Nobody wants their home to smell. Usually, you can wipe down your surfaces, throw away any expired food in the fridge, spray some air freshener, and enjoy a fresh-smelling home. But what should you do when this approach does not work? Stubborn, unexplained odors can drive you crazy and make you feel ashamed to have friends visit you at home. Rather than continuing to live with the stench, you need to get to the bottom of the issue. The following are four possible explanations for your constant, unexplained odors.
1. Clogged and Dirty Drains
If the odors seem most noticeable in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or any other room with a sink, then look to the drain. Even if the drain is still draining well, there may be mold, algae, and other grime growing in the drain. These organisms often release foul odors, which become even more noticeable whenever you turn on the water and get them moist.
You can try to solve the stinky drain problem yourself by pouring a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda down the drain. If this does not help, call a company like Complete Plumbing for drain cleaning services. They have a specialized piece of equipment called a hydrojet that they can send down the drain to clear away any grime and buildup. The grime that gets loosened just gets rinsed down the drain, so you don't have to deal with it.
Smelly odors are actually one of the most often overlooked signs of a cockroach infestation. Roaches are excellent at hiding, especially in the early stages of an infestation when there are not as many bugs present. They give off an oily, gross odor that might remind you of sweaty gym shorts or laundry that sat too long before being washed.
Take a walk through your basement and kitchen to look for other signs of roaches. If you see piles of brown material that look like coffee grounds, these may be roach feces. If you see thin shreds that look like dead skin, these could be wings that the young roaches shed. Since cockroaches are tough to get rid of, the best approach is to call a licensed exterminator. Make sure you also have a plumber repair any leaks in your pipes; leaks can attract roaches, since roaches thrive in moist areas.
3. Dirty Carpet
Carpet is another common source of lingering odors. Vacuuming really only removes dust from the carpet. Smelly oils and bacteria get left behind and ground more deeply into the carpet fibers over time. Keep in mind that a carpet does not have to look dirty to be smelly. If it has been more than a year since you've had your carpet cleaned, scheduling a shampooing sessions is a good first step towards a better-smelling home.
4. Rodents in the Ducts and Attic
Rodent urine and feces can also cause unwelcome, constant odors in your home. Many people assume that if they do not see a rat or a mouse, they do not have a rodent problem. However, rodents often build nests in the walls, attic, and basement where you may not see them unless you go looking for them.
An easy way to find out if you have rats or mice is to set a trap. If you catch one, you know there are more where it came from! Have an exterminator come address the rodents, and then hire a professional cleaning team to come sanitize the area where the rodents were nesting. Otherwise, the remaining feces and urine will continue to make your home smell.
If you're having a tough time getting rid of odors, consider the possibility that it's caused by rodents, dirty drains, dirty carpet, or roaches. Take action, and your home will smell a lot nicer soon!