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Odor following water intrusion

Question for any pros on here or homeowners who have had this exact situation...

About 6 months ago, we had to repair water intrusion in a bedroom wall after we had just bought our house. We took it down to the framing, replaced the sheathing and wrap, insulation, and drywall. We did not replace any framing or the window unit as they were dry and there was no rot.  A couple weeks after we had it all buttoned back up with new insulation, drywall, and paint, I noticed a faint odor in the room. It is most definitely NOT the odor of active wet mold, but rather just a stale odor of old crusty wood. When I smell near the window trim and the outlets, it's definitely coming from that wall. I am certain that we got all of the problem from the leaking window installation because it was isolated to one area, but I had the wall demoed and repaired from corner to corner, top to bottom just to be sure that we weren't missing anything and I know that it was re-sheathed, wrapped, and flashed correctly and we also have had air quality testing done in the room and it showed no spores. I am certain that the wall is dry as a bone, it just seems to be a residual odor from what we did not replace. My hypothesis is that the framing and wood window unit basically marinated in the nasty smell in that wall for a few years and that they still stink. Anyone have a guess as to how long it will take for the odor to dissipate? Or if it ever will? Anything you suggest to help it resolve? I've considered pulling the drywall off again and having someone treat the framing with boric acid or something. I regret not replacing the window unit now and I suppose that I could also go back and do that, too. Or should I just wait a few more months and it will dissipate on its own?  

Re: Odor following water intrusion


It may never go away. You may try drilling a couple holes to drop the boric acid into the stud bays, see if that will help.

This is just like when one burns food on the stove, removes the burned food to outside the house, the smell lingers until you replace all the bad air with fresh air. Same happens with wood. Wood is pourous and will keep that smell for a long time. It may never leave. If you want it done right, start over and this time replace everything. I suggest using wood that is already dry, not new wood. New pine has sap still in it that attracts the bugs.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy

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