3 Household Smells That Should Raise Alarm Bells

I’ve been told by a few of my friends who are parents that when it comes to children, having boys is a sure way to guarantee your house will smell like farts.

Since I was once a young boy myself, my natural instinct is to jump to the defence of all male youngsters. A house that smells of farts is much better than some of the other smells than you might encounter in your house… LOL.

On a serious note, here are some smells that you should look into immediately as a homeowner if you want to save yourself from a serious mess, for your wallet as well as your nose!

1. Funky Sewage Funk

If you smell sewage in your home, first of all check that your basement hasn’t flooded from a blocked or backed up main drain.

Once you’ve checked it out, inspect all of the drains in your house – sinks, tubs and showers. Sewer gases can back up into your home as a result of the p-traps drying up.

Before you recoil in revolt, no, P-traps are not designed to trap pee lol!

P-traps are located under every drain and are designed to trap a small amount of water in the drainpipe, which prevents sewer gases from entering your home.

If there’s a sink or tub that hasn’t had water run through it in a while, there’s a good chance the water in the trap has evaporated and is no longer preventing gases from backing up. Simply open the faucets to fill up any dry traps.

2. Musty Odors & Moldy Scents

If you smell a musty or mouldy odour, the first thing you should do is immediately wash all the sports equipment in the house and hit it with some disinfectant!

If the smell persists then you better start looking for damp areas in your house because the cost to repair a leak can only increase over time and the cost to your families health can be even more damaging.


Basements are the most likely place you’ll find water since it’s the lowest point of the house. Water can come from several places; eavestroughs, foundations, sewers and pipes – each has it’s own repair.


Bathrooms are also a likely culprit. Check around toilets, tubs, showers and sinks. Often the fix can be a simple matter of applying a fresh coat of caulking or tightening a bolt.

If you’re bathroom is on the top floor of your house and the fan vents through the attic, it’s possible the duct that travels through the attic isn’t insulated. Look for water staining around the fan as an indication of this problem.

3. Rotten Egg Smell

I’d expect to discover a leftover chocolate Easter egg to be lying around, but a forgotten egg just hanging out at your house? Man, I hope not. If you smell rotten eggs, it should raise a major alarm. While it could be sewer gas backing up into the house, it could also be a gas leak which is a million times more dangerous.

Manufacturers add a chemical to natural gas and propane to give it a distinctive and unpleasing odour.

If you smell rotten eggs, don’t touch anything, don’t turn any lights on or off. Just step out of the house, call your city services number as well as a trusted plumber and HVAC company.

If you smell something funny in your house take it seriously and locate the problem, but hopefully its just some smelly boys.

Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian is the principal owner of Clovis Contracting, host of HGTV Canada's Save My Reno, and a resident home renovation and DIY expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. He believes everyone should strive to understand the mechanics of their home, tackle home improvement projects while at the same time being able to identify when it’s necessary to call in a professional.
Sebastian Clovis

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