Home Repair & Maintenance Ideas and Tips

Home Maintenance Tips to Avoid Spooky Sounds and Strange Smells

It’s no fantom. It’s a sign that you need to perform some routine maintenance on your house. Learn more.

homeowner-odor.jpg

As the days grow shorter and Halloween approaches, you may be noticing that your home is plagued with weird smells and creepy noises. It’s not a ghost, ghoul or demon. It’s a sign that you need to perform some routine maintenance on your house. Here’s a spooky home maintenance checklist to help you deal with some otherworldly home repairs.

Moaning and Rattling of Chains

That’s not the ghost of Jacob Marley — it’s most likely your radiators banging and knocking. This is usually the result of trapped air in the system, and it’s not something you have to put up with. Simply have your heating system serviced to eliminate the banging and knocking.

Don’t have a boiler? Don’t call up the Ghostbusters just yet. The rattling and moaning you hear may be the sound of wind blowing over plumbing and clothes dryer vents on your home’s exterior. The rattling you hear is likely the sound of dampers in the vents moving in the wind.

A Stench of Decomposing Matter

If you smell something rotten in your home, it’s most likely your garbage disposal or dishwasher. You should be able to follow your nose to narrow it down. 

Odors in both locations are pretty easy to address. Clean your garbage disposal regularly to eliminate and manage odors. Cleaning your dishwasher may be more involved, but keeping it spotless will eliminate any scary odors.

Things Going Bump in the Night

It’s not uncommon to hear creaks and pops in the night, especially in the fall when days are still warm but nights turn cold, causing the materials in your home to expand during the day and contract at night. All of the materials your home is built of — nails, wood, plumbing pipes, ductwork — expand and contract at different rates, which can cause friction and noises. They’re perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Sulphur Smells of the Great Beyond

If you smell a rotten-egg, sulfurous odor in your house, though, that is something to be worried about. It means you have a natural gas leak, and that can be dangerous. Your natural gas provider should have an emergency number you can call to report leaks and get assistance, but the first thing you should do is get everyone out of the house and a safe distance away. Next, call 911, then call the gas company. On your way out the door, don’t do anything that might cause a spark, like flipping off light switches. Be careful about shutting off the whole-house gas valve — it’s okay if you know the gas has just started leaking, but otherwise, it may not be safe. Stay out of the home until it’s been cleared for safety.

Something in the Attic

Are you hearing footsteps and movement in the attic? It’s probably not a ghost. No, it’s almost definitely some squirrels, or perhaps a raccoon. You’d be surprised at how much noise a couple of small animals can make in the echo chamber that is your unfinished attic space. 

If you think you have animals in your attic, it’s best to call an animal removal specialist. That way you don’t risk getting scratched or bitten, and having to get a rabies shot. After the animals have been removed, you can go about covering holes in the soffit, roof vents, and rafter that could let critters in. Trim any trees that hang over the property and serve as a welcome mat for squirrels.

Smoke, but No Fire

Are you smelling phantom smoke, with no sign of a fire? It’s not an eerie, paranormal reminder of eternal punishment in the afterlife. It’s probably a draft from your chimney, which can happen if the seal on your damper has been compromised. The draft can carry burning smells from your chimney and from the air outside, making you smell smoke even when nothing is on fire.

Fortunately, you can fix this by repairing the seal on your damper. If that doesn’t do it, add more cold air return ducts on your HVAC. This will balance out the air pressure inside your home with that outside, so you’ll no longer have negative indoor air pressure sucking in drafts.

Spooky sounds and smells in a home are pretty common, but most are easy to address — especially when you have American Home Shield® on your side. Get your home warranty coverage today.

DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Learn more.