal the smell from getting into the air? Why didn't all those coats of concrete paint and sealer do it?