All houses are full of smells, but it’s important to differentiate smells that suggest something is seriously wrong. Learn about the dangerous house smells here
Naturally, your house smells most like your day-to-day activities. Whether you allow your pets inside, clean often or cook often, your home takes on various smells according to these activities.
In fact, every house on your block has its own signature smell. Whether it’s a smell of laundry detergent, air freshener, baked goods or cigarette smoke, these are all familiar smells.
So what happens when you pick up on unfamiliar house smells? Should you be concerned? Here are 7 unusual smells you should address immediately…
Unusual House Smells That Are Cause for Concern
Most smells in your home are so familiar that you probably don’t even notice them any longer. You’ve become ”nose-blind” to them.
This means that any smell that’s out-of-the-ordinary should be immediately noticeable and addressed as soon as possible. Not all new smells are created equal – some may point to more dangerous underlying issues than others.
Keep a nose out for these unusual odors, here’s what could be causing them:
- A Foul Bathroom Odor
Is there anything worse than your home being flooded with the foul odor of sewerage? If your house smells like a waste treatment plant, this is a sign you could have a sewer gas leak or sewerage buildup in your plumbing.
A sewer gas leak is dangerous for several reasons. The gases contain toxic and explosive chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide and methane. This can also cause health issues such as eye irritation and even asphyxiation.
One of the most common issues is an unused bathroom. If you have a guest bathroom toilet that is rarely used, this causes the water in the system to dry up, allowing putrid gases to pass through.
Alternatively, you could have an issue with sewer drainage or clogging. Learn more about clearing out a sewerage backup in this guide.
- A Strong Gas Smell
If you have a gas heater, gas stovetop, oven or fireplace and you smell an unusually strong smell of gas, this could point to a problem.
Gas is naturally odorless, however, the chemical mercaptan helps us to identify when gas is leaking to avoid disaster. The fact that you can smell gas when you shouldn’t is a sure-fire sign that you could have a leak somewhere.
Gas is explosive and noxious, and with enough gas in the air, this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Until you’ve found the source of the gas leak, avoid using a landline phone, turning on appliances, lights or starting your car. This could cause a spark and may ignite a gas explosion.
Leave your house immediately and contact your gas company from a mobile phone.
- A Musty, Damp Smell
A musty smell coming from your home is usually an obvious sign that you have a buildup of condensation somewhere, which has developed into the mold.
This buildup of condensation could be caused by numerous things. A leaking pipe in your kitchen, bathroom, or even behind a wall can cause mold to grow and flourish.
Mold is dangerous in the home, especially for those who suffer from asthma and severe allergies. Inhaling mold spores can lead to lung infections and long-term health issues.
It is important to find the source of condensation and disinfect this area as soon as possible with a bleach solution. Let it dry out for 10-minutes while ventilating the area. If you have a large amount of mold buildup in drywall, you must replace it.
- A Strong Smoke Smell
This is an obvious cause for concern, especially if this strong smoke odor is coming from inside your home. Bush fires may cause the local region to smell like smoke, but the same fire smell coming from inside your home will be obvious.
Even if the smell of smoke is faint at first, this could be a sign of an electrical malfunction and should be addressed immediately. Take note of when you use a particular electrical appliance or light switch. Small electrical sparks can be dangerous and can lead to large fires in the home, especially if it’s located behind a wall.
If your home is fitted with fire detectors, check they’re still working and replace batteries every 3-6 months.
- The Stench of Dirty, Wet Dog
It’s a major cause for concern if your home begins to smell of dirty, wet dog…and you don’t own a dog. Basically, this wild animal smell could point to an intrusion of rodents, squirrels, or raccoons in an attic or basement.
Typically, these critters crawl across the rafters in your roof and leave their droppings behind, which poses a major health hazard. Racoon feces contain roundworm eggs which could cause health issues for the family.
Do an inspection of your attic, basement, and any other small, penetrable areas of your home. Call in a pest specialist if you need to!
- Third-Hand Smoke
You’ve probably heard of first and second-hand smoke and the terrible health complications it can cause. But third-hand smoke is also a danger, especially with small children in the home.
Third-hard smoke lingers on furniture, in carpets, curtains, linen, and clothing. Tobacco particles have settled onto these surfaces and carry up to 11 different types of carcinogens.
Small children are at great risk of inhaling these carcinogens as they crawl and touch these surfaces the most. If you smoke, try to do so outdoors. And remember to thoroughly clean exposed surfaces that your children come into contact with as often as possible.
- A Rotten Egg Smell
If there’s one smell that’s obvious to pick up in the home, it’s the smell of rotten egg. And if your eggs aren’t rotten, this points to several issues, but most commonly, a backup of sulfur in your garbage disposal or an issue with a sump pump.
If your property uses a sump pump, it’s wise to check for leaks, as the last thing you want is sewerage seeping into your water supply! Do a thoroughly clean out of your garbage disposal and contact a plumbing expert if you have an overflowing sump pump.
Harness Your Creativity Here
Now that you’re a little more familiar with unusual house smells and how to keep them at bay, learn how to harness your creative side and makeover your home!
If you’re on a budget, but want to renovate your space, check out the rest of this website for affordable home DIY projects, party ideas, and more…