I have a light wet smell in my basement and I am trying to find the source of it ...not much luck so far. The basement is finished (by the previous owner) and as far as I could see behind the finished walls where the water meter is or under the stairs, it was done using expanded polystyrene, some plastic sheeting which I believe it is the vapor barrier. I am not sure if batt insulation was used or not.
Anyway, in short, I don't want (if possible) to open all the walls to find out what is going on. Is there any way to find out where the leak is without removing the drywall ?
Update: I have spoken with a civil engineer who explained me that the humidity circulates along gradient lines from wet do dry. The smell seems to originate from the furnace room. I had an old furnace that I just changed. The furnace room had a large opening outside, direct unobstructed opening for the old furnace to take in air. No pipe running from the old furnace to the opening. Now that opening is closed, they used that for the exhaust and air intake pipes for the new furnace. There were a couple of openings in the insulation so I guess the more humid air trapped between drywall/insulation/vapor barrier was getting out because the room was dryers hence the smell. I am not sure why the smell stopped as soon as the weather got colder and it diminished to a hardly detectable smell after the furnace was replaced. I am now watching to see what is next :-) If you have questions post a comment here and I will get back with details. I am still trying to understand why a weather change and blocking that opening changed the situation. It is also possible that the high efficiency furnace is able to better dry the air ...