As your home ages, you might notice problems such as strange odors and structural damage that must be addressed.
When odors come from within closed spaces, such as walls and ceilings, it is often difficult to determine the cause. Ammonia-like odors have a variety of causes, such as mold growth, which can damage your home and cause serious health problems for those exposed to mold spores.
Strong odors inside your home sometimes are an indication that you have a problem with mold. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, mold growth produces a variety of odors from earthy or musty to a foul stench. An ammonia-like odor after a period of rain could be caused by mold. Water promotes mold growth, and odors from mold are more noticeable when the area is wet.
If you smell mold inside your home, you must remove it at once to avoid damage to your home and adverse health effects.
Another possible cause of ammonia-like odors inside your home is cat urine. Normally, cat urine has a weak ammonia odor. Cats that have bacterial infections generally produce a stronger ammonia-like scent. If you have cats inside your home, it is possible their urine near baseboards or underneath furniture could be causing the smell inside your home. Examine your walls to determine if you have mold growth. Mold can be hidden beneath wallpaper and paint, so it might be difficult to diagnose.
Mold looks similar to paint splotches in green, black or gray scattered across the surface it is growing on. If mold growth is present, the drywall might be damaged because mold digests materials such as wood and drywall as time goes on. Walls with water stains often have mold growth, because moisture is necessary for mold spores to germinate. If mold is not present, the odor could be caused by cats living in your home.
A Hard Lesson Learned About Cellulose Insulation Installation
Search your baseboards and carpets for urine stains to determine if this is the cause of the odor. Mold growth significant enough to cause a noticeable foul odor could be damaging to your health. People with prolonged exposure to mold spores can have difficulty breathing or begin wheezing. Those with preexisting respiratory conditions such as asthma could have more severe symptoms and an increase in the frequency of asthma attacks.
Your home might also be damaged from mold growth and require expensive repairs. If cat urine is causing a strong ammonia-like odor inside your home, it is best to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to be sure no underlying infections are the cause of the foul odor.
Homeowners who find mold growing anywhere must remove it as soon as possible.
FEMA recommends homeowners have growth larger than 25 square feet removed by a mold remediation specialist. If the area of mold growth is fairly small, you can scrub it away with liquid dish detergent and water. Chlorine bleach and water can be used if your wall is heavily stained with mold. Dry the area thoroughly after removing the mold. After the mold is gone, you must determine the source of moisture and repair it to keep mold from returning. Most mold on interior walls is caused by leaks in the roof.
If the moldy area covers most of your wall, it might be caused by excessive humidity inside your home. You can reduce indoor humidity levels by installing ventilation fans in your bathrooms and kitchens. Running a dehumidifier during the hot, humid summer also keeps humidity levels at normal range.
Tracy Hodge has been a professional writer since She currently writes content for various websites, specializing in health and fitness. Hodge also does ghostwriting projects for books, as well as poetry pieces. She has studied nutrition extensively, especially bodybuilding diets and nutritional supplements. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Mold growth could be hidden underneath paint and wallpaper.In fact, with tight, energy efficient homes, this has become even more of an issue.
First, let me address the energy efficient house issue. Every modern home should have one of these. During the winter, mice and other critters want to come in from the cold and live in your home.
In my area, the field mice flood in ever winter. Invariably, some of these will die in your house, leading to a horrific smell.
The only solution is to take a good flashlight and follow your nose. If the dead animal smell seems to be everywhere in the house, open the air handler and look for dead rodents. We all know that stink. Sometimes the smell will disappear, other times it will remain for days. You might be the victim of sewer gasses!
In most homes, the problem may be as simple as a dried out sink trap. This is supposed to be filled with water. If the trap is empty or too low, the odors in your drains, which are all connected together, waft out into your home, leading to the ungodly stink. If you discover that the odor comes from your drain, simply run the water for a few seconds to fill the trap.
Once the odor has diminished, this should prevent more odors from coming back in. If the sink is in an infrequently used room, like a guest bathroom, the trap may be drying out by simple evaporation. You can greatly reduce the evaporation by adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the trap after filling it up with water. You want a thin layer of oil on the surface of the water to prevent evaporation.
As a side note — if you plan on leaving your house for a while, like going on vacation, add some oil to every drain in the house to keep the traps from drying out.Spray foam insulation is a booming industry. In other words, the marketing machine is so strong, the truth has been wiped out off the internet. All you need to do is publish enough propaganda to push everything in Google to page 2.
The marketing message is hidden over many steps. By triangulate I mean to look for several independent info sources describing the same thing. Where does this belief come from? In internet and various in-print publications spray foam is glorified as the perfect thing to do when you renovate or build a new home.
But it all makes sense for the installer who promises you huge energy savings and quotes an unbelievable sum for the project, not telling you the truth about what you are really getting into. The industry makes sure no main-stream media will report anything negative. Check out this article Chemicals in spray polyurethane foam: How can something so toxic be considered green?
The typical paint type odor of spray foam comes from isocyanates, which are very reactive and known to cause cancer and other health problems. Spray foam is typically mixed on site! Unlike your IKEA mattress or pink XPS board extruded polystyrene that come from well-controlled factory environments, spray foam installers mix the chemicals on site at the tip of their spray foam gun when the chemicals are sprayed out and hit the wall or ceiling.
By the way XPS boards also off-gas for some time. Why is there off-gassing? When the chemicals that are to make up the foam are mixed together in a factory, a well-controlled environment, some in-balances between two pairs of chemicals say you have too much A or too much B leave reactive chemicals inside the material. In other words, A and B are to fully connect, but some A has escaped and now there is too much B, or vice versa, and now B gets trapped inside the foam.
Isocyanates can become trapped in the foam and then slowly react with moisture in the air or other chemicals in the foam. Slowly these substances are given off to the surrounding air…. In other words, your spray foam will stink, perhaps not enough for you to smell it; that depends on the person.
But the off-gassing is likely to go on indefinitely at varying levels. The chemicals are supposed to be kept in a certain temperature and pressure range. The surrounding air at the project site needs to be in a certain temperature range and humidity range. Too much or too little of one or the other will cause different chemical reactions. Also the wood that the spray foam is sprayed on needs to be dry and warm within certain ranges. The house itself needs to be ventilated well during the process and for 24 hours afterwards.
Then during application, spray foam might not stick well for many reasons. The industry prefers to blame the installer for everything. Just like if you buy crappy windows that leak from day one, they will blame your installer, too. When you raise children, you mind has to be in negativity mode.Well, I rushed in to get my attic insulated. Below is my story, and at the end are 10 great tips that I learned the hard way about Click to Read More Whoever thought getting insulation was so complicated?
It is a shame that we have to do all this careful investigation, but take it from me, it is worth it: it can save your health, your family, and your wallet. Happy home improvement. HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate.
With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting allen healthyhouseinstitute. Each contact will receive a respectful reply. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.
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Make Your Home Energy Efficient. I had a few extra dollars and decided to upgrade my home with cellulose attic Click to Read More I called a licensed company that had 43 pretty good reviews on Yelp how could I go wrong? They said my attic looked good to blow insulation in today — right over everything else on my attic floor — including rat feces, old insulation, old debris, and 50 years of dust. I repeatedly asked them if that was ok, and they assured me that it was. Cellulose insulation is comprised of loose-fill shredded paper that is usually treated with various chemicals to help prevent rodents, mold, and fire.
The installer I hired said what he was using was non-toxic, and he would cut down on dust by misting it with Click to Read More It all sounded great to me. The installers were in and out in an hour, and I had 10 inches of blown-in cellulose insulation in my attic. Lucky me, so I thought. I could even smell it when I stepped outside my house.
They said it would go away in a day, 2 days tops. A few days later, it still smelled, so I called and he said it will go away in a week at the longest. He continued to assure me that what I was breathing was non-toxic and not to worry. About a week into living with a dead fish smell on a daily basis, I became sick.
As the smell continued, so did my phone calls to the installer. He became annoyed and said my house probably has air leaks from the attic into the house. Air Leaks? What was thatand why is he telling me this weeks after he installed?You need to login to reply to this topic. Please click here to login. Latest News. Our Sponsors. Recent Comments.
Ammonia Smell in New Construction We are building a new house and it has come up with a strange very strong ammonia smell in the basement.
The basement was poured in June and the box sills were sprayed January the smell didn't start until maybe March or so. The smell seems to be strongest in the two unfinished rooms of the basement only rooms where foam is not covered by drywall. One room has the sump pit and pump. The other room holds the furnace, injector pit and sewer main entrance to the house.
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. We should be moving in within the month, but with the smell we can't. How does the foam look? Is it all the same uniform color? Are there any places that look different than the rest? Where is the house located? It appears fine as far as we can tell and i believe it is uniform in color. We haven't yet, but will i am sure they probably won't have any idea. We are located in central Illinois. I guess the unstated question is what is on the walls of the rooms where the rims were sprayed.The Forum is a free service, and much like the "free" content on Public Radio, we hope you will support WoodenBoat by subscribing to this fabulous magazine.
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OK, I haven't "seen" a mold causing this The two different places both got wet when we had quite a bit of rain and hatches were open. In both cases soaked and in both cases strong cat pee smell immediately.
One place the plywood has a synthetic tile on top of it bedded with a silicone sealant and the other place the plywood is sealed with Smith's CPES but the top material some teak hasn't been installed over it. I know that ammonia smell as we've owned cats but I also know my own cat never had any opportunities to anoint these particular locations and he died about a year ago. I also suspect a mold because last year cat already passed we had a smell of ammonia in some bedding and clothes that we hadn't used and I ended up doing lots of laundry to make sure the smell was gone.
With no cat in the boat, it was a real mystery and now this "new" smell is also a mystery. Any clues? Appreciate anyone with similar experience letting me in on what this could be.Home remedies for urinary tract infection or UTI (urine infection)
What we're doing now-- with the boat and the Schooner Chandlery. Dunno about Meranti, but there are no shortage of woods with unpleasant aromas. Yellow Cedar smells musty, and both holly and boxwood smell as you describe I also recently visited a renovation jobsite having OSB subfoors that were badly stained with what must have been dried-up pet urine, because after an hour of steaming wallpaper, the ammonia and formaldehyde fumes from all that phenol glue were most impressive.
I wouldn't assume mold. Could be the meranti or one of its adhesive's chemical components. Might be the silcone you used to bed the tile. Might be the tile itself since you said it was some sort of synthetic material.
I'd say get it dried out and see if the smell goes away. Michael D. Is there insulation under the sub? Insulation of the fiberglass variety can often smell like that. No insulation and the smell is already going away as the wood is drying up. It is still damp in the location where there is just the plywood and it smells more than the location where the tile is.
The tile location only smells in one spot where I had a small bucket sitting and it was wet under the bucket. We have used the exact same Meranti plywood in a variety of places and none of the other stuff stinks when it gets wet though.
We are beginning to wonder if one of the boatyard cats could have pee-ed on some of the plywood or somethings Sounds like the urethra breakdown of the plywood's formaldahyde glue deteriorating - or whatever that chemistry is. I've seen and smelled it before.
It's possible that the CPES not getting everywhere actually accelerated this. I agree with Ian on this one.Urine can vary in color — and smell — based on the amount of waste products as well as fluids you take in over the course of the day. However, there are some out-of-the-ordinary smells that may indicate you need to seek medical treatment. One such example is a sweet smell to the urine, which can indicate excess glucose blood sugar in the urine.
Another is the smell of ammonia, which has a strong, chemical-like smell. However, if the urine becomes more concentrated — meaning there is a greater amount of waste products in relation to fluids — the urine is more likely to smell like ammonia.
Urea is one of the waste products found in urine. Therefore, many conditions that result in concentrated urine can cause urine that smells like ammonia. Stones in the bladder or kidneys can build up due to excess waste products in the bladder. Additional symptoms of bladder stones include:.
Bladder stones themselves can be caused by a variety of conditions. Learn more about bladder stones. Not having enough fluid circulating in the body means the kidneys are more likely to hold onto water, yet release waste products. As a result, the urine may be more concentrated and smell like ammonia. Learn more about dehydration. A bladder infection or other infection impacting the urinary tract can lead to urine that smells like ammonia.
Other symptoms associated with a UTI include:. In most cases UTIs are caused by bacteria. Learn more about UTIs. Sometimes urine smells like ammonia due to a unique combination of foods. You may need to drink more water to dilute your urine.
However, if your symptoms are accompanied by pain or potential signs of infection, such as a fever, then you should see a doctor. Your doctor will use these responses to consider the next diagnostic tests.
They may also ask for a urine test. The urine sample is sent to a laboratory and then tested for the presence of bacteria, blood, or pieces of a bladder or kidney stone or other waste components. Usually this test, along with a description of your symptoms, can help a doctor diagnose the cause for urine that smells like ammonia. Your doctor may also order imaging studies where they test for abnormalities in the kidneys, bladder, or other areas that could be affecting the urine.