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House That Has Been Smoked In

Old 04-06-2012, 07:37 AM
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Default House That Has Been Smoked In

I went to look at a house yesterday that is on a canal in a neighborhood that I have been wanting to move into for a while.

The owner is an old guy that has smoked in the house for years and it reeks. Felt like I was in a pool hall when I came out. My question is has anyone bought a house like this and how hard was it to get the smell out. We plan on ripping out all the carpet, tile and base boards and painting the interior. Will that do the trick or do you all feel the smell will still linger? The house has tons of potential and is a good deal but the smell and overall cleanliness of the house is turning buyers off.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:54 AM
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IMO, the smell will get you a better price.
"KILZ" primer will cover up the smell, but you will probably have to get rid of everything in the house (maybe the cabinets too). A friend bought a condo once that had sticky tar like crap on the walls from a guy that smoked in the place for 20 years. It was Disgusting!
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:56 AM
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I bought a house from a smoker and it smelled. He had a pool table in one room and the wall were literally smoke stained. As long as you remove anything that the smoke can penetrate; carpets, curtains, etc, you can eliminate the smell.

I ultimately repainted every surface in the house because I wanted everything our way but you wouldn't necessarily have to unless there is that smoke film on them.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:57 AM
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It also depends on what the walls and ceiling are made of. If it is old plaster you maybe ok, Drywall may stink forever. The tar has is embedded in everything - what about the ducts and AC system?
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:58 AM
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when you paint it dont forget to paint the ceilings too.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:04 AM
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This is what is used on homes that have caught fire/smoke damaged.
It is awesome - shellac based retains all odors.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:34 AM
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I agree with the above, seems like you should be able to deal with it if you rip everything out, give it a good scrubbing, and then paint 100%.

I'd be worried about the ductwork though, depending on construction they can be a nightmare to replace and I'm guessing they have just as much smell as anything else. Air handler etc probably has to go too.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:51 AM
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Carpet and walls are the easy part to deal with. You'll play hell getting the odor out of the HVAC system. Chlorine dioxide will become your new friend.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:23 AM
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The ducts and Ahu can be cleaned. Just make sure its some guy that is just going to remove the grill and use a shop vac. A new duct system isn't much $$ to replace if you go that route.
You can get a "attic rat" to do it for $150-$200 a drop and $ 300 for a new Plenum
Coil clean $250 to pull it and clean it
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:29 AM
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I had no duct work.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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an ozone generator can remove the smell quite effectively...look around...there are companies that specialize in odor removal or you can purchase a small ozone generator (like hotels use) for about $500...

washing and painting walls along with soft trim removal (drapes and carpets) will help but the ozone generator can eliminate the odor...it will kill mold and bacteria also...
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:36 AM
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My previous house was previously owned by a heavy smoker - 30 years worth of smoke. Took considerable work to get the odor out. Vapor barrier painted over every wall and ceiling, all carpeting wripped out and ducts cleaned. All cabinets, counters, appliances wiped down with bleach. Took the window blinds down and soaked in bleach water. The majority of odor was removed this way, but it was a lot of work.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:37 AM
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Good recommendations above. Also get a good quality HEPA air purifier with activated charcoal filter. The right one will do wonders.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:57 AM
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My brother rented h house to smokers. washed the walls and ceilings with TSP, water and a small amount of bleach and painted. Took care of it. Not that big of a deal.

He did not have ductwork to contend with.

You will likely see that after the scrub down most if not all of the odor is gone.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:58 AM
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have the AC cleaned out. Kilz EVERYTHING. Remove all the carpet and fabric materials present... Wipe down all the cabinets with a bleach solution. Negotiate a better price based on having a professional cleaning.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
IMO, the smell will get you a better price.
"KILZ" primer will cover up the smell, but you will probably have to get rid of everything in the house (maybe the cabinets too). A friend bought a condo once that had sticky tar like crap on the walls from a guy that smoked in the place for 20 years. It was Disgusting!
x2 my house was rented out before I bought it, and will be when I pay it off. The owner who moved too far to rent it was in the process of KILZing the house. You could tell which had been done with your eyes closed. No worries GET IT don't forget to post picks of the boats new home
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:45 AM
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I've smoked for 10+ years and never understood why people would want to smoke indoors. It makes everything reek.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:46 AM
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So, you got the idea that you will need to use an undercoater like Kilz or Bin primer. The advantage to using BIN isthat it has a shellac base...that covers more effectively...as the other poster noted. Also, BIN is alcohol based and will dry faster.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:26 AM
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A friend bought a chain smokers house. It was BAD!
We washed the walls with TSP (trisodium phosphate)then Killzed it and paint. If it has popcorn ceilings, those will likely need to come down.
All cloth and such is garbage (drapes, carpets, etc.)
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:52 AM
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Look at the bright side - it's a lot of work, but it's also enabling you to get a better price.
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