Case Studies

Basement Waterproofing Case Studies: Musty Odors in a Callao, VA Basement

Monday, April 20th, 2020 by Erin Dougherty


This homeowner contacted us about musty odors in the basement of their rental property.

At the inspection, we found that the existing sump pump in the basement was in a sump pit. The pit was not airtight and allowing moisture to rise into the air. There was some peeling and chipping of paint on the walls indicating that there was a moisture problem in the space.

At this time, the homeowner did not want to install a complete perimeter drainage system but did want to upgrade their sump pump and control the humidity in the basement to eliminate the musty odors.



They chose to remove the old sump pit, which was allowing moisture and contributing to the mildew, must odors they were experiencing. We installed a TripleSafe Sump System in its place. The TripleSafe is a system of three pumps, a 1/3 horsepower, 1/2 horsepower, and UltraSump Battery Back-up. The 1/3 HP pump is the primary sump that does most of the work. When the 1/3 HP cannot keep up or if it fails, the ½ HP will kick in. In the instance that the power fails or breaker trips, the UltraSump will take over protecting the basement. The pumps sit inside the TripleSafe sump pump basin, which is surrounded by rock creating a drainage plane. The pumps sit on stands keeping them off of the bottom of the basin and protecting them from clogging due to any silt or sediment that may fin its way in. The lid to the TripleSafe is airtight, preventing water vapor and odors from rising out of the basin and into the basement. It also contains a WaterWatch alarm that sounds if the water levels inside the basin rise too high to alert you if there is a problem before the basement floods. The lid also contains a float that activates in case of a pipe burst or plumbing leak resulting in bulk water on the basement floor. The float activates when water flows over top of it, and when the water is gone, it settles and creates an airtight seal again. The pump drains away from the home to a spot designated on the property by the homeowner.

They also opted to install a SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier to address any excess moisture in the space. The SaniDry Sedona is designed to pull the excess moisture from the air and circulate dry air through the basement to maintain relative humidity below 55%. The Sedona is typically set to turn on at 55% relative humidity, keeping the air below the 60% that allows microbial growth to occur.

The TripleSafe and Sedona will help this homeowner control the moisture and humidity in the basement and address the musty odors. The TripleSafe can later be tied into a perimeter drainage system if the homeowner has any concerns about water seeping into the basement.

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Toano, VA 23168

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Toano, VA 23168
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