ASK ANGIE

Ask Angie: Trouble with room odors

Angieslist.comJanuary 17, 2014 

NEWS2USE-HOME1-MCT

Angie Hicks

HANDOUT — MCT

Dear Angie: We have a room that smells like an animal died in it, but we've checked everywhere and can't find a cause. What do you suggest? — Pamela N., Parkton, N.C.

Answer: Putting a finger on what's causing you to hold your nose will take patience and possibly some professional help.

You might be correct that an animal, such a mouse, has died within your walls, in the chimney or some other hard-to-access location. If that's the case, within about two weeks the body should decompose to the point that the smell decreases and disappears.

But don't overlook other possible causes of foul odor, including mold, pet urine and natural gas. Sometimes, the source is as simple as food decomposing under furniture or between cushions.

If you're confident the cause is an animal, seal all holes and gaps around pipes and entrances with caulk to prevent further encroachment. You might want to consult with a pest-control expert or exterminator.

If an animal doesn't seem the likely cause, and you've exhausted other possibilities, consider talking to companies that clean up after water and smoke damage. Even if water or smoke isn't the source, damage-restoration experts might be able to point you in the right direction. Also, a reputable remediation company has experience in dealing with odors in ways that cause the least damage to a home.

Expect to pay at least $150 for someone to find the odor source, and possibly more for any cleanup and prevention measures.

If you decide to wait and see — or smell — if it goes away, consider applying household cleaners in the room, along with a bowl of vinegar.

Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angieslist.com to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at askangie@angieslist.com.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service