What Is That Smell In My House Or In My Vehicle?


What Is That Smell In My House Or In My Vehicle?

Have you ever walked into your home or sat in your vehicle and said, “What’s that smell?”   You have no idea where it is coming from, but you just want it eliminated?  Have you ever experienced the embarrassment of a guest asking that question? Nobody wants to have a smelly house or car!

You may try to open your windows, burn a few candles, or spray an air freshener all over your home or in your vehicle to try and “air it out”, hoping it will improve.  Unfortunately, steps like these are only temporary solutions if the source is not removed or treated properly.  Bio-One of Knoxville Metro can help you locate the source and help remediate the smell.  

There are many types of hidden odors that can linger in spaces and on surfaces.  A few examples are smoke odors, pet accident odors, skunks or other rodent odors, stagnant water odors, raw sewage odors from leaks, rotten food odors, mold and odors caused from hoarding.

Particles left behind by smoke can settle into dust and onto surfaces throughout your home or car.  Carcinogens known to cause cancer are found not only in secondhand smoke, but also in particles of lingering odor smokers leave behind.


Ammonia from cat or dog urine is not only a pungent, putrid smell, but also a lung irritant.  Inhalation of large/concentrated quantities can cause burning of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract, irritation of the eyes or skin, and feelings of lightheadedness. Pet urine, dander, and odors can become embedded in furniture, carpet, upholstery in vehicles and homes– and can even cause damage your home’s subfloors if it goes unnoticed and untreated.


Skunks have their own powerful, unique smell that is difficult to remediate.  Other odors from rodent waste such as mouse urine/feces can also be a culprit.  Finding and eliminating the rodents and their wastes are important steps in removing the odors caused by them. 


Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and insect-related diseases such as Legionnaires, encephalitis, malaria, dengue, and other diarrheal diseases.  Water leaks that go unnoticed in homes can also cause mold and mildew and rot of the home structure or foundation.  Leaks in roof, window seals or rusted floorboards of vehicles can also create a damp and musty odor in vehicles.  Mold itself can cause unpleasant odors and have potential harmful effects on your health.  Professional testing can be administered to identify and remediate mold.   In addition to stagnant water, sewage leaks can produce a “rotten egg” smell composed of not only sewer gases but actual molecules of fecal matter. 


Food particles or food items that expire, or get left out, or that fall to the floor or in hard-to-reach places can rot and cause an unpleasant aroma that permeates your house or vehicle, even when you do not see it.  Sometimes large furniture items and stoves and refrigerators must be pulled out and the walls and floors scrubbed and sanitized.  Removal of all expired foods is helpful, but sometimes special cleaning agents are needed to clean the unseen microscopic particles to eliminate the cause of the odor completely.


A home or a vehicle occupied by someone who hoards  can also produce unpleasant odors.  There are many contributors (such as those listed above) that can exist concurrently, compounding the intensity of the scents and the difficulties removing them.  The first step to helping remediate smells associated with hoarding is to clean out the hoarded materials.  We work closely and compassionately with people suffering from hoarding disorder.  Our goal is to help make the environment safe and healthy for you to live in. 



Bio-One of Knoxville Metro has the technicians trained to seek out and remediate foul and embarrassing odors quickly and for good! Our specialized chemicals and processes will have you breathing easier in no time!  Call for your free estimate to eliminate an odor in your home or vehicle today! (865) 399-2979.