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jlanhlan

04:50AM | 03/07/03
Member Since: 03/06/03
7 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
We have dealt with a very stubborn odor in our home that has come and gone for the past 5 months or so...we originally thought it was from one of children (who sleepwalks) urinating on the carpet because the smell was a very strong ammonia-like smell. After deodorizing and cleaning carpets, we found that the smell was not coming from the floor, but ceiling - and almost certainly from the air ducts in his room. We then thought the problem was due to a loose fitting on an outflow drain pipe on his bathtub which is in his bathroom off this room where the smell started. This loose fitting had caused water to leak onto the floor and through the ceiling below. However, after more investigation, the strongest source of the smell was coming from the bedroom - not the bathroom - and most certainly from the air vent. We have searched the attic and the duct for a dead animal and honestly - after five months, it would seem that if it was an animal, it would have decomposed by now.

To better describe the smell and the situation surrounding it: it is an ammonia/urine type smell. It is very pungent at night and on occasion, other times during the day but it is not constant throughout the day. It literally disappeared for a month or so and then it came back with a vengeance. It is so pungent that at times, it almost hurts to breathe in there and my son has to sleep downstairs.

Does anyone have any insight to this very bizarre mystery???

joed

02:13PM | 03/07/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Is it possible you have racoons in your attic? I know a guy who is in animal removal who once told me sometime they urinate in the attic so much people think they have a roof leak.

jlanhlan

02:49PM | 03/07/03
Member Since: 03/06/03
7 lifetime posts
My husband went up into the attic and didn't see anything in the area above the house. Although we have considered a couple of fox squirrels that run around out in front of the house...we just haven't seen any evidence of a nest or anything. It is so frustrating because at times, unless we keep our son's bedroom door shut (it is right at the top of the stairs) the smell wafts downstairs...it is gross.

Thanks for your input though - I REALLY appreciate any and all help!

arichardson

03:33PM | 11/13/03
Member Since: 11/12/03
3 lifetime posts
We have the EXACT same problem!
We've contacted pest control people because we thought we had rats. We've had contracters and plumbers here, but no one can find the problem! We've had it for over a year.
Please let us know if you've solved the problem!

arichardson

09:12AM | 11/15/03
Member Since: 11/12/03
3 lifetime posts
Thanks k2 for your response. It was helpful to read the posts you mentioned. I posted a more detailed account of our problem.
I emailed the originator of this post, as her problem she described sounds most like ours, but I have not heard from her.
If our problem is pest-related, how come we can't see where they are coming in? Or hear them? Or see evidence? Unless it is in the vent?
I'm thinking we'll just get the heating vents cleaned out anyway, just to see if that helps before we tear into walls.
Thanks again for checking in on this post!

toolcen2

04:08PM | 11/15/03
Member Since: 09/10/03
67 lifetime posts
have you recently did any additions to this room Iwould take a sample of the insualtion in the attic, also, I would suggest that you check the drain pan on the a/c system to see if may be stopped and staginated water accumalated.have you checked your sons closet for possible spray cans of either,starting fluids or cleaning fluids of any type. Have you recently installed a new carpet araea near the return vent area using chipcore board as an underlay or any new plywoods which contain formalhyde glues. also, check the vent on the furnace and make sure free and not stopped up; also, does this room have flexible ductwork or does your complete house haave same. some old types of refrigeraton systems contain ammonia and could have a possible leak. are you positive it is not sewer gas. is your water heater gas, and if so,are you sure your dont have a vent stopped or came loose. have you installed a new roof over this area using underlays with formahided glues.
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