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EvanJ 02-27-2009 08:30 AM

Strong Mildew Smell - No Visible Source
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Hi all, I am new to the site and thought someone might be able to give some guidance or suggestions. Here's the scenario, in one room in my house there is an horrendous mildew/mold smell that is almost unbearable. I recently noticed this after it rained and the next day I had someone come clean my gutters and take off gutter guards (thought the buildup of leaves on top of gutter guards might be forcing water back down into the house) since I do not have drip edge on my gutters. After the gutters were cleaned and guards removed coupled w/a few dry days the smell got better. It rained again 2-3 days ago, and the smell was unbearble! I have since tried to detect any evidence of water leaks and here are the results. No watermarks on ceiling, walls, baseboards or dampness in carpet, no watermarks in attic (around plumbing vents, fans, etc) or crawl space and surprisingly enough there are no mildew smells in attic or crawl space. My instinct is that it is coming from the roof but I don't have any visible evidence to prove that. I have attached a photo of the plumbing vents on the house. The room with the smell is the first one to the left. Does anyone have any suggestions. Thanks.

DangerMouse 02-27-2009 08:44 AM

how old are the gutters? perhaps it's coming from the mounting nails which may be rotted through and allowing water to 'wick' down them to the outside of the wall. you would most likely not see any visible damage from anywhere you've checked. if feasable, look behind exterior wall (from inside) for mold/moisture.

just a thought, this is good brain stimulation....


EvanJ 02-27-2009 10:05 AM

New Gutters were put on in April 2006, so pretty new. I am wondering if the moisture could be in between the pressed board siding and the outside wall and how it got there. The only thing I could do would be to cut a piece of drywall out in the room to the outside wall and search for the mold mildew or pull the siding back and try to see if there is anything, but i still need to find the source of water leak once I find the mildew. Not sure if I need to contact a roofing company or what?

DangerMouse 02-27-2009 10:21 AM

best bet i think would be to carefully remove the baseboard, and cut no higher than the thickness of that to inspect, as moisture will flow down and pool until absorbed by the wood, and most likely that is where you'll find the worst of it. use your nose to find the stinkiest area to start exploring! of course, when you find it, there's the problem of tracing it back to the roof and where it's coming in! but this will at least tell you what bay(s) to start in.


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