I can definetely relate to your plight! We noticed a very foul smell in our front room a little over 8 months ago. Same type of smell, intermittent, no apparent cause. For us, though, it seemed to only appear after we had been moving around in the room. Because of that, we thought it was the carpet (pet odor trapped in it, etc), so we replaced the carpet. After doing that, the smell seemed to go away (this was about 7 months ago), but now it has come back! Same situation, we move around in the room and the smell comes back...we don't have a crawl space (we're on a concrete slab), there are no pipes running adjacent to the room, and we just had our a/c vents cleaned recently. I really wish we could figure this out !
This is exactly what we are going through ~ for two years now!! Has anyone figured it out?
We've ripped out new carpet ~ bleached the floor ~ filled the ptraps all daily in the bath near by. I'm almost in tears when I smell "the smell". Our house is 5 years old and we are the only ones to have lived here.
I've tried draino & bleach down drains ~ it hasn't helped!!
Interested in finding out if anyone else has found a solution.
I think we have found it! We have had water seepage to our floor for the last five years. Not enough for the carpet to get wet on top. It was coming in the hole the alarm company drilled for the window sensors. With a strong westerly wind/rain ~ it's gotten in those holes, seeped into the walls and down to the floor. The floor was damp and the pad and the carpet were ruined. You could see where it had gotten wet, dried and wet again. I think the strong sun through those windows aggrivated the bacteria that was living in the carpet and caused the smell to erupt.
We've ripped out the carpet and are now waiting to see if the smell comes back at all before we recarpet. We haven't looked into the wall yet. We are going to do that tonight.
I've seen similar problems where the vents appear to be alright but if there is a break or split of some kind in the sewer gas vent pipes (the ones that allow the gases to go to the roof instead of entering the house) then you will get sewer gasses leaking into the walls. If the walls are fairly well sealed then this gas can ventin places like the door jams or electrical outlets. Unfortunately the only way to find these types of breaks, since they are above the water flow line and will usually not leak fluids, is by direct sight examination.
To narrow down the source you could actually try draining/removing the p-trap under the sink and see if the smell seems to originate from the sewer or not.
I was doing some reading about plumbing and vent stacks and they were actually talking about the location of the stack to the plumbing fixture and it's function. If the stack is placed too far away, the drainage of the water can actually cause a vacuum and remove all the water from the P-trap - hence the sewer gases. I don't know if this applies..... just a thought.
I have this terrible solvent/lacquer smell coming from inside the wall separating my bedroom & bathroom. It gets worse at night, when it rains and after I take a shower (so I'm thinking dead animal) but multiple people have said the smell seems like solvent/paint thinner/kerosine (which makes me question the dead animal theory).
I know there are mice in the house (I could hear them, another tennant has caught a couple). So, this would lead us back to the dead animal theory.
Being a 1 bedroom apartment, ripping the wall up would be a nightmare. Plus, there are 2 sliding doors in the wall (the wall is 7 feet wide) that close off my bedroom from the bathroom (door 1) and from the kitchen/dining/tv room (door 2).
So, aside from my rambling, my question is this:
Can a petroleum product smell actually be a dead animal? What can I do to get rid of the smell?
Our smell has turned out to be mold that was in the walls above our bedroom downstairs. drywall had to be cut out in order to get to it. One neat thing, a water restoration/fire damage company came in and removed the trim, drilled small holes and sent a camera up to see what was there. They couldn't see much b/c of the insulation but they could tell everything was wet.
Im not sure if a dead animal can smell like fuel but I didn't know mold could smell so horrible (and unlike mold).