The smell of a person’s home can be as unique as the home or the person itself, and there are no two homes that smell exactly the same. Smells within a home can vary widely depending on the food that is cooked, cleaning and laundry products that are used, whether there are pets in the home, whether the inhabitants are smokers, and the list goes on. In the home inspection industry, unwelcome contaminants that alter the smell of a home are referred to as ‘malodors.’
Anything from smoke, char, mold, wet materials, sewage, pests, and mildew are all examples of things that can cause the development of unwelcome and unpleasant smells within a home. Whether you are preparing your home to be sold, are considering purchasing a home, or are simply wanting to eliminate unpleasant smells in your home, there are many things that can be done. Here are our best tips when it comes to removing unpleasant and unwanted smells from a home:
Identify the Smell
While this may seem obvious, it can often be one of the most difficult parts of odor remediation. In some cases, identifying the source of the odor is easy (such as tobacco smoke, or mold) and sometimes it can be more complex. This can also be difficult because it is common for smells to be experienced differently by different people.
Remove the Source
Once you have identified the source of the odor, the next step is to remove the source of the odor. Again, how involved this is will depend on what is causing the unpleasant smell. In some cases, this means removing rugs and carpets that cannot be salvaged or finding removing pests or deceased wildlife. In other cases, it can mean a more involved odor remediation plan, such as addressing smoke damage following a fire.
Do a Thorough Cleaning
Once you have identified and removed the source of the odor, you are well on your way toward eliminating the odor from your home. The next step involves a deep and thorough cleaning of the area, or ideally, the entire home. It is important to remember that using products that are heavily perfumed, including air fresheners and scented candles, will not be effective in eliminating the odor, they will only mask it.
The Power of Baking Soda
While there are so many products available to help remove unpleasant odors, they can be expensive and often release unpleasant smells of their own. Depending on the severity of the smell, baking soda can be incredibly effective. Leaving whole boxes of baking soda open in the area where the smell is most concentrated will allow the baking soda to absorb and trap the odor. Baking soda can also be sprinkled on carpets and rugs, used in laundry, and more.
Fresh Air & Ventilation
Even though you’ve removed the source of the odor and cleared the home thoroughly, the smell in your home may still linger. The best thing you can do at this point is open up all your windows, and use fans and air purifiers. Moving the air with the unpleasant smell out of your home and replacing it with clean, fresh, outdoor air will do wonders.
Ask an Expert
If all of the above tips fail, it’s time to call an expert. Home inspectors are experts when it comes to identifying, removing, and eliminating unpleasant odors in residential homes. Not only will a home inspector be able to identify the source of the smell, but they will also be able to provide you with their best advice on how to eliminate the odor completely. Working with an experienced home inspector means you won’t waste time on methods that don’t work, or struggling to identify the source of the smell, which can save you lots of money and stress in the long run.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to unpleasant odors in a home, the solution for removing them isn’t always black and white. It is important to correctly identify the source or the smell in order to effectively remove the odor, and this can often be the most difficult part of the process. Hiring a licensed and experienced home inspector is often the best option when it comes to odor remediation. At Building Insights, we bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table and pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and experience. Contact Building Insights today for a free quote or to book your home inspection today!