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Strange smell in my house...can't find it !!!

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2008: Strange smell in my house...can't find it !!!
By Wandilu on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 08:02 pm:

For several months there has been, and still is, a strange unidentifiable smell in our house. And it comes and goes, but here lately it is staying longer each time.Our ( only) bathroom had a leak around the commode that we noticed as soon as we moved in.The floor was saggy around the commode, and you could feel the floor give way badly everytime you walked across it.Well, the owners had the house completely redone before we moved in ;painted the walls,put new carpet in throughout the whole house , plus some things to the outside.So, when we told the realestate lady that handles the house about the bathroom problem, she just let it slide for almost a year before she told them. Anyway, the floor was molded and sour when they ripped it up to make the repairs, so I thought that was the source of the strong smell in the house.And for a while after they were finished, the smell seemed to be gone.But it is back with a vengeance!! And I am at the point of having a meltdown over it !!!! As I sit here writing this, my nose is so raw I can hardly breath thru it.I just got up from a nap, and my voice is so scratchy that its difficult to talk, which is the way it is EVERY morning!! I have serious allergy's, and I tend to smell things that other people in the same room don't even notice.So, sometimes people smell it and sometimes they don't ! I have had the city gas company come in and check it ,even though we don't use gas.He said he could smell something, but nothing showed up on his machine ( gas,carbon dioxide,etc).Sometimes it smells like wires getting hot, but we've had that checked too.DH can smell it, too. I don't even want to be in my own hose anymore! The other day I just layed down and cried!!! Has anyone ever experienced something like this? Any suggestions?

By Tayjar on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 09:07 pm:

You need to hire a licensed home inspector to do a thorough home inspection. A reputable realtor can recommend one. I would advise against using the one you bought the house through. Sounds like she isn't the most dependable.

Also, keep a written list of when the smell is most noticeable. After it rains? After you do laundry? After you run the furnace? This can help the inspector.

Good luck. I hope it gets better for you.

By Bellajoe on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 09:55 pm:

is it a gassy smell, or a musty smell? Could it be something with the sewer or pipes? Do you have a sump pump?

I agree that you should get a good home inspecter to have them check out everything.

How horrible for you! :(

By Dawnk777 on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 12:32 am:

One time a strange smell in my house, was a dead rabbit in my dryer vent. It had fallen down the steel tubing from outside. DH had to pull the dryer away from the wall and bless him, he cleaned it up. I think I would have thrown up.

After that, we put a little grill thingie, with vents, over the hole so it couldn't happen again.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 09:48 am:

I agree that you should get a good home inspector, and tell the inspector the history, especially of the bathroom. I would be very concerned that there is something that wasn't taken care of when they re-did the bathroom floor - like stuff further down in sub-flooring, beams, etc.

By Tonya on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 10:07 am:

Don't mess around with this too long get someone out there quickly. Rich went under our house (crawl space) to move some cable lines around and found mold and now to this day he has to hit his inhaler 2-3x a day. His breathing is awful and has had too many attacks to count. Good luck.

By Debbie on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 10:55 am:

Another vote for hiring a good home inspector. Ditto, Ginny. I would be concerned that they didn't take care of all the mold when they took care of your bathroom. Mold can make you very sick, not somehting to mess around with.

By Cybermommyx4 on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 04:59 pm:

How long has the smell been around this time? And is it the WHOLE house, or do you smell it in a specific room more than others?

One time, my mom had a smell over at her house and could not find the source...I (who have a nose like a bloodhound) found 3 rotting potatos in a bowl on the top of her bakers rack in her kitchen....And I can smell molding fruit from across the produce aisle, lol! I wish I lived closer, I'd come see if I could help figure it out...I can't imagine how frustrated you must be! I know if would drive me NUTS! {{HUGS}} and good luck in finding the source and (hopefully) the solution.

By Amecmom on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 06:50 pm:

Could it be a dead rodent?

By Bobbie~moderatr on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 09:14 am:

My grandmothers house had an odor, turned out that the sewer pipe (vent) had a crack in it and it was leaking enough water to promote mold in the wall. She could never figure out what the smell was, it was a musty sewer(ish) smell. My dad bought the house when my grandma passed away. While renovating the rooms he came across the mold, discovered the broken pipe.... No more smell..

Bad thing.. my grandmother was extremely allergic to mold, triggered her athsma, and everyone questions if the house might have promoted her death.. We will never know.

By Longaboo on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 09:36 am:

This may sound crazy but anyone who has ever had this happens any chance do you have any bad citrus fruit in your fridge or in a bowl sitting somewhere? Because it gives off a real funky chemical smell. My mother in law had this problem once and I told her about it...she checked only to find a lemon had gone bad in the bottom of a drawer in the fridge...oranges, lemons and grapefruit give off the worst stench when they go bad. Am I right? Anyone ever smelled that smell before?? Ugh... friend had a mouse crawl up and die up in the back of her stove..took forever to find it because they had to literally take the stove a part to see it, it stank forever too...Good Luck finding your mystery smell...

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 09:48 am:

I know what you mean, Lisa. We had a fire in an apartment and when I came back to clean out the frig there was spoiled orange juice and oranges in it. Double-yuck!!

But, I would still think what was under the bathroom floor would be the first place to look, just given the history.

By Brooke327 on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 03:58 pm:

Well I guess I am very curious. Did you ever find out what the funky smell is? I hope so. We had a mouse one time that stunk the whole house up for weeks YUKKK. Good Luck

By Wandilu on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 10:19 pm:

Ladies, thanks for all the in-put. Lisa, I know what you mean about rotten fruit...oranges especially ! But everything in the fridge is ok.Bobbie, I'm actually concerned about the possibility of mold, because the previous work that was done on the bathroom showed a lot of mold.Ginny, there is more floor work to be repaired.Our dining room and bathroom is divided by a wall;the shower is just on the other side of the wall.Well, where water hit the bathroom wall and somehow got in between the wall, the floor in the dining room (about a foot or so wide) is real saggy (I hope that makes sense :). Well, the realtor that handles the house told the repair man not to repair that part of the floor.I think she thought she would get brownie points from the owners for not spending more money. So I'm sure there is bound to be mold on at least some of it. Well, in Dec. the owners came in to town (they live out of state)and they wanted to see the repairs.They turned out to be extremely nice, and wanted to know if there was any other things needing repairs.So I showed them the dining room floor, and he wanted to know if the realtor knew about this, which I said yes.So when I paid rent again, she seemed agitated at me and said the owners left her a list of things that he wants done to the house this summer! So, it's on the list for repairs.So,hopefully if that is where the smell is coming from, it will be fixed. If I can stand it till then!!!! But it is definately still here. Some days are stronger than others.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 08:25 am:

So it's bad now, but they don't want to fix it until summer? You can't talk them into fixing it sooner? The realtor person sounds like she is a piece of work.

By Debbie on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 11:21 am:

Mold is a very big health issue! It can make you very, very sick. If the dinning room floor shows signs of water damage, and you had mold under the bathroom floor, then I bet there is mold under your dinning room floor too!!!

Is there anyway you can deal with the owner directly?? Personally, I would demand the proper repairs be done asap. It is probably what is making you feel sick!! If not, you are renting right?? I would really consider moving if they won't work with you to get the repairs done. It is not worth risking your health.

By Vicki on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 11:52 am:

If I were you, I would be demanding that something be done sooner. You should not be paying rent for a place that has strange smells and the real possibility of mold. Mold can be a life threatening thing. There is NO reason to be putting it off until summer. I would be demanding repairs and if nothing is being done, I would then be contacting an attorney.

By Longaboo on Sunday, March 2, 2008 - 09:00 pm:

Contact your local health department. They can test for mold. IF that is what it is, there are certain types that can kill you and do internal damage. This is nothing to mess with here. I don't meant to sound like a wet blanket,(no pun intended) but I know a family, personally who had to have their house burnt down due to mold. There have been specials on TV about it too. Please don't let anyone talk you into waiting another day. Please call your health department and tell them what is going on.

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