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What to do when smoke odor persists despite all your best efforts

You may have bought a house previously owned by smokers, or cleaned your home following a fire. Despite all your best efforts to remove smoke odor from your home, the smell of smoke persists. It appears to be coming from your walls. You may have forgotten a step in the cleaning process, or the smoke damage could have been more ingrained than you first thought. The question is, how do you remove smoke smell from walls when you’ve exhausted all your options?

What have you done so far to remove smoke smell from walls?

So, your carpets smelt of smoke, and you tried all you could to nix that horrible smoke odor. Eventually, though, you felt there was no option other than to replace them. You repainted the walls and ceilings, and threw out all the drapes. For a week or two all smelled as fresh as a daisy. Then you got home from work one day, and found that disgusting stench had returned.

What have you done wrong?

If you’ve done all the above, it sounds like you’ve neglected an important step in the process of cleaning smoke damage from your home. You’ve concentrated on repair and replacement instead of refreshing. Once you noticed that the smoke smell persisted in your carpet, you decided to replace as much as you could. You forgot that smoke odor needs to be tackled at the same time as smoke damage.

Return to basics to get rid of smoke smell from walls

If the smoke smell is hanging around, get to cleaning the walls of smoke damage again. See our post, 3 ways to clean smoke damage from walls, for some tips. This time, whichever cleaning solution you use, make sure that you:

  • Ventilate the room and house thoroughly
  • Turn on fans to help this process

If you have only painted the walls with a latex paint, odors will still seep through.

Ensure your house is completely aired

As well as opening windows and doors, you’ll need to tackle your home ventilation system. Your home’s air conditioning system is probably circulating the same stale air over and over. Remove the filters and clean (or replace) regularly, and clean all the grills, too.

Use an ozone machine with care

Ozone machines are commonly used by hotels, rental landlords, smoking bars, and other places where there are likely to be smoke odors. These machines work by attacking the smell at source, circulating O3 throughout your home and ventilation system. The air flows through furniture, and into walls and ceilings. These machines can be bought for a few hundred dollars, or you may be able to rent one for a short period of time.

When using an ozone machine, take care. Ozone can irritate people’s health, especially if there are existing respiratory conditions, asthma, or chest conditions. Ozone can also degrade rubber and oxidize metal objects, causing serious rust issues. If you do use an ozone machine, keep pets and children out of the way.

If you have a persistent smoke odor issue in your home, you may need to seek professional help. Contact Porter’s Cleaning today – we’ll be happy to provide guidance and a quote for professional cleaning and a home free of that awful smoke smell from walls.

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