What's that Smell?
What’s that Smell?
When an unusual odor wafts through it’s a call-to-action, not a wait-and-see situation. It could be a benign issue like a clogged garbage disposal or a potentially hazardous problem that demands your attention. So explore, don’t ignore! Here are five weird smells and what they could mean:
- Fishy- Most people would never draw this connection but a fishy smell can be tied to an electrical issue such as frayed wires or faulty outlets. When an electrical component overheats, the heat-resistant chemicals covering the wires release that terrible fishy smell.
- Wet Dog- If you notice this smell and don’t have a dog the first thing you want to check for is mold/mildew growth. Bacterial growth in a damp area can often be the culprit for this smell. If you can’t pinpoint where the smell is coming from, it’s possible the odor is blowing from your HVAC unit and you may have a dirty air filter that needs to be cleaned. Excessive moisture is what’s causing this smell so if you don’t find evidence of mold check your appliances to see if you have any leaks causing rotting wood, as this issue can also effuse the “wet dog” smell. In a rare instance, if you ruled out all the above causes, you may have a rodent issue on your hand and should contact an exterminator.
- Pickle- A pickly or vinegary scent could mean formaldehyde, a potentially harmful chemical from adhesives and resins. When this chemical reaches room temperature it turns into a gas and when inhaled can cause serious medical problems. To remove this odor from your home open all windows and run fans to get the air moving. You can also sprinkle baking soda on any carpet or upholstery that seems to be emitting the smell, let it sit overnight, and vacuum it as a last step.
- Cat Urine- This distinctive smell could indicate black mold. If you find circular-shaped dark green, black, or brown spots that smell similar to cat urine you should call SERVPRO right away and we’ll send someone out to take a look. It’s advised to vacate the house but if you do not have that option try your best to seal off that area and avoid any contact with the affected region. If you or someone in your household is experiencing unusual respiratory issues, allergic reactions, or headaches it’s best to seek medical attention.
- Rotten Eggs- This smell isn’t just unpleasant; it could mean a serious gas leak, a worst-case scenario that poses a risk of fire or explosion if left undetected. Interestingly, natural gas is odorless. But gas companies deliberately add a foul-smelling odorant for safety reasons.
So trust your nose! Remember, your home’s smells are like messages, and addressing them quickly can prevent potential issues. And if you encounter a challenge beyond your expertise, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO®. We’re here to ensure your home stays not only clean but also safe. Trust us to handle the unexpected, so you can enjoy a worry-free home environment.