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Lingering stale smell after window leak

I am hoping someone here can answer this. We had a leak around a window last month. We ripped out all of the drywall and insulation that had become wet. There was a little mold on some of the drywall, but we removed it and threw it out and cut out an extra six inches of drywall in all directions and it was clean.

We had a contractor come by to fix the leak. He said the wood framing around the window that had gotten wet still looked good to him and we should just treat it with a borax/water solution to prevent or kill mold. We did and the area has not been wet since. The wall is still opened up in that room and it doesn't smell moldy, but it smells damp and stale. We need to close it up, but the smell concerns me. I have showed it to a couple of friends who are fairly knowledgeable about home repairs and they just say that it's an old house with old wood framing that has been closed up for decades, so it stinks a little bit. Are they right? Has anyone else opened up old walls during a reno and just had a damp/stale smell? There really is no evidence of lingering mold.

Re: Lingering stale smell after window leak

Old wood framing does smell, but not like damp smell. If this concerns you too much, replace the studs, which is not an easy job.
Chances are that when the wall is finished the smell won't be that noticeable, and since you said that there is no leak now, I think your wall is good to go.

Re: Lingering stale smell after window leak

Thanks. We are going to close it up and see if it smells. If it does, we'll have to do more. But that seems like the next logical step.

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