Could That Must Odor Mean Leaks In Your Home.

12 Sep

Could That Must Odor Mean Leaks In Your Home. It doesn’t matter if your home is old or new, a basement can become damp and musty due to cracks in walls, humidity, and condensation. Visible cracks aren’t as easy to repair as problems with condensation and basement humidity, but you may be able to find and repair the source of basement dampness yourself – if the cause of the dampness and musty odor isn’t too serious. Even minor cracks are easy to repair.

A musty odor might only be noticed during certain times of the year. The odors usually go unnoticed during the winter when the furnace is running and might not be apparent during the summer months when the air conditioning is pulling humidity out of the home. A musty odor coming from the basement is most often noticed in spring and fall when utilities aren’t running and the windows are closed.

The first step is to find the source of dampness creating the musty odor but keep in mind there may be more than one source of dampness that could be causing the odor.


Basement pipes can become covered in condensation especially during summer months. The condensation builds on cold water pipes until it runs down the pipes or drips onto the basement floor. Cold water pipes covered in condensation can definitely create a musty odor in the basement.  The best way to prevent and control musty basement odors caused by cold water pipes is to cover the pipes with an insulated pipe wrap.


A humid basement, even without the appearance of obvious dampness, can cause a musty odor. If there doesn’t appear to be leaks in your basement try operating a dehumidifier. Most basements hold a lot of humidity anyway so consider attaching a hose to the dehumidifier and allow the excess moisture to drain into a working sump pump pit or a basement drain.

Leaking Pipes

What may appear to be condensation could in fact be a leaky basement water pipe.  Wipe condensation from water pipes and check pipe seams for slow leaks. You may only need epoxy compound to repair a slowly leaking pipe, however, if you suspect any leaks at all, call a plumber to inspect the problem.


Cracks in concrete or cinder block basement walls aren’t uncommon. Even newer homes can develop cracks in basement walls that sometimes begin to leak. The leaks cause dampness which naturally creates a musty odor, but don’t panic if your basement wall has developed a crack. A restoration specialist may be able to patch it successfully and easily from the inside and patching a crack in a basement wall isn’t as difficult as you would think. The success of the patch will depend on whether or not the crack is active; an active crack will continue to widen and spread.

Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Any suspected leaks or cracks should be investigated and patched before the problem worsens.

About the Author:  Millie Gil has been a successful Florida Licensed Real Estate agent for over 25 years.  Millie is Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group, a boutique agency committed to concierge personalized service for discerning buyers, sellers and renters of residential and commercial properties.  For real estate service and information please forward your request to

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One Response to “Could That Must Odor Mean Leaks In Your Home.”


  1. What could be wrong with the central air conditioning? | Daytona Beach Air Conditioning - September 14, 2011

    […] We had our unit off for about a week while out of town. When we got back the inside unit seemed to turn on but no air was blowing. The pipes were frozen. A repair man came and said that the unit has a leak because it’s very low on the refridgerant. He said he can add 2 pounds and recharge it but the best solution is to get a new unit – but he did say the brand in our home is cheap stuff. Does it sound like he is right or scamming us in some way (I’m always leary of having repairs). He said 90% of the time it is within the inside unit and too difficult to find the leak. Mouse here for Related LinksCould That Must Odor Mean Leaks In Your Home. […]

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