Deodorization…How the pros do it
“What’s that smell?” We have all had the experience of walking into a room
or building only to be greeted by an unpleasant odor. They may range from
mildly annoying to downright putrid. Besides being embarrassing, malodors are also a cause real for concern. Unpleasant odors are sometimes an indication of a potentially infectious, hazardous or unsanitary condition. Bad odors can also cause psychological or emotional stress and even physical discomfort.
Spraying deodorants and perfumes simply masks odors temporarily. Odor masking is not effective for long-term deodorizing success. Effectively eliminating odors requires an understanding of the principles of deodorization. The type of odor neutralizer and application process must
be chosen based on the source of the odor, type of materials affected and the degree of odor penetration. To avoid a recurrence of the malodor, we use the following procedures:
Step 1: Find and remove the source. Odor is an effect. Since every effect has a cause, our first challenge is to find and remove the cause. If the odor comes from a dead animal, you must find the carcass and remove it. If the odor is from a pet accident, we must first locate the deposit and remove it from the carpet and other surfaces before we can treat the offending odor. The same
applies to odors from smoke, cooking, mold and mildew, etc.
Step 2: Clean the affected area to remove any remaining odor-causing residue.
Actually, cleaning is just a continuation of source removal. Start cleaning in the source area and work outward until all residues are removed. Residues can be sticky or oily residues, crystallized materials or dust and soot. The type of residue and the material you are cleaning determines the cleaning method. For instance, removing soot from a brick wall requires different cleaning agents, tools and techniques than removing soot from silk drapes. Depending
on the odor, source removal and meticulous cleaning may be all that is required. If not, we move on to the next step.
Step 3: Recreate the conditions of penetration. This is where specialized
equipment is often required. For example,if the odor is from smoke, it may have penetrated into wood, fabrics, drywall and many other porous and semiporous materials. Any deodorizing products we use must penetrate the
materials in the same manner as the smoke odor penetrated in order to
neutralize the odors.
If odors have migrated into areas that are inaccessible, it may be necessary
to bring in specialized fogging equipment, electronic oxidation, or dry vapor equipment. Generally, odors caused by liquids such as urine or spoiled
milk that saturate porous materials must be saturated with a suitable odor
counteractant. In most cases, properly applying steps 1 through 3 will achieve
the desired results. If there is still an odor, we proceed to step 4.
Step 4: Seal the affected material. Sometimes odors penetrate into materials to the degree that it is impossible or impractical to remove them completely. In these situations it is necessary to apply a topical sealant to encapsulate the odor causing molecules and prevent them from evaporating into the air. If the
molecules can’t reach your nose, you won’t be able to smell them. The type
of sealer we choose depends on the type of material, the nature of the odor
source and the degree of penetration into the material.
If you have tough odor problems and need assistance, please call Hansen
Steam Way, and we will be happy to help.