Mold smell only short duration after shower


I rent a bachelors apartment in a 70's era highrise (cement walls separate units). Whenever I shower, I come out of the washroom and smell something that I can only describe as wet plaster, or some such chemical smell. "Mold", I thought. However, if I ventilate the apartment for a short while (15 min), the smell goes away and stays away. I wouldn't expect mold to do that. Could it be not mold? Getting the management in to test and repair will be a major nightmare (moving might be more palatable).
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snake the tub drain and the sink drain to remove any gunk. make sure the drains are now draining fast. following clorox directions, trigger spray the shower, tub, and hard floor surfaces with half bleach and half water, rinse them later. spray the vanity sink overflow hole(s) and the bathtub's overflow. replace the shower curtain. if there are shower doors, one crack or bad seal can allow water to get out on the floor and sneak under the floor tile. check the window for rain leaks and mold/mildew. if there is a service panel, check the shower/tub overflow in the tub wall to see if it stays dry. replace the wax seal under the toilet at the floor. repair the bathroom exhaust fan and its blocked pathway to the outdoors. carefully bleach according to directions all your laundry, towels, and bathmats. sometimes sense of smell can be affected by medications, your diet, and other scents found in soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream. it is very possible to have shower water sneak past your curtain or doors and drizzle into the floor, so have a helper watch for this while you're in the shower. your towels and clothes need a clean washing machine, check the front door gasket on a modern water efficient front loader for gunk. -b
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AndyHancock wrote:

Sometimes there are "algae blooms" that make the water supply here smell funky for a few days -- is it just the shower, or does your water smell "off" in general? How long has this been going on?
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The water doesn't smell, but the air in the apartment smells when I step out of the shower. Only for a short while, if I ventilate. Not all the time, either. I'm not sure if it depends on whether the shower is a hot one, or how long the shower is...something I'll keep an eye on for now. Hot showers usually after a workout day.
If it was mold, I wouldn't expect it to release a smell only when wetted. And if it was wetted, it wouldn't dry within 20 minutes simply cuz I ventilate the apartment. I find that puzzling.
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Is it possible that it's your sense of smell that's changing? I have allergies and a hot shower frees up my sinuses. I have a better sense of smell afterwards...for a while.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

My thoughts exactly.
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It's certainly possible, but it's strange that it would only happen sometimes.

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"AndyHancock" wrote

Andy, it sounds like a trap that has an issue. Like how the sink below has a bend and water is in there (supposed to be there) but not getting used enough and some sort of mold may be along it's line. Use of the shower and the lines interconnected at the lead out from the house causing it to shift.
It's unlikely to be the tub/shower drain. More apt to be the sink. Especially if you dont use that articular sink much. Dont laugh, we have a side 1/2 bathroom where the toliet gets used but the sink almost never so we developed odd smells until we figured that out. ow we pour a little bleach down that 'other sink' every week, let it set 10 mins then run the water. Problem solved.
At one stage we'd used the 'other sink' so little the trap (bend in pipe below) dried out and we got a septic smell in the other sink which is on same line. It was coming up from the main sewer. Fortunately we figured it out before we spent a grunch on a plummer. I just needed to turn the water on at that sink for a bit. Fill the trap then use bleach now and again.
Hope your's is as simple!
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When I lived in an apartment we had a half bath downstairs that would smell because of lack of use. We used the bathroom for storage. We learned that as long as we ran some water the trap would stay full and no problem. The trouble was we would forget. I would blame my wife and she would blame me. I fixed the problem by mixing some mineral oil and water. I think it was about two cups of water to about 4 ounces of mineral oil. I put it in a quart jar with a lid , shook it up and poured it down the drain. The water sealed the trap and the oil kept it from evaporating. We lived there another year and never worried about it again.
Jimmie.
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Interesting circumstance, but I use the facilities regularly...it never dries out, and the smell only occurs sometimes, and only temporarily.
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The thing is, I use both regularly, and the smell only happens sometimes, and is only temporary.
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 20:36:09 -0700 (PDT), AndyHancock

If you smell mold/mildew I bet there is an issue. Possible leak in side the walls, keeping it constantly moist. It will only get worse.
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That's the puzzling thing, it's not constant, it is only shortly after a shower, and only sometimes.
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