Often, people notice a damp smell in their basement and know that it is coming from the ground. But does damp smell indicate a potential problem? Read on to find out more about this popular question.
What causes damp smell in basement?
- Water-related problems
Water damage to the basement is the most common cause of damp smell. A water-damaged room should have a distinct odor, resembling sewage. It may be stronger at night or when it rains.
- Mold growth
If you live in a damp area, including basements, it is not surprising that mold sometimes grows there due to excess moisture. A moldy smell may be coming from your basement and will get stronger when it rains or if temperatures are high. You can learn more about it in damp basement smell guide of mold prevention.
- Sewer gas
A rotten egg smell may be a sign of sewer gas, which is caused by the decomposition of organic material in the sewer line. It is usually detected during rainy weather when the pressure in the sewer line decreases, allowing odor to escape into your basement. Sewer gas problems are a common cause of mold growth, especially if not properly remedied.
Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas, which can cause lung cancer as you are breathing it. Radon gas can be measured using a testing kit. If the level of radon is found to be high in your basement and the house has a cracked foundation, you may need to take action to lower the radon levels.
- Sub-slab drainage
If your basement is used for a non-living purpose and becomes wet, such as a swimming pool or hot tub, the moisture will cause damage to the sub-floor through which it travels. In this case, you may notice that your flooring has deteriorated and there is a damp smell with a musty smell coming from your basement.
- Soil change
In some cases, soil in your basement can change without any obvious reason. When the ground below is marshy, it can be a source of damp smell.
- Pest infestation
A pest such as termites may attack your basement from the inside, causing damage and thus a damp smell.
- Water leaking or leaking pipe
There can be moisture in your basement that is caused by leaking water pipe or leaking pipe.
- Poor Air Circulation
Air circulation in the room is poor, which increases the chance of mold growth. You can improve air circulation by installing a fan, adding more windows and venting your basement to the outside.
- Combustible gas leak
The smell of gas may be a sign of natural gas, propane or kerosene leak from one or more appliances, such as water heater or furnace.