Bad Smell (potential dead animal) Migrating?


Old 06-22-19, 05:41 PM
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Bad Smell (potential dead animal) Migrating?

Iím sure if this is 5e right forum for this - if not,Iíll gladly repost it in the right one

About 2-3 days ago, I noticed a weird smell in our basement bathroom (can really only describe it as a garlic, stinky cheese, deathly gross mixture). I ran water in the sink and bathtub and toilet, just in case the pipes were dried out or something. This did not help. In fact, it got worse as the day went on to the point where going in the bathroom made me want to throw up.

We have heard very clear bird sounds from the exhaust fan, so as a precaution, I climbed up on a step ladder and it seemed like the smell was coming from the vent. We think a bird built a nest in the vent and died, so We called an animal removal company and they are coming on Monday.

The last 2 days, though, the smell has been much more tolerable.

Now, it almost smells like itís in my bedroom (the back wall of my closet shares a wall with the bathroom and there is no ceiling in my closet, itís just open to the rafters).

Would it be possible for the smell of a dead animal in the vents to migrate like that?

Do yíall think the problem isnít actually a dead critter?

Iím a little lost here, but Iíd love to figure out whatís causing the smell and fix it ASAP.
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Old 06-22-19, 07:28 PM
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This forum should be ok. The forum pro will move it for you if needed.

I doubt it was a birds nest. Typically a vent line is in the 2" diameter range.
A bird could dive bomb down the vent but there would be no room for a nest.

If you are smelling it in the room behind the bathroom..... that could indicate a non sealed vent line.
Are you on city sewer or a septic system there ?
Old 06-22-19, 09:48 PM
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City sewer. Weíre now catching whiffs of the same smell upstairs in an area that is pretty much directly over the bathroom - looked in the space between the bathroom ceiling and the floor joists and didnít see any stray dead critters. Still hoping itís just some kind of dead critter in the exhaust fan vent - and not something in the inside heating/cooling ducts.
Old 06-23-19, 04:37 PM
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Odors can be tricky to find, especially if emanating from a vent because weather, air currents, barometric pressure, etc can change the otherwise natural drift of the odor from day to day, hour to hour, which confuses us. Add to this that some odors are chemically heavier than air, some lighter than air which makes odor location seem illogical/confusing.

Searching all venting/drain processes such as bathroom vent, floor drains, exhaust vents, laundry machines/filters, etc. are the way to start.

I've known of bathroom/dryer vents to tear or be chewed open, which would let any attic/wall void odors (dead animal/bird, sewer gas) vent back down to living spaces when fan is off.

Please keep us updated.
Old 06-25-19, 05:45 PM
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The eletrician came out early Monday (We had told him not to, but apparently home warranty sent someone anyway) - and ensured that it wasn't the exhaust fan itself.

The bird removal/critter removal person came out a few hours later, and found an extreme amount of bird nest and other things in the vent from the outside, cleaned it all out, sprayed some kind of disinfectant (said something about eliminating any potential bird mites?), and installed a piece so that the birds and other such critters shouldn't be able to get back into that vent. The original smell seems to be gone - but I smelled a different smell last night. We're figuring it could be from whatever he sprayed as well as taking a few days to really air out the original bird material smell.

It's just strange that the only time I really notice it is primarily in the evening - and the Central Air runs 24/7, so I don't think that that would be it.

If it's still going on in a few days, we may have to have someone else come out and see what they think.
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