7 Unusual House Smells You Should Never Ignore

4 min read

When you have lived at a place long enough, you become accustomed to the various smells around you. It can be the smell of cigarettes for those who smoke, the scent of your detergent you use to clean or maybe the candle you always have burning.

The point is, you know how your home usually smells, so you are bound to recognize anything out of the ordinary. Those strange odors should not be ignored! Whether it’s in your house or coming from your neighbors’.

Continue reading to learn what smells should not be ignored.

7. Gas

The smell of gas or the noise of a gas leak is very unsettling. If you smell gas in your house, you should leave the house immediately! Do not turn on and off light switches or appliances, and starting your car is also not a good idea–all of which can spark a fire. Call the gas company on your mobile phone, and do not attempt to solve any problems yourself.

6. Rotten Egg

A smelly bathroom could mean that you have a sewage problem. Sewage gas leaks are not only stifling but also dangerous and can lead to an explosion. The hydrogen sulfide gives it the rotten egg smell, which can affect your eyes and nasal passage.

It can even lead to unconsciousness. Another component of sewer gas is methane, which can be extremely flammable in large amounts. The source of your problem could be a blocked or broken vent pipe, which directs the sewer gas through to the roof. In this case, call a plumber or home inspector.

However, if the smell is coming from a guest bathroom that you don’t use often, the water that prevents sewer gas from going back into the house may have evaporated. To fix this, pour a cup of water down the drain and pour a tablespoon of veggie oil to prevent evaporation.

5. Fishy Appliance

If you smell a fishy odor in the house, especially when you did not purchase fish, it’s cause for concern! An electrical fixture may be overheating on an appliance. That fishy, acrid smell could mean that the plastic on the appliance is melting, and this can cause a fire if ignored.

If you find that it is an appliance, call the repair expert to determine if it can be used or if you should dispose of it. If the smell is coming from the socket that the appliance is plugged into or the electrical switch, shut off everything and call an electrical professional.

4. Dirty Animal Smell

If you keep smelling a dirty dog in the house, and you know you don’t own a dog, don’t ignore it. That raunchy smell of a dog needing a bath could mean that there are squirrels, raccoons or rats in your attic. These squatters will use your attic for their bathroom and make your house smell of critters.

Raccoons, especially, will have worms in their feces and pose a problem to humans. According to the CDC, these worms are called Baylisascaris. In this situation, it is best to call in pest control. Don’t pick up the feces yourself.

Here are the easiest ways to get rid of pet odors, according to Reader’s Digest.

3. Cigarette Smell

Second-hand smoke can be very harmful, but third-hand smoke is occupying research as of late. The risk of third-hand smoke emerged because of the particles associated with the combustion of tobacco. These particles settle on surfaces like counters, tabletops and bed linen.

These old smoke smells are mostly found in hotels or vacation rentals occupied by smokers. Since it’s a new area of study, it is not clear how significant the risk is, but children are vulnerable.

They love to roll on carpets and touch surfaces, then stick their fingers in their mouths. If you had a smoker staying in your home, it is best to clean your home thoroughly.

2. Ammonia Or Cat Pee?

You may use ammonia to clean, but if you smell it in a place you have not cleaned and you don’t own a cat, you shouldn’t ignore the smell. If you have older appliances that use ammonia-based coolant, it may be a sign that it’s leaking and should get immediate attention.

Aside from that, an ammonia smell could mean that something has died in your walls, or you could have molds. While that might not be as dangerous as inhaling ammonia, you may have a pest problem. That’s a whole other smelly problem!

1. New House Smell

For those giving your house a new coat of paint, beware of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The VOCs can cause a range of problems, from headaches to the burning of the throat to damage the nervous system.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you buy no-VOC paint brands and ventilate when you paint. Other sources of VOCs include woof preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleaning agents, etc.

Trust your nose…

Sometimes your nose is better than technological equipment designed to sniff out certain odors. No matter how faint the smell is, look into it before something deadly develops from that one faint odor that you ignored.

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