06:44AM | 10/04/07
Member Since: 07/24/07
1 lifetime posts
I recently bought an old house with an unfinished basement. There are few signs of water leaking and they look old, the most recent rain didn't produce any water in the basement. There is an old, musty smell in the basement and it seems to be humid. One issue I believe is the sump. It seems to be normal in this area to drain the washing machine into the sump and the lid on the sump is a damp piece of wood which covers most of the hole. Question: how do I get rid of the smell? Is the sump the culprit? Could I clean the sump and make a new cover that completely covers the sump? Any help is appreciated.

Thank you

Richard Lange


01:38PM | 10/04/07
Member Since: 03/03/05
273 lifetime posts
Since I cannot be there to smell what you are smelling, I would have to make an educated guess. Most likely you have either an bacterial or mold growth, or both. Most likely it is mold that is causing the smell. You seem to have all the needed factors for mold growth.

This next segment was taken from Boston Mold Blog.

Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (mVOCs)

Some compounds produced by molds are volatile and are released directly into the air. These are known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). Because these compounds often have strong and/or unpleasant odors, they can be the source of odors associated with molds. Exposure to mVOCs from molds has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Research on MVOCs is still in the early phase.

How do you rid your basement of the smell? Well, remove the mold and the cause of it.

I have written about this many times in this forum, so do a search on this site to learn more. You can read more about DYI and Mold Basics at the follow ing links.

Mold Basics

DYI Mold

Good luck!


01:45PM | 10/04/07
Member Since: 03/03/05
273 lifetime posts
Again, it is hard to give you advice without seeing your situation. They do make sump enclosured that include a twist fit cover and I have also seen snap fit covers too. You can install one of these systems with little effort.

However, unless you kill the mold you have, the mold will continue to grow and spores are still in the air. You need to kill the mold on the surfaces and spores in the air.

It is unhealthy for you to work in the basement unless you kill the mold and spores in the air.


03:21PM | 11/15/07
Member Since: 11/14/07
2 lifetime posts
It is illegal to sell a home without disclosing a water problem...if it leaks call a lawyer not a waterproofer.
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