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The Essential Guide to Tracking Down Foul Smells in Your Home

One of the most annoying problems around the home is an untraceable smell. Now, this smell may only rear its ugly head when a relative pays you a visit; sad but true, we all have a whiffy aunt, uncle, nan, grandad, or friend. Perhaps it only occurs under certain weather conditions, or at set times of day. It may be that the smell has nothing to do with your house at all. let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of olfactory discomfort.

External Pongs

If you are only detecting the smell at certain times of day, it may be that there is a factory or industrial unit nearby that carries out an odorous process at regular times. There are many industrial processes that produce exotic smells that are not harmful, but are not pleasant either. Talk to a neighbour down the street to see if they are experiencing the same thing. It may be that it only happens when the wind is blowing in a particular direction, so compare notes and see if they are suffering from the same problem as you.

Have you been outside and checked your drains lately? There is usually an open drain somewhere on the perimeter of houses, find yours and get on your knees for a good sniff. Do it in the dark, or your neighbours will think you are very strange indeed. If a foul smell is detected, locate the inspection cover for the drains; every property has one. Lift the cover and see what lies within the inspection pit. The pit should be empty, with entry and exit holes for sewage and water at the bottom. If, however, the inspection pit is full of liquids and solids that have not drained away fast enough, suspect a problem. It is at this point when a CCTV drain survey needs to be carried out to identify problems with the underground pipes. Drains are the number one cause of home stinks.

smells-at-homeCredit to Sonja Lovas

Internal Whiffs

Mold is a main cause of smells within the home. Pull the furniture away from walls and check behind it because there may be a bad case of rising damp lurking there. The damp can penetrate soft furnishings and carpets, creating a nasty odour.

Put your head in the sink and see how fresh it smells. It is common for people to put bleach or vinegar down the plug hole but to forget to apply it in the overflow, where bacteria breed like wildfire.

“My dog has no nose”
“How does he smell?”

When was the last time your pet had a bath? Wet dog is not a nice smell, and if they climb on the furniture, it will soon penetrate the fabric. Bath the dog regularly and keep it off the furniture at all costs, to eliminate doggy smells.

The refrigerator is a common place to track down that elusive stink. The problem often lies with a tin of food that is half empty, being pushed to the back of the top shelf in a low level fridge. It is out of sight unless one crouches down. Over a couple of weeks, mold fills the can and a rotten smell emanates from it. This is the time we all start to play the blame game; admit to nothing!

As you can see, most smells come from common problems. Once you have tracked them down, your sanity will start to return, and you can invite people in again. We complain about the slightest smell, but have to accept that our homes are cleaner than at any time in history, so don’t beat yourself up.

That’s it for today, I hope this will help you track down your own smell. If you find it follows you from room to room? Well, I will let you figure that out.


Guy Robert Hayenga

Robert is a regular author of Wine Home a home decorating blog. He loves to decorate his own home with sophisticated but simple style. Here he discussed how to decorate, how to clean, how to organize and lastly how to love your sweet home.

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