When you work hard to keep your home clean and tidy, you might be surprised to detect an unpleasant smell. Foul-smelling odors can develop in your home for various reasons. Here are tips for handling odors in the home to keep your property in good condition.
5 Common Odors in the Home and What They Mean
A Smell like Rotten Eggs
Roughly half of all American households heat their home with natural gas and use natural gas for cooking, hot water, and laundry. If there is a gas leak that goes undetected, it could result in a fire or explosion.
Natural gas is odorless and colorless. However, gas companies add a sulfuric-smelling odorant to natural gas to help you detect a gas leak. If you notice a rotten egg smell in your home, leave immediately and contact the gas company.
Odors in the Home: A Fishy Smell
Many homeowners are shocked to learn that a fishy odor in their home could indicate an electrical issue. This smell is often a sign of an electrical component overheating. The odor may result from overloaded circuits, incorrectly sized breakers/fuses, faulty outlets, overheated electrical insulation, or frayed wires.
Address electrical issues quickly to keep your home safe from fire. Contact an electrician to diagnose the problem and provide a solution. If you can identify the problem, turn the circuit breaker off to that outlet or appliance in the meantime.
If you notice sewage odors from the bathroom, there is a good chance a sewer vent pipe is broken or the p-trap is dry. Alternatively, you may be dealing with a broken sewer pipe. Depending on the severity of the clog, you may need the help of a professional plumber to unclog the drain and eliminate the odor.
A Smell Like Dirty Socks
If you frequent the gym often or have a child that plays sports, you might be used to smelling dirty socks. However, if the smell isn’t coming from a gym bag, this odor may be due to bacteria buildup on your heating system’s coils.
Although bacteria growth is more common in the spring and fall, it can occur year-round. The condensation on the coils creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow. The odor from this is quite distinctive. To eliminate the smell, use a non-acid coil cleaner, or contact an HVAC professional to perform the cleaning.
Mold and Mildew Smell Musty
A musty odor in the home is often a sign of mildew or mold, especially in areas prone to moisture and humidity, including the basement and bathroom. Mildew and mold harm your health, so it is essential to eliminate the problem as quickly as possible.
Use a mixture of water and bleach to clean small areas of mildew and mold, but more severe problems may require the help of a professional. To help prevent this problem in the future, keep an eye out for broken pipes and leaky fixtures and improve the ventilation in spaces that are prone to moisture.