5 Ways to Get the Cigarette Smoking Smell Out of Your Home
You've fallen in love with a house, everything is right...the location, the size, the backyard...everything is perfect. But wait...it smells.
You have noticed the distinct third hand smoke smell. It smells burnt and very distinctly like tobacco. What should you do?
The first thing: You have to understand that THS (Third Hand Smoke) does linger behind, after the smokers leave. The University of San Diego showed, in a study, that the tobacco residue can still be picked up by the new homeowner 3 months after they have moved in.
When we live in our homes, we move around and with previous home, lived in by smokers, you will touch the walls and the floors which all have traces of carcinogens and toxins, that can be harmful to your health and well being. Researchers have found that nicotine levels were seven times higher on surfaces in living rooms, while dust was five times higher in living rooms and bedrooms of a home which smokers lived in, compared to non smokers
So now that you understand the potential hazards, how do you proceed?
Well...like second hand cars that were used by smokers, there should be a price reduction. Why would you pay market value for a home that has now presented a health hazard that you are going to have to address? Whether this means that you should have the sellers on the hook for the clean up cost or that the cost for clean up should be deducted from the price is something that you need to talk to your realtor about.
What is non-negotiable? There needs to be an incentive for you to purchase this home.
Here are some simple tips to help deal with and remove the THS:
1) Clean the walls, ceiling, and all hard surfaces with a cleaning agent designed to help remove nicotine and tobacco. Vinegar is helpful is this process, as it is very acidic.
2) Replace carpets, flooring, and soft finishing materials (blinds or curtains, if left behind for you).
3) Painting. While painting may or may not remove THS, it will help with the odour, especially after having completed the cleaning of the walls and ceilings.
Side notes: In some cases, depending how much the previous owners smoke, the smell may linger and the nicotine colour may show through the painted walls.
4) If the place has been heavily smoked in and painting or washing the walls is not an option, then replacing the drywall may be the only solutions you have left.
It is important to remember that the most common areas of smoking are the living rooms and bedrooms.
5) Duct cleaning: Having the ducts clean after a smoker has left can not hurt.
As mentioned, researchers have found that smoke clings to dust and can be a major source of the presence of nicotine, after a smoker moves out of a home.
In addition, after you have your ducts cleaned, make sure you change your air filter in your furnace.
When deciding to have your ducts cleaned make sure you do this after you clean the hard surfaces, paint, replace carpets, flooring and drywall, as necessary.
A duct cleaning will clean of the debris and dust left behind by the renovation process.