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Sherm
Strange Smell

I have been fighting this for serveral years. On warm windy days we get an strange smell that appears to come from under a window. The window is on the first floor and there is a basement below. Nowhere else does it smell. There does NOT appear to be a water leak and the smell has come even after a 5 week drought. The brick exterior has a layer of that fiber board material followed by plywood etc. At one point there were some ants in that area which I killed but it still smells! Without pulling down the wall is there anything I can do?

MLBSF
Re: Strange Smell

i have no idea what it is but i've come across strange smells a few times and more than once it's been a dead mouse or bird in the stud cavity.

ed21
Re: Strange Smell

The fact that you only smell it when the wind blows makes me think there is something in the wall such as rot & the wind is forcing it through. Most houses are quite porous and let a lot of air through. Water intrusion could only be enough to keep the rot going, but not enough to show up as leaks inside.

I had a carpenter ant nest near my side entrance last year & a there was a smell that resembled a sweet, rotting smell. The smell went away when I got rid of the ants. And that took a bit of effort. I've also had dead birds in a wall, but the smell went away in a month or so.

I suspect the only way to solve the mystery is to open up the wall and see what is going on. I would start by taking off the drywall to studs at the window ends and checking it out. The window may have to be removed to fix the problem. The window should be caulked on the exterior except along the bottom to allow water to get out. Proper flashing can only be seen with the window removed.

Usually brick veneer walls have brick, an airspace then felt & sheathing on studs. What you describes might allow for moisture to be drawn into the sheathing & studs.

Sherm
Re: Strange Smell

I removed the outside brick mould and the sash of the window in question. NO water issued to be found. The caulking is excellent. That's when I discovered and killed the ants. I also dumped a full quart of mold killer down the wall board just in case because I couldn't see down inside that far. Still smells. Would an infrared camera show anything?

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