Just recently, we moved to the UK, found an apartment, and promptly discovered some nasty problems with it. We don’t have the know how to properly diagnose the exact nature of it though, which has proven exhausting to us… so I thought I’d throw it out to the community and see what your opinions might be.
When we first viewed the place, my fiancee and I immediately noticed a somewhat prominent odor, that I assumed was a mixture of fresh paint and the place being closed up for a few days… we both also assumed it would air out. We signed the place and moved in.
Upon moving in, we found the cheap ikea furniture the place was furnished with were all warped on the inside drawers from dampness, the mattress also smelt damp, and the carpets in the bedrooms as well. Then, the pervasive smell that I took for paint would come back even after being aired. The laundry machine stunk like a swamp sewer. We thought this was the primary source. However, something really odd smelled from under the sink, too.
We spoke with the landlord, who divulged that the place had sat empty for several weeks, probably after being buttoned up a long time and after the carpets had been cleaned, and not left to dry. They removed the furniture and cleaned the carpet.
A plumber then came by, immediately labelled our smell as “sewer”. He noticed that there wasn’t a trap under the sink, put one in, left. The maintenance man took the laundry machine away, as it was irreparably moldy with trapped filthy water on the insides.
However the overriding problem we have is that the weird, acrid, almost chemically pungent smell, which is only medium-strong as you come in but of course with olfactory fatigue dimishes to a point, continues to be in evidence. We think it is residual smell from the kitchen, as it is much less in evidence when we shut and seal the kitchen off. More worryingly, the kitchen itself is eminating this strange sweet, wet and alarming aura that always returns no matter how much we heat or air it out.
Now, we thought we remembered some yellow spots under the sink before the maintenance man slapped some anti mildew paint on there when he removed the washer.
My best guess would be mold spores along the walls on the inside of the kitchen sink and cabinets, but you can imagine the landlord, having cleaned the carpets, replacing the furniture, and replacing the dish washer is in no more mood to do anything else. But our noses tell us something is very foul, especially and possibly only from the kitchen, although it seems to seep everywhere. Note that otherwise the apartment is newly refurbished, and seems perfectly sealed along the baseboards, ceilings, etc. The walls are dry and the paint not cracked or moist. From all indications the place looks brand new.
Right now we’re being called crazy by the lettings agent and the landlord. Yet we feel unsafe by the smell, being aware of what mold/mildew can do but have no proof and no way to check short of using a crowbar. We have elected to stay in a hotel or sleep on friend’s couches than spend our nights there. Does anyone have any experience with how I’ve described what we’re experiencing?