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Odor Investigation

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Odor Investigation

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 26, 2017 11:08 am

I thought you might like this one and possibly help you at the same time.

I drove the hour to reach this home with the odor issue.  They are located next to a large lake and the home is valued at just over $500,000.  They just closed on the house and was moving in when they experienced a foul odor in their basement....mainly in their walk-in closet

The carpet was 3 months old with all new baseboards and drywall.  The smell was pretty bad and reminded me of the bathrooms at an amusement park in June.  I think you know that smell.  I was told there has never been any pets in this home nor any flooding.

I am always suspicious of new carpets and so I checked them for moisture since it shares the wall with the bathroom.  Dry as a bone.  I removed the baseboards on that side and looked for signs of moisture...none.  

I still suspected the bathroom, even though the fixtures were actually located against the bedroom wall instead of the closet, so I ran the shower for 2 minutes and re-inspected the wall cavity for moisture....dry.

Refusing to give up, I tested the carpet again with a moisture meter...dry, but there was change in temperature with the IR gun.  That tells me that water passes beneath that part of the cement, so I pulled up the carpet and pad.....bingo.

The carpet showed a water stain about the size of a basketball.  It formed in the middle of the room with no moisture stains located near the walls.



After seeing this stain, I was on the right track and pulled the 3/4 inch rubber padding and flipped it over....wet.  The cement was damp and there was a sealed crack running over the spot.  I ran the shower again and the dampness increased.  

So, I ran a plumbing camera down through the shower drain and there it was...a perforation of the sewer pipe where they installed a pvc line into the original iron pipe.  It was just a pin-hole at this point, but was probably going on for years.

When the previous owners were called, they admitted that the closet would feel damp sometimes in the morning, but it was never wet.  So, now I am getting calls from an attorney and real estate agents asking for me to provide statements and details.  Not what I wanted to get involved in today.

Turned out that I was the 4th person called regarding this odor in the past week since the couple moved in.  I was the only one to put 2+2 together so now they are hyping me up on the social media boards.  I guess they had one company tell them that they had no idea what it was, but they could fix it for $1,000.  I don't know how the hell that works for a sales pitch?

So, it was a success and all I had to do was remove some carpet, pad, baseboards, and spray down some Sporicidin until they can repair the pipe.  Sure beats digging out dead critters from the walls. Peace
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Fri May 26, 2017 5:41 pm

Oh, I was going to try to guess what it was:(
My money was a drain hole.

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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 26, 2017 6:32 pm

Same smell Matt.
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sat May 27, 2017 11:41 am

www.scoe10x.com/why-it-works

Hmmm, very interesting.
I'm giving it a try.

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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 27, 2017 12:14 pm

Interesting sales promo, but I see 2 problems with "scoe10x".

1. Probiotics are another bacteria and as it digests, there is always a digestive by-product....think off-gassing.

2. Probiotics are also not able to handle high heat or low temperatures, so active ingredients would be suspect in our industry.

The best odor eliminator I have found for biological sources is Sporicidin. There is enough surfactants in it to use it as a cleaning agent in carpets and it kills every bacteria and virus that you can name. On a hard surface, it can continue to kill for weeks.

It uses Phenol (carbolic acid) which is what your dentist uses to sterilize their instruments and what is found in many sore throat sprays. It is also a very good surgical hand soap.

I have never used anything better to eliminate odors on sewage back-flows, mold, urine, etc.
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by steamprony on Tue May 30, 2017 11:27 pm

Milspec, thanks for sharing the interesting odor removal way-out.

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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by ACpower1 on Wed May 31, 2017 9:38 am

what brand sporicidin do you use Rob?
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by milspec6 on Wed May 31, 2017 11:03 am

http://www.sporicidin.com/products/mold-remediation/biohazard-and-forensic-restoration/all/sporicidin(r)-disinfectant-solution

They make a great lotion soap as well that I have always used to wash up with after the "nasty" jobs. Works well on insect bites, burns, and even skin rashes.

I tried the mold/mildew stain remover stuff, but it seemed a little expensive for what it provided.

There are many brands of quats etc. out there, but none are this versatile nor as effective. It is even registered for use in a fogger for duct sanitizing.
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by dp1 on Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks for the info Bob !
I didn't know they can be used for cleaning as well, do you use that in pre spray quart bottle full strength ?
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:29 pm

You run it full strength. I carry it in a pump-up and use it on just about anything. Unlike the other types out there, it will not corrode any metals either.

On really stubborn odors, I often just clean the carpet or furniture with it. Will be like a hospital room when you finish.
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Re: Odor Investigation

Post by JoeClark on Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:56 am

@milspec6 wrote:You run it full strength.  I carry it in a pump-up and use it on just about anything.  Unlike the other types out there, it will not corrode any metals either.

On really stubborn odors, I often just clean the carpet or furniture with it.  Will be like a hospital room when you finish.

Thanks for the tip, will try it out.

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