All Real Estate professionals have been there. The house shows great from the street and based on the pictures of the inside, the clients are bubbling with excitement to view the place and make an offer! However, when the before mentioned bubbly, euphoric couple enters the door, SNAP! They look at each other with that “What the…” look on their face then blurt out “Stinky! I’ve seen enough, let’s go”. You’ve just lost a deal because of “Stinky Home Syndrome”.
How can you prevent Stinky Home Syndrome from robbing you of a sale when the rest of the house is screaming “I KNOW YOU WANT ME! Simple! Perform an ozone “shock treatment” before you show the place! What is an “Ozone Shock Treatment”? “Isn’t ozone a toxic gas that is harmful to breath? Yes, but I’m not suggesting you breath high levels of ozone, that’s now how ozone is used in the Remediation and Restoration Industries. Ozone shock treatments are performed in unoccupied structures over a 6-12 hour period to permanently oxidize and break down the organic material and chemicals causing the foul smell. House plants, pets, and humans cannot be present during an ozone shock treatment. Besides getting rid of the root cause of the odors, ozone shock treatments will also kill or drive away most pests as well as break down VOC’s and kill surface bacteria, viruses, and molds.
How is an Ozone Shock Treatment performed? After removing all house plants, pets, and humans, a commercial ozone generator (or generators) are placed around the house. Typically, to achieve the desired ozone concentration of 50 to 400 parts per million, you will need machines that produce 1000 milligrams per 100 sq. ft. If your home is 2100 sq. ft, you will need 21,000 milligrams of ozone per hour to do the job. Depending on the source of the odor, it may take up to six hours of ozone shock treatment to permanently remove the offensive odor. As a professional that performs ozone shock treatments here in Las Vegas, I also advise that the carpets be first covered with Kevlar fabric, an ozone resistant impermeable material, to prevent the under-carpet foam from getting oxidized by the ultra high levels of ozone which in, if the shock treatment is long enough, cause an after-smell that might last a few days to a week or longer. If the house is furnished, you’ll also have to cover sofas, mattresses, etc, anything with foam or rubber, that is if you want to do a professional job. The alternative is to perform short 1 hour shock treatments that will kill bacteria, viruses, and most mold but not have time to break down foam and rubber, then air out the place, wait a day, and make sure their is no ozone after-smell (a bleachy, chemical smell). One hour may be all it takes anyway if the offending odor is second hand smoke or musty odors, as long as you adhered to the 1000 mg/h per 100 sq foot rule. You should also know that at freezing temps, ozone won’t break down and will linger until the temperatures rise. At room temperatures, ozone will break back down into oxygen in about 40 minutes.
After the shock treatment is completed, air out the house by opening windows and running the vent in your HVAC system at room temperatures. Plants, pets, and humans can re-enter after 2 hours.
What about using an ozone machine in a stinky home after the shock treatment to make the air smell fresh and clean? Ozone in small amounts,.01 to.04 ppm has been shown to make the air smell as crisp and clean as a rainy day! Actually, after thunder showers, the air is elevated with.01 to.03 ppm ozone which gives it that distinctively mountain clean fresh smell. Mountain air is also rich in ozone at those lower ozone levels by the way. Anyway, here’s how you can achieve this Nirvana of fresh smelling air in that malodorous home which was wantonly mistreated by a chain smoker, a bag lady with 50 cats, or heaven forbid the victim of water or smoke damage.
1) After performing the ultra high ozone “shock treatment”, place the ozone machine near the air duct return. You can also buy a “bare bones ozone generator” that will fit in your HVAC system if you don’t mind doing a little work.
2) Have your ozone generator cut on and off every few minutes for a few seconds. This can be done with the assistance of a “repeat cycle timer”.
3) Turn the HVAC system to the “ON” position and employ a MERV 11 dust grabbing furnace filter so that the air in the home will also be dust free.
4) The HVAC system is designed to filter all of the air in a home 2 times per hour if run in the “ON” position. This will waste an extra $10 a month, not much more than the standard $400 room air purifier. However, the results will be well worth the expense!
RESULT: When your bubbly, euphoric to see the place clients now walk in and smell the fresh, mountain clean air the decision maker (usually the woman) will turn to her partner and say “HONEY! I THINK THIS IS THE ONE!” and everyone will live happily ever after.