Odor Control

What are the issues associated with odor control in the home?

Because distasteful smells cannot be seen, it is often extremely difficult to pinpoint their source. Excess moisture, smoke, pet urine, food, and tracked in soil can all cause stenches, and they may remain indefinitely unless treated. Carpeting, upholstery and other textiles are often a breeding ground for the kinds of bacteria that cause foul smells, and eliminating these can be tough to do for a person who isn’t trained in the field.

What are the best ways to deal with different odor sources?

The worst odors are often associated with damage caused by disasters. Flood damage often leaves behind mold and bacteria, while fires create huge amounts of smoke. Molds and bacteria have to be eliminated before their smell can be removed. Extensive cleaning and the use of proper antimicrobial agents can get rid of the source and the stench-causing microbe.

Smoke is particularly difficult to get rid of because it penetrates nearly every material in the home. Carpet, furniture, walls and ceilings can all harbor the smell of smoke, and it can quickly spread throughout the building. Smoke smells also have a tendency to return even after they seem to be gone. The only way to ensure their elimination is a thorough cleaning of all surfaces the smoke came in contact with, and the use of a professional nullifier calibrated for the material that is affected.

Organic sources often require a targeted solution to eliminate because bacteria will quickly return if any part of the source remains. The best way to do this is with an oxidizer or enzyme that can break down the organic matter. Finding the right compound can be difficult to do without the proper training.

When should a professional be contacted to perform odor control?

While some isolated odors can be eliminated with concerted effort, any smell that lingers after cleaning or is caused by water, smoke or organic material should be left to a professional. Most likely the homeowner is not getting to the source of the problem and completely eradicating it.

What kind of training do odor control professionals have?

Professionals certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) are able to quickly detect and isolate the source of the smell using their extensive knowledge. During their seven hour course, technicians are taught the theory behind odor removal, including the latest technologies and substances used to eliminate unpleasant smells. Technicians that are trained in fire and smoke restoration are capable of finding smoke infiltration and selecting the correct countermeasure. These professionals can also seal off some materials to block in any smells that remain.

Water damage restoration technicians trained through the IICRC are able to detect and eliminate the molds and bacteria that may be the factor of unwanted smells. Water damage restoration professionals are also trained in the proper drying of material, which is an essential part of the odor removing process.

These professionals can all help a home or business owner get rid of a lingering pungency for good. With the help of a professional, carpet, furniture, and a home can be rescued from this frustrating problem


The Best Way To Approach Pet Odor Removal

For many dog and cat owners, pet odor removal from carpets is a fact of life. Puppies and kittens tend to mess up flooring quite a bit before they are properly trained, and by the time they’re going outside or in the litter box, the floor may resemble an unattended latrine. There are, however, a few ways a homeowner can wipe out the smells and stains that animals leave behind. In some cases, a professional may be needed to handle a particularly difficult and soiled situation.

The first thing to do when attempting pet odor removal is to locate the problem area on the carpet. This is easier said than done, as some flooring can make the area practically invisible. If finding the spot is too hard to do with the naked eye, one can use the help of a black light. This type of bulb will highlight areas where Woofy or Meowzer have been doing their business and will give a starting line when it comes to tackling the problem. Another way to track down soiled spots is to watch how other animals track through the home. If there are multiple dogs or cats in the house, they will stop and thoroughly investigate and sniff any area where other animals have evacuated. Cleaning these spots thoroughly can abate the problem.

It’s important to fix the issue as soon as it is detected, for multiple reasons. Animals have a tendency to use the bathroom where they detect the scent of urine or feces, so the problem could amplify and training the pup or kitten will be that much more difficult. Pet odor removal must also be done immediately because if the sullied patch of carpet is allowed to sit for too long, it will require more dramatic methods to eliminate it. If the animals are allowed to soil the flooring for weeks at a time, and the fabric is not cleaned thoroughly every time, the carpet may need to be replaced, which is significantly more costly and inconvenient than dealing with the issue in the first place.

The best way to approach pet odor removal is to clean from the outside of the stain in, starting from the center may push the stain out further and deeper into the flooring. Scrub inward with a bristle brush and paper towels. Use the paper towels to absorb liquid, and don’t scrub with them, as they may tear and get tangled with the carpet fibers.

Natural pet odor removal substances include vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, lemon or club soda. Rubbing alcohol can be applied directly to the area and blotted up once it sits for a few minutes. Vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice mixed with water can also be applied this way. If the problem is more widespread and/or doesn’t respond to these gentle methods, consider purchasing an enzyme solution from the pet store. These solutions digest the proteins found in dog and cat urine and fecal matter.

However, even that is often not enough to conquer the problem, especially with more potent feline urine. If the smell remains after a few attempts to clean it, hire a professional to sanitize the flooring. This is a solution that is cost effective and quick, and will leave the carpet improved.