Our noses have been essential to identifying dangers and food we shouldn’t eat throughout human history. As a result, noticing a new odor around your house is jarring if there is no apparent cause. If you smell something strange in your house, here is a list to help you identify odors in your home.
Paint or Chemical Odors in Your Home
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in many things, including paint and furniture. When you bring substances that have VOCs into the home, they go through a period known as off-gassing. During off-gassing, you may notice a chemical or paint-like smell. Off-gassing may only last for a few days, but sometimes it can linger for weeks or months, depending on how the furniture or paint was treated.
Sewage or Rotten Smells
A sewage smell in the bathroom is a sign of a plumbing problem. The P-trap underneath your sink may be dry after a few days of not using the sink. In other cases, the odor could be due to a broken and leaking sewer pipe. Call a plumber right away to diagnose and repair the issue.
Rotten Egg Odors in Your Home
Natural gas is odorless, but natural gas companies treat it with a substance that smells like rotten eggs so occupants can identify a problem. A natural gas leak is dangerous and explosive. If you smell an odor like rotten eggs and use natural gas in your home, evacuate and call the gas company immediately.
A Fish-Like Smell
If you notice that your home smells like fish, you may have an electrical problem. When electrical components overheat, the smell they emit is sometimes described as being fishy. If you notice the odor around outlets or electronics in your home, cut the power to the outlet or unplug the appliance and contact an electrician.
One of the first signs of mold that people often detect is a damp, musty odor, indicating a moisture issue or mold growth. Many types of mold smell more intense after it rains, so if the odor worsens with the weather, it’s another sign that you have a mold problem.
An Odor of Rotting Food
It is natural for people to be put off by the smell of decaying food, as eating spoiled food could make us sick. If your home smells like rotting food and you cannot find an old apple or potato that is the cause, a dead rodent might be in your vents or inside the walls. You may need to hire a pest control company to locate and remove the animal and treat your home.