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Old 02-01-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
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Faint moldy odor


Hi All,

About a month or so ago, I began to notice a very faint moldy/damp clothes odor in our house. It smells only when it rains or the humidity outside is really high. I checked for leaks and couldn't really find any. I also removed several electrical wall plates to see if I could see/smell anything unusual - and that wasn't a problem either. I also checked around sinks, the washer-dryer, and behind the electric range. In fact, some part of the concrete flooring is exposed behind the electric range and that looked clean as well. Am I worrying about this too much or would it be a good idea to get a professional to do a test at this stage? Again, I am very sensitive to smells and this musty smell seems very mild to me. This is something that has been bothering me for the past couple of weeks! Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Chet

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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Faint moldy odor


Did you look in the attic around where the vent pipes and or chimmney go through the roof?

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:30 AM   #3
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Faint moldy odor


Take a whiff near the sinks. It happens from time to time and I don't mean septic or sewer. If thats your source then dump some baking soda down the drain. (don't worry about clogging it up) Add vinegar. when the bubbling stops if you still have baking soda in there, then add more.
Everythings clean the green way!
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Faint moldy odor


Is there a crawl space? If so look for standing water. There should neve be standing water under any house, there should also be a vaper barrier of 6 mi. plastic on the ground under there.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Faint moldy odor


Thanks Joe and Creeper. I should have mentioned that the smell is only present on the first floor of a two storey house. The smell is mainly present in the kitchen area and there is no plumbing above this part of the house. There is an airconditioning vent in this area - so that maybe something to look into. Also, the house is on a slab foundation with relatively decent drainage on all sides. I do have some water that accumulates in the yard (thanks to Texas clay soils!), but it is away from the house. Considering the smell is mainly in the kitchen and hard to pinpoint, I will give creeper's suggestion a try and perhaps also check the a/c vent. Will keep the forum posted. Thanks.

Chet
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
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Faint moldy odor


So, I tried the solutions listed and that did not seem to help. It rained quite a bit today and what I smell is a damp almost grass-like odor. Maybe like damp clothes, but not quite the same thing. The smell goes away as soon as I open my windows - so its not a persistant smell. I pulled out some vents to see what was going on and one of the vents in the living room is all black inside. I can't tell if it is mold, bust, or just black paint (see attached photos). I tried rubbing with a wet paper towel and nothing came off, making me think it is just paint. No smell when I turn on the fan. Nothing on the vent cover itself. Since the smell is only there when it rains, perhaps it is just something that comes from outside. Wonder is you all have any other suggestions. Much appreciate the help and insights.

Chet
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #7
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Faint moldy odor


I went through a similar mold growth thing last spring. had to use a mold remediation company.

best of luck!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:54 PM   #8
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Faint moldy odor


Thanks scwilkins. So, was the smell your only clue to the mold growth. If you don't mind me asking, approximately how much did you spend for figuring out where the problem was and for fixing it.

Thanks,

Chet
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:58 AM   #9
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Faint moldy odor


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Originally Posted by ct78 View Post
Hi All,

About a month or so ago, I began to notice a very faint moldy/damp clothes odor in our house. It smells only when it rains or the humidity outside is really high. I checked for leaks and couldn't really find any. I also removed several electrical wall plates to see if I could see/smell anything unusual - and that wasn't a problem either. I also checked around sinks, the washer-dryer, and behind the electric range. In fact, some part of the concrete flooring is exposed behind the electric range and that looked clean as well. Am I worrying about this too much or would it be a good idea to get a professional to do a test at this stage? Again, I am very sensitive to smells and this musty smell seems very mild to me. This is something that has been bothering me for the past couple of weeks! Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Chet
You might need to get a professional to check into that boss.

Mold is NOT something to mess around with it can kill you very easily.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Faint moldy odor


"Mold is NOT something to mess around with it can kill you very easily."

What!?!?!?!?!?!? Mold is everywhere, and about 99.99% of it is totally harmless. You breath in mold spores with every breath. The OP mentioned that the smell is very recent, very faint, and is only detectable in damp or wet weather. That sounds like it could be a water leak and possibly a small amount of indoor mold, but it doesn't warrant calling in a HAZMAT team.

Unless you have money to burn, I'd recommend you keep doing what you've been doing a while longer. Try to isolate the location as best you can, then take a very close look at the roof, ceiling, attic, walls, windows, basement, and/or crawlspace around that spot. Mold and mildew can't live without a source of water, so it has to be coming in somewhere. If you stop the water you stop the mold.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:11 AM   #11
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Faint moldy odor


Thanks FlyingHammer and diyjohn. FlyingHammer, your post makes me feel better.

After considerable smelling into electrical sockets(!) - I have found one that consistently gives me this smell. It is very faint, but it is there. I noticed a tiny, but deep hole in the cement between bricks on the exterior wall where the socket is located (what caused that hole is a different issue). I patched that up today, so we'll see if the smell persists. I plan to remove the electrical socket completely this weekend and try to peer inside. Will keep this thread updated.

Thanks again everyone.

Chet
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:44 AM   #12
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Faint moldy odor


I've had this same issue in both houses I've owned, faint odor in a fairly isolated area, and both turned out to be water leaks. One was a plumbing leak and the other a roof leak. It's sounds like you're on your way to pinpointing it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:56 AM   #13
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Faint moldy odor


Sounds like you still have not been on the roof to check the vent seals.
You also sayed there no plumbing over the kitchen area, how is the sink vented? It has to have a vent on that roof some place.
If the seal leaks (and it's common that they do) the water leaks down the pipe and ends up at the bottom of the wall on the lowest floor.

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