Odor from the crawlspace


  #1  
Old 11-03-05, 11:12 PM
ritesh
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Odor from the crawlspace

Hi,

I have also posted my problem on the plumbing section but havent had much luck. We have this odor coming from the crawspace. I am first time homebuyer and have never smelt something like this before. I have been switching back and forth between plumbers and pest control guys to help me find the cause of the odor but they cant seem to figure out.

Previous owner did have a lot of pest problems since I saw a lot of poop on the attic floor last week and found 3-4 victor traps with rats all dried up to skeletons.

I have run video camera in the sewer line, replaced toilet line and even sprinkled lime around toilet lines in the crawlspace - but odor is still there. The other day I had plumber come with a sewer gas (methane) sniffer and he told me this is not sewer smell at all !! and sniffer proved it.

Pest control guys cant seem to find out what the odor is and where eactly it is coming from. The smell has been bothering us from day 1 (6 months now) that we moved into the house and I have run out of almost all the options.

Can someone help/suggest some solution? I am in San Jose, CA area and would appreciate any good pest control guy recommendation.
 
  #2  
Old 11-04-05, 06:44 AM
mattison's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,547
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What does the odor smell like ??
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-05, 07:51 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,815
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Identification of the type of odor is important for determining what action can be taken to combat it. Crawl space areas need to be covered with an 8 mil minimum polypropylene vapor retarder. Water vapor can condense, ruin insulation, and cause musty odors. Check for signs of mold and mildew. There are crawl space dehumidifiers available. Poor or lack of ventilation in crawl space areas can also cause musty odors. HVAC ducts will sweat in summer and should be insulated.

Dead animal odor will not dissipate until animal is completely decomposed. Animals trapped in walls and inconspicuous places can not be found. The larger the animal, the longer it takes. Large animals may take several weeks or months. (A human body not buried in a coffin, can take 10-12 years to fully decompose in soil.)

If animals have been nesting in crawl space, soil could be saturated with urine and feces odors. There are enzyme deodorizers that can be sprayed to neutralize odors. Products that mask odors will not be effective.

If you have HVAC system, drain line could be clogged or condensation pan growing mold and mildew. Every time the system kicks on, there will be odor. If animals nested in ductwork, there could be urine odor or dead animal smell coming from ductwork.
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-05, 05:31 PM
ritesh
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Mattison,

Unfortunately I am not sure how to describe the smell. I have never smelt any dead animal or sewage odor before - I am a first time homebuyer.

TwelvePole,
>Crawl space areas need to be covered with an 8 mil minimum polypropylene >vapor retarder. Water vapor can condense, ruin insulation, and cause musty >odors. Check for signs of mold and mildew. There are crawl space dehumidifiers >available. Poor or lack of ventilation in crawl space areas can also cause musty >odors. HVAC ducts will sweat in summer and should be insulated.

I had several ppl crawl underneath and did not find any wetness/dampness or presence of mold atleast it wasnt visible - but I think I am going to give one of those over the counter mold kit a try to see if it shows anything

Whats bothering us is the smell has been there for 6 months now. It has become faint compared to what it was - but its still there and can easily be smelt. larger animal dead in the crawspace would be visible. but as I mentioned, we didnt find anything dead that was visible. May be bunch of rats or squirrels died in the drywall?? its only a 1550 sq. ft. house and dont think any animal that can be trapped in the drywall thickness can smell for 6 months??

Thje crawlspace does have vents on all 4 sides of the house and they are is enough air circulation in the crawlspace. Thats the reason why we smell the odor in some of the cabinets and closets since there is always some minor cracks for air to pass.

>If you have HVAC system, drain line could be clogged or condensation pan >growing mold and mildew. Every time the system kicks on, there will be odor. >If animals nested in ductwork, there could be urine odor or dead animal smell >coming from ductwork.

I am assuming HVAC = central AC. Yes we do have central AC. but the ducts dont smell and it runs fine without any smell coming from it. the vents are from the attic and not from the crawlspace.

Can someone describe what does a dead rat or squirrel smell like?

Is there a thermal/infrared scope which can see thru drywall for dead rats etc?
 
  #5  
Old 11-07-05, 09:03 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,815
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Infrared thermal images pick up on body heat and would not detect a dead animal. Larger animals could take six months or longer to fully decompose.

A dead mouse smells like rotten potatoes. I don't believe there are any adjectives that can accurately describe the odor of rotting flesh.
 
  #6  
Old 04-24-06, 01:41 AM
N
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Ritesh,

I was searching for something when I came across your post about the smell from your crawlspace. I do hope you've discovered what it was and it's gone now. I'd like to comment on what you found in your attic. You said,

"Previous owner did have a lot of pest problems since I saw a lot of poop on the attic floor last week and found 3-4 victor traps with rats all dried up to skeletons."

Please check every inch of your electirc wires in the attic. I watched my neighbors house burn down from pests chewing on the wires in the attic. It took two years to happen after the pests were removed.

Newt
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: