Argonaut Newspaper

4 Tips for Addressing Common Household Smells

As homeowners, we must use all of our senses to keep our homes, and ourselves, safe. This sounds dire, but it’s true. It’s not enough just to keep an eye out for a loose wire, to listen for your refrigerator making a weird noise, or to run your hand along a wall to feel for dampness. Your sense of smell is just as important when it comes to keeping yourself safe. How can you identify a gas leak or mold without using your sense of smell to detect an odor? You can’t, and that’s the truth.

Using all of our senses is a great way to stay aware and safe. If you’re interested in how detecting odors or bad smells can impact your quality of life, read on.

1. Does the odor remind you of rotten eggs or sulfur?

There’s something very distinct about the odor of rotten eggs and sulfur that really sticks in your mind if you’ve ever smelled it. It’s ok to smell something like sulfur if you’re visiting hot springs or a national park with geysers. In your home, it’s a huge red flag.

If you smell something like sulfur, rotten eggs or even a skunk, be sure to investigate it right away. It could be something simple like actual rotten eggs in your fridge, or if you live in a rural area, an actual skunk spray in your yard. Those are annoyances, but not dangerous.

Indoors, it could also mean a gas leak in your furnace, which is extremely dangerous. If natural gas is leaking out of your furnace through your vents, you need to open the windows and get outside right away, as any spark could cause an explosion. Call a technician once you’re safely at a distance.

2. Do you know how to identify the odor of any other gas leak?

Your stove can also leak gas, and so can your car. If your exhaust pipe is clogged, for instance, your car can fill with carbon monoxide, which is lethal. Your stove’s gas has a scent added to it, which manifests itself as a bad smell so that homeowners can recognize if there’s a gas leak. Carbon monoxide from your car is lethal if it fills your vehicle or garage, but so is the methane (a form of carbon monoxide) that comes out of your stove, and this type of leak is often accompanied by a hissing sound.

3. How should you handle mold or mildew?

Mold and mildew occur as a result of accumulated damp or leaks in the plumbing and can cause respiratory diseases. Mold spores or molecules can be very dangerous, especially to those with allergies. Fortunately, they are also accompanied by a bad smell that’s easy to recognize. In this case, as well, it’s important to speak to a professional. In some cases, mold can be eradicated with bleach, but not always.

You may be nervous about saying that you recognize the source of a bad smell with confidence, but it’s important that you don’t let negative self-talk stand in the way of alerting others to the stink. If you think that you have a self-esteem issue that may stand in the way of taking care of a dangerous odor, the first thing to do is look into things you can do to boost your confidence. Whether it’s affirmations or stepping outside your comfort zone, do what you have to do so that you can believe in yourself when the time comes.

4. If it’s a very unpleasant odor, it might be a dead animal.

This is a morbid thought that we all hope never to face, but it’s true, nevertheless. You’ll know the odor of a dead animal when you smell it, that distinct smell will be clear to you immediately whether you’ve encountered it or not. If you’ve recently laid poison for rats or other pests, or if you simply live in an area where small critters are liable to die near your property, this is something you’ll have to handle.

The best thing to do here is to take all kinds of precautions. You can call an expert to remove the animal and then scrub the area with ammonia and bleach, or you can take it out yourself. If you do it yourself, wear rubber gloves and wash all your clothes in hot water after.

It’s easy to use your sense of smell to take care of your home, although it may seem complex. If you recognize a strong smell, don’t let your fear of failure stand in your way. Reach out to a professional technician, and stay safe.