8 posts / 0 new
Last post
glombus
Smell after remodelling

I was watching an episode of TOH today that partly focused on Asbestos and Lead paint safety and it got me to worrying about a smell in my office. I'm probably over reacting, but it was remodeled over a month ago and there's been a strong smell in here since. My landlord and his maintenance men took what maybe used to be an old workroom or storage area and drywalled it so I could use it as an office.

I'm pretty sure they didn't remove the old paint before they repainted and put up drywall. There's been a strong dusty smell that won't seem to go away now, and the building is pretty old. I'm worried about what the smell might be and how I can figure out if it's potentially dangerous or what to do about it. I've already mopped and cleaned the windows and sills, so I'm not sure what's left short of cleaning the walls and ceiling too. I've done some minor work with drywall before and that's what I thought the smell was, but whatever it is, I don't understand why it's still lingering. I've left the windows open for days after cleaning and it's still there. If I leave the door open it spreads to other nearby rooms, and the only thing that seems to really help is putting a fan in the window set to exhaust mode, but winter's coming soon and I just want the smell gone.

If anyone has any input I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.

-Will

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Smell after remodelling

Most likely problem is off gassing by some of the materials used.
Jack

glombus
Re: Smell after remodelling

Thanks Jack. I'll keep my fan on and try to use that to pull out as much of the smell as I can and maybe check with my local hardware store for help

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Smell after remodelling

It could just be a damp musty room but I have heard of problems with Chinese drywall and cheap carpet. You might want to check the humidity in the room.

Jack

glombus
Re: Smell after remodelling

That's a good thought. My parents have a humidity sensor I'll borrow to check with, but the air in the room seems pretty dry. I lived in a damp moldy basement years ago and I'm pretty familiar with that type of smell and feel. Right now, the smell and taste when it hits my nose are like breathing in dust.

I'm thinking it's more due to cheap paint or something with the drywall like you mentioned. For now I'm going to move my things out of the office since the smell's pretty strong and it's starting to get on my clothes now and make my throat feel dry when I'm in there. I'd rather be safe than sorry if it is something hazardous and until I can pin down exactly what it is. Just wish there was some kind of magic smell-o-meter to tell me what it is and make sure I'm not just going crazy.

Thanks Jack

kolbywhite28
Re: Smell after remodelling

Charcoal is a tried-and-true odor removal technique that can be used to deodorize any powerful chemical odor.

Also, a trick used by many veteran house painters is to light a candle in the middle of the room and let it stay there for about three hours. The open flame will burn out the flammable substances in the solvent, like benzene and other hydrocarbons.

EricG
Re: Smell after remodelling

We have had a lot of problems with Chinese Drywall. If that is your problem you will need the wallboard replaced due to the sulpher in the board. It does create serious problems with any copper wire or plumbing in the area. Your landlord's builder may be able to tell you the source of the drywall.

dj1
Re: Smell after remodelling

Considering the old age of the place, I think you have multiple sources for the deep smell, some of which you won't be able to get rid off that easily.

The candle idea is very good. A plug in scent is another. Also try burning incense.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.