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Cure Your Basement Odor

Having odor in the home isn’t just displeasing to your nose. The two main causes for the odor is mold and mildew accumulation that can be harmful to your health (allergy and asthma are two main conditions caused by undetected mold). This is not a problem that should be ignored, especially if you are trying to maintain the integrity of the home for years to come or are trying to sell it in the future. No matter how lovely the home is staged on higher levels, once your guests open the basement door and catch a whiff, they will know what the smell represents; Water! Mold and mildew smells coming from your basement are likely caused by condensation, leaking, and poor ventilation. Luckily, this problem can be remedied fairly easily. Check out these tips.

Air It Out

The musty basement smell is strongest in spring and fall when utilities aren’t running and in the winter when windows are closed. Poor ventilation of the basement is how the smell permeates each square inch. The first thing you can do is buy a humidifier to remove moisture and dry the place out. Open all windows and doors in the vicinity of the basement in hopes it will tame the smell.

Inspect

Put on your home inspector hat because you are going to examine both the inside of the basement and outside the home around the perimeter of the foundation. Inside look for water spots that indicate leakage, cracks in the foundation, or actual mold. Look at exposed pipes to see if they are dripping or wet with condensation. These should be wrapped in a wrap product specifically made for the purpose. Note what you see and call a professional to make repairs immediately before severe damage is done to the foundation. The problems are likely from the outside where you will examine next. The land around the home should slope away so that rain water is drained away from the home instead of down the foundation walls. Even water soaking into the dirt and penetrating the home’s concrete can cause cracks and damage. See if you have an adequate and clean gutter system doing its job. Gutter down spouts should extend at least 6 feet from the home’s foundation.

Get Rid Of The Smells Long Term

To get rid of the smells long term you will need to apply several of these tips. Wear a mask as you use a water and bleach solution to spray and clean every surface of the basement to kill any harmful mold that has grown. Mold may not be visible, but is still there so I would not skip this important step. If you have any closets or tight enclosed places in your basement, kitty litter makes a great odor eliminator in these areas. White vinegar scattered around in bowls will eliminate odor over a period of a few days. The smell of vinegar will also go away. For long term odor eliminating, leave open containers of baking soda in the basement just as you would for the fridge. The baking soda boxes can assist in odor elimination up to 3 months.

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Instances You Should Call Your Plumber Immediately

Some plumbing issues are minor nuisances that you might ignore for a while until it bothers you too much. A leaky faucet, a slow drain, a running toilet that you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop, are examples of potentially minor plumbing issues. Some plumbing issues require attention immediately before they turn into a disaster. Keep your plumber’s number handy if you notice these potential problems:

Leaks

 

Any signs of leaks such as water spots on ceilings or walls or under your sinks should be taken care of immediately. Catching a leak early may result in just needing to dry out the wet surfaces.

Leaking Water Heater

 

You probably don’t look at your water heater often so if you do see water around it take action now. It could be a crack in the internal tank. A small puddle can turn into gallons of water damaging walls and floors. Water heaters have limited life spans. Frequent inspections and maintenance is good practice.

A big Increase In Your Water Bill

 

This could indicate a leak in your underground pipes. It could be from a constantly running toilet that you never use or a leak in a part of your house that you don’t frequent.

Sewer Gas Smell

 

You’ll need a plumber if you have cracks in your sewer lines. Some sewer gas problems are easy to solve such as keeping the water level up in your drain traps by pouring a cup of water down the drain.

Mold and Mildew

 

Look out for mold and mildew on any surfaces. Check in closets and back of cabinets. A leak can go undetected for a long time and grow mold in a widespread area.

A Wet Spongy Lawn

 

A wet lawn when the weather has been dry could indicate an exterior water main leak.

Frozen Pipes

 

Thawing your pipes as soon as possible can prevent a burst pipe resulting in flooding. Your plumber can thaw your pipes and help you to prevent it from happening again.
 A good thing to do right now is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn the water off to the whole house in case of an emergency. If you have an instance that you need to call a plumber, it might be a good time to get a complete plumbing inspection to prevent other instances.
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How your Trees could be Affecting your Plumbing 

Though mature trees add shade and beauty to landscapes their roots can affect your plumbing. Roots grow into sewer pipes because they contain essential elements for tree growth like oxygen, water, and nutrients. This leads to expensive maintenance costs of the pipes. Tree roots growing on parkways and private property often cause damage to sewer pipes and sanitary sewer backup services. This commonly affects homeowners who have no idea of the potential problems until it is too late to maintain their laterals.

How do Tree Roots Affect Your Plumbing Pipes?

Tree roots usually grow through sewer pipe openings like loose joints and crack in the pipes. These openings release vapor to the cooler soil around the pipe allowing tree roots to grow toward the vapor’s source. Once inside the pipe, roots will grow further in order to reach more moisture and plentiful nutrients. If they are not disturbed, the roots will eventually fully block the pipes with (hair-like) root masses. The masses trap oils, grit (FOGG), grease, tissue paper, household fats, and other material discharged from the residence.

Maintenance of Plumbing Pipes

Homeowners need to do regular maintenance of the sewer pipes to avoid blockage. You can notice problems in the system by checking on the pipes for slow flowing drains. If you hear gurgling noises from the toilet bowls, you should take immediate action because this is one of the first signs of a system with slow-flowing drainage. A complete blockage occurs if no action is taken to remove the blockage or roots.

The continuous growth of roots inside the pipe expands and exerts considerable force at the point of entry. The pressure exerted on the joint and crack can break the pipe and result to the pipe’s total collapse. This structural damage of the pipes due to severe root intrusion is far much worse for it will require full replacement of the system pipes.

Planting along Plumbing Pipes

Homeowners should be able to locate their sewer cleanout pipe and laterals and avoid planting hedges and trees close to the sewer line for easier maintenance and prevent any future damage. To minimize root intrusion, trees should be planted more than 10-feet from the sewer lines. Furthermore, homeowners should select small, slow-growing plant species with root systems that are less aggressive, and replace them before they grow too large than their planting area.

Cleaning Plumbing Pipes

If the blockage is caused by roots in your laterals, you need to clean your sewer laterals regularly using root saws, augers and high-pressure which are very effective in removing the roots. Try to maintain your sewer laterals as much as possible to keep them structurally sound avoiding entry of roots. You can hire a plumber to check on the condition of your sewer lateral and do any repairs if necessary.

If you need your trees cut down you can go to KnoxvillesTreeService.com