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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2017

Why does it smell like pickles while I'm demolishing a bathroom?

Demo an old bathroom from a house built prior to 1960.

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1 Answer


Assuming you know the difference between pickle brine and urine smell (assuming bathroom is regularly cleaned, the latter smell would almost certainly be due to leaking toilet seal to the toilet flange), then I would very strongly be expecting to hit wood fungal growth - wet rot - which commonly smell like decaying vegetable matter, sometimes rotten meaty smell, commonly kimchi or rotting cabbage or vinegary smell - somewhere in the subfloor. If not tearing out the subfloor or underlying ceiling to be able to inspect for rot, I would get a fiber optic scope (takes about 1/2 to 3/4" holes for it to go through) to inspect the floor joist area and subflooring and lower part of walls for signs of leakage and rot.

I suppose if owner used vinegar a lot to clean that could cause it too, but only if recent or if the bathroom has a lot of humidity to keep the smell alive, because once it dries out vinegar does not have a strong odor on surfaces where it is used to clean.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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