You should take note of a strong attic smell in your home! It is common for unpleasant smells to begin infiltrating other areas of your residence. A potentially more serious problem is that the foul odors can be warning signs of other more profound issues. Whatever the cause, when you detect a foul odor, it's best to take a serious look at improving your attic ventilation. Keep reading for common causes of bad attic odors — and how having efficient, well-maintained attic ventilation can help prevent them.

Wet Insulation

Attic insulation can get damp when there is excessive air moisture, causing condensation to drip from different areas. During the winter, warm air will naturally rise into the attic; if the cold air causes it to cool fast enough, moisture will form. Not only will this cause a nasty smell, but wet insulation won’t function correctly and possibly require replacement. If you’re worried about this, consider the added expense of your current energy bills due to the reduced energy efficiency in your home.

Depending on how long the insulation has been wet, you could need an extensive replacement. To prevent this from happening again, you should frequently ensure your ventilation is working sufficiently.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Attics and basements are the most common places for mold and mildew to grow. Insulation that was improperly installed and an unbalanced attic ventilation system can lead to the growth of these fungi, causing a musty smell. This is where ventilation plays its most significant part. When vents are improperly covered with insulation, moist air is prevented from leaving the attic through the ridge or other exhaust vents. This creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. While insulation is essential in keeping your home warm during cold months, when improperly installed, it will block the vents and hinder airflow.

Your attic might also need more ventilation capacity for the air it needs to enter and leave. This will lead to stale air, a significant cause of condensation and mold. 



Unfortunately, it's common for sneaky animals to gain access to your home through openings near the basement or roof and eventually reach the attic. Gaps in your window frames or near ducts are also crucial points where pesky critters can enter. Their living habits create a pretty foul odor in your attic.

Also, some of these animals could die inside your house. Dead animals like mice and rats decompose quickly, creating an unpleasant, sulfur-like scent. If you detect a strong odor from the attic similar to that description, it's imperative to find the source quickly as it can attract other unwanted pests and insects. 


About XL Contracting

At XL Contracting, roofing is second nature. We are a family-run, locally-based business company that makes one promise to our customers: quality craftsmanship at a fair price. If you notice a scent coming from your attic, don’t wait. Schedule a FREE roof inspection with us today or visit our website!