Smoke damage to house

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by bealew, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Jan 6, 2013 #1

    bealew

    bealew

    bealew

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    Does anybody have any suggestions on how to reduce or eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke in a house? It would be greatly appreciated, and does anyone know if it is hazardous to a person's health if they live in a house where the previous owner of about 50 years smoked in the house for that long?

    Thanks

    Wes
     
  2. Jan 8, 2013 #2

    BridgeMan

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    My very first house was previously owned by a heavy smoker, although I doubt 50 years' worth. But the heavy coating of nicotine on just about every exposed surface was a challenge to remove. Normal washing didn't work, so we used an industrial-grade detergent, followed by painting with Kilz oil-based primer, then waited for the brown stains to work their way through at the worst locations and repainted them again before top-coating. Had one area of the bathroom ceiling next to the exhaust fan that was so bad that I ripped out and replaced all of the sheetrock, as the nicotine was just too deep into the painted surfaces. We also replaced all of the floor covering (carpeting and vinyl), and either replaced or revarnished all of the trim. Also replaced several ceiling light fixtures that just wouldn't "come clean" (including the bathroom fan/light), and also had all of the HVAC ducts cleaned. In the end it was worth it, but took almost 2 years to get it all done.

    Can't speak on the health hazards thing, but I would think eliminating the source of the nicotine odor and contamination would pretty much minimize future health risks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
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  3. Jan 8, 2013 #3

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    What BridgeMan said is pretty much what I picked up from a quick search.

    Here's some more.
    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22smoke+damage+is+caused+by%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22smoke+damage+is+caused+by%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&tbo=d&rls=en&biw=1020&bih=764&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22removing+smoke+smell%22+house&oq=%22removing+smoke+smell%22+house&gs_l=serp.3..0i10i30j0i30l3.3481.20949.0.22017.52.38.12.0.0.0.904.4164.23j11j1j6-1.36.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.lzlmkmzyilU&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1357316858,d.dmQ&fp=3937189c651c8f8d[/ame]

    Adding "health" to these keywords might give you hits. Secondhand smoke is a known, measurable danger but a chronic smoke smell might be down in the noise as far as the medical tests of today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
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  4. Jan 8, 2013 #4

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Depending on the situation, here is what we did on a repo house ... The walls and ceiling were coated with a visible stain of nicotine smoke (yellowish). The carpets were shot so we pulled them out.

    The house sat on a slab. Using a carpet cleaning service, we steam cleaned the walls and ceiling with their long wand and hose! The water ran down the walls, carrying the melted nicotine with it. As the mess developed, we vacuumed up the water.

    In quick order, the entire house was steamed and the goo was removed. A quick overcoat of KILZ sealed the rest and new paint finished the job. The house smelled good as new.

    Try it! :D
     
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  5. Jan 9, 2013 #5

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Will the smell eventually bleed through any coating of paint, stain or primer?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2013 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Windex does a pretty good job on hard surfaces like plastic vent covers and switch plates and if you get it covered with paint it is pretty much done.
    The tough one is when some one has been cooking currie for five years or a dead body after a few weeks.
     
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  7. Jan 10, 2013 #7

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Actually, the KILZ seals the odor and the stain. The final overcoat of paint adds to the process. We had no residual smell from the walls and ceiling afterwards.

    Of course, the woodwork cabinets and other surfaces had to be cleaned. I prefer Windex (amonia-based) to do the job. Never have beena fan of Simple Green. :D
     
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  8. Jan 10, 2013 #8

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Thanks. I may need this someday, to advise a customer.
     
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  9. Jan 13, 2013 #9

    bealew

    bealew

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    Thanks everyone for your help, my only problem is the walls are all wood paneling except for the kitchen and bathroom which are a plastic based material, but the ceilings are tile and can be painted
     
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  10. Jan 13, 2013 #10

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    DUDE! Paneling can be painted too ... you may need to touch-sand them lightly to create a "tooth" for your primer, but it can be done. Check with the local paint store for the proper primer. Once the paneling is primed, you can paint at will!

    Last time I chcked, wood paneling is "out" for interior decor . . . you would be better off painting the walls ... OR you could do what I did . . . I ripped that junk off the walls, did a light skim coat of drywall mud, did the typical prime and paint. Suddenly the house looked modern!

    Best of luck to you! :D
     
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  11. Jan 14, 2013 #11

    bealew

    bealew

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    yeah, I don't really like paneling at all, I would much rather have drywall, this house was built in the 60s,
    and remodeled in the 80s, so it's really outdated, I want to take out the ceiling tile too, and put up sheet rock and texture it
     
  12. Jan 14, 2013 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    If you don,t like the paneling, don't just cover it up, take it down and upgrade the insulation, check for rot and other damage while your there. There is no better time.
     
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  13. Jan 14, 2013 #13

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Here is a thought ... if you remove the paneling, you remove the cigarette smoke residue too!

    I'd say kill two birds with one stone . . . You can skim coat the walls with a slightly thinned mix of drywall mud, then prime with KILZ to permanently seal the smell.

    You like?? :)
     
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