Investigate any unpleasant smells or noises coming from your bathroom sink drain, says Frank Lesh, owner of Home Sweet Home Inspection Company in Indian Head Park, Ill. Gurgling may be caused by a blockage you can remove with a snake or plunger. If a sink is smelly but you don’t use it frequently, the water in the U-shaped pipe underneath may have dried out, allowing methane gas into the room. Try pouring a quart of water down the drain and airing out the room for a couple of hours. If the smell goes away, Lesh has a simple fix: pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil down the drain, which will keep the water from evaporating and should solve your problem.
But if smells or noises persist, call a plumber to investigate your vent pipe. It may have become blocked by debris or nesting animals.
Your basement or crawlspace is usually the coolest spot in the house because of the insulating effect of the ground. That means that warm, moist air coming inside condenses on surfaces, including your pipes, causing dripping or sweating. Besides being annoying, dripping raises the humidity level in the house and increases the chances for mold growth. To reduce this problem, make sure all vents to the outside are closed, and add foam pipe insulation to the parts of the pipes you can reach.
Dead space near the kitchen’s entrance was put to good use as a serving buffet made from pine planks and plumbing supplies. The project was created and installed in two days and cost less than $250 in materials.