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Thinking About Renovating the Basement but There is a Strange Smell

If you happen to own a home with a basement, there’s a good chance that it was part of the decision-making process when you first got your home. A basement offers all kinds of additional living space and can be transformed and used in many different ways. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about finishing off or renovating your basement for years now and finally, the time has come. You have the finances ready to take it on, and you’ve got the available time, but there’s just one problem: there’s a very strange smell that keeps coming from the basement.

While an unpleasant smell in basement isn’t entirely unheard of, it doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Before you go ahead with any renovations, it’s wise to figure out what’s causing it and look for ways to fix it. One reason could point towards your sewer, which can create a very strong smell indeed. If you suspect the sewer could be to blame, then you’ll want to read on.

Man painting in a newly renovated basement.

Check If There is a Floor Drain

An unpleasant smell in the basement can be caused by all kinds of different thing. Common culprits include a musty odor from condensation or moisture getting in, pipes that are leaking, walls that are weeping and cause a musty odor all on their own, mildew, or inadequate airflow in a finished basement; even humidity can cause an odor. And that’s just the list of common causes; there are also many other things that can cause a smell.

So, in order to rule out all those causes and figure out if the sewer is to blame, you’ll need to check if your basement has a floor drain. If so, it could just be that your own plumbing isn’t to blame. Rather, it is the sewer itself.

Also, if your furnace gets condensation on it, then that water drains into the floor drain. Over time, this can start to develop an odor. Then again, if you don’t use the floor drain very often, it can dry out and cause a nasty smell.

What to Do About It?

Now that your floor drain has been identified as ground zero where the smell is concerned, it’s time to address it. You can start by mixing about a gallon of water with a fresh smelling household cleaner and then slowly pouring it down the drain. This will flush out any old standing water and it primes the trap. It’s basically refreshing the entire floor drain.

If this doesn’t do the trick, you may find it’s necessary to call in a plumber to take a look and diagnose the situation. The last thing you want to do is make it worse, so leaving it to the professionals is often the best course of action.

No Need to Just Accept It

When it comes to a stinky basement, there is absolutely no need to just accept it. An unpleasant smell means there is an issue that needs addressing and remedying, which will then ensure the space is much more comfortable to be in.