OT: stinking bathroom

When I purchased the house the owner had air freshener to block out the odor from the downstairs 1/2 bathroom (sink and toilet). After removing the air freshener I could smell the stink so I preceded to tear out the toilet, sink, all the wall and ceiling sheetrock and the particle board underlayment. I'm down to the subfloor and bare studs all around including the ceiling. I was expecting dry or wet rot but surprisingly the subfloor and studs are in good condition. Couple of studs looks like it has black mold in a few spots but when I hit it with bleach the black stain remains. So that is not black mold? Also about 90% of the stink went away except when the washer and dryer is on in the adjacent room. So humidity due to the washer and dryer in the next room intensify the odor.
I like to use my high pressure washer and blast all the stench out but its an interior room with exposed electrical wiring now. Any suggestions short of tearing out the subfloor and studs?
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The smell may have been from sewer gas coming up through a sink trap. If there wasn't an air vent, the toilet flush can suck the sink trap dry, thus making a passage for the gas. Wilson

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When redoing my sons bath room. Removed all the drywall. Found a lot of black that looked like mold due to some water leaks. We used a propane torch to burn all the "mold" Being careful of course not to set studs on fire. This looked like it took care of the problem. W W
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wrote:

I kinda agree with Wilson. Could this be a vent problem? If you have everything torn out, stuff the pipes (toilet and sink) with a rag or something and see if the smell is gone. If so, you might have some kind of vent problem or a trap that was not holding water. You could also try to snake out the vent pipe.
If you are sure it's not a venting problem, you could try to seal all the framing with several coats of Kilz or some similar product to seal the stink in.
Mike O.
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I did stuff both toilet and sink. But why the stink intensify when the room is moist from the dryer exhaust? That's not a vent problem, no?
Thanks for all the suggestions. Burning the mold is a new one for me. I think I wash down the whole room with bleach, rinse clean, burn the mold (or whatever it is), seal with both Kilz and 6 mil of plastic sheet.
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See if your pharmacist can get you some Zephrin. It is a non toxic liquid that delutes with water. You can spray this stuff to kill and prevent mold on anything. It is made for that purpose. Types of Cleaners and Disinfectants
Type of Cleaner: All purpose detergents (Tide, Wisk, Cheer) or Soap (Duz)
* Usage: Moderately or heavily soiled washable, colorfast textiles. On furniture and appliance surfaces. Painted walls and woodwork and wallpaper. Floors, rugs, and carpets * Precautions: Do not use on wool, silk or fabric containing these fiber blends. * Additional Suggestions: Rinse well to remove suds.
Type of Cleaner: Enzyme products (Biz, Axion)
* Usage: Helpful on tough stains, ground-in dirt and grass stains, restoring whiteness to fabrics. * Precautions: The use of chlorine bleach will inactivate enzymatic action when both products are used. * Additional Suggestions:
Type of Cleaner: Liquid household cleaner (Top Job, Ajax, Janitor in a Drum) Powdered household cleaner (Spic 'n Span, Ajax, Comet, Bon Ami)
* Usage: Removes mud, silt, and greasy deposits from hard surfaces such as painted walls, floors, woodwork, porcelain. * Precautions: Dilute with water as directed on container for specific uses.
Type of Cleaner: Household ammonia
* Usage: Hard surfaces: windows, walls, woodwork, floors, tile, porcelain * Precautions: Dilute in water. Do not get in eyes. May irritate skin. Do not combine with chlorine bleach.
Type of Cleaner: Tri-sodium phosphates (TSP)
* Usage: Wood walls, wood work, floors. * Precautions: Powder. Dilute in water. Do not get in eyes. May irritate skin. Do not combine with chlorine bleach. * Additional Suggestions: For mildew removal, combine 8 to 10 tablespoons tri-sodium phosphate and 1 gallon water
Type of Cleaner: Customary (Rocozal, Zephrin, Crew, End-Bac) (Available in janitorial, dairy and poultry supply houses.)
* Usage: Laundry-safe for all fibers. Helpful in removing musty odors on floors and walls * Precautions: May cause some color change * Additional Suggestions: Add at beginning of rinse cycle.
* Usage: Laundry-safe for washable clothing. * Precautions: Do not use on wool or silk. Pine odor will linger on these fabrics. * Additional Suggestions: Add before putting clothes in machine, or dilute in 1 quart water.
Type of Cleaner: Liquid chlorine disinfectants (Clorox, Purex)
* Usage: Use as rinse on carpets and furniture or in laundry to disinfect or to control mold. Follow instructions for use with colored fabrics. * Precautions: Do not combine with ammonia. Follow instructions. Bleach can ruin many items. Do not use in rinse water. Do not use on aluminum or on linoleum. * Additional Suggestions: Add bleach before putting clothes in washer or dilute in 1 quart water.
Type of Cleaner: Phenobic disinfectants (Pine-Sol, Al-Pine. Lysol)
* Usage: Laundry-safe for washables. Bathrooms, plastic or ceramic tile floor. * Precautions: Do not use on wool or silk. * Additional Suggestions: Add in wash or rinse cycle.
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# Fred # wrote:

I was expecting dry or wet rot but surprisingly the subfloor

Was that chlorine bleach, or wood bleach (oxalic acid)? The oxalic acid will take out black spots due to mold OR iron oxide. The chlorine bleach will kill the mold, but not necessarily change the color.
As a previous poster noted, a blocked vent can cause smelly burps, and you are obviously conversant with the theory of permeated wood fiber... so you got those two covered, the odor has been defeated. I'd consider replacing any subfloor that seems to have got wet, but otherwise just build back up and make sure the toilet-connection flange is level and well supported.
If you have a chance, a layer of Tyvek under the subfloor sheathing will prevent future overflows from wicking through. Sacrificing one layer after an incident is easier than a full rebuild.
Pet stores sell some lovely enzyme cleaners that break down odorous residues; you might want to spritz some around (leave it in place for an hour or two before rinsing).
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It was chlorine bleach. I had a bad case of black mold in another house I was working on - a bathroom under the linoleum next to the tub and toilet. (dry rot on the subfloor, by the corners of the tub is where I found most of the problems on most of the houses) Funny thing, I brush straight chlorine bleach on the black mold and it did change the black color to clear within couple on minutes. So no more black mold in that bathroom?

Thanks, I'll try the enzyme cleaners too as some suggested as well in another group.
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Yep. What Wilson said. Sometimes people unknowingly remove the air trap from basement sinks.
You'll probably get a lot more answers on alt.home.repair too.
Mike
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I once worked on a job tearing out a bathroom in a private club (read: bar). As we tore up layer after layer of flooring, we got hit with wave after wave of new smells.
No, actually, it was all the same smell. It was the smell of 100 years of drunk men with bad aim missing the bowl. We got down to the joists and laid down a new subfloor.
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"I could smell the stink "
Then you might know what "the stink" is? Or find someone who recognizes it .
I'm not sure that the beach will return the color to the wood immediately. I removed a sheet of plywood that had been hiding thick mold between it and the concrete basement wall.
After spraying the surface with a bleach solution and removing the tainted plywood outside I noticed quite a residue remaining on the board a week or so later.
Not sure the bleach was as effective as hoped.
I suspect the odor may well be caused by a smaller bit of mold than the stench would seem to herald. But, if you are certain the aroma is indeed mold, your only choice is to discover the source (or find someone else to nose it out and save your own health!
"high pressure washer and blast all the stench "
Would that not require finding the mold first?

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"I could smell the stink "
Then you might know what "the stink" is? Or find someone who recognizes it .
I'm not sure that the beach will return the color to the wood immediately. I removed a sheet of plywood that had been hiding thick mold between it and the concrete basement wall.
After spraying the surface with a bleach solution and removing the tainted plywood outside I noticed quite a residue remaining on the board a week or so later.
Not sure the bleach was as effective as hoped.
I suspect the odor may well be caused by a smaller bit of mold than the stench would seem to herald. But, if you are certain the aroma is indeed mold, your only choice is to discover the source (or find someone else to nose it out and save your own health!
"high pressure washer and blast all the stench "
Would that not require finding the mold first?
PS What is the "sub-floor" over? Is it at, above, or below grade?
How old is the construction in the area in question?

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wrote:

Black spots on the studs sounds suspiciously like cat urine that soaked through the floor to me. There are a variety of products that will supposedly neutralize that particular odor- I'd imagine any one of them is about as good as the others. Bleach probably won't touch it if that's the problem- those neutralizers are some sort of specific enzyme.
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This interesting part to me is the washer/dryer connection. Running these should in no way increase the humidity in the basement. so... What does the washer drain into? (are you sure?) What does the dryer vent to? (are you sure?)

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Stink is probably due to lack of a trap preventing sewer gas from coming up and entering the room. Trace all drain lines leading to the sewer and make sure there are traps in every line leading to the sewer.
gw
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