Suggestions for dusty but dry basement?

allie_sanNovember 4, 2013

My 1911 Victorian cottage in northern Michigan has a very dusty basement! I fought off the cobwebs and dust about 2 years ago and it didn't hold for more than a few months. I think the dust is coming from the lime mortar & stone foundation and from between the plank floorboards overhead.

I'd like to paint the whole thing white with a grey floor, but could use some guidance on what products to use/avoid. It sounds like a product like Dry-Lok isn't suggested because it doesn't allow the foundation to breathe on both sides. I haven't had any leak issues, other than a little weeping one week that dumped rain.

It's mostly stone foundation with some areas that have concrete block half-walls (I'm guessing they were added at some point to support the original walls). Overhead is just floor joists/subfloor and mechanical systems, but fairly low ceiling.

The space is used for storage, so the goal is just cleaner looking and less dusty - not trying to make a finished basement.

And also, any suggestions to evict the spiders? ;)

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Probably mostly from between the plank floorboards.

Using a classic whitewash on the walls would seal them and let them breathe. Tacking up something to trap the dust coming from the floor above is the only way to stop that problem. Any tight-woven fabric would do.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:07PM
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I agree with lazygardens about the likely source. I would just screw sheetrock to the joists...doesn't even need to be taped unless you want it to look more finished.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Overkill, but while you are at it, you could slap a layer of foam board insulation or a radiant barrier onto the basement ceiling. Could control dust and add heating efficiency.

I know in the army at one point they oiled the floors of barracks...the oil stopped dust from getting airborne and significantly lowered rates of respiratory problems. Not an aesthetically appealing solution, but it would help.

Change the filters on the heating systems.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:25AM
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