There’s a Strong, Nasty Odor in My Walls. What Should I Do?

Although unpleasant to think about, on occasion, strong nasty odors are caused by animals dying and decaying in ductwork – the system that delivers the air you breathe.

Ailing rodents, squirrels, birds, and other wild critters seek out warm, dark enclosures when they sense the end is near. Most commonly, they end up in the attic, behind a wall, in a crawl space, under the floor or just about any other nook and cranny in the home.

First, locate the source of the smell. Follow your nose to where the odor is strongest.  

  • Concentrate your sniffing around nearby heating and cooling grates in the room where the odor seems strongest. If the odor seems to be emanating from the vents, it is likely a dead animal is in the ductwork, or near your furnace fan or air return.
  • Sniff along the walls, floor, and ceiling, if vents are not the culprit. If a rotting carcass lies behind the walls, the smell will seep through wood, sheetrock, and other seemingly impenetrable household barriers.

Second, call a professional. If the problem is successfully located, a professional can remove the critter and seal out additional unwelcome guests. If unsuccessful, a professional can also help you locate the critter using special equipment, including an inspection camera, to investigate less accessible areas. All openings should be found and sealed to prevent additional unwelcome guests.

Remember, leaky ducts not only provide gateways for unwelcome house guests, they waste energy and your money. Call us for more information about our duct cleaning and sealing services at (978) 540-8676 .

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