Is there an odd smell coming from your home? Whilst some odours can be unpleasant such as mouldy food or wet dog, they’re generally easy to trace and not too dangerous for our health. Meanwhile, other weird whiffs can be a clear sign of danger. Here are some smells to keep your nose out for in your home.

Musty Smells

Musty smells are generally a sign of damp. This could include clothing that hasn’t been dried properly or wet carpets from a leak. Mould will generally accompany dampness, which is something to look out for. Breathing in mould spores can cause a variety of respiratory problems. Fortunately, mould can be easily cleaned off with a sponge and hot water. To prevent it from occurring in your home, try to open windows regularly and consider buying a dehumidifier. Extractor fans can help to ventilate your home if your windows are insufficient.

If the musty smell is coming from the bathroom and there’s no mould present, it could be due to mould in the pipes. Sewerage blockages can also cause a nauseating musty sewerage smell in the bathroom which should be attended to as soon as possible, as toxic sewer gases could be rising up into your home.  


Rotten Eggs

An untraceable smell of rotten eggs is generally a gas leak – if you’ve got a gas cooker you’ll likely already be able to identify the smell. A gas leak could be coming from a boiler, a faulty hob or any pipe in the house. As soon as you get a whiff of this smell you should turn off the gas at the main switch, get out of the house and call up the gas plumbers to get it fixed. This gas could be highly flammable and a spark from an electrical socket could be enough to engulf the whole home in flames. If anything, you could be breathing in toxic carbon monoxide by staying indoors. 

Bitter Almonds

A hint of bitter almonds in the air could be the taste of cyanide. Not all of the population can detect this smell, but everyone should be wary of it as this toxin can be fatal. Cyanide is present in apple seeds and cigarette smoke, but this is not enough to kill you. Burning household plastics and artificial fabrics can sometimes cause cyanide fumes as these are more worth worrying about – get out of the house as soon as you detect this smell.

Fresh Paint

Many people love the smell of fresh paint, but you should always keep as many windows open as possible as this smell can be toxic. Chemicals known as VOCs in paint can be inhaled and cause headaches, nausea and even liver damage. Some paints are free of VOCs, but generally keeping your home well-ventilated should prevent you getting sick.


Odourless Toxins

There are some household toxins that you can’t see or smell. Radon is a notorious toxin that causes lung cancer. It comes up through the earth, entering homes through cracks in basements and foundations. It can generally escape through a home that is well ventilated (a radon test kit may be worth getting if you’ve been feeling unusually sick or dizzy).  Carbon monoxide meanwhile is most commonly found in a gas leak. Whilst you may be able to smell some gas leaks, others may be untraceable. It’s recommended that all homeowners install a carbon monoxide monitor to warn them of this gas.