Another strange smell

Home this week had a very noticable dead animal smell in a second floor jack and jill bathroom. Homeowner reports that the smell has been present since about 30 days after cthey moved in - about 10 months ago.

He also reports that the smell comes and goes and varies in intensity. At the time of the inspection, it was pretty noticable, but not sickening or completely overwhelming.

I am pretty sure it was a dead animal smell and he concurred. He wonders why it would vary and come and go. Builder has not wanted to address it, mainly because of the coming and going part.


Could it be something else?

Why would it come and go? (I thought maybe wind direction and speed)

How long would it hang around before decomposing to the point it disappears? If ever?

When it is no longer “juicy”.

It could be an improper trap or vent. If it is a new home, maybe the vent plug was left in place (at the roof termination). An improper trap or vent could explain the coming and going part anyway.

did you see any D-Con or other rodent poison in the attic?..sometimes small critters smell for a while and are repaced by a new small critter and so on…

10 months seem like a long time for the smell to continue. Possible slow plumbing leak or improper plumbing vent?



In Texas its probably a body, is this near the border?

Same thing happened to me. I moved into my home 4 months after it was built. Dead animal smell in one walkway that came and went with varying degrees of stink. I’d go a week without smelling it and then go a week straight smelling it each day.

After trying to pinpoint the source…I took the cover plate off of the light switch in the vicinity and low and behold, there it was…a dead mouse that had a bad experience with the electrical wiring. That thing was there for months and it’s little feet did not want to let go when I pulled that thing out. Voila…smell gone.

Could also be a cracked vent pipe. There is an old trick where you can pour mint extract down the vent pipes from the roof. If you can smell it, you have a cracked pipe or imporper seal somewhere. Had this happen to me in a restaurant about 20 years ago

Are there any floor drains in the bathroom? If so the problem could be a trap where the water has evaporated. The intermittent smell could be generated by winds blowing acorss the roof vents at times thus giving a ‘puff’ of sewer gas into the room.

Just a thought to consider.

just got this e-mail from our very own Carl B…don’t blame me :wink:

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candle-light, Put on some soft background music, and
feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring-water .

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of the curtain rods.

She then cleaned up the kitchen and left. When her ex husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days.

Then slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything; cleaning, mopping and airing the place out.

Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned.

Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting. Nothing worked!

People stopped coming over to visit.
Repairmen refused to work in the house.
The maid quit.

Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.
A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house.

Word got out and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going.

He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house.

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10 th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day.

She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home…

And just to spite the ex-wife,they even took the curtain rods.


wow Barry i think i was married to that woman…jim

At a place I used to work at, a couple pranksters bought a can of sardines out of the lunchroom vending machine, punched a few holes in it, and duct taped it under the receptionist’s desk. It was nearly a week before the janitor finally found the source of the stink in the reception area.

Of course that was no way a comment on the receptionist was it Marc???..jim