Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chasing a Smell

Have you ever had to chase a smell in your house? It's maddening. Doesn't always smell the same - kind of depends on whether there's air circulation. Some days you wonder if it's all in your head. But, it always smells worse when the door has been closed, and you're then sure that something is up.

I've chased a smell in Emily's room for about three weeks, and finally decided to move her crib into our room, which has been so. very. inconvenient. I get no computer time, unless, like now, I steal it and type faster than my brain can work. I used to blog after the kids were in bed. No more of that - and no more checking the daily news at her naptime. Is God trying to tell me that computer time or blogging, at least for now, isn't in my best interest? I don't know.

We've pinpointed an area of the carpet that was under her crib as definitely smelling moldy, or at least like a basement. We don't have a basement and there is no evidence of water damage on the ceiling, walls, or carpet. Maddening!! We replaced the carpet when we moved in almost three years ago, painted the entire house, and replaced floors in the bathroom, kitchen and entry way. We did have a plumbing problem that soaked the carpet a bit in the hallway last summer, but we pulled up the carpet, removed the padding, and raised the carpet and let it dry out really well. There is no smell at all in that area, and no evidence that it affected any of the bedrooms.

Thankfully, my dad, a former real estate broker with some building experience, is going to investigate and help us pull up the carpet and possibly remove the wall paneling. We hate paneling, but when we moved in 2005 the boys were 1.5 and 3.5 and very stressed over the big move. As a result, we just painted over the paneling, not knowing what the condition of the walls might be, and not wanting to prolong the home improvements and the boys' adjustment.

I remember that in that particular room, there was no padding under the original carpet. Makes me wonder what has occurred in that room in the past. Is the paneling hiding something? We've never had a smell in that room before, but I read that exposed corner rooms are more susceptible to developing mold problems, often because they are much colder than the rest of the house. That room is, indeed, much colder in the winter, especially if the door is kept closed. We bundled Emily up for naps and bedtime, and kept the heat higher than we wanted, to accommodate the temperature difference in her room. Yikes! Now our gas budget has been doubled, to $185 month for the next six months, due to our higher usage this last winter. We will definitely have to come up with another solution next winter, even possible moving the boys in there, since they don't nap and they go to sleep after Emily; we wouldn't ever have to close their door. Emily's door really needs to be closed part of the time, because my boys don't do quiet. They wouldn't know quiet if it hit them over the head! lol She would never sleep a wink, if I didn't take pains to contain the noise. We do use air purifiers, which sound like fans and drown out some noise.

Anyway, this is our latest homeowner nightmare. Sometimes I wish we rented. Then, someone else could worry and empty their pocket book over such things. As well, they could buy me lots of annual flowers, which I love to plant every summer.

Hope all is well with you, and that your house is running smoothly! No smells to chase, I pray.


Danielle said...

Thanks for your comment on my last post. :) I agree that we don't have a lot in common but enjoy reading your blog as well (when I can find the time!!) even though I don't take the time to comment as often as I should...!

Jen(ni)/Fern said...

Oh, I am feeling you in this post! I too miss my "carefree" renting days. And I know what you mean about the issues with bringing the crib into your room and then losing your own time and routine. I hope the smell is nothing! What a pain. I'm glad your dad is handy and can help you. Our basement gets a gross smell every now and again and it drives me insane. (Not to mention all the other gross smells everywhere, but I won't go into that!)