Wednesday, 30 March 2016

5 Surprising Causes of Bad Odours in the Home

It's been almost 10 years since the smoking ban came into force in the UK and since then, people have been noticing other smells which had once been marred by the smell of smoke.  And so the big clean began! This is the same for our own homes.  But what could be the cause of these smells? Well, here’s 5 Surprising causes of bad odours in the home.

With numerous air fresheners, fabric sprays and carpet deodoriser on the market.  We’re more than likely to try and cover the smell than actually out what is causing it – and deal with it.

Unfortunately, identifying the root cause of a long-lasting odour can sometimes be a very difficult job. These five sources can create bad smells in even the cleanest of homes, but dealing with them once and for all is probably easier than you think.

1. Blocked drains

blocked drains

One of the biggest problems of smells and odours is your blocked drain. Who hasn’t been outside with a big stick and doing a bit of prodding and poking to get things moving again? One way of knowing if you have a blocked drain is the smell of a sulphur-like odour in your home that reminds you of eggs, there is a very good chance that the sewage pipes inside or under your property are blocked.

You can perform a very simple test to check if blocked drains are the cause of a smell in your home by pouring a tablespoon of peppermint oil down your toilet. If you can smell mint in other areas of your home, the chances are you’re dealing with a blockage or a leak.

While there are some excellent drain unblocking agents on the market, it’s probably best to call out a plumber in order to ascertain whether you’re dealing with a blockage or a leak.

2. Pets

Pets do tend to get the blame for a lot of things that happen in the home, but as a pet loving nation it is relatively easy for us to become immune to our pet odours. A particular problem is urine, as most cats and dogs will identify specific, often hidden areas of a home in which to do their business. Not only can your carpets and wood flooring retain urine odours, so can the padding or underlay underneath.

I’m not blaming the next case study on pets but recently Art of Clean cleaned a carpet at a property that has just been purchased. As the carpets were in really good condition with no signs of wear and tear or any smells, the new homeowners thought they would have the carpets cleaned instead of going to the hassle of purchasing new ones.   After the clean, a smell appeared. On closer inspection, we lifted carpet and realised that urine has been on carpet before, which had gone between the underlay and started produce mould spores on the wood. This is the reason why it smelt.

mould on floorboards

mould on floorboards

3. Decaying animals

Sad but true, unfortunately and this is the worst thought, animals, such as rodents, birds and pets getting stuck behind appliances, in chimneys and under floorboards and create terrible smells as they slowly decay.

If you notice something a-miss, have a check yourself before you call in pest control.  Of course the expert services of an exterminator may be necessary in order to track down dead animals in the more inaccessible areas of your property.

4. Bathroom misses

Particularly if you have children in your home, the chances of urine collecting on the floors and walls around your toilet basins is high. The best way to deal with this issue is by proactive cleaning. Don’t wait for smells to waft their way around your home. Instead, clean the outside of your toilet bowl, the floors around it and all the surfaces that are within reach of careless children.

5. Mould

Not all mould is visible. There might be clothes, furniture and general belongings in your home that have picked up a musty smell.

You can minimise accumulations of mould by storing clothes and personal belongings in sealed plastic boxes. It is also very important to minimise humidity in your home. 

Keeping things as dry as possible will often be enough to prevent bad smells from developing, but you might need the expert opinion and services of a builder if a bad mould odour persists.

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