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Old 02-02-2014, 03:12 AM   #1
Angelique
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Default Musty smell in bathroom

We've suddenly developed a musty smell in our bathroom that appears after using the shower. I noticed it the first time yesterday after the shower was used. The smell dissipated after I aired the room. Then today, after my daughter showered, it was there again, and it's not going away, even several hours later (and with a rag stuffed down the drain in case the smell is coming from there) although it's not as strong as it was.

This isn't a sewer smell, but rather a musty, mildewy smell. It's definitely coming from the shower, rather than the sink or toilet. The drain isn't clogged, but I did pull a clump of my daughter's hair from the drain. Two culprits I thought of were the drain and the shower massager head (which is old and maybe just reached a critical mass of mildew?)

Any ideas of what could be causing the problem?



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Old 02-02-2014, 04:45 AM   #2
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Strong musty mildew smells are usually a sign of leakage or moisture over a period of time. Your shower pan could be bad or you may have a leak in the wall



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Old 02-02-2014, 05:13 AM   #3
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Strong musty mildew smells are usually a sign of leakage or moisture over a period of time. Your shower pan could be bad or you may have a leak in the wall
Are you saying that water might have gotten into the shower pan and is stagnant there? How can that happen? (What should we look for?)
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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Look for water damage around the walls of the shower. Check all adjacent wall in closets or rooms that backs up to shower. Pay close attention close to the floor.

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Old 02-02-2014, 07:50 AM   #5
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Do you have any places in or around the shower that are caulked? If so, check to see if there are any gaps, cracks, or caulk pulling away. Even tiny gaps can allow in enough water to form mildew and mold.

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Old 02-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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I just wanted to thank the people who responded. We stopped using the shower and let everything dry. The musty smell gets weaker, but it's still coming from the drain. The man I called about demolishing the shower floor suggested treating the drain with a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal before having him come over to check it out.

In answer to Zanne, the shower doors have clear silicone caulk, but it looks okay. However, the grout around the drain and perimeter is old and there are some perimeter hairline cracks.

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:51 PM   #7
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I just wanted to thank the people who responded. We stopped using the shower and let everything dry. The musty smell gets weaker, but it's still coming from the drain. The man I called about demolishing the shower floor suggested treating the drain with a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal before having him come over to check it out.

In answer to Zanne, the shower doors have clear silicone caulk, but it looks okay. However, the grout around the drain and perimeter is old and there are some perimeter hairline cracks.
Hmm.. Do the tiles where there are cracks have a different sound when you tap them? Do a tap test and see if they sound sort of hollow or if there is a louder higher pitched sound. If water is getting under the cracks it might also be getting in to the thinset and loosening tiles somewhat. I wonder if the moisture barrier underneath is intact.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:08 AM   #8
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If water is getting under the cracks it might also be getting in to the thinset and loosening tiles somewhat. I wonder if the moisture barrier underneath is intact.
It turns out we have some missing caulk, and also a crack in the pipe at drain level, so there's moisture and the mold that makes that musty smell behind the tile and under the shower floor. So we're going to remediate and remodel.

I don't know if you know about this, but it doesn't hurt to ask! I have quotes from three remediation companies. One uses a 21% hydrogen peroxide solution and one uses the product Shockwave. Any experience with either?
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:10 AM   #9
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It turns out we have some missing caulk, and also a crack in the pipe at drain level, so there's moisture and the mold that makes that musty smell behind the tile and under the shower floor. So we're going to remediate and remodel.

I don't know if you know about this, but it doesn't hurt to ask! I have quotes from three remediation companies. One uses a 21% hydrogen peroxide solution and one uses the product Shockwave. Any experience with either?
I'll leave that to the experts since I have no idea. I'm glad that you discovered the source of the smell but sorry to hear that it is going to be such a pain to fix.
All 3 of my house's bathrooms needed remodeling/repair and I'm working on them one at a time. I'm pretty sure there are probably leaks under the tubs and such..

I did find this site that says a homeowner can remediate.
http://homerenovations.about.com/od/wallsandtrim/a/artmoldremediat.htm
But I don't know how accurate that is. If one of the pros can way in, maybe they can shed some light on the mod removal situation.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that your mold situation can be handled inexpensively.


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