New home came with lingering odors. Help

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<snipped>

Since you specifically mention the basement and master bedroom closet, I strongly suspect moisture problems (current or past) causing the smell. Water damage isn't always visible. You can have mold growing behind walls which can release a "musty" smell. The panel you mention in the master closet is possibly a plumbing access panel. Is there a bathroom on the adjoining wall. Open the panel and sniff in there. If it has the same musty smell, there may be or have been water leaking from the shower/tub. I don't have experience with basements but I know moisture problems are not uncommon. How about having someone (a contractor) check the walls with a moisture meter next time it rains. They will be able to tell if there is an elevated amount of moisture in the basement walls. Good luck!
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I suggest unfortunately--replace ALL carpet and pain all surfaces. I would clean the floors under the old carpet (before installation of new) with a bleach and water solution. You can save a lot of $ by ripping up your own carpet. YOU should wear a mask of some type!!!!!
Paint all the walls-yes, you need to at least wash them down with bleach and water. I would use a good quality paint.
In the basement-use a paint that is a water sealent. If the floor is concrete you will also need to seal that!!
Make sure you vacuum every little nook and crany-I know you had a cleaning service in but there are those "little places that are missed.
When cleaning the floors before recarpeting them, I would steam the baseboards--with something like a steam buggy or something like that! It helps to flush out all the dirt--use a brush also.
What about the kitchen--paint inside the cabinets-wash them first.
Check all the walls in every closet with a "work light" by your side--one of those hallogen ones. If there is a wall that you don't like the looks of--replace it-or at least cover it.
Good luck--it's too bad you didn't insist on all this BEFORE the sale--unless you got this as a REAL bargain!!
Good luck--and if you need advice about specific stains and products-holler at me!!
Sijka

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On 23 Oct 2003 12:15:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Morac) wrote:

You might be surprised if you were to pull up the carpet. My house that I've lived in for two years had carpet that looked fairly clean (but definitely was worn). My house would periodically smell musty and almost smokey, and I just couldn't pin down the source of the smell. This weekend we ripped out the carpet in the main part of the house in preparation to having the hardwood beneath refinished; the carpet looked clean enough on top, but the underside revealed literally hundreds of "puddles", I'm guessing from the previous owner's pets.
I'm glad to get rid of the nasty carpet, but even gladder that the musty, smokey smell is gone. See if you can pull back the carpet in an inconspicous spot and inspect the underside for pet stains.
Lauri in WA
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Morac) wrote:

I was gone a few days during damp, mild weather. When I returned, the house smelled moldy enough to make me cough.

solve it. There was a sulfurous moldy smell in the living room. Some of the ceiling had a mottled appearance, although the paint was in good shape. I don't know if the problem was chemical or biological, but washing with borax stopped the odor.
Another musty odor came from the kitchen. I discovered that a rarely used potholder on the wall was damp and looked moldy. To be damp, it must have picked up some salt at some time; salt absorbs water from humid air. Soaking and drying the potholder stopped the odor.
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wrote:

Soap and water in the shower or bath usually works better, Bob ;-)
Nan
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