Siding - Musty Smell

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Old 09-20-17, 09:00 PM
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Siding - Musty Smell

Hello,

I have a musty smell, aka mold, seems to be coming in through the siding/wall on only one side of the house. (We have ruled out the crawlspace and basement, which actually smell better than the first floor.) Details regarding this side of the house....

--This siding is completely under an overhang--about 10 ft out from the siding wall--so no rain hits it.

--The first course of siding is under the concrete / brick walkway (also 10ft out)--so it's possibly against the ground. I heard one of the moderators recently post..."Hopefully your siding will not be closer than 6" to grade......"

--The siding is old white aluminum, wide.

--Under the siding is old horizontal boards with lots of gaps at the joining locations.

--The musty odor gets worse when it is humid outside.

Based on all this can you help me solve the musty odor coming in? Where should I begin?

Among possibilities, is it possible the insulation vapor barrier is on the wrong side (against the outside)?

Thanks very much!
 
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Old 09-21-17, 02:13 AM
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Being aluminum it's not the siding. Sounds like you need to remove a course and see what is going on underneath it!
 
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Old 09-21-17, 02:34 AM
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It's still siding - aluminum siding but unlike vinyl it's more difficult to remove. If I'm not mistaken you have to start from the top and remove carefully to prevent damaging the siding.

Do you smell the odor on the exterior? or is it just noticeable from the inside? Any mold/mildew on the siding?
 
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Old 09-21-17, 07:15 AM
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I did remove several partial courses a while back. I didn't see or notice anything unusual. I have one of those siding tools so I can remove almost anywhere, except where it’s buried under the brick walk way.

What I did see is gaps in the sheathing boards. And that there is NO house wrap under the siding.

I think I do smell musty on the exterior, though it is not the same exact odor.

So what about the bottom course being buried? Should I be concerned? What should I do? What about the sheathing gaps?

PS How do I insert a photo. Thanks!
 
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Old 09-21-17, 07:26 AM
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Is it on the same side as the vent for the toilet? Does the toilet vent have a fresh air plate on it? It sounds like a dead animal.
 
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Old 09-21-17, 10:05 AM
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Having the bottom of the siding buried doesn't help any and will allow it to stay damp which could be an issue.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 09-21-17, 06:34 PM
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OK the attached pic shows the difference between the side of the house and the front.

Can we reasonably suspect the following: the siding lap that's buried may be oozing musty odor upward into the other siding courses.

Then the odor is working it's way into the house in part because of all the gaps in the sheathing. --Compounded possibly because there is NO House Wrap, and the insulation vapor barrier may be backwards?

What might my course of action be?
 
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