Smelly basement after waterproofing

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  #1  
Old 08-08-10, 10:02 PM
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Smelly basement after waterproofing

Hello,
This is my first post on this web site. I am actually posting this question on behalf of my parents who 2 years ago had a company waterproof their basement. There is now a pump in one of the corners of their basement, but the problem is that their basement smells horrible, unless they leave the door leading down open....they even cut holes in the first floor citing that the basement needed to circulate air....however, if they leave their basement door closed for any long period of time, it will still smell horrible.....it's smells like sewage almost. For whatever odd reason, my parents don't seem interested in having it addressed.....this doesn't seem right to me at all....the house I leave in is waterproofed, and it doesn't smell at all like this. What is wrong with their particular basement/setup?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-09-10, 12:25 AM
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Location: New England
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Hi bg and welcome to the forum.
All basements will experience a negative pressure where warm air escapes the upper regions of a home and thus pulls in replacement air from the lower areas. If there is any connection to the sewer system that is not protected by a water filled trap, it will be pulling in sewer gas. Unused traps will dry out over time so a sink, an old washer hook up, or even a floor drain that should not have been connected but was, can be the source.

Checking the relative humidity, it will tell you if it is a mold issue, should be under 50%. Often basements require a dehumidifier.

There are gas detection meters and they are not terribly expensive. A rental supply might have one. Methane gas is easily detected, same as propane or natural gas.

Are they connected to a public sewer system of private? I have seen sewer leaks find their way back along the sewer pipe into the foundation area.

You should convince them to track the problem down, it is a health issue that doesn't need to be there.

Good luck
Bud
 
  #3  
Old 08-09-10, 12:35 PM
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They have a well....the washer and dryer is in the basement as well, and they do have some type of hole in the basement floor with a pump for the washer and a big wash sink they have down there.

Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi bg and welcome to the forum.
All basements will experience a negative pressure where warm air escapes the upper regions of a home and thus pulls in replacement air from the lower areas. If there is any connection to the sewer system that is not protected by a water filled trap, it will be pulling in sewer gas. Unused traps will dry out over time so a sink, an old washer hook up, or even a floor drain that should not have been connected but was, can be the source.

Checking the relative humidity, it will tell you if it is a mold issue, should be under 50%. Often basements require a dehumidifier.

There are gas detection meters and they are not terribly expensive. A rental supply might have one. Methane gas is easily detected, same as propane or natural gas.

Are they connected to a public sewer system of private? I have seen sewer leaks find their way back along the sewer pipe into the foundation area.

You should convince them to track the problem down, it is a health issue that doesn't need to be there.

Good luck
Bud
 
  #4  
Old 08-09-10, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Posts: 222
There is usually a floor drain, it should have a p-trap, and these floor drains tend to have the water evaporate. When that happens you smell the sewer. If that's what's happenning, pour some water in to refil the p-trap. If that doesn't fix it, it might be one of the other problems the other poster mentioned.
 
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