Identifying Odors from Water Damage

What’s the one thing various odors from water damage have in common? They’re hard to ignore. However, they can be important signals that alert you to both the type of flooding that has affected the house as well as delayed consequences that occur later. Odors from water damage may be immediately noticeable or may occur some time after the initial cause is resolved and water is removed. Some are directly related to the source of water that has inundated the house while others are an after-effect of bacterial and fungal growth that typically accompany water damage. Here are some common scents:

  • odors from water damageMuddy” smell. If outdoor flooding has inundated the home, you may notice the pungent, earthy fragrance associated with creeks and lakes. Most people instinctively recognize it. Once water damage specialists have completed full water extraction and utilized deodorants, the smell should dissipate quickly.
  • Sewage smell. If the water damage in your home is a result of a backed-up sewer, you will definitely note the penetrating odor of raw sewage as soon as it occurs. Since sewage is a toxic biohazard, that smell is a warning to avoid contact with the water and stay out of contaminated rooms. Consult professional water damage experts immediately. Sewage extraction and decontamination of affected areas, as well as specialized deodorants, will be required to make the house livable again.
  • Musty odors after the fact. Water contacting dormant mold spores triggers active mold growth. Airborne reproductive spores released by growing mold gradually fill the house with a musty smell — in addition to causing allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. The odor may vary according to relative humidity, but it typically does not subside and grows worse with time as mold contamination spreads. Professional recovery services must always be accompanied by testing and decontamination to detect and neutralize mold growth that inevitably occurs in the wake of water damage.

If you’re noticing odors from water damage, contact the experts at Rytech, Inc. for a professional opinion on the cause and cure.

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