Mildew Smell in Mobile Home?

We bought a trailer house about 2 years ago and did a complete renovation on it. We tore out all subfloors, paneling, insulation, the works, and replaced it with new subfloor, insulation and drywall instead of paneling.


My question is, this summer a musty odor has started coming up and I'm not sure where it's coming from. It's strongest under the bathroom sink and kitchen sink. I tore out the kick plate under the kitchen sink and cannot seem to notice any leaks. I'm not sure if it could be coming up from under the house, as we took out all our skirting and replaced it with foam sheets glued to weather resistant 2x4s and covered with a stucco material. This has caused condensation in the past so we added a fan in the skirting to pull out some of the moisture under the house.

As a side note about a month ago we had an issue with gnats and could not find the source. I think it might have been from the dishwasher because we rarely use it. I cleaned out under the fridge and inside the dishwasher and the gnats went away. My question is, what can I do to diagnose it or who can I call that won't cost me a fortune?


By Mary

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September 9, 20130 found this helpful

Is the floor covering around the bathroom vanity or commode bubbling up or does it feel squishy when you press down on it? If yes, something is doing a slow leak/drip inside the floor or walls - could be condensation on the pipes if you used copper pipes OR the toilet ring has either failed or didn't seal completely at install (ask me how I know this).

Can you get under the trailer to check for damp under the bathroom? Even if the floor covering isn't bubbling, if you have a small slow commode seal leak or a sweating copper pipe you should be able to see signs of damp on the underside of the house.


If it's a roof leak you may be able to see signs of damp on the exterior bathroom wall; if you are using a through the wall fan, the seal could be failing; if you have a window in there, that seal may have failed. Not enough of a leak to be immediately noticeable but the dank smell is a sure sign.

Is your house completely level? It's hard to tell (fill the sink in bath and kitchen and see if the water sits level in the sinks) but water coming in through the roof will follow the path to the lowest level.

Run a visual check along your roofline - water could be coming in somewhere on the roof (popped screws if you have a metal roof or a really small warping where the roof edges meet the main frame of the trailer. This happens a lot especially on a single-wide of all widths, again, sigh, ask me how I know this.


Good luck, it does sound as though you have pipe condensation or tiny roof leak. I love single-wides but they do have their little idiosyncrasies.

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October 7, 20130 found this helpful

Finding the source of the odor is half of the battle. Wash all of the walls down with a vegetable oil based soap. This will clean up any dirt, dust or mildew. It will also give you a fresh smelling room.

Removing mold can only be done by removing the source. If there is mold or mildew under the cabinets or the carpet, it will be necessary to remove the carpet. Even if you dry out the carpet or cabinet, there is a chance the mold will remain.


Spreading lime under the mobile home will eliminate musty, moldy odors . Crawl under the home and check to see if there is moisture, which may come from leaking pipes . Add vents to the mobile home skirting to allow for air flow. Replace any leaking pipes.

Removing odors by shampooing carpets, washing windows and giving the old mobile home a thorough cleaning. The baking soda or charcoal will absorb the odors, and you can just toss it in the trash when the odor is gone.

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November 3, 20130 found this helpful

If it coming only from under sinks and smells like dirt and you have seen gnats, there is stuff in your sink pipe trap that is decaying, molding, etc. (the u shaped part). You can fix it by pouring some bleach in the drains. But you need to make sure it is enough to fill up the u shaped part and you have to leave it there for a few hours at least.


The idea is you want only bleach sitting in that trap for a while. The bleach will kill whatever is growing there, including the gnats that are living there, and the smell will go away.

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