Identifying and Eliminating Odor in Mobile Home

I live in a mobile home and have just moved in. My question is there is a smell in the house that I cannot seem to find. No, it does not smell like a dead animal. It is an odor that just does not smell right.


The house was closed for awhile, how long I do not know. Does anyone know how to attack this head-on? I am in the process of putting a coat of Kilz on before the color. I do not think this is helping. Is there someone who can help me or is there a service I can contact that can educate me or help me eliminate the odor? I think at times this is making me nauseated or something. Please someone help me out.

By Stephanie from Tavares, FL

August 29, 20100 found this helpful

Could it possibly be in the carpet?

Maybe a good steam cleaning or shampoo would help.

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August 29, 20100 found this helpful

Your carpeting might be the culprit, as mommyof_4 says. If you can, get down and smell it and if it's stronger, then you have found the culprit. If you have carpeted closets, take a small corder of the carpeting, pull it up, and take a good look/smell. The padding underneath is often less expensive and can soak up dead skin, grease, mold, mildew, and so much more. Even the subflooring can be affected.

If you can afford a professional cleaner come in, have them do a urine test. Urine contains salt, and they have little "prods" that when stabbed into the carpeting, give off a "beep" when they contact the salt. This says that something or someone (babies come to mind) peed over a long period of time, and human urine is not as acrid as animal, so it's harder to identify.

If not, try and look under the unit. All mobiles have what is called a belly board. It is a band of metal strips that hold in the insulation. Sadly, cats and critters love to play, then get caught and never get out.

I wish you luck. Airing out the unit will help, as well as baking soda in all the rooms.

Hope this helps.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Before moving into this mobile home we had new carpeting put into the home and the linoleum is not the origin of problems either (that also is new). Now as far as the bands under the house he said they were recently replaced. He is coming to the house with someone who is going to check under the house and also under the sinks where the plumbing is. He said something about filters under the sinks connected to the draining pipes, so whatever it is I am hoping he finds it quickly.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes mobile homes can have leaking between the inner and outer walls.There could also be wet areas under the home, it may need to be dried out?Cleaning the drains may help too. Good Luck.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Find out if any drywall has been replaced, its possible that you have Chinese dry wall. It gives off an odor and causes respiratory issues, supposedly it can out gas for over a decade

By the way its up in Maine too, even though they said it wasn't here, friend of mine did his whole house and had been having breathing issues. He remembered some of the drywall looking different so that's the culprit. Now to figure out which ones and remove.

By the way, do not use kilz. Walls they won't breathe and mold builds up, personal knowledge.


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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

The culprit might be in your heating ducts. Check underneath for a hole in the insulation of the dusts and see if an animal could have crawled in and got trapped, I know of this happening before.

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October 22, 20100 found this helpful

My father-in-law had similar issues when he bought his mobile home; they knew it needed work to begin with and were already planning on tearing up carpeting and such. Is it a "musty" smell?

The in-laws thought at first it could have come from old rugs or from having been closed up, but when they started literally poking around, they found a portion of soft wall in a bathroom and also on the floor in the kitchen under a cabinet near the sink.

Turned out there were a couple of leaks that hadn't been taken care of and the smell was mold--lots of it.

They ended up replacing about 4 ft. sections of floor and wall in both rooms, as well as insulation and also replacing plumbing parts in both the kitchen and the bathroom.

It sounds like a lot, but my DH and his Dad were DIY guys and did it themselves for around 100-200 bucks in supplies.

So--check for soft, spongy areas all over, water damage spots or marks. In FIL's case, they were near plumbing and easy to pinpoint, but if there are roof leaks, mold could be anywhere.

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