The Reason, Your House, Smells Like Sewer When It Rains In San Diego
You may think that the foul-smelling odor is caused by a backed-up sewer and try to chase it down with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Or, if something large like a tree root has burst through your line, you may call a plumber right away for help. However, these efforts aren’t always successful at removing the smell.
The reasons your house smells like sewer when it rains are more complicated than you might think — and sometimes, they’re not as harmful as you might have feared! We talked with two experts to find out why your basement smells like sewage during rainy weather and how long it could last.
First of all:
What does a sewer smell like?
You Have A Pipe Leak
When it rains, the weight of all that water can cause your sewer lines to shift either up or down. If you have older pipes, they may also shift back and forth as well as up and down — causing cracks in the mortar holding them together. When these cracks open up or shift, dirty sewage seeps out and mingles with the clean rainwater outside.
This dirty mixture enters your basement through floor drains as well as sump pump wells — just like clean rainwater would — and causes that awful smell we’re so familiar with when it rains or after a big storm!
The Good News:
You don’t need to replace your entire sewer line if it’s only leaking a little bit. If you get your hands on enough of the right tools and parts, you can fix the problem yourself without spending an arm and a leg! However
It Could Be Mold Or Mildew Growth
Rainwater is full of spores and allergens like dust mites — even after heavy rainwater. Your basement, which often has limited ventilation, traps these spores when it rains. That means that mold and mildew can quickly grow in abundance — especially if you have any pipes or appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers or washer/dryer hookups. Every time it rains outside, mold growth gets worse in your house because all those spores get trapped indoors.
That explains why your basement smells like sewer when it rains — but how can you get rid of the smell?
Luckily, there are a few options:
1) A combination of basic cleaning with bleach or hydrogen peroxide and good ventilation can help to clear up most mildew growth after rainstorms.
2) If the problem is caused by excessive mold growth, you may need a stronger solution such as borax, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide combined with an enzyme-based cleaner.
3) Some companies sell products designed specifically for this type of odor removal. Ensure that any product you buy is mold/mildew-safe before using it in a contaminated area!