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prhom 03-17-2013 09:49 AM

removing smoke smell from a house
 
Has anyone ever tried to get the smoke smell out of a house where people had been smoking indoors?

I've got a rental house and my tenants of 2.5 years are moving out. The big surprise for me is I found out they've been smoking inside (were not supposed to) and now I'll have to get rid of the smoke smell before I rent it out again.

My current plan is to wash down the walls, ceiling, and kitchen cabinets. Then if it's still around, paint over everything with Kilz and repaint over that.

Has anyone had to do this and if so, what did you do, was it successful? Is it better to hire a smoke remediation company, or are they going to do the same stuff and charge a bunch for it?

Success to me is walking into the house and not being able to tell it was smoked in. That may not be realistic though.

Omaha 03-17-2013 09:50 AM

I'd burn it down & start over.

LoneWolf 03-17-2013 09:51 AM

Open the windows.

I'm not very good with advice.

Chiefshrink 03-17-2013 09:52 AM

replace all carpet and re-paint all interior walls.

Bugeater 03-17-2013 09:52 AM

It really depends on the severity of it. If it is only slight, a fresh coat of paint and cleaning the carpets should be enough. If it's heavy the best way is to Kilz the walls and ceilings, then paint.

aturnis 03-17-2013 09:54 AM

Yeah, if it's bad you'll probably need an odor sealing primer like Bug said. 2.5yrs could get bad if they were home a lot.

prhom 03-17-2013 09:56 AM

Forgot to mention, it's all hardwood so no carpet to worry about.

prhom 03-17-2013 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoneWolf (Post 9508185)
Open the windows.

I'm not very good with advice.

Renting to someone with no sense of smell might be a plan as well?

Lumpy 03-17-2013 09:57 AM

Along with everything else that was suggested, hire a company to do a thorough cleaning of your air ducts. Once they're done, spritz a new filter with a pleasant scent and install it.

Chiefshrink 03-17-2013 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508198)
Forgot to mention, it's all hardwood so no carpet to worry about.

:thumb: Even better and less expensive. As Bug say's with the Kilz and then paint.

Bugeater 03-17-2013 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508200)
Renting to someone with no sense of smell might be a plan as well?

Or just rent it to another smoker.

Chiefshrink 03-17-2013 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lumpy (Post 9508201)
Along with everything else that was suggested, hire a company to do a thorough cleaning of your air ducts. Once they're done, spritz a new filter with a pleasant scent and install it.

:thumb:

prhom 03-17-2013 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9508190)
It really depends on the severity of it. If it is only slight, a fresh coat of paint and cleaning the carpets should be enough. If it's heavy the best way is to Kilz the walls and ceilings, then paint.

I'm hoping that once they clear all their stuff out it won't be too bad. I'm sure a lot of the smell is held in their furniture and other soft things. I don't think they smoked in their the entire 2.5 yrs either. The last time I was in the house before discovering the smoke was about a year ago and I didnt notice anything then.

Fish 03-17-2013 10:04 AM

10 gallons should do ya....

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/3407/febreeze.jpg

prhom 03-17-2013 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9508207)
Or just rent it to another smoker.

Yeah, jokes aside I thought about that. Thing is, it seems like a lot of smokers don't actually smoke in their house.

bevischief 03-17-2013 10:06 AM

beano.

Bugeater 03-17-2013 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508213)
I'm hoping that once they clear all their stuff out it won't be too bad. I'm sure a lot of the smell is held in their furniture and other soft things. I don't think they smoked in their the entire 2.5 yrs either. The last time I was in the house before discovering the smoke was about a year ago and I didnt notice anything then.

I'm guessing with a good cleaning and a coat of paint it will be fine. The Kilz is only necessary in extreme cases, like when you can see white where the pictures were on the wall and it's Harvest Gold all around it.

HoneyBadger 03-17-2013 10:07 AM

At the end of the day, most people have two arms.

Munson 03-17-2013 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Omaha (Post 9508183)
I'd burn it down & start over.

This was my first thought. ROFL

TribalElder 03-17-2013 10:11 AM

Show up before you show to renters

Spray a bunch of this shit
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/h...9/DSC_0152.jpg

Have them sign the lease

Profit

bevischief 03-17-2013 10:12 AM

Burn a aids tree and anti-freeze.

Pasta Giant Meatball 03-17-2013 10:17 AM

Hire a midget cleaning crew

Easy 6 03-17-2013 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lumpy (Post 9508201)
Along with everything else that was suggested, hire a company to do a thorough cleaning of your air ducts. Once they're done, spritz a new filter with a pleasant scent and install it.

Now theres some good advice, don't forget about the air ducts and air filter.

TribalElder 03-17-2013 10:28 AM

The ceiling should be golden brown

OrtonsPiercedTaint 03-17-2013 10:31 AM

It's denver...

TambaBerry 03-17-2013 10:34 AM

Was the not smoking in the lease? If so I would charge them for the cleaning.

OrtonsPiercedTaint 03-17-2013 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrtonsPiercedTaint (Post 9508279)
It's denver...

...paint a faux fireplace on the wall.

rockymtnchief 03-17-2013 10:48 AM

Throw away or wash the curtains, if there are any.

notorious 03-17-2013 10:51 AM

Rent some Ozone machines, close the doors and windows, and let them run for as long as it takes.

prhom 03-17-2013 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tambaberry (Post 9508283)
Was the not smoking in the lease? If so I would charge them for the cleaning.

I'm keeping the security deposit because they are breaking the lease so I have some money available for it, but I'm not going to get much more out of them. Nearly had to evict them, and getting any judgement against them would cost about as much as I'd get and be a huge pain in the ass.

spades 03-17-2013 10:55 AM

I would start with cleaning the carpets and painting. See where you stand after that

prhom 03-17-2013 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lumpy (Post 9508201)
Along with everything else that was suggested, hire a company to do a thorough cleaning of your air ducts. Once they're done, spritz a new filter with a pleasant scent and install it.

Ah, that is a good suggestion. Probably should clean ducts anyway since I'm sure they didn't do anything like that on their own.

prhom 03-17-2013 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnchief (Post 9508320)
Throw away or wash the curtains, if there are any.

Fortunately no curtains, only the plastic mini blinds.

Valiant 03-17-2013 11:08 AM

Rape the house with Kilz..

scho63 03-17-2013 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508347)
Fortunately no curtains, only the plastic mini blinds.

Take them down and wash them in the shower as well. Dust holds smoke smell.

I think everyone has covered it all.

1. Repaint everything

2. Clean ducts and change air filter

3. Throw out any furniture they left

4. Clean blinds and windows.

It should smell pretty "new" after the paint

BlackHelicopters 03-17-2013 11:24 AM

Smoke a few bowls. Different, but better, smell.

Bugeater 03-17-2013 11:30 AM

If the mini blinds are really bad you might want to check and see what it would cost to just replace them before you waste your time trying to clean them. You should be able to find most standard sizes for around $5-7 each.

Bump 03-17-2013 11:34 AM

having tenants can really suck. I had straight up hoarders like on the TV show. + they smoked inside too. I'm still working on this shit.

bevischief 03-17-2013 11:39 AM

Section 8?

Bugeater 03-17-2013 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bump (Post 9508437)
having tenants can really suck. I had straight up hoarders like on the TV show. + they smoked inside too. I'm still working on this shit.

Wait until one leaves you with a bunch of bedbugs. That's when the real fun begins.

crossbow 03-17-2013 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508347)
Fortunately no curtains, only the plastic mini blinds.

I take miniblinds down to the car wash and blast them with a hand held. Gets years of dirt off.

Bring an aids infested, midget wearing only a jock strap and a clear raincoat to hold the blinds for you.

prhom 03-17-2013 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bevischief (Post 9508456)
Section 8?

Nope, they were good tenants for a long time. Just fell on hard times back in November and couldn't keep up with the rent. It was kind of a surprise actually.

prhom 03-17-2013 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9508426)
If the mini blinds are really bad you might want to check and see what it would cost to just replace them before you waste your time trying to clean them. You should be able to find most standard sizes for around $5-7 each.

I agree, they may even be broken now after being used for 3 yrs. They were remarkably cheap when I bought them so it's not a big deal to just replace them.

prhom 03-17-2013 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bump (Post 9508437)
having tenants can really suck. I had straight up hoarders like on the TV show. + they smoked inside too. I'm still working on this shit.

I remember that thread. That sucks to deal with. I've learned a valuable lesson this time though. I'm going to check more frequently next time and collect a lot more upfront money. I think people will take better care of a place if they've already given a large deposit.

prhom 03-17-2013 01:06 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone, it is much appreciated!

Superbowltrashcan 03-17-2013 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508220)
Yeah, jokes aside I thought about that. Thing is, it seems like a lot of smokers don't actually smoke in their house.

If they are renting they will. It isn't theirs....

Also you will need to determine if the smoke permeated the hardwood floor sheen. Cigarette smoke lingers and can dull a hardwood floor and cabinetry. It will come clean but takes some elbow grease in severe cases. Did some of the in-laws house after my mother in-law quit. Floors and cabinets were coated in it. But she was a pack or two a day habit.

Bump 03-17-2013 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9508551)
Wait until one leaves you with a bunch of bedbugs. That's when the real fun begins.

been there done that

TribalElder 03-17-2013 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9508551)
Wait until one leaves you with a bunch of bedbugs. That's when the real fun begins.

LMAO

Damn that would suck

Free smallpox blankets for all delinquent tennants

MahiMike 03-17-2013 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chiefshrink (Post 9508187)
replace all carpet and re-paint all interior walls.

This. Use a primer 1st.

crazycoffey 03-17-2013 06:09 PM

Cut up a bunch of apples, clean any cloth curtains in the wash and use a bleach spray clean bottle on the walls

chiefsfan1128 03-17-2013 06:20 PM

I used to work at SERVPRO.
They do fire and water damage "restoration", if you have one locally I would suggest checking with them.

For fire damages they scrub everything down and the use something along the lines of a scented atomizer to mask any remaining smell.
We used cinnamon for fire damages and mint for water damages. Those seemed to work best, respectively.
The "atomizer" was to get into any areas that couldn't be scrubbed.

Boise_Chief 03-17-2013 06:34 PM

wash the walls then wipe them down with odo ban before painting. you can rent an ozone generator, ozium is good stuff too. the only big thing that has been forgotten so far is the refrigerator coils. the dust on them will be coated in the smoke smell and then the fan spreads it to the house.

prhom 03-17-2013 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chiefsfan1128 (Post 9509464)
I used to work at SERVPRO.
They do fire and water damage "restoration", if you have one locally I would suggest checking with them.

For fire damages they scrub everything down and the use something along the lines of a scented atomizer to mask any remaining smell.
We used cinnamon for fire damages and mint for water damages. Those seemed to work best, respectively.
The "atomizer" was to get into any areas that couldn't be scrubbed.

Interesting, is this kind of service priced in the hundreds of dollars or thousands? I'm likely going to pay someone to do the painting and/or Kilz sealing for me. Not sure what that's going to run, but my guess is about $500.

KCBOSS1 03-17-2013 06:42 PM

Kilz the walls and ceiling and repaint, place a strong odor neutralizer in an open bowl in the central air return. i don't remember what brand i used, but I can probably find out if you need me to...... or you can go to a H&A company and ask them. I flipped a house a few years ago that the lady that had lived there had smoked in for several years. Worst I have ever seen. I replaced the floor coverings as well. Fumigation is another option.

Ace Gunner 03-17-2013 06:58 PM

I had a unit open up a few months ago, turned out the guy was smoking in there. I clean the place up, did nothing special really. after about 3 weeks, the place didn't smell like smoke at all. the blinds are plastic and the floor is wood.

J Diddy 03-17-2013 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508200)
Renting to someone with no sense of smell might be a plan as well?

For Rent: Lovely 2 Bedroom on the lower East Side. No Pets. Children welcome and tenants without noses preferred.

Chieftain58 03-17-2013 07:16 PM

Kilz

Spott 03-17-2013 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9508707)
Nope, they were good tenants for a long time. Just fell on hard times back in November and couldn't keep up with the rent. It was kind of a surprise actually.

Good tenants wouldn't have been smoking in the house.

chiefsfan1128 03-17-2013 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prhom (Post 9509506)
Interesting, is this kind of service priced in the hundreds of dollars or thousands? I'm likely going to pay someone to do the painting and/or Kilz sealing for me. Not sure what that's going to run, but my guess is about $500.

Ask them for an estimate.
When I worked there it depended on square footage. If you have several rentals, let them know, they may cut the price down in hopes of future business.
A lot of SERVPROs also offer duct cleaning. I believe most also offer carpet dying and possibly wood floor services.
If you were only looking for the atomizer services, it should be way under $500(200-250 would be my guess).
There may be additional advances(I worked there about 15 years ago).
Just make sure to let them know what you're looking for and ask them how effective they believe their work will be. The work I was doing was for actual fires. Tar and nicotine may be different, but they do know their stuff, in my opinion.

MOhillbilly 03-17-2013 10:26 PM

Open the windows

houstonwhodat 03-17-2013 10:26 PM

You could always rent to smokers and keep the tradition up.

Predarat 03-18-2013 08:48 AM

Too bad they were not smoking the green stuff, that leaves a much better scent then cigarette smoke.

KCSPORTSNUT 03-18-2013 10:17 AM

The best and only permanent way i know of is to rent an ozone machine and let it run 2-3 days inside property


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