Smelly Old House
So we purchased an older house (1910) and have been in it for a couple months now. We repaired plaster in the living room/dining room and gave the walls, ceiling and trim a fresh coat of paint in those rooms, not to mention a thorough scrubbing of the entire place. The second floor has sort of a stale-ish smell to it (you don't smell it when the windows are open) and I'm sure that will go away once we paint upstairs.
My biggest problem with the odor of the house is coming from the basement. It's damp. Its a stone foundation that seeps some, like they all do. Years ago, they poured cement on top of the dirt, which I'm sure helped things. However, its cracked and broken in some places, and there are even some chunks missing in some spots. The worst of the damp/mildew smell comes up the basement stairs, which is right at the front of the house, which means you smell it as soon as you walk in the front door and into the front hall.
I'd like to make the basement as dry as possible and keep it that way, which I'm assuming means that I'll need to get a dehumidifier, fill in the holes in the floor, etc. I'm just wondering if the damp/mildew smell emanating from the basement is something I'll ever be able to get rid of, and if anyone has any ideas on how best to minimize it.