Ozone machine for cigarette smoke?


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Old 08-05-14, 07:24 AM
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Ozone machine for cigarette smoke?

We are buying a house where the previous owners smoked in the house. We are planning on ripping out the carpet, pad, drapes, wash the walls, prime with oil based kilz, and then paint.

I've been reading about the ozone generators to remove smoke smell. I've read about people having success using an "industrial grade" ozone machine for a couple days. Someone recommended a company in Iowa called Ozone Solutions. Apparently they will rent you the machine, they send it to you for a week, and then you send it back. Anyone have any experience with this company?

I've also read about some people that have tried ozone and didn't have any success. It seems like a lot of those people were using "home grade" machines.

Anyone have any input?

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:47 AM
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Ozone machines do treat smoke odors well. That said, I have no ability to judge a machine or company providing them. Fire departments work with fire remediation companies and contacting one of them would likely get you a good company and machine.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:57 AM
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Ozone does work but it must be in high, even toxic concentrations to be effective so you do need to know what you are doing. I have a 7'000 mg/hr unit that I use on my rental properties which is a good size for treating bedrooms up to larger living rooms. For a large open floor plan house it could take considerably more generating capacity to get the ozone concentration up to where it needs to be.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 04:56 AM
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Thanks for the info. The machine I'm looking at is a 10,000 mg machine. The house is about 1,800 sq ft on the main level. Do you think that size is sufficient?

You mentioned "you need to know what you are doing" for it to be successful. Is there anything else to it other than turning the machine on and leaving the house sit unoccupied? Is there any other tips that can make it more successful?

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-06-14, 10:09 AM
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Even with a 10k generator I would treat the house room by room, closing off each room as you treat it.

At the most you'll want to set the timer, turn the generator on and close the door as you walk out of the room. Best is to just come back the next day which will allow time for the ozone to naturally dissipate. If you get the stupid idea to run into the room to open some windows to speed up the ventilation process be ready for the irritation. Even if you hold your breath it can be strong enough to make your eyes water & burn and nose run (even when holding your breath). Then when you go outside into fresh air keep walking as you start to breath so you are getting fresh air and not the ozone coming out of your clothes.

Keep in mind that ozone is a powerful oxidizer and in order to break down smells and kill molds it has to be at very high, toxic concentration. The concentration needed to break down odors is many times what a human can survive. Just treat it with the respect you would chlorine or mustard gas if you've seen any WWI movies. But the burning in your eyes and lungs is a very good warning to let you know to get out to fresh air.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 10:19 AM
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I had someone from an ozone service company tell me they would recommend putting the ozone generator in the duct work, and run the furnace fan to disperse it throughout the house. Have you ever heard of that?

If you run it room by room, how long would you recommend running it in each room?

Can an ozone generator cause damage to anything (besides living things). Can it damage anything on the interior if I'm using it as a "shocker" and not running it long term?

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 10:30 AM
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If I was trying to do the whole house, I could see running the furnace fan. I don't see a need, however, to be hooking anything up directly to the ductwork.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 11:07 AM
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I'm planning on ripping out the carpet / pad, cleaning the duct work, then getting an ozone machine, then cleaning surfaces with TSP, the oil based Kilz, then paint. Is this overkill? If the ozone machine works, do you guys feel I need to follow all of my steps or could I cut some corners? If the smoke smell is gone after the ozone machine, should I still do the TSP and Kilz? I don't want to skip a step and then regret it later...
 
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Old 08-06-14, 11:10 AM
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Actually, I'd skip the ozone generator with everything else you're doing.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 11:25 AM
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While TSP is a great cleaner, primer/paint won't adhere well to it's residue so if you clean with TSP, you need to rinse well. I normally only use TSP on the exterior.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 02:28 PM
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You mentioned skipping the ozone machine if I'm going to clean, prime, paint, and install flooring. What I'm really wondering is if I could possibly save myself some time and just use ozone, paint, and carpet? If I try ozone and I can't smell smoke after the treatment, do I still need to use primer?

Also, I was at a paint store today and I talked to a painter. I mentioned I was going to use oil based kilz to cover up cigarette smoke. He told me that was overkill and that I could get by using water based Zinsser. Any thoughts on that?
 
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Old 08-06-14, 03:02 PM
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I am not sold on the effectiveness of water based sealing primers. I use Zinsser primers but would be using an oil based one for this.

The reason for primer sealing and painting is cleanliness as well as odor - the smoke soots up the walls in addition to creating the smell.

Hence, I would be primer sealing and painting regardless.

FWIW, I would have addressed this in my offer on the house - because they were smokers and I knew work would be required to deal with that, I would have asked for a concession on the price.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 03:55 PM
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I agree with Mitch. I've had much better luck with oil based stain blocking primers than their water based formulations.

With the full plan you are planning I would try all that and hold the ozone in reserve. If this is going to be your home I would not use ozone in place of good old fashioned cleaning as cleaning will remove the source from your home.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 07:41 PM
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I was able to buy the property right...about a $25k reduction.

I'm going to be putting in a lot of labor into this house. I'm trying to figure out if each step I'm taking is necessary. For example: Do I need to clean the all surfaces with TSP if I'm going to use primer on everything?
 
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Old 08-07-14, 03:52 AM
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TSP is a great cleaner but the residue must be rinsed off well! Dependent on how dirty the walls are you may be able to skip cleaning [but clean is always better] I would not trust any latex primer to adequately seal either the odor or nicotine stains. You do not want to paint and then find out after you are done [or a month later] that the latex didn't do the job!
 
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Old 08-07-14, 04:56 AM
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With TSP, do you clean with a sponge? How do you rinse it?
 
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Old 08-07-14, 05:06 AM
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TSP can be applied in various ways, basically like any other detergent. I try to limit TSP use to the exterior where I can rinse it off with a hose or pressure washer. Obviously that wouldn't work inside so you need to wipe off the TSP multiple times with a wet sponge [rinsing the sponge as you go] Some of the other cleaners aren't as critical as TSP although it's never a good idea to prime over detergent residue.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 05:22 AM
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Would you recommend a different cleaner in this situation?
 
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Old 08-07-14, 05:46 AM
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I usually use a household cleaner like 409 or greased lightning, it still needs rinsing but it's not as critical.
 
 

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