Recently, we’ve found a few buyers faced with an odorous challenge in their home search – tobacco smoke! We’re talking ‘hit by a wall of smoke’ upon entry, stained carpets and walls, and everything that once was white is yellow. As result, we’ve had a few chats with ServPro on the topic of smoke remediation in a home. We gained some knowledge on the process and the importance of doing it right, up front.
First things first, the items that can go, should go. Think of your window treatments. It might be obvious that curtains should all come down but don’t forget that many blinds have fabric cords and pulls – what a challenge for cleaning. You might think carpet can be cleaned to eliminate the odour, but if you haven’t experienced it, you’d be surprised to know just how far smoke can travel. Not only will years of smoke saturate the carpet, but it gets under it and into the subfloor. We’ve learnt that without the proper attention, you could be faced with a return of the odour you thought had been eliminated. When cold weather hits and the furnace gets turned on that subfloor will heat up and all those hidden smoke molecules could be released into the air.
Next up, there is going to be some washing involved. In the cases where you can not only smell it, but see it, those walls and ceilings are going to need to be cleaned prior to a fresh coat of paint being applied.
Not surprisingly, the process used for tobacco smoke is almost identical to that in a fire loss. This ‘next level’ attention to the damage is where they use a process called Thermal Fogging whereby the deodorizer simulates smoke. This allows not only for deodorization of surface level damage, but it follows the path the smoke would have followed originally. The home should be vacated for 12-24 hours following this process – the longer the time, the more effective the process.
Certainly, this is only a glimpse of the process and we are by no means experts! If you’re looking for a professional for your smoke remediation visit our Business Directory on our website.