Sometimes there can be a foul odor in your home that you just can’t identify. Unless you can find the reason for the odor, you will not be able to take the necessary steps to get rid of it. There are various things that can lead to bad smells in our homes and being able to eradicate them permanently means that first you have to know exactly why they are present. To help you identify the sources of unpleasant smells, here are the top 3 common causes of foul odors in your home.
1. A Hidden Leak
The first reason why you may have a musty or moldy smell in your home is that you have a hidden leak. In these particular cases when you have a hidden leak, the odor that you’re smelling can be a sign that you have a significant mold problem. When mold is growing on wet building materials it creates a gas that lets off microbial volatile organic compounds. MVOCs can cause serious health issues and that is why it’s very important to find out what the source of the leak is. A few areas to check that commonly have problems with unseen leaks are under windows, along with the ceiling due to a roof leak, or around plumbing fixtures such as the toilet or sink. Another common source of a hidden leak is the duct of your air conditioning unit which is very common in the summertime.
What happens is when an air conditioner system is overworking, it starts to drip onto drywall. Even if there is insulation in place, insulation will sometimes lose integrity if it gets too wet and mold will start to grow on the drywall itself. Fixing this solution is no easy task. If you do smell unknown odors, a professional odor expert will be able to identify the source of the odor and advise you how best to remove it. If mold is the source, it is important to locate the affected area and run a mold test so that you know exactly what kind of mold you have. This is necessary because different treatments are required for different kinds of mold and using the wrong treatment can just make the problem worse.
The second cause of bad odors in our homes is moisture, or more specifically, excess humidity. High relative humidity in a home can lead to a pungent odor and this is especially true if you live in a wet climate. If you have a basement that doesn’t have proper drainage, relative humidity within a home should be under sixty percent. Typically, if you have air conditioning in your home, it should dehumidify your home, however, in certain cases, an air conditioning unit is not enough. To determine if you have a humidity problem in your home, check the humidity readings on your thermostat. If you don’t have a thermostat, pick up a cheap hygrometer. This measures the levels of humidity in your home and will be able to tell you if a bad odor is a likely result of excess humidity. If you do find that you have excess humidity, you are going to need to buy a dehumidifier because too much moisture can cause mold. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air and drain it into a bucket in the unit itself or into a drain and you can attach them directly to your plumbing. Make sure you have the proper size dehumidifier for the area you want to dehumidify.
3. Insufficient Air Exchange or Poor Ventilation
If you have ever stepped inside a home that’s been vacant for a long period of time, you will recognize the smell of stagnant air. If you rarely run your air conditioning or don’t open your windows very often, you could end up with that stagnant smell in your home. Insufficient air exchange isn’t just limited to your home as a whole. There are certain areas, specifically closets, where if the door has remained closed for a long period of time there won’t be any kind of
air exchange and that can cause a stagnant odor that smells musty. The solution to this problem is quite easy. You have to make sure that you have proper ventilation throughout the home. This may include installing louver doors, keeping doors open, opening windows and turning on the air-conditioning.
Whilst a foul odor in your home is unpleasant in its own right, it can also be a telltale sign that there is a more serious underlying problem. If you smell something strange in your home, look out for one of the issues described in this article. It is important to deal with problems like damp or mold as early as possible to stop the issue from spiraling out of control.