02-06-2013 08:12 AM - edited 02-07-2013 10:12 PM
I bought a house and after 2 months and a few tens of thousands of dollars, it is ready to occupy.
Now I have to get my existing house ready for the market. One big problem I have is the smell of cigarette smoke.
Anyone have experience with this? Should I hire a fire restoration type cleaner? Can anyone recommend a contractor?
02-06-2013 04:56 PM
All new interior paint (more than 1 coat) and new carpet. That has been successful in the couple of listings I've had where the homes have been smoked in for years. Anyone else have suggestions? I'd be interested in knowing about any sort of fire restoration cleaner?
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02-06-2013 05:44 PM
I have also heard that cleaning every surface with a super strong, industrial cleaner will help too: counters, cabinets, light fixtures, hood vents, furniture, etc. Also I would also put a layer of a good primer on before a coat of paint. Zinz Primer is great and works under latex paint. Don't forget the ceiling!
Is the smell from a current smoker in your house? If so...
You also might want to wash all of your bedding a couple of times in hot water if the smoke has been recent and I would think about moving out your old furniture, mattresses and putting new furniture in there too. Clothing can hold smoke odor, too. Might want to move that out too.
Let us know how it goes! Very curious!
02-07-2013 11:27 AM
Make sure that you have a non-smoker who is very honest do a sniff test for you when you are done!
This is EXCELLENT advice!!
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02-07-2013 11:50 AM
The good news is hard surfaces attract the nicotine yellow of smoking, but it comes off pretty easily. Before you hire anyone to do the non-hard surfaces, clean everything until white paper towel (get very white paper towel with no print on it) has no yellow stains.
Glass very important. All glass and mirrors. Clean the inside of the windows and the white parts of the windows and the door frames and doors. You will be amazed at how yellow the paper towels are until there is no more yellow coming off. Get all of that paper towel out of the house and away from the house before you begin the unwashable surfaces. When you think you are all done...check again in a couple of days. Of course I am assuming all of your things are out of the house and you are no longer smoking in the house.
Every thing you own, your laptop, your kitchen cabinets, your furniture have this yellow stain and smell. So totally empty the house, even get new toilet paper on the rolls and wash the toilet paper holder...everything must be cleaned until there is no yellow on the paper towel and everything you owned has to leave the house before you start cleaning.
I have done a lot of these. You can get a price for everything from the professionals, but it is usually cost prohibitive. There are other ways to get it done for about 1/2 to 1/3 the price.
As to paint...it depends. I'd have to see the house, But if you can use white for any part of it, then you need to use Kilz "odor seeling" paint. I have to do this in homes with pet odors and stains. The true odor sealing paint is the oil based one that is very toxic when applying it, much like refinishing hardwood floors. You need protective gear. They do sell a latex version, but that is usually for stain sealing vs odor sealing.
It sounds hard, and it's not easy, but it's doable and done all the time.
02-08-2013 06:22 PM
Smokie's agent contacted me about the carpet I have used. I sent her the receipt from the last job I did. It is very inexpensive (Home Depot) and looks good. The padding has an extra blue plastic looking seal on it for better odor protection as well. But in cat urine on slab areas (concrete as in basement family room in a tri level) I also seal the floors before the padding goes down. Some people spray a mixture of water and bleach over the sealed areas before installing the carpet, but the remediation pros (who charge $10,000 or so to remediate) say they only use the bleach/water mixture because people associate bleach with clean. I don't think that is necessarily true.
Personally I say NEVER use Pine-Sol or pine products as when I show a house that has that smell I have to get out as it gives me a headache.
02-12-2013 08:53 AM - edited 02-12-2013 08:54 AM
To add to the above advice, it is important to clean the inside of the HVAC components( if present). Heat exchangers and AC coils, along with the inside of ducts will continue to generate smoke odors for a very long while unless properly cleaned! Ducting may need replacement or interior encapsulation.