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Question DetailsAsked on 11/29/2016

We have a new home, not occupied yet. The garage started stinking like garbage, we cannot find the source.

We checked the crawl space and attic and removed everything from the garage. My husband blew it out with an air compressor, but as soon as we shut the garage doors the smell is there. The garage is completely finished and has been since the beginning of the summer. The smell just started as the weather turned cold. We live in Washington state. The smell seems to come from one area in the garage and sometimes another.

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2 Answers


First place I would look is filling any floor or wash tub drain with water - could have gone dry during construction from lack of use. Commonly open traps will vent more noticeably in cold weather - stack effect is greater because of the temperature differential between sewer and outside air. Also, street sewer covers tend to get covered with ice and packed snow so do not vent there as they usually do, so main sewer will tend to vent through residential vent lines to roof (or through unfilled traps) in that case.

Another common source which might be detectable with thermal IR camera (or smartphone or tableet with camera returned to near-IR sensitivity) is a dead animal trapped in walls when they closed up the house, or contractor lunch garbage thrown into the wall cavity.

One other possibility - since you said started when it got cold - is you are smelling hot plastic smell from new furnace/boiler. Could also be from a leaking roof or pipe in the walls forming fungus, and with the cold weather the smell is settling into the garage rather than rising in the warm walls. Would have to go around sniffing everywhere - in attic a black light can help also in identifying wet/fungusy spots.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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