By Bruce Bowen
Various sources can cause a home or business to have a bad smell to it, or worse, a stench that doesn’t seem ever to go away. Some causes of odors are from fires or water damage that were otherwise cleaned up, but microscopic remnants of previous damage remain behind and in difficult to reach locations. Some odors have long-term causes, such as cooking or smoking. Hoarding and pest infestations also are known to produce long-lasting odors, even after the situation has been resolved.
One solution that can work wonders is professional odor removal treatments. There are different methods available, and the particular set of circumstances involved can help determine which method will provide the best results. Some of these methods are better suited for slight but continuously present odors, where other methods would be too powerful. These stronger methods are reserved for those situations where strong, penetrating smells continue to exist, even after other methods have been used. Machines used for odor removal work because odors may be carried in the air, but they are caused by solid particles that your nose detects. Some people are more sensitive to certain odors than other people, so people may smell something that others do not notice.
Air scrubbers can remove larger particles of soot that are left behind after fires. These particles may be so small they were not removed by cleaning and restoration efforts, but continue to produce an after-fire smell. Another use for air scrubbers is to eliminate loose mold components from the air. Mold itself does not have a scent but instead gives off Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs), which produces smells that can become bothersome to some people. Because remediation can stir mold up, air scrubbers are used to not only help contain the errant mold but also the MVOCs.
Devices with HEPA filters can help keep the air cleaner and therefore reduce smells when carpets are vacuumed with HEPA-filtered vacs. Heating and cooling systems with HEPA filters provide much cleaner-smelling air than those that have regular filters installed. If the cause of odors in this type of situation is inside the unit, either cleaning and sanitizing is needed. Otherwise, only HEPA filters will continue to make a difference. These filters also work well for insect pest smells.
Generators that produce special gasses can work wonders for the strongest smells found in a home. Rodent infestations that have caused extremely difficult problems with air quality can be remedied with this method. The same applies to water damage that permeates a home. There are two types – ozone and hydroxyl generators.
Ozone generators are much stronger than hydroxyl generators and act much faster, sometimes by as much as three or five times faster. However, these are not safe for use when dampness of household furnishings are present. Residents must leave the premises, as well, and no pets can remain inside. Plants also need to be removed before using this type of odor removal system.
When situations exist where leaving the premises is not possible, as, in the case of nursing homes or hospitals, a hydroxyl generator can provide the same results. The length of time required, though, is much longer than it is with an ozone machine. Another advantage is that this type of generator can be used when carpeting is still damp, so waiting time is reduced without the risk of damaging a carpet’s color.
Contact a professional odor removal and deodorization company immediately to eliminate bad odors from your property.