How do you get the funk out???

22 Replies

Looking for cleaning advice from the community.

I'm selling a property where some semi-hoarders grossed out my house for a full 13 months. Despite having a cleaning crew come through and brand new carpet/padding installed, drapes removed, AC filter replaced, it still has an odor that was not there prior. They had four small dogs and they ruined the carpet (hence the 100% replacement), but the rest of the house is concrete and tile....which shouldn't really absorb odor.

Do you guys wash the walls or ceilings? If so, what chemicals (or mix) and how?

Updated about 4 years ago

EDIT: I should have been more specific in my question crafting. What can I do to eliminate an odor without painting, kilz, or other "aggressive" measures? I'm looking for creative cleaning ideas or tricks of the trade.

Updated about 4 years ago

OZONE WORKED!!!!! Just wanted to update everyone on the results of the cleaning. I hired an ozone team to shock the house and in 24 hours it was about 90% odor free. A dramatic improvement. They used a corona discharge plug-in generator that outpu

Concrete is porus so it can absorb odor. Odor also gets trapped in baseboards. I would also recommend painting the walls.

you might need to peel back the carpet and use a shellac primer to seal the concrete.  And, per @James Wise , paint.

It's probably dog urine.  If you didn't treat the slab before carpeting, that's where the odor likely is.  Concrete slabs absolutely absorb odors as does tile grout. I did a rehab where the pet damage was so bad on the slab the concrete had crust in places.  My contractor tried to convince me that the white patches were soil chemicals leaching upwards and was typical for the area.  He was so wrong.  The damage was from the top down and was worse in corners and closets, where the dogs had done the most damage. 

Have you repainted.  That usually make a big difference.  Be sure to look for pet damage at the baseboards and lower 2 feet of all your walls.  Be sure to check the bases/toe kicks of your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Check all the door jambs and the bases for any sliding glass doors.  Urine really collects in those areas.   

Does this house have central ac/heat? If so perhaps an ozone treatment with the system on could help. 

Thanks,

Matt

Originally posted by @Deborah Burian :

you might need to peel back the carpet and use a shellac primer to seal the concrete.  And, per @James Wise , paint.

 And use killz, preferably the oil based formula, to prime everything that might be effected. It seals better than anything else on the market, IMHO.

I rehab a lot of lets say distressed homes and some are pretty bad. 

This is what are painters use every time and we never have any problems with Oder. 

We have rehab 7 in 5 mths use this every time sold all seven.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/KILZ-MAX-5-gal-White-Wa...

KILZ MAX 5-gal. White Water-Based Interior Primer, Sealer and Stain-Blocker

You will need to do the walls, ceiling, and under carpet.

If you have any other questions about it just reach out. 

Good Luck

If it were me, I'd start with painting the ceiling & walls to see if that alleviates the stench at all. Should that not take care of the aroma of pooch pee then do as the others suggested and treat the slab beneath the carpet & padding. Let us know when you get it figured out!

Turn the fan on the furnace on, just to get air moving (change filter frequently). Then I'd suggest running big fans with windows open 24x7, just circulate as much air in/out as you can. Scrubbing / Painting / etc. then once you are circulating air like crazy.

@Brian Banks  

If you have done all of the above (which hopefully something already suggested works), and there is still some lingering smell, boil some vinegar and then let the hot vinegar sit in whatever room smells. It will smell rancid for a while (an hour or two), but once you air it out the smell is much better. I did this when I had a roommate who never changed her cat's litter box.

Originally posted by Kristine Marie Poe:
It's probably dog urine. If you didn't treat the slab before carpeting, that's where the odor likely is. Concrete slabs absolutely absorb odors as does tile grout. I did a rehab where the pet damage was so bad on the slab the concrete had crust in places. My contractor tried to convince me that the white patches were soil chemicals leaching upwards and was typical for the area. He was so wrong. The damage was from the top down and was worse in corners and closets, where the dogs had done the most damage.

Have you repainted. That usually make a big difference. Be sure to look for pet damage at the baseboards and lower 2 feet of all your walls. Be sure to check the bases/toe kicks of your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Check all the door jambs and the bases for any sliding glass doors. Urine really collects in those areas.

I think you're in the ballpark Marie. It had a strong dog urine smell and i think that's still what has a musty odor. I thought removing the padding and carpet completely would solve it. I'll check the baseboards. You think I should do a heavy bleach mop throughout all the tile in the house?

Originally posted by @Jaclyn B. :
@Brian Banks

If you have done all of the above (which hopefully something already suggested works), and there is still some lingering smell, boil some vinegar and then let the hot vinegar sit in whatever room smells. It will smell rancid for a while (an hour or two), but once you air it out the smell is much better. I did this when I had a roommate who never changed her cat's litter box.

Awesome idea Jaclyn!!! Ok I'll give that a go too.

Originally posted by @Matt R. :
Does this house have central ac/heat? If so perhaps an ozone treatment with the system on could help.

Thanks,

Matt

Wow I had no idea about this. I looked up some ozone generators for residential that are about $400. Is that a fair price? I assume I'd put it next to the air return and run it for a bit?

Hi Brian, I was thinking of the spray type ozone stuff. Just spray and turn system on and bail for a few hours. You should not be inside when you apply I think.

thanks,

Matt

http://www.kmart.com/search=ozone%20spray%20odor%20eliminator

you can try going to a nearby pet store and asking them for enzymatic spray; these sprays usually neutralize cat and dog urine smells.

Tool rental places now sometimes carry industrial ozone systems, I've never used one. But rent, don't buy.

I had a dog urine infested rehab and ended up covering the concrete slab in pine-sol, Clorox , Ajax, and vinegar then letting it dry before washing it up. It worked the first try and I didn't have to touch the walls or ceiling. Of course the carpet and padding were toast.

Oh ya, pet stores sell pet urine liquid enzyme eliminator but it's pretty pricey

Anyone heard of these new invention called bleach? Water it down if its too strong. Will obliterate smells, dont put on stuff with colors, but your concrete problem will be fixed

Thanks everyone.  I'll reply with what trick solves it.
Right now I'm looking at a bleach solution on the tile and concrete floors, and maybe just a simple 409 Orange (watered down a bit) for the walls.

I'm also pinging a local Austin ozone treatment service to get a quote on having the house treated.

Originally posted by @Matt R. :

Hi Brian, I was thinking of the spray type ozone stuff. Just spray and turn system on and bail for a few hours. You should not be inside when you apply I think.

thanks,

Matt

 Matt, you are awesome my friend.  Take a look at my OP update.  Ultimately I didn't use a spray ozone chemical but an ozone generator and it knocked it out.  What a super easy way to solve odor problems!  

Looks like the new BP beta didn't tell me I had a character limit on my OP update so here's what everyone missed:

They used a corona discharge plug-in generator that output 1000 mg/hour (1g/hour) and it handled a 1700 sqft single story home fairly well. It was a $300 service but the generator only costs about $440 online. I'm definitely buying a higher powered unit (with timer!) for all my real estate needs going forward!

http://www.odorfreemachines.com/?c1=GAW_SE_NW&sour...

Awesome Brian, I did see one online for $329 that looked industrial strength and covers 2000 sq ft.

Sometimes you have to do 2 treatments if it is really bad.

 Perhaps bake some cookies when you show the place for that home sweet home feeling.

thanks, 

Matt

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