What to do if the homeowners or renters smoked and your home is on the market.
What to do if the homeowners or renters smoked tobacco or cannabis and your home is on the market.
One of the top searches for DYI odor removal comes from people looking to buy or rent a home that had long term smokers. Many Realtor web sites claim having a smoker in the home reduces the resale value by 20-30%. According to Zillow, the average resale value of a home in Michigan is $154,000. This means having a smoker reduces the resale value of the average home by $45,000. With professional cleaning running in the $8-10.00 per square foot ($15,000 on a 1,500 square foot home) range, you could easily make $30,000 on the sale by cleaning the home first. Another factor to consider is how long the home remains unoccupied or on the market due to the offensive odors.
While it is very difficult to remove these odors, a professional remediation company has a much better chance of success than a do it yourself attempt. The first rule of deodorization is always “remove the source”. The yellowish-brown sticky substance left behind from years of smoking must be completely removed or the odors will return when the humidity rises. Often this cleaning will require painting to cover the stains left by the residue of smoking and sometimes the carpet or pad may need replaced. If properly cleaned, most non porous surfaces will not need sealed.
The first step a professional odor remediation company will do is remove any unsaveable contents and all debris which can hold odors. An HEPA filtered air scrubber will be set to collect any disturbed particles to protect the workers and prevent particles from resettling on cleaned surfaces. This air scrubber will likely have an activated charcoal (carbon) filter as recommended by the RIA and EPA guidelines. Hot thermo-fogging may be necessary to neutralize areas that cannot be cleaned. These areas include cavities behind cabinets, inside of walls, behind trim and moulding, and behind face plates of electrical outlets. If fogging done after cleaning, care must be taken to wet clean all surfaces to reduce the PH levels or paint will not stick.
Odor removal is always a time consuming job but can save thousands of dollars in reduced or lost sales. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac has been removing odors from local homes for nearly 20 years and are the experts that you can trust to make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 231-723-4872 for a quote.