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One smelly wall

(8 Posts)
AnulTheMagnificent Wed 15-Jul-15 13:08:01

Last summer I noticed the bedroom was smelling like old dirt, have owned the house 5 years and nothing until now.

I have sniffed everything in the room, including the floor and ceiling. I have cleaned everything, furniture, windows, curtains, bought new duvet, shampooed carpet. It goes off a bit and is OK with the windows open. It seems OK in winter.

What is odd is that having sniffed again this year it seems to be one wall that smells, and only on one side, the next room is not affected, it is a stud wall.

Is it possible that it might be the paint, it was rented for a while and the tenant has made good where his children had drawn on it?

I washed it with vinegar last year but it seems to be an ongoing thing. Would painting it with primer/damp sealant or something help? It really pongs if the windows are shut and with the school holidays ahead I can't keep them open due to all the screaming and bashing of footballs on walls.

wowfudge Wed 15-Jul-15 13:32:34

I think it's much more likely to be something within the stud wall - which has either seeped into it or somehow been pushed into it than the paint. I'd be tempted to remove some of the plasterboard and have a look. Maybe find the smelliest part?

wowfudge Wed 15-Jul-15 13:33:25

Could there be a leaking pipe within the wall? That's another possibility.

AnulTheMagnificent Wed 15-Jul-15 13:44:41

No pipes there. What is odd is that the room on the other side of the wall is OK, have sniffed both sides, it is really just the one wall.

wowfudge Wed 15-Jul-15 13:51:17

So it could be that something has penetrated the wall/plasterboard and quite possibly been covered up. Might it be in the floor by or just under the wall? What is the smell like?

The other thing I've thought of is a possible electrical problem - you can get an acrid, fishy smell with that.

I really think you need to find the source and deal with that, however messy and disruptive that might be.

wowfudge Wed 15-Jul-15 13:54:01

Sorry, you said it was like old dirt - that's usually associated with damp and mould ime.

AnulTheMagnificent Wed 15-Jul-15 14:07:14

Just been for another look, it is a solid wall.

wowfudge Wed 15-Jul-15 15:33:03

I think you need to look in the loft space for any signs of water ingress - it could be damp from lead flashing which is out of place or a slipped roof tile or pointing of a chimney stack which needs re-doing.

If there are no signs there then pull the carpet up, check under the floorboards close to the wall and look for a leak or water damage or something under the floorboards which is festering.

If you still find nothing, then strip the wallpaper and see if it's something else.

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