New rental has phantom odors
July 10, 2014 9:25 PM Subscribe
We just moved into a new rental - it's early 1900s with polished hardwood floors. When we moved in there was a bit of a musty odor, but we assumed that this was just "empty house smell". The odor has largely dissipated, except for the bedroom and the adjacent hallway where the smell is getting stronger and now smells a little bit like animal pee (though it could be just general mustiness too). But we cannot locate the exact source of the smell. How do we find the location of the smell and eradicate it!? More details after the fold...
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
The previous tenants were evicted for locking their (not included on the lease) dogs in the house and leaving town for the weekend. The house was professionally cleaned prior to us moving in and is generally in good shape. I'm concerned that somehow the professional clean missed something left from the dogs OR that some porous material has absorbed the odor. I did a quick mop of the bedroom the other day and it has helped quite a bit, but not completely. It has been raining a lot recently so there's a lot of humidity and dampness in general, which may be exacerbating the problem. There is a manhole in the floor in the vicinity of the smell, so it could also be coming from beneath the house I guess.
We do have two (included on the lease) cats, but: (1) the smell was there before we moved in; (2) it doesn't smell like cat pee (or like their litter box for that matter); (3) we've found no evidence of them not using their litter box (despite looking thoroughly!).
So how on earth do we: (A) find the source of the smell; and (B) get rid of it?
Bonus question: these are polished hardwood floors - surely they wouldn't have absorbed dog pee? There are no curtains or other soft furnishings apart from what we brought with us, and none of these soft furnishings smell at all.