Combating Tobacco Odors in Homes for Sale

Nothing offends a homeowner more than to be told their house smells, primers for sale but if your real estate agent points this out — hopefully with some delicacy — listen. Strong, lingering odors turn buyers off a property faster than any other single “first impression” factor.

The two greatest culprits in household smells are cooking odors, generally from cuisines that use pungent spices, and cigarette smoke. Of the two, the stubborn stench of old tobacco is the hardest to eliminate.

Americans have dramatically altered their smoking habits over the past 25 years. Most people, dried sea cucumber for sale even in their own homes, will go outside to light up. In older houses, however, perhaps those owned by World War II-era parents and grandparents, the damage from tobacco may be long-standing and prevalent. Air fresheners and diffusers can only mask the smell temporarily, they cannot get rid of it permanently.

Because the smoke and nicotine penetrate all surfaces and build up in cracks and crevices, stronger measures will be required than simply airing out the house. This is a saturating, adderall for sale particle-born odor that must be attacked with extensive cleaning, especially if the structure has been subjected to smoke daily over a number of years. Smoke is an equal-opportunity stench — cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are all equally insidious.

Start with Soft Surfaces

As you begin to attack smoke odors, start with soft surfaces first. Take the drapes down and have them professionally cleaned. Do not put them back up until other countermeasures have been completed. If blinds are present, they will likely need to be replaced completely.

Go through the house and get rid of throw pillows, old mattresses, cash77 and other cushions. The interior batting or filler will be so thoroughly infused with the nicotine that it cannot be saved. If the covers are washed repeatedly with a mild vinegar solution they may be salvageable.

If the home is an older residence and empty due to the death or relocation of the previous owners, consider emptying it completely before it’s shown. This is often the case when children or grandchildren inherit a property. Often, having the home professionally treated for odors and then staged with temporary furnishing and decor is the best strategy.

Wash Exposed Surfaces and Paint

All bare floors should be washed at least twice with diluted vinegar or cleaning products especially formulated to attack nicotine odors. Chances are good that if the home is older, you will want to put on fresh paint before it’s opened for showing anyway. Don’t just slap on a new color. Use Kilz primer. The company makes a special formulation to seal both nicotine stains and smells.

Have the Vents Cleaned

Changing out the heater and AC filters is not enough in an extreme smoke-related odor situation. Call in the professionals and have the vents and ducts in the house cleaned. This will not only help with the odor, but it will impress prospective buyers who suffer from allergies.

Change or Clean the Light Bulbs

Go through the house and change out or wash every single light bulb in the place. Nicotine coats the surface of the bulbs over time. When the light is turned on and warms up, the bulb becomes a diffuser, spreading the smoke smell throughout the house and magnifying its intensity.

Don’t Rule Out Thermal Fogging

In some cases it’s more expedient to call in a company that specializes in smoke damage after fires. They will have thermal equipment that sends a dry fog throughout the house with particles that are.25 to.50 microns in size — the same size as nicotine. The fog is able to essentially follow the smoke, penetrating the same surfaces and neutralizing the old, stale smell.

Treat Odor Problems as a Practical Problem Not a Personal Insult

The human nose has an amazing ability to accustom itself to smells and then to ignore them. Don’t be offended when someone from the outside, like your real estate agent, who is not used to the environment tells you there’s an odor problem. If you’ve been going to Grandpa’s house for years that lingering scent of pipe smoke may be dear to you, but it will likely be offensive and unpleasant to a prospective buyer.

While smoking is no longer as socially acceptable as it was in the decade or two following World War II, the practice was sufficiently widespread that tobacco smells can be a real problem in older homes. It’s also sad, but true, that many elderly widows and widowers intensify their smoking habits to combat loneliness. If they are unable to go outside to smoke, the house may be thoroughly saturated with nicotine.

Set sensitivity and sentimentalism aside. Tobacco-related odors must be addressed before prospective buyers walk in the door the first time. You can worry all you like about curb appeal and attractive staging, but if the house smells like an old ashtray, it won’t sell.

 

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