Mold?

I built a new house this past year, and a month or so ago, I started to smell an odor much like mold in the central area of the interior -- not near the kitchen or baths, though there is a whole-house water cut-off valve in a closet in the front hall. I have searched and searched and cannot find anywhere where mold is coming through the walls -- and since I've been in the house for such a short time, it doesn't seem like I should have mold yet anyhow (we've been in drought conditions for most of the year here).
Sometimes the smell reminds me of an ashtray with old cigarettes sitting in beer or something (I don't smoke, but I well remember the smell from my college days). But it also reminds me of the moldy smell in my old house (which definitely DID have mold).
I'm at my wit's end, and getting frantic because if it IS mold, I need to get rid of it before it gets worse. I asked a contractor who worked on the house to go in the crawl space and look, and he says it looks dry under there. So here's my question: What could it be? Is there something that might cause such a smell temporarily, but that might go away after awhile? (I'm asking this because it doesn't seem as strong now as it did when I first noticed it; on the other hand, I may simply be getting used to it). And finally, who do I call to diagnose and/or fix the problem? I feel like a sitting duck; if I hire a mold specialist, they could come out here and tell me I need some sort of expensive treatment that goes far beyond what I really need, and there's nothing I can do about it!
Oh, and did I mention that the actual construction left me broke? I can't afford to take unnecessary steps.
Thank you in advance for any advise you might be willing to share.
Perri in North Carolina
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...

Sure sounds like your imagination is gettng the better of you. Try thinking about something else.
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writes:

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Perri Morgan wrote:

Well you can have someone come in an test, but of course that is subject to interpretation . I suggest that you have them test both inside and outside and let them comment on the difference. Mold is part of life. There is always going to be some. If the outside air has a lot of mold, you are going to have high counts inside as well.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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But high mold coumts would be odd in a dry climate. Have you checked the roof, though? Sometimes flashing, etc is not done correctly, allowing even your occasional rains to wet things, and they can stay wet for a while, letting mold grow. Look especially around roof penetrations- vent, chimney if you have one.
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But high mold coumts would be odd in a dry climate. Have you checked the roof, though? Sometimes flashing, etc is not done correctly, allowing even your occasional rains to wet things, and they can stay wet for a while, letting mold grow. Look especially around roof penetrations- vent, chimney if you have one.
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Get a building inspector and try to qualify him first on finding mold. It could be a leaking pipe, an exterior leak, but if you say its dry out and in the middle maybe not, a plumbing leak, Ng leak is likely if your nose is poor, or a common issue is sewer gas from an unused bath or basement floor drain, when traps dry up in comes the gas. You need someone with a good nose who knows what to look for.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in

Thanks for your response -- at least you took my inquiry seriously. I didn't know if there was some sort of contractor who specializes in this sort of thing (a good "nose"), but I could try a general building inspector. How might I qualify him, as you suggest?
As for those of you who chose to be less than helpful, I was looking for an actual solution, not a bunch of commentary on how nuts I might be. Others can smell it, and as for the individual who suggested that I ask a woman -- that's unnecessary as I AM a woman. Having had a mold problem after a minor flood in the house that I just moved from, I have good cause to be very fearful of undetected mold and the damage it can do.
Perri
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 22:14:53 GMT, Perri Morgan

Everyone's answer was serious and you could learn from everyone of them. That doesn't mean that every line in every answer has to be dead serious.

You didn't say that before. You wrote a long post giving all the reasons there probably was no mold, and the only reason you gave that there was was that you smelled it. Suggesting you are imagining it** was reasonable.
**I would include in this use of imagination that you *were* smelling something, but it wasn't mold. I would say that anyhow, but In fact you yourself said it also smelled like an ashtray with old cigarettes in beer. That's not what mold smells like.

Then ask another woman, or ask a man, or ask some people at random. In fact I suggested that first, asking visitors. It's cheaper than hiring an inspector.
My mother had a far more sensitive nose than I do, and in my experience in general, women do. Are you annoyed by the possibility that men and women are different? Is that what bothers you?
If I wanted to give you a hard time, I would have commented on the statement where you said you were getting frantic.

That's why I went to the trouble to answer your post.

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wrote:

BTW, I didn't mean to just ask them if they smell something. But to sniff around until they find exactly where it is coming from.
Like a bloodhound would do.
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Sorry -- but newsgroups are generally where people go to solicit help from those with expertise or to offer help to others. All I learned from the individual who suggested that I had too much time on my hands is that the writer had a little too much time on HIS hands, as he was doing neither.
I rarely post to newsgroups, but I chose this one because I assumed it would be peopled with individuals who had expertise in many areas of remodeling. I got two helpful responses, for which I'm grateful. That's all I was looking for.
The rest was not meant to be helpful, and I don't have enough time on my hands to read the comments of those who clearly have no expertise, yet feel the need to build up their own egos at the expense of others.
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Now I'm confused. I assume you are complaining about my response. Did I say you were nuts or did I say you had too much time on your hands? Or are you now saying I said both those things? You know I said neither.
Another poster explained how you failed to mention that someone else smelled the same thing.
With the information you provided, it was very easy to come to the conclusion that you MIGHT be imagining the smell. I'm sorry if you find the suggestion offensive.
Please let us know how this comes out.
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On Tue, 07 Mar 2006 01:37:24 GMT, Perri Morgan

I know much better than you do what I meant, and my response was meant to be helpful.
I can't say for sure -- and I guess I shouldn't have tried -- that everyone's answer was serious, but it is true that you could learn from every one of them.

Also not the case. I'm sorry you don't like it when a little humor is mixed in with good advice.
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 14:10:12 GMT, Perri Morgan

I agree with the first two answers. But I would also suggest asking visitors if they smell anything. And getting someone with a better nose than yours to come and search for the source. Ask a woman -- they're always claimig to smell things.
Maybe a dog could do this too, although I don't know how to tell a dog what he is to look for. Sometimes the police and others hire non-police with bloodhounds. Don't know how much that costs, or if they do mold, but I suppose if the trainer gives them mold to sniff, they'll look for more of it. How hard is it to train a pet to do this?
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I will send you information direct to you that I have collected on mold. Since you are in a high humidity area (North Carolina), it is possible that it is mold or mildew. However, it is unlikely the humidity in the air is causing it as this is the dry part of the air. More likely is a plumbing or roof leak as liquid water would come from that that could cause mold or mildew. A home inspector with a pinless moisture meter may be able to detect a damp area on a wall or ceiling before you can see it. You could also get a hygrometer or humidity meter from Radio Shack and move it from room to room. A high humidity area would be the first place to look. I don't know of any free or cheap ways to find your problem. My pinless moisture meter cost over $500.00 4 years ago and now costs even more.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

Sorry, I meant that this is the dry part of the YEAR, not the dry part of the AIR. I need to profread better before I post.
Stretch
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Only a prof can do that. But you could proofread. :)

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I have smelled a cat odor that was strange like that. I am in Charlotte North Carolina if that is near I have a friend in the mold Biz
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Mold-95427-.htm laylamasi wrote: Hi Perri,
Did you ever resolve this issue? I am experiencing something similar.
Thank you,
Tauheedah
Perri Morgan wrote:

-------------------------------------
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On Apr 30, 6:14am, layla_masi_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (laylamasi) wrote:

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