If sewer odors permeate your home, check the flashing around the plumbing system's vent pipe for holes. The vent pipe, also called a stack vent, is used to release dangerous sewer gases out of the home's plumbing system and circulate fresh air into the system to keep it clean. If the pipe deteriorates from rust or water damage, it can't circulate fresh air through your plumbing system, which builds up with harmful gases that back up in the bathroom and kitchen. You can repair the problem with the tips below.

Buy Mastic Liquid Sealant and Tape

To repair the damaged vent pipe correctly, you'll need to purchase a caulk gun, a large container of mastic liquid sealant and large roll of mastic tape. Mastic is a tough, durable material that adheres well to soft and hard surfaces. The material also goes on smoothly and can last up to five years after application. 

Liquid mastic sealant fills in the rusted areas on the pipe so that gases can't leak into the home. The tape provides additional protection against rain by forming a tight, waterproof seal over the sealant. Rain can enter the damaged vent pipe and warp it.

After you obtain your sealant and tape, you're ready to make the repairs.

Repair the Vent Pipe

To repair the damaged vent pipe, follow the steps below:

  1. Put the container of mastic liquid sealant inside the caulk gun.
  2. Squeeze a small amount of sealant over the rusted areas, then use a wet spatula to smooth out the material.  
  3. Place a quarter-sized amount of sealant on the spatula, then carefully fill in any holes and cracks you find on the pipe. Repeat this step until you successfully close up the openings.
  4. Wait 4 hours for the sealant to dry, then cover the repaired holes with several pieces of mastic tape. Try to layer the tape or place the pieces as close together as possible to strengthen the pipe.

After you complete the repairs, wait at least five days to see if the sewer odors leave your home. If the odors leave, you successfully completed the repairs. It's a good idea that you inspect the vent pipe every month or so to ensure that it stays in good shape.

If the home still smells bad, contact a plumber, like those at Lewis Plumbing, to examine your vent pipe to see if the structural damage caused other problems in your plumbing system.