Concern: Clarksville Middle School: December 12th, 2023 (CXXCMS20230002D9)

Student Services
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
My office has an overwhelming smell of cat urine. Our custodian checked the ceiling and all around the office for what the source could be. He cleaned the carpet and furniture. He cleaned a drain outside behind my wall over the weekend. Today the smell was worse when I arrived an opened my office. Last year an office next to mine was treated for mold. I am concerned that the source of this smell could be mold.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: December 13 and 14, 2023

The room is part of an addition to the school and is finished with a brick wall (historically an exterior wall of the school), drywall, carpet, and a drop ceiling. 

A "urine-like" odor was identified upon entering the office space. The adjoining offices do not contain the odor. The odor was not considered moldy/musty. 

The occupant had been away on leave and indicated substitutes were present. The current occupant could not be sure if any specific incidents had occurred that would cause such an odor. 

Areas above the drop ceiling, as well as directly beneath the room's supply diffusers were assessed. The odor did not appear stronger in these areas.

Various articles were assessed to include the carpet and furniture. The odor appeared "stronger" between the desk, which was directly against the brick wall. The desk was moved and the odor was identified along a two-three linear foot area and seemed to be located behind the cove base. The cove base was discarded. Residual odor remained, however it could not be determined if the source was the wall or the carpet. 

A stain was noted on the backside of the desk, in the area where the odor was the strongest. It appeared something may have been spilled, although given the odor, urine could not be eliminated as a potential cause. 

No elevated moisture was detected in the walls or carpet. 

No visible mold growth was observed.

Corrective Actions
December 21st, 2023

A board-approved restoration contractor removed the carpet, cleaned/disinfected the furniture, and cleaned/disinfected the bottom section of the brick wall with a bristled brush. The area was assessed on January 2, 2023. The reported odor was no longer present. 

Tracking Number