Ooh That Smell! Condo Sewage Pipes Leaking!

S.S. from Illinois writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

The condo I live in was originally an apartment building. They were built in 1968 and converted to condos in 1978. My husband has lived here in our unit since 1978. Recently I have noticed a ‘sewage smell’ coming from the main bathroom. I smelled the drain in bathtub and sink but the smell is stronger coming from the cabinet where the hole for the pipes are. What can I do about it? My husband can’t smell very well but he CAN smell this.

Mister Condo replies:

S.S., I am sorry you are living with a sewage smell. That stinks! If you were to take a look at your condo’s documents, I am guessing that you own from the walls or the paint inwards, meaning leaking pipes and such that are part of the building’s inner guts are owned by the association. If an association pipe has failed, the association needs to make the repair. You report this to the Board or the Property Management company if you have one. What you are describing is not uncommon but it may be a new problem for your building. There are plenty of contractors in your area who will know just how to fix the problem. Your management company or Board simply needs to get one in there and fix the leak. There are times in older building where pipes have to be retrofitted or rejuvenated which can be quite costly but that cost is a shared expense of the association because it is a common element that needs the repair. I hope they get that fixed for you soon. Good luck!

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