HomeHome improvementHouse Smells Like Skunk And Burnt Rubber. Is It Dangerous Or Not?

House Smells Like Skunk And Burnt Rubber. Is It Dangerous Or Not?

Is the skunk smell in the house dangerous? Let’s say you notice a horrible odour or stench in your house. The odour may be described as ‘skunky’ or smelling like burnt rubber. There is, however, a minimal possibility that a skunk will appear on your property overnight. This implies that the skunk smell could be possibly caused by a gas leak.

Therefore, it is critical to figure out the cause of the stink. The odour could be caused by a skunk, but the chances are low. 

Unfortunately, it’s most likely a natural gas or sewer gas leak. Natural gas is odourless, however, it can often combine with chemical compounds and emit a skunk stench. Sewer gas, on the other hand, smells like rotten eggs. This ‘rotten egg’ smell is caused by hydrogen sulphide and is easily identified.

Skunk or Gas Leak? Let’s Find Out

Is your home stinking of skunk and burning rubber? If yes then why wait, rather you must rush to find the source of this stench. 

Identifying the cause of the smell must be your priority. It will make it easier for you to decide the next course of action. Without accurate information, you may misjudge the odour and put yourself and your family at risk.

Here’s how you can identify the cause of the skunk smell in your house:

  1. Gas Leak – If there are very few chances of skunks frequenting your property, chances are there is a gas leak in your home. In this case, you must check your kitchen, drains, bathroom, basin, and sink. There might also be a gas leak from the HVAC system. Natural gas mixed with mercaptan compounds yields a skunk-like smell. The mercaptan is added on purpose to alert people of a leak by sensing the pungent smell. While sewer gas has a rotten egg-like smell because of hydrogen sulphide.
  1. Skunk spray – The various other factors that may contribute to emanating a skunk-like smell include:
  • You may have sprayed pet spray on furniture or some room in the house, 
  • The smell may also emanate from a dead animal carcass on your property, 
  • or skunks actually turning up near your property. In this case, it’s better to let animal control deal with the skunk sighting.

That being said, if your house smells like skunk, the most likely scenario is a gas leak. And in this situation, you must take some firm action. You must promptly notify all members of the house and evacuate the premises for safety reasons. 

In addition, you must notify the local gas company of a probable gas leak. If not addressed soon and being ignorant of the situation for long could put you at risk of a devastating explosion.

Why Does My House Smell Like Skunk And Burnt Rubber?

Since natural gas is commonly used in households, there is probably a leak. Also, this smell could be attributed to a hydrogen sulfide leak. As air is heavier than natural gas, the latter can easily disperse throughout the house.

The rubber-burning smell may also be an outcome of electrical malfunctioning. For instance, something overheating and thereby resulting in the melting of an electrical appliance’s rubber or plastic casing.

Furthermore, here are the potential sources of skunk smell release:

  • Gas pipes or any pipes in general that connect to your home’s main gas line may have a rupture.
  • Drainage systems in your house, the kitchen sink, and the wash basin may have ripped off leading to hydrogen sulphide gas release.
  • The HVAC unit or the HVAC vent may smell like skunk because of methyl mercaptan release which can seep into your ductwork.
  • There might be a ruptured pipe in the heat exchanger of your HVAC system.
  • There might be a dead animal carcass stuck in the ventilation shaft of your HVAC unit.

Is The Skunk Smell In The House Dangerous?

Yes, the smell of skunk in the house is dangerous. If it is an actual skunk, you run the risk of intense irritation, nausea and vomiting. Your pets may also react adversely to a skunk spray.

However, what’s more dangerous is the skunk-like smell. This is because most people fail to identify the cause behind the smell. Therefore, it is advisable to do frequent checks of your gas pipes and HVAC systems to avoid running into this mess. 

A natural gas leak poses a significant fire risk. Since it is highly flammable, even a small spark or puff of smoke can cause an explosion, resulting in fatalities and substantial loss of property.

Sewer gas, on the other hand, emits hydrogen sulfide and is also a combustible gas. The discharge of hydrogen sulphide in your home atmosphere, whether in large or low concentrations, can have serious repercussions. It has been linked to eye, nose, throat, and lung problems.

Moreover, in higher concentrations, it can make one vulnerable to a variety of diseases, including

  • Dizziness,
  • Headache,
  • Memory loss, 
  • and sometimes can even lead to death. 

What About A Skunk Smell In The House At Night?

Skunks are nocturnal animals, which means they are active at night, thus they are more likely to prowl around your property at night. So if you sense a skunk smell in the house at night, it may indeed be a skunk.

The skunk’s smell protects it from potential predators. It may perceive you or your pet as a predator and release the smell. In this instance, you should look for symptoms of skunk spray on your pet.

Remember that skunks are attracted to food, so make sure you properly dispose of your food waste. If you suspect a skunk sighting, it is essential to double-check your disposal and drainage systems.

Skunk Smell In A Single Room: What Does It Mean?

Skunk smell in a single room in your house may more clearly indicate sewer gas or hydrogen sulphide outbreak. In contrast to natural gas, which spreads rapidly, sewer gas concentrates in one location and takes time to fill the surrounding area. However, an HVAC unit may speed up the dissemination of the sewer gas.

The rotten egg or skunk scent is caused by hydrogen sulphide only. This is generated by decomposing organic waste that accumulates in toilets and drainage systems over time.

One way to avoid a sewer gas leak is to frequently check the disposal and drainage in your house.

A phenomenon which indicates a sewer gas leak is a dry tap. The organic material builds up, decomposes in the drains and releases toxic methane. When the methane mixes with water, it releases the skunk odour. This might be the cause of the skunk smell in just one room of your house.

Furthermore, a specific area of your home may also smell like a skunk. And this could occur as a result of the release of sulfur in your water supply. In this circumstance, contacting your water supplier is the best way out.

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Wrapping Up: Quick Identification Of Skunk Smell Can Avoid Accidents

Quick identification is key when it comes to the skunk smell in the house. It is risky to ignore the situation. After all, the culprit could be a gas leak. While a skunk may very well be occupying your property, it is also possible that you are set up for a gas leak.

A skunk smell in the house is dangerous. It is better to notify local authorities such as the gas company. Furthermore, if it concerns gas leaks, prevention is better than cure. Thus, to avoid such aftermaths, you should do frequent inspections of your home’s gas pipes and HVAC systems.

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