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Old house completely gutted smells

Hello from Northern Lower Michigan.

We just bought an old house, it was built in sections, the oldest around 100 years old, and there are two more additions, including a garage. They are not build with standard trusses and are build using actual 2 by 4`s. I was initially concerned about structure problems, but everything looks fine, except for part of the wall that was by the chimney rotted. We are planning on replacing this. The basement is in pretty good shape, nice and dry, no mold. The attic is also in decent shape, but I have noticed some spots on some of the boards.
We really love it and have gutted it down to the studs, and are anxious to get down to business finishing it. The problem is that it smells awful. The smell is just overwhelming and I am concerned that if we continue with insulation drywall, etc. that when we are done the smell will still be there. Someone suggested silver paint to cover up the smell, but it is very expensive and I am not sure if it will work. Also considered odoban, but not sure if it is appropriate.
Is there another option that will be more budget friendly, or could the smell have permeated the wood so much it will never go. I thought the smell would go away once we pulled out the ceiling tiles and took it down to studs, it is still there. There is no duct work and minimal plumbing that we will be replacing anyway. Also, no carpet, just hardwood. Do not want to put so much money into house that may not be habitable. Any ideas?

A. Spruce
Re: Old house completely gutted smells

Spray the whole thing down with a few coats of BIN primer (Zinsser red label), this will help to seal in the odor.

Re: Old house completely gutted smells

If you live in the north where the vapor barrier is installed under the drywall, then any sealant on the studs may prove to be un needed. The vapor barrier should do an excellent job at odor control.

What does it smell like?

Re: Old house completely gutted smells

I'm not sure what your smell is, but every old wood framed building that I've been in that has been demo'ed down to the studs & subfloor has its own particular smell. Not particuarly pleasant, but not terrible usually. I wonder if the rot is causing the smell.

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