Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 26
  1. #1

    So embarrassed by my stinky house

    This house had a weird stink when I bought it 13 years ago. The owner had all the windows open when I checked it out so I did not notice. But have lived with it since then. At times it is worse than other times and I just kind of get used to it. This time of year the humidity inside gets high as I do not need to run the AC and like to keep the windows open until it gets too warm.

    I don't know how to describe the smell. It is just a funk - part mildewy, part stale air, part ass, part cat (we have 2), part dirty laundry. I am sure the smell of the cat food, litter box and indoor pet have a large contribution to it but somehow I feel there is something else going on. It smelled when I bought it.

    House is built on a slab, 22 years old. No mold issues at all. All electric appliances. I replaced most of my carpet with wood flooring cuz I thought the carpet was trapping odors. Didn't really change. I have some carpet left but it was replaced a couple years ago too. Cats do not pee inside - I definitely know the smell of sour pee from a prior pet - this is not that sharp, rancid smell.

    I periodically run water in unused bathrooms/sinks to ensure water fills up plumbing traps to prevent backflow of gases. I still think I might have something going on with the plumbing but can't put my finger on it. No dead bodies in the attic.

    My property is very wooded and often smells damp/musky outside just because the woods are close to the house. Sometimes my nose thinks there is a connection between the outside smell and the inside smell although are not exactly the same. I only mention as that outside smell sticks in my head when I think hard about the inside smell.

    It is making us miserable. I wish there was a smell business that could come out and figure out exactly what it is. I don't want to replace carpet if that isn't it. I am pretty sure I do not have any mold or water links under my cabinets or dishwashing machine. WTF is it? I'm going crazy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    southern california
    Posts
    535
    It is more than likely mold or some other type of microrganism. There are companies which deal in industrial hygiene, mold remediation,etc. What is the relative humidity inside your home. I am thinking that you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. If you have not been able to find the source then you need professional assistance. You may be risking the quality of your health.

  3. #3
    My Trane heat pump thermostat says 70% humidity, although we've had a steady week of rain. House temps have been right at where neither heat nor ac has been needed so I've left it off. I know that is high humidity but house still smells even when heat or ac runs during those times of year. It is slightly better smell-wise when the humidity is lower but maybe 25% less so still noticeable. I always thought (unscientifically) the higher humidity was 'releasing' carpet odors. What signs would I look for if this is a mold problem? I don't have any obvious mold issues in the house that I've ever seen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    milford ct
    Posts
    161
    something dead in the walls mice ? under the slab of the house ?
    If a Ram is a Sheep, And an Ass is a Donkey, Why is a Ram in the Ass a Goose?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    southern california
    Posts
    535
    Have you had a plumber look into the venting or seperated sewer pipe. Animal dead in wall could also be a possibility but usually you would see ants or other insects feeding on the carcass. Back to mold, slimy walls or black spots inside kitchen or bathroom drawers. Dissect your kitchen and bathrooms.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    906
    "No dead bodies in the attic."
    heh.


    "70% humidity"
    look no further. Bring that down to below 50% and in a few weeks you'll probably notice an improvement, provided you still have a bit of ventilation. It takes a long time to completely go away though, and sometimes it never does. In a closet I had, there was a smell that went away only after I replaced the plaster/drywall and sealed leaks in the exterior wall.
    -If you won't turn it on then nothing else matters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,361
    What climate are you in?
    Keep in mind that the slab is cool and near the dew point of the outside air most of the spring/summer/fall in most green grass climates. It is critical that you maintain <50%RH through these seasons. Also most home do not get enough fresh air change during the mild season to purge the indoor pollutants. The odor problem is not going to controlled by fresh air ventilation but by finding the damp spots in the home.
    Consider a whole house ventilating dehumidifier for the "<50%RH" part and fresh air. If that does not fix the problem, crawl on your hands and knees searching everycorner for the damp spot. Long term <50%RH usually fixes most. I work with Ultra-Aire and we fix these problems routinely. Follows with specific questions. Several on the forum have had the experience.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    906
    What TB said. Even if there's another reason for the smell, the way to find the cause is to eliminate possibilities one by one. Lowering the humidity will help find the source if it's something else. There may even be several sources simultaneously.
    -If you won't turn it on then nothing else matters.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    been smelling for 13 years, go into attic, make sure all the sewer vents are actually penetrating the roof

    is there a lot of leakage around the windows, doors?
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in Cali
    Posts
    183
    you probably missing p-trap in one of your sinks or shower tab.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    If that does not fix the problem, crawl on your hands and knees searching everycorner for the damp spot.
    What do I look for? I've never noticed a damp spot in the house but have not done a hands-and-knees chack as you suggest. I will though. Am I simply sniffing for a wet/mildewy smell or feeling for dampness?


    Quote Originally Posted by dandyme View Post
    been smelling for 13 years, go into attic, make sure all the sewer vents are actually penetrating the roof

    is there a lot of leakage around the windows, doors?
    I will check the attic tomorrow! My home is pretty air tight which is why I like to leave the windows open (or at least cracked) when I can during the mild season. I am in Virginia and it will get hot and humid as Spring progresses.


    Quote Originally Posted by aixha1969 View Post
    you probably missing p-trap in one of your sinks or shower tab.
    I will make it a visually check these, but wouldn't I notice extra stink coming from a sink/shower if this was missing? I notice no localized smell.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    Quote Originally Posted by aixha1969 View Post
    you probably missing p-trap in one of your sinks or shower tab.
    made me think...............duh.


    look under sinks to see if there are studor vents
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    S. Texas
    Posts
    63
    Had a house years ago with a odor of "ethnic food" from the previous owners. Not strong but noticeable. Tsp scrubbed walls , painted, removed lots of wallpaper. Actually brought a small propane bbq inside and cooked peameal bacon until air was blue with smoke several times. Left house smoked up and ventilated when I returned. Improved odor tremendously, someone said house only smelled like laundry detergent & clean clothes. Not bad for a young single guy.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event