Odors

Air sampling used for odor testing and identification

One of the most complex services we offer is odor investigation. If you have a strange odor and you gave up trying to figure it out yourself, we are here to help.  Call Indoor Science at (312) 920-9393 to discuss our odor testing services (or if you are from the UK, odour testing services!)

 

What is that odor?

Our consultants have an uncanny ability to identify offending odors. Solving odor problems involves some advanced tools and some simple ones. The most important tool is the human nose, but it certainly has limitations. Typically, people call our company when they have failed to identify it just by the sense of smell. Odors can be frustrating to find and you may need a little help with odor testing.

 

Identifying a pattern

Indoor Science will help you identify a pattern for the odor.  Perhaps the odor is strongest in the morning, or on a rainy day, or maybe a sunny day.  Each of those is a clue to the underlying cause.  We will inquire about the frequency of the odor too.  Is the odor intermittent or is it the same strength throughout the day?  Identifying a pattern can take time, but it is an important step in odor identification.  We may recommend keeping a log of odor strength and contributing factors such as the operation of the HVAC system or weather outside.  It is also important to map out areas in the space where the odor is strong and faint.

Questions? Call us now at 312.920.9393

 

Characterizing the Odor

One person’s foul odor is another’s fragrance.  Odors are very subjective and we often lack words in our vocabulary to properly characterize odors.  Here are some words that may help you better describe to us the odor you are experiencing:

  • Rotten egg
  • Musty
  • Fishy
  • Skunk
  • Natural gas (mercaptans)
  • Chemical
  • Dirty socks
  • Stale air
  • Body odor
  • Sweet
  • Urine
  • Ammonia-like
  • Rotten
  • Gasoline
  • Ozone
  • Plastic
  • Vomit
  • Pungent
  • Solvent
  • Petroleum
  • Sharp
  • Smoky
  • Sewer gas
  • Putrid
  • Something burning
  • Metallic

The better you can characterize the odor, the better we can hunt down the source during our odor investigation.

 

How do we perform odor testing?

Each odor is unique, so we will start by asking you questions about the nature of the odor.  We’ll use smoke pencils, combustible gas meters, photoionization detectors, manometers, and multi-gas detectors to name a few. With intermittent odors, we may depressurize the space or try other methods to create a worst-case scenario.

Because we have responded to so many odor complaints, we can often notice the odor immediately, without needing to do any complex tests!  You can read more about identifying odors in our blog post, “What is that terrible odor?

 

What does it cost?

Call us today at (312) 920-9393 to describe your odor issue. We will provide you with a customized quote for your project.