Locating an foul odor in my house.

About a month ago I noticed a faint foul odor taking over a particular room in my house (no not the bathroom ). It's gotten worse over the last couple of weeks and seems to have peaked. The odd thing is that it doesn’t have the smell of a corpse, but rather something moldy – although I won’t discount something like a mouse. This room has one wall exposed to the outdoors, one against the garage, one against a walk in closet and one against a family room. None of those areas have the smell. It’s only inside the room. I’ve checked the attack and there is no smell up there. Sniffed around the floor and can’t pin it down there either. I am completely stumped. Does anyone have any ideas on some good ways to find out where the odor might be originating without drilling a million holes in walls and floors? I’m thinking of having someone come in to see of they can trace the origin of this smell but don’t even know who to call. Any ideas there would be helpful too. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Does the room have a plumming drain trap that might have dried up?
About a month ago I noticed a faint foul odor taking over a particular room in my house (no not the bathroom ?). It's gotten worse over the last couple of weeks and seems to have peaked. The odd thing is that it doesn't have the smell of a corpse, but rather something moldy - although I won't discount something like a mouse. This room has one wall exposed to the outdoors, one against the garage, one against a walk in closet and one against a family room. None of those areas have the smell. It's only inside the room. I've checked the attack and there is no smell up there. Sniffed around the floor and can't pin it down there either. I am completely stumped. Does anyone have any ideas on some good ways to find out where the odor might be originating without drilling a million holes in walls and floors? I'm thinking of having someone come in to see of they can trace the origin of this smell but don't even know who to call. Any ideas there would be helpful too. Thanks in advance for any help.
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M.Paul wrote:

Nope, no plumbing in that room. It rests completely above a garage. And I can not smell that odor anywhere in the garage.

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This is one of the famous 'bonus rooms'? How finished is the space? Drywall, or exposed OSB or plywood? Any exposed insulation or vapor barrier? And now for the 64 thousand dollar question- is the space within the A/V envelope? (IOW, is it temp controlled and ventilated?) OSB, especially in unvented spaces that get hot, is famous for outgassing, and reeks to high heaven. Particle board underlayment, and factory-finish cabinets and flooring in the crate, have the same problem.
aem sends....
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It might be mold, look for areas water can get in outside, look in the attic, remove switch and outlet cover plates to see if smell is in walls
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ameijers wrote:

Indeed it is a bonus room. The space is only finished to the extent that there is drywall and it has been painted. The flooring is 3/4 particle board. There is no exposed insulation. There is no heating vent (and therefore no return) in the room. What you describe could very well be the problem. The only thing is that we leave the entry to this room open and after 7 years there have just recently started getting that odor. I just installed a window to the room a few days ago and it certainly clears the room. But, when I close it, back to stinksville.
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Geo wrote:

Dog? Not the cause but to pinpoint it.
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Geo, 6/28/2006, 9:41:23 AM,

Open up wall switches and outlets to smell inside the walls.
Put a fan in the room and try to clear out the smell then come back and perhaps you can find the source after the fumes have been cleared.
Check your window trim for signs of wood rot and mold.
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Geo wrote:

Got a lot of stuff stored? Bedroom? Any plumbing? Walls against unheated space might get condensation and mildew on them. Need better air circ. Any plumbing in the room? Above or next to? Any chance of damp clothing that got left in a drawer or in luggage? Any stains on windows sills, walls, or ceiling?
If we keep our AC set too high (Florida) stuff starts getting mildewy, especially leather. My shoes in a closet were covered with mildew, but no odor noticed. Wood furniture also was growing stuff. Wiped it all with water and a little bleach (yes, even wood furniture). If you can't locate anything damp, I would try keeping a fan running to help ventilate the room.
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Wash the curtains, change the bedding and shampoo the rug (and whatever else applies) then restart your search for the smell
About a month ago I noticed a faint foul odor taking over a particular room in my house (no not the bathroom ?). It's gotten worse over the last couple of weeks and seems to have peaked. The odd thing is that it doesn't have the smell of a corpse, but rather something moldy - although I won't discount something like a mouse. This room has one wall exposed to the outdoors, one against the garage, one against a walk in closet and one against a family room. None of those areas have the smell. It's only inside the room. I've checked the attack and there is no smell up there. Sniffed around the floor and can't pin it down there either. I am completely stumped. Does anyone have any ideas on some good ways to find out where the odor might be originating without drilling a million holes in walls and floors? I'm thinking of having someone come in to see of they can trace the origin of this smell but don't even know who to call. Any ideas there would be helpful too. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Geo wrote:

DAGS on this. And note the instances where folks found that some critter had gotten inside a wall cavity and died. Could be.
J
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On 28 Jun 2006 12:07:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

I'm having same problem as OP, and it does smell like what you're suggesting -- critter died.
I just came back and smelled that awful odor. Same problem -- trying to find the source. It seems to be localized somewhere around the wall containing my file cabinets. But since the study was pretty much closed up while I was away for several months, how did IT get in?
I am very aware of that smell, since I once had the same problem in the garage -- something crawled in and got trapped. (What an awful way to die!).
Clueless (really!) about what to do...
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Rules out the mother-in-law.

Live plants? Is this a place where snakes are flooded or for some reason seek "asylum", oops I meant refuge. Is this a draft of air coming from outside by chance?
Have some friends do the a smell test, maybe you ain't crazy <grin>.
Oren
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Geo wrote:

Any kids? Our toddler age daughter is just old enough to open drawers. We have an old card catalog that serves as a TV stand. it has about 50 small drawers in it. One day I guess she decided it would be fun to hide her sippy cup half full of milk in one of the drawers. Needless to say a while later a strange stink started to fill the room. We eventually found it but only after exhausting just about every other possibility.
Doug
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Geo wrote:

Everyone, thanks for the advice. I will add this: the room is completely empty with no carpet, no plumbing, no trim, nothing. It's essentially a storage area that we designed in to the house. I've examined and removed every item that we had stored there. The smell remains. Looks like I need to hire out the neighbors dog and/or start drilling holes.
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When was the last time you took a bath? I am using a smellavision monitor and you really have a foul odor. Possibly your shoes.....
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