Trust Your Sense of Smell! These 4 Odors May be Warning Signs for Looming Indoor Air Problems

May 25, 2016

Walking through your front door and being greeted by the scent of freshly baked cookies immediately evokes a pleasant feeling. However, some odors you notice in your home may not be as enjoyable. It is best that you do not try to ignore them or cover them up. Your sense of smell may be warning you that there is an indoor air quality issue that is affecting your health.

There are four odors that you should never ignore:

#1 A Musty Odor

If you notice a musty smell in your home, odds are that you have mold. A leaky roof, faucet, old pipes, or a condensation buildup around your air conditioner may be to blame. Breathing in mold VOCs is dangerous for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. Mold grows in dark, damp spots and it may be difficult for you to locate the source. Trust your nose. Consult a mold specialist to deal with the musty smell.

#2 Rotten Eggs or Waste Water

A sewer gas leak contains toxic chemicals that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. If you detect the odor of rotten eggs, it may be due to a buildup of hydrogen sulfide from old pipes, a toilet, or a drain that has not been used in a while. This may cause sewer gas to leak into your house. Contact a licensed plumber to check out your piping and bathroom fixtures immediately.

#3 Stale Smoke

That stale smoke smell lingering in your house may pose more of a health threat than you think. If you smoked inside of your home in the past or suspect that a previous owner did, it is worth having your home air tested. Exposure to lingering chemicals from cigarette smoke can have an adverse effect on your health

#4 New Flooring and Paint Odors

While the smell of fresh paint or new flooring might not be as offensive as some other odors, the VOC’s and formaldehyde found in paint, laminate flooring, and the adhesives used to install carpeting and flooring can cause numerous health problems ranging from respiratory irritation to cancer. Always opt for low or no-VOC paints and choose natural flooring options. Air out your home before, during, and after any painting project or flooring installation. A Home Air Test can alert you to the presence of harmful VOC’s or formaldehyde if you have any suspicions that the paint or flooring in your home may be emitting dangerous toxins.