Getting to the Bottom of That Foul Basement SmellMold and mildew, trapped sewer water and inadequate plumbing can plague basements, resulting in a foul basement smell. While perfumed sprays can provide temporarily relief, the core problem may be causing structural damage in the meantime. Identify the source of the foul basement smell quickly and rid your home of the off-putting odor.

Check for signs of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew thrive in spaces that are moist. Water and moisture can seep in through small cracks in walls, windows and floors, or leaks in pipes. Getting rid of the musty smell caused by mold and mildew involves investing in a humidifier, sealing cracks and leaks, and throwing away absorbent materials that may retain water and hold mold spores. If the problem is severe, you may need to seek professional remediation.

Lift the water trap under the floor drain. Over time, the water in these traps evaporates, allowing sewer gas to fill the room. To eliminate this odor, refill the trap with fresh water. Add several tablespoons of cooking oil to create a seal that will prevent the water from evaporating as quickly next time. Also see if the cleanout plug is missing by removing the grate that covers the floor drain opening. If it is gone, buy a replacement plug to prevent sewer gas from bypassing the water trap.

Examine for signs of a sewer gas leak. If it smells like garbage, rotten eggs or feces, you may have a bigger problem on your hands. This odor is generally the result of a build-up of waste materials found in a septic system or public sewer system. It may be caused by a crack or clog in the plumbing system itself, or a crack or clog n the venting pipes. Sewer gas problems are generally extensive and can be very serious if not dealt with promptly. Call a professional to find a solution for your foul basement smell.

Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing has provided efficient and affordable home comfort solutions to the Greater Indianapolis area for more than 40 years. For help eliminating your home of a foul basement smell, contact us today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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