Odd smell in house periodically. Ideas?
My wife and I have been noticing a strange smell in our house the last month or so. It's not your average mildew/mold smell. I can only describe it as sort of a musty, "spicy" kind of smell. It's rather pungent, but not downright overpowering. We really only smell it in the living room and kitchen area, mainly in the living room (which happens to be where the front door and porch are, as well).
We tend to notice it when it's been rainy or damp, but not exclusively - some days we've smelled it when it's been completely dry. We've been in the house over a year and a half, and have only been smelling it recently. My wife is pregnant, so I obviously want to diagnose and fix any mildew/mold or similar problem we might have going on.
Other background and things we've checked:
-The house is on a slab, with no signs of water drainage issues around the foundation.
-We're on septic, but the tank is at the other end of the house, and we sit essentially on a big sand hill, so that shouldn't be an issue.
-I've looked in the attic, and don't see any signs of leaks or water damage. I also don't smell it up there.
-We have two indoor/outdoor dogs, but the room in question has hardwood floors, and we keep the other carpets clean. The previous residents had pets, but since this is a new smell, that seems unlikely as well.
-We have two outdoor cats that kind of came with the house - the smell does seem to be a bit stronger near the front door/windows/front wall, which has made us wonder if maybe the cats are spraying on the front porch, where they hang out a lot, and the wet weather is making it "activate," so to speak? I'm not a big cat person, so I don't know how plausible that is.
Any one have any ideas? At this point, my two most likely seeming ideas are that it's the cats, in which case I'm not really sure what to do (any ideas on that are welcome), or that we have some sort of mold or mildew problem, possibly in a wall somewhere, that the wet weather causes to flare up and smell. What do you all think?
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