Strangely enough, this is not a post about politicians or climate change or anything else sustainable. It is about a mysterious smell in our house. Here is the story.
Kim’s nose is very sensitive. On Sunday night, after we had closed up house and all the volunteers had gone home she smelt a faint odd odour in our bedroom. All fart jokes aside, we couldn’t really determine its origin, and I couldn’t really smell it at all. I just thought that it smelt like the bathroom floor mat which was damp.
Monday, Kim could still smell this odour, and now I could just smell it. It smelt a little like natural gas, however I knew that there were no pipes in this part of the house. The odour was only in the main bedroom, and we could only narrow it down to around the east wall, but I could not pinpoint the source.
Tuesday, it got worse. Kim decided to pull everything out of the bedroom except for the bed, so I had to stop everything and help. This included a Uni assignment that was due today. We pulled out the wall unit, the chest of draws, and everything in them. We still could not find the source.
Wednesday, craziness set in. Kim started to loose it a little, so I told her to call the plumber so see if we had any damp problems. Our friendly neighbourhood plumber Adam made a house call, and gave us a few suggestions like put a wax seal around the rubber seal that connects the toilet to the drain, take a water meter reading and check it in an hour to see if we had a leek in the concrete slab that the house sits on. Well the water was not leaking, and I couldn’t smell anything around the toilet. Adam kindly did not charge us anything.
Thursday, Kim called our builder mate Ray, who was due to fix a leak around the cob oven flue (didn’t quite seal it properly and rain damaged a bit of the oven). Ray could smell the offensive odour, and thought that it may be something in the roof. He got up there, lifted a few tiles, but could not find anything. If it was a rodent, he said it would go crusty in a few weeks and the odour would go away by itself. BTW, he fixed the seal around the flue as well. All for free again. Very nice of him to look for the smell.
Today, I was at wits end. Kim said she was going to demolish the house to find the smell, so as I was home for the day (that is another story), I decided to go up on the roof and have a look for my self. I started to remove roof tiles, which was quite easy, shoved my head into the hole that I made and used my nose to try and pinpoint the odour. After about 2 hours and pulling half the roof off on top of our bedroom, I got it down to a few square metres. I started to rummage through the insulation, which today I found out was rock-wool, that was laid about 50 cm thick. After about 20 minutes of meticulously searching, I found the smell.
It was a dead mouse, and OMG did it reek. My nose hairs are permanently singed! Gav to the rescue, pong finder extraordinaire. I tossed the creature from the roof to the ground, and you could almost see the trail of stench. Who would have thought that such a small dead creature could cause such a calamity.
Anyway, the saga is now over, the smell has abated, and life is back to normal around here again. Nothing to see here except us neo-hippies fruit loops!