Identifying Common Smells in Your House

Gabby MartinOdor Removal, Residential & Commercial


  • Commonly Reported Bad House Smells

  • Cat Smells in House

  • Mold Smell in House

  • Dead Body Smell in House

  • Rotten Egg Smell in House

  • Who Can You Call?

Identifying Household Smells

Each house generally has its own distinct aroma. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Everything from our habits to our possessions to our family members and lifestyles can play a role in the underlying smells our homes develop over time.

However, there are occasions when our houses downright stink, and that's when something clearly has to be done. In order to remove lingering smells from your home, you will first need to identify what the smell is and where it might be coming from.

We're not necessarily talking about short-term smells. If you cook with onions and garlic or have a group of middle school boys stay over for the weekend, you'll naturally be dealing with some short-term issues. With those sorts of smells, however, it's easy come, easy go.

Here, we're talking instead about the sort of mysterious, long-term smells that linger for weeks or even months. Because they're persistent, they'll need to be the focus of some equally persistent attention if they're ever going to go away.

Commonly Reported Bad House Smells

In our twenty years of remediating biohazards from homes, we have heard (and smelled!) it all. In some cases, homeowners are aware of where the smell came from. In others, they're not. Either way, we've found a way to help.

Of course, there are a wide variety of house smells that people deal with, but these are the most common issues we generally see:

  • Pet urine
  • Gas smell
  • Musty smell
  • Dead body smell
  • Fish/burning plastic smell

Although these smells can be troubling and overwhelming, they're not permanent. Today we'll be discussing some of the most common smells from this list and discussing how you can seek effective solutions to deal with them once and for all.

Cat Smell in House

Over 25% of all American households keep cats as pets. That means upwards of 58 million homes are potentially dealing with a lingering cat aroma in the house.

Dealing with lingering cat smells isn't always a simple matter of keeping the litter box clean or making sure to dust and keep the cat hair down. Even after turning to drastic measures like replacing furniture and carpets, people have been known to have to deal with pet urine smells long term. That's because "cleaning up" pet urine often involves simply dealing with the top layer, not the underlying materials through which the urine has soaked. 

Of course, it's also possible to have a cat smell without having a cat. If you're not the first owner or renter in the space where you're currently living, you could be dealing with smells leftover from the former residents. This is frustrating, but you have options to deal with it. Calling a professional cleaning service may be a wise step.

Did you know?

Not all "cat-like" smells actually originate from cats! You could actually be dealing with certain cases of mold, including some dangerous, toxic black molds. Suffice to say, if you smell a "cat smell" but don't have a cat, you should contact us as soon as possible.

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Mold Smell in House

Most houses have a bit of mold growing here and there; however, when the mold begins to grow and spread, you could find yourself in trouble. Unchecked mold growth in the house can damage your property and cause you health problems as well.

Fortunately, you don't have to deal with excessive mold growth by yourself. Scheduling a professional to start the mold removal process will allow you to leverage professional labor and expertise to solve the problem.

Dead Body Smell in House

When someone dies at home, the house should always be properly and professionally cleaned. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, and when you buy a home, it's very likely that you won't know. It happens all the time.

Take Chris Butler, who only found out he was buying Jeffrey Dahmer's home during the closing. So, how can you tell? Trust your nose. The nose-brain physiology and its links to emotional trauma are well-tuned. The lingering aromas of decomposition, which our brains immediately relate to the smell of death, can lead to ongoing emotional distress.

If a death scene isn't properly cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized professionally, yes, human decomposition smells will linger or even return. These "phantom smells" can trigger negative emotional responses and lead to ongoing trauma, especially those battling anxiety and clinical depression.

The smell of death is very distinct. If you believe the home was improperly cleaned, you're probably right.

Help is available.

We're here to help you assess the situation and eradicate lingering dead body smells once and for all.

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Rotten Egg Smell in House

There are several causes of a rotten egg smell in the house. Naturally, you may actually have rotten eggs in the kitchen. Barring that, there are a few other reasons.

The lingering smell could be due to one of these causes:

  • Fridge or freezer failure. Whether your refrigeration filter has failed, bacteria is growing in your water lines, or your freezer has become contaminated with spoiled edibles, fridge/freezer failures can quickly lead to the emanation of a rotten egg smell. A few simple sniff tests in the appropriate areas should be effective in helping you determine whether your fridge and/or freezer is a root cause of your home's rotten egg smell.
  • Sulfide gas. Often, sewer problems masquerade as rotten egg smells. Check to see if the smell of sulfide gas is emanating from your drains or if it increases when you start running the tap. Though these plumbing issues may be simple or complicated, nearly all of them require calling in a professional.

While the rotten egg smell can be overwhelming, it's generally easy to solve once the proper cause has been identified.

Who Do I Call for a Bad Smell In My House?

We're a nationwide odor removal, disinfection, and blood clean-up company of over 30 years. You're always welcome to call us if your house is suffering from unusual odors. We're prepared to help, immediately, regardless of where you're located.

First, try to identify the source of the smell, then describe the smell. The more information you're able to gather on your own, the better we'll be able to help you when you call.

You don't need to identify the source if the lingering aroma you're dealing with smells like a dead body. In fact, if you suspect that might be the odor, it's critical to leave the house right away. Exposure to dead body smells can cause psychological torment, emotional trauma, and put you at risk of physical illness.

Call For More Information

No matter the smell, we'll help you identify the source.
Contact us 24/7 for a consultation with one of our trained biohazard cleanup technicians.
A professional is standing by to help you.

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