smell of damp plaster

Give us the science then. How do particles continue to be released without the paint disappearing altogether?
Sponsored Links
No expert here! But we have same problem, smell of wet plaster every time it rains.
I personally think it's the paint. Crown have told me that new Odorless Paint has no sealant in it therfore emitting no strong smells. I feel the downside to this is that it lets in moisture from the room when it is humid, this dampens the plaster and gives off the smell of wet plaster. I have turned up the heating and used a dehumidifier, this works until the next time it rains. Crown recommend using an alkali resistant sealer and using a paint with sealant in it from a specialist stockist. ( I hope this will work for me, still have to try it and also gives you a new idea to try. Hope to get some feedback?

(Also sent same info via different question)
We have a very similar issue with our kitchen, and its been going on for 2 years since we bought the house. The house was "renovated" before we purchased it and the kitchen was plastered. I have had 2 damp professionals in who can't find any physical damp, but did find the humidity got quite high. I had some constant run humidity fans installed In October and thought the problem was fixed. However, come summer this year, the smell returned. Its a musty/chemically smell. I have had the drains checked also. This is the only room that has been plastered. I have used a Hygrometer to check all the rooms and they are all basically the same. We do not get the issue in the room above, nor under the house where I have spent hours looking for the culprit. I now believe I have 3 options:

1. Its the paint/plaster board
2. Its hidden mould in the walls
3. its hidden mould in between the flooring.

Theres no 1 point for the strong smell and it moves around. Ventilation is always good, as you get the issue even with the doors open. It seems its a summer only issue.

@stephenlaw22 did re sealing and painting fix your issue?

Any one else got any ideas?
Hi Leaky34
I rarely contribute these days but do occasionally get email's when someone resurrects an old thread & this one is 6 years old! Personally I would doubt it's the paint/plasterboard. Mould in the walls would show itself as staining on the paint/plaster surface sooner or later, mould under the flooring could be a possibility but wherever it's coming from you need to establish what's causing it.

Check the kitchen sink/dishwasher/washing m/c traps; poorly designed or installed waste systems will "draw the water seal" from the trap which will then emit smells. We have a bathroom we don't use & in this weather the water in the trap slowly evaporates causing a smell. We also spend over two months away from home, twice a year & we usually come home to smells from most sinks in the house, simply running the tap, refilling the trap cures it.

If not, I would start looking for a small water leak somewhere either in the H/C water/drainage system or central heating system (if you have a wet system). I recently had a problem with a central heating pressure relief valve weeping, it was hidden away in a plasterboard kitchen riser, the leak was very small but the amount of damage it caused in the boiler cupboard before it finally showed up as a damp patch on the other side of an adjacent lounge wall was considerable & I reckon it had been leaking for many months, possibly over a year.
Sponsored Links
Old thread! But I am uncovering damp issues in my 1930s house.
One was caused air bricks being blocked up and the joists were rotting
Another caused by an old hearth breaching damp course and making joists dampish - woodworm in that room.
Then condensation damp causing black mould (previous occupant)
and I suspect a leaking pipe somewhere under the bathroom area - not investigated yet, but it's musty over there still.
I guess my point is, until you actually start ripping things apart to look, it is impossible to know. You can take a good guess based on if you can see mould on walls, or joists feel bouncy etc. but until you really look, impossible to know.
@Richard C

See I've checked all those areas, I write down all the conditions for when it happens and nothing seems to point in any 1 direction. Its sometimes like a weather station, in the fact I can smell a storm coming even when its been dry for 10 days (recent heatwave). So its definitely triggered with humidity, so hence thinking of the mould. The fact theres no visible mould present though, even using professionals to try and source the issue points me to the paint/plaster first, plus its the quickest/cheapest option to try.

The fact humidity in the house drops substantially in the winter and the issue isn't there proves its more of a humidity triggered issue. Ive been on my hands and knees smelling the floor and its not down there. I know smells disperse around but theres no 1 hot point for it.
I get the smell on the walls, but I can't be sure if they have just sucked in the smell for a moment and thats what I'm getting.

its been driving me mad if I'm honest, so thinking logically, it can only be 1 of those 3 things. (hopefully)
is ther a c/breast in room?
is the floor suspended or solid?
are thewalls cavity or solid?
are thewalls solid plaster or dot an dab?
do you have any kind of int or ext insulation or CWI?
do you have render walls?
is it a one or two storeyhouse?
Ahh, the joys of older property renovation; if someone's just done a quick make over or it's not done properly problems don't get cured they just reappear, usually after a very short space of time!
Yeah, lesson learnt!

Pretty high humidity outdoors today, so the issue is there, roll on winter where theres absolutely no issue whatsoever.
youve not answered a single question i took the troubl to ask you or replyed in any other way
Apologies, I was using my phone earlier so it wasn't easy to see everything:

is ther a c/breast in room? Yes
is the floor suspended or solid? Suspended
are thewalls cavity or solid? Cavity
are thewalls solid plaster or dot an dab? Dot and dab
do you have any kind of int or ext insulation or CWI? No insulation
do you have render walls? No
is it a one or two storeyhouse? 2 storey.

Read more:
Whenever I've smelled damp plaster I have wondered about it and hoped it would go away and then a few days later I've been at work and the phone has rung: "There's water coming through the ceiling - what should I do?"
I’m getting this smell it’s driving me crazy. It started after summer when the first rains arrived. I have a leaking roof in my extension. So I know water is getting into the plaster walls and ply wood on the ceiling. The smell is also in 2 other rooms though I cannot find a source there at all. It must be damp getting in somewhere but whether the cause is wood based or plaster I don’t know. One thing I discovered is formaldehyde is used in ply wood as an adhesive. The smell can come off this when wet or the weather gets more humid. It could also cause a sensitivity to the smell over time.

Did anyone find the reason for the smell? I have had it since I moved in and I can’t figure it out.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links