Have you ruled out something like a dead mouse?
Four months of fumes is farfetched, and since you
weren't sure whether the smell might be from the
plants it sounds like you don't recognize the smell.
| It's been at least four months since I sanded the floor/shelf of my bay
| window down to bare wood and applied several coats of Minwax Fast-Drying
| Polyurethane, clear semi-gloss. Just recently it started emitting an
| unpleasant odor.
| It faces south, so when there are no clouds, it gets direct sun for the
| full day (no shadows from trees). The odor is less intense in the
| morning, then seems to build up. At first, I thought it was from a new
| poinsettia and Christmas cactus I placed on the shelf. So I removed all
| plants from the shelf and moved them to a different room. That room did
| NOT develop the same odor, but the bay window room still had it.
| Clearly, the plants are not the source.
| Putting my nose right next to the bay window shelf, I can detect the odor.
| I'm in central New Jersey, so the shelf's bottom is exposed to very cold
| outside temperatures. (Of course, there is insulation under the shelf.)
| But up until when I went to Florida on Feb 3, this was not a problem.
| While I was away, I set the thermostat to 55 degrees. When I'm home, the
| lowest I ever set it is 66 degrees.
| Why, after all these months, is it emitting an odor? Do you think that
| applying a heavy paste wax would solve the problem? Other suggestions?